The length of the blade makes no difference since the blade should be completely submerged. The shaft length is essentially the distance from the water surface to the top of the grip when the blade is fully submerged, at the power point of the stroke.
If you are using a long blade in Canadian style paddling where you are positioned very low in the boat, the shaft will necessarily be shorter because you have reduced your “height” in the boat. The same applies to a lesser extent if you paddle from a kneeling position as opposed to sitting high on the seat.
Get into your boat (boat in the water) in your favorite paddling position. Take your paddle and place it in the water at the power point of your stroke. Note the waterline on the blade or shaft. Measure from the waterline to the top of the grip. That is the proper shaft length (adjusted a bit for personal preference).
Last summer I ran into a couple on their way up to the Sylvania who had a beautiful cedarstrip Jensen 17. As I have a cedarstrip Advantage we got into the predictable conversation. When we got around to paddles, I showed him two that we use, a lovely Peter Puddicome bent and a Whiskeyjack Straight. These paddles are both really good looking (and a pleasure to use), so when he said, “Oh, I have a couple that’ll just blow you away” I was a little surprised. Then he pulled out two sticks from a South Carolina canoe and paddle maker I had never heard of, Woodsong (not the builder of his Jensen, by the way.) I’ve seen a lot of paddles, but these were (easily) the most beautiful I have ever seen. While not as light as either of the two I had, they felt great, too. Honestly, the workmanship was worthy of a museum. For those of you who have yet to see the work from this company, check out this site. If nothing else, you’ll get to see what a canoe that takes a $25,000 DEPOSIT looks like! http://www.woodsongcanoes.com
Those are some beautiful paddles.
well there you go
The difference between an active house builder (Craig) and a retired roofer (Marc)
Both Marc and Craigs paddles are beautiful and lovely to handle.
There are differences, not betters or worsts, and thats why I have a real investment in them. I love them both.
I have a “Pursuit” in carbon fiber that I use for whitewater. It’s really tough- I beat the heck out of mine.
The guy who makes them is happy to modify them to your exact specs.
i’ll echo that sentiment
top of the pops daddy-o, and spendy…
I’ll second Whiskeyjack Paddles - http://www.whiskeyjackpaddles.com
I purchased an inscribed Whiskey Bender last year. An absolute work of art. And Insanely light. When the box arrived I thought it was empty.
If it is, paddles are somewhat like a skiboot and skis. Now if this isn’t the Dave(Flyfishing…DEC…etc) forget all this;-), but paddles are as generic to performance as skiboots are off the shelf…they’re just so so till tweaked(shaven/sanded…grip/blade/shaft’s varnish taken off!!) so that the human hand can effectively use them/it. …AND, paddles are made, like skis, to DO something…not to look like a livingroom piece of furniture, or mold to the skier’s anatomy…the human pulls themselves to the level of performance rendered by the paddle(positively OR Negatively!) ahem…although some skis might fit the “looking like” function(haha…)
…Just my $.01,