Which canoe paddle do you use

most often? I have about 8 canoe paddles, and each is suited for a different purpose. Half of them are bent-shaft, and half of them are straight-shaft. I was in a dilemna today, wondering whey I needed to take so many(3), paddles with me on a mild paddling excursion. When the wind kicked up, I grabbed my old aluminum t-grip that I had jigsawed the plastic blade into a beaver tail, and it was the superb paddle of the day. When conditions are calm, I like my wooden bent-shaft paddle. If you had to take only 1 paddle, what would it be?


I never …
I never take just one paddle with me; always have two. I have & use a lot of different paddles, but if I could choose only two, this is what they would be:

For flatwater canoeing:

Camp Paddle Co.Camp Classic Bent Shaft

Bending Branches Expediton Plus

For whitewater canoeing:

Werner Nantahala

Werner Point (now know as the Rec)


only one? hmmm
I’m like Bob - I don’t think I’ve ever taken just one paddle. For a bentshaft, I like a Zaveral. For a straight shaft, I like something similar to a Nashwaak.

I paddled all day…
…yesterday with my Zaveral bent shaft, and although I have a bunch of others including straight shaft, the only one I paddle with is the Z.



Black Bart Troublemaker
is my favorite and gets used the most

Wooden Zaveral
During the winter I made a copy of the Zaveral Bent Rec in Basswood and Cherry. The Zav has a flutter that I’ve never been able to overcome without an extra tight grip on the top hand. Finally got on the lake Wednesday with the wooden version. It is 14 degrees rather than 12 like the Zav because that is the angle on my bending form. About 20oz. as opposed to the 12 in the Zav. Really like the paddle and no flutter. Need to make a straight shaft version for the rivers etc. There is something special about a wooden paddle that is missing in the carbon versions. Won’t even let an aluninum shaft in the shop any more. Personal preference. Strange for a guy that likes Royalex canoes.

zre paddles
I own six ZRE bent shaft paddles. I have a couple of the rec carbon ones for shallow, rocky areas. I have a couple that i use for racing. I have one with a bigger outrigger blade for some on the water strength training. The other one is just kind of an old beater as well. When I’m paddling and switch from my racing paddles to the rec carbon ones, I can’t believe the difference. The rec ones feel unbelieveably heavy and they are only like 16 oz., I believe. I couldn’t handle using some of the other type of paddles.

mohawk doublebladed canoe paddle
lov it

Gillespie Oak Orchard Marathon
for most of my recreational paddling. Now the ZRE PowerSerge Outrigger carbon fiber copy of the Gillespie tip for racing and long distance travel. The little curl to the tip makes the water entry smooth and quiet and there is no flutter to the blade.

Like was said above, paddle with a light ZRE and when you go to a wooden paddle or even a recreational weight Zaveral you notice a BIG difference. Paddle all day with the wooden Gillespie and then pick up a Bending Branches and you feel the same difference. So it is relative, but on a long day the ZRE has its place.

To make do with just one paddle, the rec weight ZRE Outrigger Powersurge would be it. Can paddle the tight stuff in the Pine Barrens with a bent shaft in spite of what the traditionalists say, so why work much harder at what i do the most, go 20- 40 miles a day.


Why take only one?
To satisfy your answer though I would take my 52 inch bent shaft.

I could never envision a circumstance though where I could only take one paddle.

Which paddle?

– Last Updated: Apr-10-04 8:20 PM EST –

Wha Ho, Pilgrims

Me'takes two wit me - a straight shaft cherry Nashwaak Cruiser fer flatwater an' a straight shaft Bendin' Branches fer dem rocky places an' fer fightin' off dem Mingo varmints...

Fat Elmo

Used my new paddle today…
Werner Rec/Point. They only make them 54"and up. So I went to Chicagoland Canoebase to buy a 54" with the intent to cut it down at home. The shop owner did it for me and it made a world of difference today.

I used the Werner and carried a Bending Branches double blade as a back-up. I was in a moving water class, so I spent the paddling time with the Werner. If I had been on a different outing, I would have switched to the double blade when I got tired, on the flatwater areas. At this point, these two paddles handle the day for me.

Black Bart Troublemaker
Although I just got this paddle and have only used it about a half a dozen times, I believe this will likely become my most used. It will probably be replacing my ZRE straight as I like the larger blade face. Anyone want to buy a 56" ZRE?

Only two?

Would have to be my Nashwaak Cruiser for the deep stuff, and my BB Expedition Plus for the ‘short’ or rocky water.

Just 2…
54" bell northwind and an Old 56" mitchell (not sure what model), both are excellent for my Uses.IMHO.

next paddle will be a composite ZRE medium

or something simular.