Paddle length for double bladed canoe paddle

Oh, I have a Bell Magic and that’s an even wetter ride

I have a Sawyer Summersong and use a double blade paddle. The Summersong is narrow and I use my 210-220 cm. I am a fitness paddler and go out as fast as I can. I also have several kayaks and the canoe was a late edition. I can get the Summersong up to 6 mph in a sprint. Again, that’s with a double blade Wing paddle,

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My canoe friends use 9ft double bladed paddles.

Me, I just use my 230cm GP.

I like the look for that. :slight_smile: It’s not feathered, right. Of course, cutting the loom in half and using a metal ferrule can provide that option.


While in concept a Greenland paddle seems great, in practice water drip is a problem. With your boat being 30" wide it is very difficult to make some form of drip rings to keep water out of the boat.
I have not been successful in finding something that works on my high end Gearlab carbon Greenland paddle even on my much narrower boat. It is a real pain when the water is cold.
Consider a Wilderness Systems Pungo as it is adjustable between 220-240 cm. It is $315 at Amazon. A less expensive alternative is the Aqua Bound Manta Ray $200 for the 2-piece model and I would go 230 cm. In any case when the wind blows you will love the advantage over a single blade.
Per your question a pack canoe is a lightweight canoe where you sit down low, and have a back rest, and use a kayak paddle. Look at the sites for folks like Placid, Hornbeck, Adirondack Canoe, and Slipstream in the Adirondack area of New York. Northstar can build some of their models as pack canoes. For a solo flat water boat I highly recommend them. I actually converted my Phoenix with a seat backrest to this configuration. Good luck.

My canoe is kind of a DIY hybrid pack canoe. I would love a narrowed down tumblehome design with proper pack seating set up for a double bladed paddleing posture and a good 30-40 lbs lighter, but that wasn’t in the budget right now so I decided to see if I could make do with what I had.

Moving the seat forward and getting rid of the old seats was fairly easy I really think I ended up with a stronger canoe in the process with great storage abilities. Keeping some of the storage in front and some to the back allows for different loads to remain in balance. My seat position is based on the canoe empty except for my normal day gear in front of me that is easy to access on the water.

The biggest problem was overcoming the extra width of a converted tandem to a solo pack hybrid. The picture will show that extra width between the seat and the gunwales and the problem paddling. The tumblehome shape of a true pack canoe helps a lot and will reduce the double blade length some, but I think you will still want a shallow angle to medium angle stroke using a double blade. Because I’m sitting near the widest point in the canoe and level it feels super stable compared to sitting in the bow seat backwards when it was a tandem. Because of the stability and me getting older I went with more height to the seat than a real pack canoe might have. Every inch up makes double blade paddling that much easier along with easier on my back and knees. This spring I plan on adding a foot bar as mentioned above.

I have two smaller single blade wooden canoe paddles I don’t use much. You have given me the idea to cut each off on the diagonal and glue them together to end up with something very similar to the one shown. Might be fun to try. :canoe:

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