Traditional canoe paddle grips / handles

Which traditional (beavertail, ottertail etc.) canoe paddle grips, do you prefer and why.

I’ve recently been alternating between a Camp (Foxworx) beavertail that’s similar to the Foxworx Foxtail and a Grey Owl Tripper and find the Camp/Foxworx football grip to be more comfortable over time. It’s a little thicker with more rounded corners than the Grey Owl. I haven’t noticed any disadvantage to the Camp/Foxworx football grip, so far, but I’ve only been experimenting with beavertail paddles for a couple weeks, now.

On a related note, the shaft on this particular Foxworx paddle is much thicker than the Grey Owl Tripper.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Oddly enough, I’m thinking of trimming
down the traditional handle on my 60" Nashwaak so that I can put on one of my artistically bloated T-grips. I guess my hand is too large for traditional grips.

I think you wrote this one a bit
too fast as you are mixing blade shapes and grip types. Beavertail and Ottertail are traditional blade shapes, not grip shapes. For what it’s worth I prefer an oversized dropped T grip. It provides the greatest control thumb pressure and allows the fingers to curve over further thus a tighter grip. My grip hand tends to get less tired over time with this style grip as well. The slight curve of a dropped T follows the natural contours of the human hand. Luck.

I was just about to write the same
for me on both grip and blade, it is the ZAV.

My old wooden T grip paddles haven’t been used in at least ten years.



Fer WW ah’ use a T-Grip

– Last Updated: Apr-20-09 8:29 AM EST –

an' since ah' mostly use de "Indian Stroke" wit a palm roll on me "willow" style paddles, ah' like a symmetrical pear grip fer deeper water tourin'.


My traditional paddles
beavertail and ottertail have a variable grip.

I like the Northwoods stroke and the variable grip is suited to that. It works with any stroke that is more vertical than horizontal and needs a shorter shaft.

But you can grip the paddle “normally” to if you need to do vertically oriented strokes like draws and sideslips. Should you happen to find yourself in WW…(not my paddle of choice then…would prefer a T gripped Sugar Island shape)

There are some neat grip designs on Doug Ingrams website.

Traditional grips
Some of the native american and south pacific paddles just had a straight shaft with no grip, or a rounded grip only slightly larger than the shaft. This cannot be due to primitive skills or tools, because their blade shapes and designs are quite intricate. Has anyone seen or paddles one of these?

Who builds with "an oversized dropped T"

Do you have any pictures of that type of grip?


Thanks for the link.
Of those, the Freestyle looks like what I’d prefer.

What is the “variable” grip that you refer to?


They are custom made. I’ll try to take a pic and send it along, but they are simply larger that most T grips and arc downward a bit. I was introduced to them when using a (no longer made) Norse WW paddle and have preferred them since then. But had to have some custom made for my wood paddles.

oversized T grips
for single bladed paddles can be viewed at:

Yanoer, the grip on the far left is a standard Carlisle dropped T grip that many outfitters have for rentals. If that can be considered an average size then compare the others. BTW, I was able to talk Grey Owl into putting their dropped T on a paddle that normally did not feature one. Of course that was many years ago.


Thanks for the pics.
I think I might like that Grey Owl drop T.

FoxWorxs paddles…

– Last Updated: Apr-22-09 8:11 PM EST –

They'll make you an oversized t-grip.

I ordered an oversized t-grip on the Foxworxs Excel straight shaft that I ordered from them last year. I wanted it larger than the normal size because my hands are so large & my fingers are so long. I am currently sanding it down to the size & shape I want.

Want me to send you a photo?


I like the standard Foxworx palm grip
more than the standard Grey Owl grip. The points on the Grey Owl grip get uncomfortable after a while. The Foxworx doesn’t.

I don’t think pics of your special grip will be required, though thanks for the offer.

Hey Bob…
Always interested in new paddles (I know there must be one somewhere that will produce the perfect forward stroke) I went to the Foxworx website but could not find a pic of their grips. Did I miss something?

Barely Computer Literate, aka Pagayeur

Pick a paddle on the Foxworx site
and then you will see the paddle and the grips that are available for it. You need to put your mouse pointer over the name of the paddle, rather than the picture of the paddle in order to get the the deailed information of the paddle.

FoxWorxs paddles…
Yanoer is correct in the method for obtaining grip photos on FoxWorxz’s website.


got it, Thanks NM