New canoe paddle advice

I’d like a good paddle for slow moving rivers that can move enough water to get me through solid class 2 rapids ( on occasion). Suitable for tripping (not terribly deep water). I don’t want a beavertail for what I’ll be doing. I’ll be in a 15 foot dagger reflection paddling solo from center seat.

I’m aware of Werner and Bending Branches but I’m open to other budget friendly options.

Beavertail… Are talking about canoe paddles?

Yep. Would be a canoe paddle for my 15 foot tandem.

Oops, missed the boat description. Sorry. Lousy at reading from a cell phone.

I didn’t do a great job at describing it the first time. It was edited to actually include the word canoe…which I suppose is helpful:)

Sugar island blade shape
Straight shaft
Symmetrical t grip

Find a whitewater paddle with a flat blade and reinforced ends. A T handle is good for moving water. Most solid Class II rapids are not in slow moving rivers unless they are extreme pool and drop.

There are so many options. Paddle choice is quite personal. They all seem to be getting expensive. Here’s an all around paddle from another brand.

You are correct in your belief that you do NOT need a beavertail paddle.
It is my personal opinion that you do NOT need a "break the bank, carbon fiber, candy colored, metal flaked, light as angel’s breath, bent shaft paddle.

My suggestion would to check out the Grey Owl Paddles website, and see the variety they have available. I personally think that either the Sugar Island, or the Hammerhead (if you like a Tgrip) would be options you might consider. Good paddles, well made, and they won’t break the bank. Also, give Bending Branches Paddle a good look.

Suggestion: Carry a cheap/beater paddle to use when the river shallows out…Works for me; will help save your#1 paddle from damage.

Suggestion #2 Try using some control when you start buying paddles.
It can become a sickness…Wood..............

I speak with some experience with this sickness.

Good luck,

I like the look of the grey owl paddles… but man is it difficult to find a working website of any dealer .Sheesh!

Check out FoxWorx paddles. Reasonably priced.

If you’re thinking about a Grey Owl I suggest that you call Carl at Carl’s Paddlin and just BS about paddles a bit. He’s a Grey Owl distributor and a great guy (and a very experienced paddler) and he’d be happy to talk to you. His website is a mess so calling him is best. 608-583-2405.

Bending Branches has a new model that looks good for you. It has a nice blade size and shape (good even in shallow water) and with the resin tip and fiberglass covering it should be super tough. It also has a symmetric grip.

I like a blade size around 115-120 square inches. You can move plenty of water but you won’t get worn down by a huge blade. I’m not weak and have some big-bladed freestyle paddles that rarely get used, for me the Grey Owl Sugar Island has too much blade.

I agree with string that FoxWorx are worth looking at. In general they are on the light side which is nice. I think a Grey Owl or the Bending Branches mentioned have a more sophisticated blade shape and may move more quietly and smoothly in the water.

I would recommend buying two paddles.

For moving flat water my choice would probably be a bent shaft wood paddle with an asymmetrical palm grip. This will be more efficient than a straight shaft paddle if no technical maneuvering is required. FoxWorx, Bending Branches, and Grey Owl are all worth checking out for this type of paddle.

If you are looking at only occasionally running rapids, an inexpensive paddle can actually do pretty nicely. An example of such a paddle is the Carlisle Standard which has a polyethylene-wrapped aluminum shaft, a symmetrical plastic blade of the Sugar Island style of shape, and a plastic T-grip. This type of paddle is completely unsophisticated and is an example of the type used by outfitters for whitewater rafting, but they are tough and can be had for about $30. They are heavy but if used only occasionally for the odd rapid the weight won’t matter.

If you have to use such a paddle to push off in shallow sections or if you lose it you won’t cry very hard. If you are considering running anything approximating what I would call a Class II rapid, you really need to have a spare paddle anyway.

I went with a bending branches paddle. Right now, it’s hard to find people who are able to continue production, which is totally understandable. Not sure when it will get here. For the time being, I have 3 paddles. I can see that number increasing…

hee hee. Yes. I have a garden shed 10x10. For paddles on all the walls. It is a worthwhile addiction.

I’d rather not say how many paddles I have but it’s somewhere around almost enough.

In general I like the idea of having a spare beater paddle for the shallow stuff and class II rapids (like a carlisle value paddle) and a nice light wooden paddle for the flats. If you go with a carlisle you probably don’t need the plastic sheaving on the shaft so the value model should work and will be lighter than their ww standard. I’ve used both and prefer the lighter version.

I have a 52" Foxworx Arrow that I bought last year and have only used once with my little solo canoe. I decided that I don’t need the push power of the Arrow design and picked up a Redtail otter tail that better suits my lazy flatwater outings.

If you are interested in the Arrow I am looking to sell it for a decent discount – it is like new since I only used it for about 15 minutes before switching to a Bending Branches kayak paddle. Could be mailed (it only weighs 25 ounces) or delivered if you are anywhere between Muskegon, Michigan, and Saratoga Springs, NY (both places I will be driving to from Pittsburgh within the next month).

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