Sub 15oz straight shaft canoe paddles?

I love the light weight of my carbon fiber bent shaft paddles (Barton Paddle Company and Zaveral), but prefer the experience of using my 58" Sawyer Cruiser (found in my Dad’s garage Saturday!) for boat control in my Mad River Slipper. The Cruiser has an 8" x 22" blade and I wouldn’t want a larger blade. A slightly smaller blade would probably work just fine. The 58" Cruiser weighs 25oz on my wife’s kitchen scale and feels very heavy compared to the carbon bent shafts.

What are my sub 15oz options for straight shaft canoe paddles with blades 8" x 22" or slightly smaller?


I bet the folks at ZRE would build one for you however you wanted. They offer so many “standard custom” options I just can’t imagine it would be difficult.

Thanks, I’ll check into that too.

Zaveral used to make a straight shaft paddle with a nice teardrop shaped blade but I don’t see it on their website any more. My straight Zav is my favorite paddle.

Black Bart made a great one called a Troublemaker at 12 ounces but it looks like he may be out of business. I like mine a lot. Sturdier than a Zav with nice balance.

But - Zaveral will make you a straight shaft version of any of their bent shaft paddles for a small charge; I’d recommend that you get a normal sized blade - 8.25 inches wide and no more than 8.5…they offer 8 inches to almost 10 on their Outrigger paddles. They only charge a small fee for a “custom” angle and your custom angle is zero degrees. You can even ask them to leave the handle unglued and order the paddle longer than you need and then just trim it down a 1/4 inch at a time with a hacksaw until it feels perfect…then glue it.

Zav offers many lay-ups and their lightest ones will be under 10 ounces I think. I have a couple of them. They are far more durable than you’d think. Their “normal” layup would be around 12 ounces max I think.

For a 15 ounce straight shaft composite paddle you could also look at the leftover ones that Pat Moore is offering ( and see if he has one that would fit you; he lists the actual weight of each paddle. These are really more specialized freestyle paddles but they are fun on a lake too.

Or you could look for a cedar paddle. Unadilla Boatworks - in the Canoe Buyer’s guide - is one source. He’s local here is SE Michigan and I have a couple of his paddles; he does a nice job.

Sawyer also offers a cedar paddle but I think you’re taking your chances if you order one; each one is different.

Thanks for the suggestions & info.
Does Unadilla Baotworks have a web site? I didn’t find them in the Buyers’ Guide.


Unadilla boatworks
Contact Ron Sell at

Very nice paddles, very nice guy. Own and use one of his bent shafts of several years ago and it’s soft and sweet in the water. Can only imagine he’s gotten better over the years.