I thinking about getting a kayak paddle for my wife to use when we paddle our canoe. I think she would find it easier to use and better for me since she usually paddles at a fifty percent duty cycle and is loath to switch sides. I first was thinking about something like a Mohawk double paddle but now think it would be better to get a lighter kayak paddle since we’d use it for tripping where a lighter paddle would be worth the extra expense. I’m thinking about the Bending Branches adjustable two piece paddle that REI sells for $129. You can adjust length (215-230 cm) and feather angle (0-60). It weights 36 ounces which isn’t too bad for that price range. I’m thinking it would be good to be adjustable since I’d like to give it a try on my Odyssey. I definitely don’t want to spend over $200 and that would be a stretch. I’d like to get the paddle in the next couple of months so we can use it on the Green River in Utah this coming March/April. We’re doing the 120 mile flat section. I know nothing about kayak paddles and have little chance out here to try any so would like some feedback on some good choices. Thanks.
with a kayak paddle. Yup, it’s the way to go in my opinion. Not just for the wife, either.
I used mine to solo my canoe more easily, then, to provide the ease of operation when my partner may paddle, or birdwatch, or talk to the butterflies, or whatever.
I’m no expert, but I think 230cm is about the shortest you would want, a high paddle angle in a wide boat means you get rather wet.
Try before you buy, if you can.
My fiance’ uses a kayak paddle when we canoe and it works much better. She paddles much faster and its easier on her. We use her standard paddle, but then my canoe is very narrow at either end, i.e., the gunwhales aren’t much further out than the seat itself.
I use a 240 kayak paddle with my 14"6" Wenonah Vagabond most of the time. I do carry a canoe paddle for the tight stuff.
Only down side is the drip, but it’s not a really big deal, cause when it’s cold, I wear a dry suit.
Kayak paddle with Mohawk Odyssey
My wife uses a kayak paddle full time when paddling an Odyssey 14.
The paddle she uses is a Bending Branches Tailwind:
12 wood laminate (pretty paddle)
drip rings & dripless blade (works well)
rockguard on blade tips
ferrule angles of 0 & 60 degrees, left or right
I believe the blades on that particular model come in 3 different sizes.
She likes it, and it is holding up well, with no problems after 2 years of use. Check out Bending Branches website.
I used my carbon 240 kayak paddle
for a long time , but I love the Mohawk monster paddle for the reach and power I can get from it. It does tend to wear on me a bit. Somewhere between 10-15 miles I have had enough.
I also carry a single blade for the tightr spots.
I often use a BB 230 crank shaft when
paddling from the stern, and mostly supply full power for the canoe with the bow paddler really not doing much. I do amazingly well with this paddle, and enjoy it tremendously. The blades are very efficient, and require much less energy in work effort than a full size canoe paddle. A faster cadence of paddling strokes usually results with it.
I would recommend the same paddle, although a bit shorter for your bow paddler. Remember that if her cadence stays the same, and she uses a kayak paddle, she will match your cadence. Only she will be paddling on both sides, which you may need to compensate for. It’s worth a try. Good luck! She should at least enjoy her paddling experience more
with the efficient kayak blades. Another option might be to have her try a wooden(cherry)canoe paddle in the ottertail or voyager style. That experience could alter everything.
The light finally came on and now
I understand about getting a longer paddle for a canoe. I found a paddle that can be ordered in a 258 cm length, weights 33 oz and only is $123! You can special order longer ones which would add .33 oz per inch.
The longest I found besides this company is only 240 cm which I guess would work. A kayak paddle makes a lot of sense especially for a solo canoe. I normally use a bent shaft and switch sides every few strokes on my Odyssey.
It works for me
I use bb wispering dream at 240. and it does fine for my mohawk solo 14. you can order a longwetr kayak paddle from bending branches. at only 404 extra. i am ording a wispering deam fiberglass shaft(260) and its only around 140$ plus shiping. you can even get it shipped strieght to you. although you would need to order it through a shop.
Thanks for that link. Has anyone tried
those paddles? The price & weight look quite attractive.
I would prefer a shorter, wider blade
than those offered. I actually prefer a symmetrical blade with corners, but that is because, as a WW canoe paddler, I like corners for the occasional push off the bottom of the river. A double blade is useful for upstream attaining, but not as useful as poling.
Our primary tripping canoe
is a Champlain so probably the 160 cm range isn’t going too big. I’ll get one for my wife and if I like it I’ll get one for myself. It’ll be interesting to see what difference it makes with speed. Last Fall we made a big lake trip up in BC where the any extra speed would have been welcome.
The metric system wasn’t invented…
…when I studied arithmetic, but I use a 9’ double paddle (NOT a “kayak” paddle) 95% of the time in my WNN Vagabond, and would use it if I was ever in a double canoe, bow or stern. At that length, I have no problem with drips getting beyond the rings. I’ve also read of gluing a short length of nylon string to the lowest points of the paddle blades, giving drips a way to get off-haven’t needed it, though. I sank maybe $200 into a custom graphite paddle from a now-defunct company 3-4 years ago. The weight reduction was absolutely worth it. I also carry a