Canoe Paddles

question and comment
As always, thanks for your informed response.

When you said “and if sitting to paddle, bent paddles are due for consideration”. I use my bent shaft quite a bit in flat water paddling and I kneel most of the time. Are bent shafts not as useful kneeling?

A few years ago I bought a zaveral straight shaft to reward myself for a major milestone in my teaching career. I have never regretted the purchase. It replaced a heavy old mitchell I had used for years and the difference in weight alone is worth the price, but coupled with the thin blade it attaches me to the water so much more nicely. The end of the blade is getting a little worn, and I have wondered if there is a way to repair that at some point?

I also paddle a sawyer bent shaft on flatter water that is quite light. I love the look of the wood work. The aesthetics of canoeing is one of the reasons I love it so much. And, fine wooden paddles add to the experience for me.

Where did you find a "heavy old Mitchell
I have a ~20 year old Mitchell that is light as a ww paddle can be, and dynamite handling.

Charlie believes, on the basis of
careful analyis, that the optimum bent shaft angle drops to zero when you are kneeling.

I believe, on the basis of a five degree bent shaft that I made, that the optimum kneeling bent shaft angle is closer to 5 degrees, maybe a bit more.

Zaveral makes some nice 7 degree bent shafts. Try one and see if it doesn’t feel better than those water-slapping 14 degree bents used by the sitters.

Not sure what angle my bent shaft is, but I will check it out.

BB Expedition Plus
Thanks for the advice. Bought a 54" and a 60" Expedition Plus. Smooth as butter compared to the cheap paddles. The 60" feels better to me than the 54" but probably something in-between would be best. Thanks again.

In a pinch I have used an old coal shovel to paddle with. It is not that different than the paddles you are using now. Borrow some, rent some, find an outfitter at the beach. buy em, trade em or make em.

Plane it
I had a feather brand I acquired somewhere. As a project (read that as an excuse to not watch dancing with the stars) I started sanding and planing down the feather craft. I tuned the paddle to the point where I resolved to get a better paddle soon…