Canoe paddle spare - Experience?

I am looking to use a canoe (single blade) paddle as my spare on the back deck of my kayaks. Has anyone had any made for this purpose, and if so, what length paddle are you using? It would seem that even a 48" paddle (shortest size for most canoes) would be too long since a kayak has us much closer to the water.

Any experience/opinions welcomed.



– Last Updated: Oct-23-12 8:01 AM EST –

I bought an adjustable paddle made of aluminum and plastic found at most west marine or bass pro shops. With it was able to experiment with best length to use out of the kayak. It was also great for exploring in tight mangrove creeks.

Ended up with a bent shaft ZRE carbon. The bent shaft was too difficult to store on deck. Think about a straight shaft instead for your spare.

48" is too long for me.
I’ve been using a 47.75" ZRE Medium in my kayaks recently and it seems at least 2" too long, though it really moves my Epic Touring Cruiser 16 along very nicely. I’m looking for a 46" to try.

46 inch bent shaft
works fine in a kayak. Hit and switch.

Fox Worx makes them. Look at the Micro light or the standard.

However you may find storage of the bent awkward. Many of my kayaking friends love having a canoe paddle for tight places.

I use a 49" straight blade
And not just for backup. I switch back and forth between single and a greenland blade. I enjoy the feel of the single blade, but then, I think I am a canoeist at heart.

I’m 6’4", so maybe I can get away with a few inches more paddle than shorter-torso’d paddlers, or maybe my paddle is too long and I just don’t know any better. 46" sounds about right.

I switch sides about every five strokes. The switch would be easier with a shorter paddle. Also, if you have a rudder (I don’t), it might be easier to just stay on one side.


spare single
I know of at least one paddle carver (Tuktu) who makes them. Just the right size, nicely finished.

I actually switched entirely to single blade. Paddle longer and zero fatigue and can keep up if not paddle father than my double blade friends.

…afterall…a double blade you will life nearly 15-tons more weight in paddle over a 10 hour paddle day than a single blade.

Yeah get a ZRE have them cut it short 43-48 depending on your size

I have a 48, it might be a tad long. But really anything between 46-48 would be fine for a spare. I went with sanborn canoe company’s borealis model. Light, affordable, and pretty.

Ryan L.

Quickie insert plug

– Last Updated: Oct-23-12 11:45 AM EST –

A simple T Handle plug easily converts your
kayak paddle to a canoe style paddle.

A great back up piece of gear,
to put in the hatch for emergencies.

Short 5 degree bend
When I got my first sea kayak in 1996 I had Al Camp (now Foxworx) custom make me a 5 degree bent shaft out of his light foam blade technology. I think it’s about 40" total length, but I’d have to go down into the apocalyptic rubble of my garage to actually measure it.

The 5 degree bend allows it to fit fairly flat behind the cockpit and also provide some mechanical advantage for the seated butt boat posture.

I never use it.