Double bladed canoe paddle...

… are they worth the expense versus a single paddle? My wife and I bought our first canoe recently, a Pelican Intl. Colorado 15, and while we both go to the gym regularly, I have A LOT more stamina for paddling than she does. We use the canoe for fishing and recreational paddling but I end up doing most of the paddling. I also get quite a bit of water (half a gallon or so in 4 hours) inside the boat from switching the paddle back and forth. Might it be less hassle having one of these double bladed wonders?

Thanks in advance

It sounds to me like you might like using a double. You will get water in the boat as it runs down the shaft but maybe not as much as you are getting now.

The only difference between a kayak paddle and a double canoe is the length.

Mohawk makes an inexpensive double that you might want to try. I use one when soloing my Explorer on quiet water.

Paddle on,


I use both…
1. I use a single blade when I am paddling with someone who can compliment my abilities. And I like the tradition as well. A good J-stroke is not that hard to learn. I only switch to distribute the muscle load; maybe every 5-15 minutes.

2. I use a double blade when I am out with my 10 year old daughter and she runs out of steam. I use a standard (for me) 230 cm kayak paddle. It is wetter than a single blade, even with drip rings/cups. I keep a big sponge in the bilge. But the efficiency over a single blade is noticeable.

PS I am primarily a kayaker.

try one out
Last year I borrowed a double blade paddle from one of my kayaker friends and I really liked it, so I bought one of my own.

I use the double blade about 75% of the time. Last night I went exploring a marsh and used my old paddle and had a ball. Having both, I have options.


The equalizer.
I think your wife may have more power with a double blade. Either single or double requires some grasp of technique, so you’ll benefit from videos, books, or lessons. I’d encourage you to find a local club to see if you can take a few basic lessons with both kinds of paddles.

Good rotation will reduce your (and wife’s)fatigue and increase efficiency. I have limited rotation, so use a double blade a lot. It enables me to go where everyone else is going. Work on your single blade because in the long run it’s usually handier and more efficient with a canoe. But sometimes a person needs an equalizer to help out when they can’t do what they want to do with a single blade.

I would go with a 240cm (largest in stock) or 250cm (special order) since the Pelican sits you pretty high on the water. If you’re going to use it much, go lighter. Asymetrical blades work better for me and I don’t feather. But that’s a personal preference, so you need to try some paddles. Have fun and be nice to your wife…lol.

I use my double paddle 95%…
…of the time in my 14’ solo. I carry a single as a spare and for variety. I don’t see why your plan wouldn’t work. In fact, I don’t know why you couldn’t both use doubles-for steering, the aft paddler could

use one end only as needed-although I’ve never tried it. Tandem kayakers do it all the time. You will need a longer paddle if you want to stay dry. I use a 9’ double with drip rings, and rarely have a drip. Don’t use price as a criterion, either. Think motorboat, where you would expect to put serious money into an engine. Your paddle is your engine-don’t skimp. My wife had a cheapy plastic double for her 9’ rec kayak, and can’t believe the difference a good paddle made when I got her one, in terms of fatigue and efficiency. As to those single-paddle advocates who get personal satisfaction from using one- find out for yourself what you like. It ain’t a religion!

a light double blade
Some canoe double blades are really too long and made out of wood they are too heavy; and the shaft tends to be too large around for small hands.

I use a Wind Swift double blade. My canoe is 26.5 inches wide and the 220 cm works well for me. Depending on the width of your paddling station and the height of the seat (I assume you are sitting) a 230 might work. My db is fiberglass and a proprietary resin; quite light. You do need a long enough paddle to avoid high paddle blade angles. Low strokes should leave your boat dry.

I got a breakapart and like that I can store it in halves when I single blade, which is most of the time(I love the exquisite control I get with a single blade). The db is a real trip saver when wind comes up.

There is nothing illegal about both of you using one.

The learning curve for doubles is different than for singles;

Its hard to get the basics of single blading at first; once its there you start inventing manevers of your own and the curve skyrockets.

DB; learning curve steep at first, then it takes patience and practice to perfect what you can do with this blace if you want to advance.

I use a 240cm kayak paddle 95%
of the time.I get more power and just paddle better, but then, I paddled kayaks for several years before I got a canoe.

Check the reviews on the

– Last Updated: Jul-15-04 12:55 PM EST –

Bending Branches crank shaft kayak paddle.
Highly recommended for your usage by me,
as I am in a similar situation!

Don’t do it
There are special canoes build for all types of waters… and they all have one thing in common… the hulls are designed and maximized through the use of single blade paddles. You’ll have much better control of the boat by learning to use the proper paddle and the proper stroke.

Nothing wrong with a double bladed paddle… if you’re in a kayak and sitting on your butt. But if you’re kneeling or sitting in a canoe… your control will be limited.

get a double
next thing ya know your be wanting a kayak! LOL.

Do not get a double ender…
Learn the sit and switch method which is the proper method.

Do it now while you are still learning.

You are more powerful than she is naturally, so paddle in sync with her on one side and you on the other.

Just prior to the canoe starting to turn, call a “hut” which tells her to swith sides. You will probably have to call it on every fourth or fifth stroke.

This will keep the canoe going straight.

If you learn the “J” stroke, you can also incorporate that ,so you guys can stay on the same side longer.

Back when I was first learning, I used to switch sides over my head behind my back to avoid getting a bunch of water in the canoe.

Please, if you are planning on paddling for ever, learn the proper technique, and don’t get a double ended paddle.

You can’t learn the proper method over night, and it is a constant learning experience.

Cheers, and good luck,


Mohawk 9 ft double blade canoe paddle
Mohawk has a 9 ft double blade canoe paddle.

You can use it for paddling your canoe and keep sitting high and comfortable.

Mohawk also has short and long extensions that can turn one part of this paddle into a traditional single blade paddle.

Been there …done that…
LOL… moved to the dark side years ago :slight_smile:

Or Save money
You can duct tape two old brooms together and paddle with them too… they work…but it doesn’t mean its the correct way to “Paddle your own Canoe”

The truth is… you can use a shovel and if you’re having a good time and enjoying being out there…does it realy matter?

But if you want to learn how to canoe … use a canoe paddle … they are far more effective (when used properly) than a shovel, duct taped brooms, or a double bladed paddle (even if it has the name of a canoe company on it)

I paddle solo, often in small boats, so a good J stroke is the order of the day.

I do, however, carry a Werner kayak paddle onboard for use as a storm paddle.

I think any canoeist should certainly develop the proper canoe strokes before using a kayak paddle. The kayak paddle is a nice tool for unexpected conditions but one simply cannot manuever a canoe in the same manner with one as can be done with a single blade paddle. This becomes especially evident on moving waters.

I love both canoes and kayaks but they are indeed very different craft.

Pleasant waters.