Double bladed paddle sizing?

I would like to give a double bladed paddle a try with my canoe. I have never used one, so I don’t know anything about sizing. Will a common 240cm paddle work with a solo 32" beam boat? Or do I really have to buy one of the expensive 260-280cm special canoe paddles? (Bending branches slice glass, $150).

Searched the forum, and while I found lots of mention of users, there wasn’t any info on sizing.


Foxworx paddles recommends

– Last Updated: Jul-01-09 6:48 PM EST –

250 to 270 cm long paddles for a solo canoe. I am about 5' 11" and have slightly long arms for my height. I tried using a 230 cm long double-bladed paddle to propel a MRC Traveler that has a gunwale width of 26", a 4" waterline width of 29", and a center depth of 14".

Based on my experience I would agree with Foxwork recommendation. The 230 cm paddle could be used but it was more work than it was worth and resulted in a lot of water coming off the non-power blade. I needed to either use a shifting paddle stroke or put the blade in at a very high shaft angle to immerse it. It was not comfortable and it was very wet.

Maybe a shallower canoe would allow the use of a shorter paddle, but I concluded that I would require a double-bladed paddle of 260 cm length for a canoe.

If you get one, make sure it is a TAP (take apart paddle) so that you can easily stow it in the boat when not using it.

240 for a 26 -27 inch beam
like the Merlin II or Peregrine.

230 works but too wettish and I cant get the low angle I want.

For a larger solo you will have to look at 260’s( at least) I am thinking.

I agree that a two piece is the way to go. Portaging a double blade intact can be frustrating. The ability to lash it to a boat is useful though it may be possible to work it in and secure it to your boat in one piece, depending on where the thwarts are and your yoke arrangement.

reality check

– Last Updated: Jul-01-09 7:50 PM EST –

Don't take this the wrong way, but $150 is pretty much not much for a good's almost entry level for a decent paddle...I use a 235 carbon Werner Shuna(special order) to propel a Magic or Prism or a Mohawk13 solo or an Autumn Mist and find it's lenght more than adequate. 260-80? maybe for a fat tandem....

260 it is then…
I will probably go with the bending branches. I know that $150 is not much for a paddle, good ones are $400 plus, but if a $60 240cm will do the job and I can pick it up at the local paddle shop…well that would be nice, but not so in this case.

Thanks for the tips!

another way to think of it
is the $400 paddle going to give you almost three times the speed of the $150 one (or three times the pleasure?).

Probably not at first. You may eventually wander that way.

But I stick with my cheapies for canoe expeditions. That way if I drop a pack on it I won’t scream too loudly. I leave my AT SL Tour at home in that case and take a Bending Branches Evening Breeze. Its no cheapie either…glad I got it on sale a few years ago.

In use
I am 5’10" and use a 250 high angle in my 30" Osprey while kneeling. For a 32" boat I would suspect you need a 260. I think Fox has the best reasonable long dubble paddles.


What is a “high angle” paddle?

it would be a more verticle stroke…
than a horizontal stroke…

I would suggest

– Last Updated: Jul-02-09 6:32 PM EST –

that you try to borrow a paddle of the length you are thinking of buying before shelling out the money. In my case, I had an opportunity to buy a 230 cm long double-bladed TAP at a very good price and I almost did. It just so happened that I have a 1 piece 230 cm sea kayak paddle (I would usually use a 220cm these days) so I thought that I had better try using it to paddle my canoe before I bought the other.

I really wanted the 230 cm paddle to work in my canoe. After trying my 230 sm solid paddle for about 10 minutes, however, I realized that there was no way I was going to buy that TAP.

But maybe a shorter paddle will work for you as it seems to have worked for some others posting here.

Hold on before you buy the monster
paddle.I use a 230 in a Wenonah Voyager and a Rapidfire.I had a 260 and it put too much stress in my shoulders.

To be fair, I am 6’5" with monkey arms so reach is not an issue.I sold the beast paddle to a guy who paddles a Mad River Explorer with it with no trouble.

275 cm
I use a 275cm (9ft) take apart Mohawk double blade with my 16ft canoe. I do most of my paddling standing, but it works well sitting or kneeling. I have used this paddle over 20 years and it still holds up. And the best part… it is still cheap. Oh, and heavy. Mohawk has been sold to God knows who, but you can still get one for less than $75.00 shipped.

Are your 260cm and 230cm same model?
Blade size makes a big difference.

I just hate the paddle drips in my canoe with a 230cm, even though it’s wroks well mechanically. I’ve never tried a good paddle above 240cm.

You must be strong. Those Mohawk
paddles have too large of blades for me.

The one I had was a Mohawk
plastic monster.

Is your 230cm an AT Xception?
They’re great paddles and a world apart from the Mohawks.

No,it is a CF Kayakstore touring
paddle-no longer made.

I just ordered a mohawk double blade (108 in) for $47.50 + shipping