Canoe Paddles

Looking for best value for money on a canoe paddle.

I know there are many materials that paddles are made from. There’s wood, plastics and various composites and combinations of above. There are also many shapes.

In general… what would you recommend as a reasonably light, comfortable, general purpose canoe paddle that won’t break the bank. (less than $150 ea.)



(Too Numerous To Count)

Go to the Piragis website and look at what they are selling. There is a range of qualities there, up to exotics, but no junk. Bending Branches has a good rep for building durable paddles at a decent price. Sawyer too. I believe there are som carbon fiber lightweights from Wenonah that are around $150 as well.

Piragis is a starting point where you can see several brands. Check the P-Net buyer’s guide as well.


Bending Branches
My favorite inexpensive paddles.


Nice Paddles
Check out Fox Works(I think)? I do know that they were CAMP Paddles at one time. When they were CAMP Paddles, the modle I got was the CAMP CLASSIC. I have had this paddle for a few years, and still love it. The “pear” shaped grip fits very nice in my palm. This shape helps prevent hand fatigue. I can tell a big differnts when switching from the pear shape to a “T” handle style. YIKES! I think I paid $125.00 for this paddle.

Whiskeyjack, Foxworxs, Sawyer
I am a fan of wood paddles. I would encourage you to look at Whiskeyjack, Foxworxs and Sawyer. My recommendation is do not scrimp on paddles (especially if you paln to paddle for any length of time.) Buy a good quality and light weight model. I am a sit and switch solo paddler and I prefer either a double bent or a bent shaft paddle.

Mitchell & BB
Bending Branches and Mitchell make some decent paddles that don’t cost a ton.

a lot of choices
There are all the main brands and they are wonderful. Everyone will go over the mainstays of the paddle producers.

Go with the lightest paddle you can afford.

there are bunches of personal preferences.

I really dig my paddle from Bell Canoes. Not sure the model. It has a nice big blade and good grip.

Turtle Paddle Works makes some FINE paddles. I love mine. you may want to check them out.


Wooden paddles…

– Last Updated: Feb-13-08 6:52 PM EST –

I love wooden paddles; especially those made by Foxworx, Mitchell, Sawyer, and Bending Branches.
I prefer t-grips.

4 paddles I'm most often using are a Bending Branches Expedition Plus, a Foxworx Excel, a
Sawyer Cruiser, and a Werner Bandit in fiberglas layup.

Have wooden bent shafts by Camp(the Classic) & Bending Branches(the Sun Shadow), but seldom use either.


Wood paddles and salt water?
Thanks to all who have replied so far :slight_smile:

I see that most of you recommend wood paddles.

Do they hold up well in salt water as well?

I live in Florida and plan on paddling in salt water also.


Aye, hold up fine n/m

I have a wood Gray Owl
that I paddled with for years, but have been paddling with a ZRE for the past couple of years. It’s a lot lighter. I still carry the Gray Owl as my spare.

Wooden Paddles
hold up just fine in salt water. People have been sailing the seven seas in wooden boats for eons. If you want to keep the paddle protected, keep it well varnished. This applies to both salt and fresh water. A quick rinse with fresh water at the end of the day wouldn’t be a bad idea either and that applies to both wood and synthetic blades.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

wood is good
The Mitchel Touring Special is a great all arounder that should be just under $150. I love mine. Check their website they have a section where they sell off blems at a big discount if money is tight.


Also has a sale of blems at a considerable discount. Wood paddles blades that I am familiar with have an epoxy facing and rock guard so salt water should be no problwm. Two brand new Whiskeyjacks (one double bend and one bent shaft) just sold on Ebay for around $100.00 each.

Get a hold of a DVD called “Paddling the Solo Canoe” by Darren Bush. He introduced all types of paddles. After seeing it, I am still happy with my cheap LLBean paddles. I believe they are made by Bending Branches.

Foxworx paddles

Wood vs…
Werner makes nice composite (fiberglass) paddles that should be in your price range. There are likely others that folks could recomend.

Unless you are looking for under $40 I’d stay clear of aluminum shafts and plastic blades.

For real cheap the Mohawk (aluminum & plastic) paddles are a pretty good deal.

I use
an “Arrow” by BB and am pretty happy with it. Picked up a pair of Sawyer’s at last years canoeacopia and both my wife and I didn’t care for it’s feel in use. It’s going to be a trial and error thing.

The Arrow is a low end, cheaper paddle that can get the job done, but probably not provide much feel. It is a bit heavy too. Also has an asymmetrical palm grip. The Arrow has a Rock Gard tip but the blade is not glassed – the Rock Gard can crack and the crack will follow right up into the wood.

I have some repaired Norse paddles
I will sell cheap.