What type of paddle for a pack boat

I’ve been paddling sea kayaks for a long time. For the last couple of decades I’ve been using a Greenland paddle. I am seriously considering getting a pack boat before long (a Swift Canoe 14.8 Cruiser). If so, should I switch to a Euro-style paddle, or something fancy like a bent / crank shaft paddle (which I know nothing about other than that they exist)?


I use my GP cause it is familiar to me. It drips a lot in the canoe. I keep a sponge behind me but its is a LOT more water than you’d think.

Most others use a euro spoon blade kayak or a double blade canoe paddle.

I’m pretty new to the solo canoe so you will likely get better informed feedback than mine but here’s my two cents (since, like you, I’m a GP kayaker transitioning).

I got a Curtis Lady Bug 2 years ago. Technically not a pack canoe, just a solo with a slightly lowered canted seat, 26” beam with 29” tumblehome max. So a foot shorter, an inch deeper and 2" wider than the Cruiser with similar tumblehome.

But since I pretty much only use GPs with my kayaks and am still working on my single blade stroke I always bring a double blade along when I paddle the canoe. I also found excessive spillage trying to use a GP but I happened to have an older wood 230 cm Bending Branches that has long, slim blades and it works better. Photo below showing it beside one of my GPs. Blade dimensions are 5 1/2" by 24". (BB made the paddle for Walden kayaks back when they were producing them.)

I also picked up an ottertail canoe paddle to try instead of the beavertail that I started with and like how that feels. Again, a longer and slimmer blade. (it’s a RedTail from Umingmaq Outfitters in Wisconsin.) The ottertail blade is exactly the same dimensions as the Bending Branches blades.

I got some excellent one-on-one coaching in single blade technique at the regional solo canoe rendezvous this Spring and am more comfortable with that now. But I plan to continue to bring the break-down kayak paddle along as an option, just like I usually carry a standard blade paddle as a deck spare when I use a GP.

Redtail cherry ottertail in link.