Canoe Paddles and lift

John Winters in “The Shape of the Canoe” wrote about canoe paddle design that might increase lift and thus thrust. He suggested that this might be possible but unusual stroke mechanics and steering problems made this problematic. He mentioned that Bruce Winterborn was playing with some designs along those lines. I assume nothing ever got worked out with this. Does anyone know about these paddles. Has anyone ever tried them and what did the design look like ? Thanks


are you talking about the bent shaft canoe paddles?

kinda like these?

ive never tried one, but have always wanted too. just cant justify 50+ bucks when im not sure id like it.

You could check with Winters on, the Equipment forum. He usually pops up within a week or two.

Of course, bent shaft paddles are decades old, and their strengths and weaknesses are well known. The Zaveral PowerSurge paddles have similar strengths and weaknesses.

For those of us who have to kneel for whitewater conditions, most trick paddles are more trouble than they are worth. I do like a curved blade, as long as it has fairly neutral behavior during sculling and bracing. Some c-1 paddlers have gone to crank shaft paddles for more forward reach, but the amount of offset between the blade plane and the shaft plane should not be increased too much.

Looking forward to whatever you can pry out of Winters.

suggest you e mail John
with that question…he occasionally visits too under the category Boat Design

From material I have it might be the spooned canoe paddle…I have a Mitchell Leader and there are some handling idiosyncrasies. Its almost the same paddle shape as the Grey Owl Marathon but a concave power face. I dont have testing facilities but the Leader is faster accelerating.

And we are talking two hundred dollar paddles here…and Pagayeur is no stranger to more expensive paddles.

If you sit instead of kneel, the blade mechanics on a bent will be better than a straight. Its worth the 50 but that will be a heavy blade…the Grey Owls are a nice bent at around 100.

canoe paddles with lift
Thanks everyone. It’s not bent shaft or spoonbill. Actually the suggestions included ideas like different camber profiles and perhaps blade face textures. I think some have grouted edges and others had some system of slots cut into the blade face. I know Bruce Winterborn has worked on some kayack paddles that supposedly improved lift but wondered in anything came of experiments with canoe paddles. The ergomonics of canoe and kayack are so different, I can’t image that the two blade types would be similar in any way. I have spoken to John W. in the past and should probably do so again. Does anyone have an address for Bruce? Thanks