Paddle Suggestions

-- Last Updated: Jan-28-13 3:11 PM EST --

I just picked up a Old Town Discovery 158 to take my 3 year old son out in. I need to purchase a paddle and I wanted to get some suggestions.

99% of my paddling will be done on a lake and a wide very slow river and mostly just day paddles. I will also more than likely be sitting rather than kneeling. Most of the time it will be just my son and I so I will be doing all of the paddling.

I love the look of the wood paddles so I would prefer wood and from what I have read I am interested in trying out a bent shaft paddle.
The FoxWorx Standard bent shaft and the Bending Branches BB special both get good reviews from what I have read and seem like nice paddles for the price.

Does anyone have any recomendations for a nice paddle under $100.00?

Any suggestions are much appreciated!


I have just been down this same road
Or should I say stream. I have a foxworx standard bent for my wife, and a foxworx FFG which is a bit bigger blade for me. I feel the standard blade is a bit small for me, but a very nice paddle. However, if you are doing most of the paddling from the stern. I would go with a straight shaft with an 8" wide blade as you will find you have more control in the stern with it than with a bent.

Bendin’ Branches Beavertail

– Last Updated: Jan-28-13 4:32 PM EST –

Which be de straight shaft paddle ah' use 90% o' de time... an' ah's got more den a few paddles!

Ah' git dem at about $65.


Thanks for the info and suggestions. I will look more into getting a straight shaft paddle.

I like the harmony bent shaft and it is one sale:

It is very good for shallow rivers because it has a rock guard and it is a short wide blade.

I is a good first bent shaft as it is only a 10 degree bend instead of the normal 14 or 15 degrees. This makes it slightly easier to use in maneuvering strokes.

They also sell a straight shaft model.

As a first guess I’d try 52 inches bent and 54 inches for straight.

if just you and 3 yr. old son …

– Last Updated: Jan-29-13 9:38 PM EST –

..... I'm sure you will be keeping him close to you . So that means he'll be in the back half of the canoe like you .

I think you'll be needing ballast up front or the bow will be too light and high . I'm going to suggest you get 2 - 5 gal. collapsable water jugs to place up front in the bow area . Fill them at the lake , and empty them there when done . 5 gal. of water weighs about 40 lbs. . You really don't want that bow too light , gets a little squirrely , especially in "any" wind .

You can paddle all day long from the stern seat w/o any problem ... as long as you have enough ballast up front .

I'd stay with a straight shaft for awhile yet since you'll be stern paddling a tandem from the seat .

FE's BB 20 oz. paddle for 65. bucks w/tip gaurd should be a definate consideration , or any other that can match that paddle . I'm sure if FE likes it , the edges aren't too thick and it's ballanced well .

Here's my standard go to paddles , they are Carlisle 8" beavertails (acually measure 7-3/4" x 20" blade) . I have several and my best advise is get a 54" and a 57" in them .

With FE's BB paddle , the blade is narrower and longer (25"), so I'm thinkin a 57" would probably yield a good "minimum" shaft length in that BB paddle (57" - 25" = 32" shaft) . Shaft length is the most important thing regardless of what blade size you have . I can't imagine a straight shaft stern paddler with any shaft length less than 32" ... I prefer 34"- 37" shafts . You need to know what shaft length is best suited to you . Add the desired shaft length to the blade length to get the overall paddle length .

You can call and order direct from OldTown Canoe Co. ... 1-800-343-1555

Regardless which brand paddle you get , remember blade lengths and widths differ , but the shaft length that is right for you is important .

FE do you think a stern paddler …
… in the back seat of a tandem would want or need a little longer than 54" in that BB paddle with a 25" long blade ??

The 54" only leaves a 29" shaft . I’m thinkin you are kneeling in a solo canoe if using 54" in that paddle ??

Ditto pilotwingz reply
I have a 58" bending branches arrow straight. The shaft length is 35" which works well for me when sitting in the seat. If the canoe was fully loaded and I knelt at the stern then I might go with a shaft 2 to 4" shorter. However, I find it works ok kneeling in myunloaded canoe when paddling solo more in the middle of the boat. Use the fitting guide the paddle makers have on their web sites as a starting guide.

Thanks again!
Thanks again for all the info! It has helped a bunch and gave me a good start on my first paddle. I have decided to go with a straight shaft and will probably go with a Bending Branches Arrow or Beavertail.

I still need to figure out what length I need but in a bending branches I seem to fall in the 57" range from the calculations I have seen.

I use a harmony bentshaft as a spare. Worth looking at if you can. Price was pretty good to.