Yolk advice

And I ain’t talkin about eggs here :slight_smile:

I just bought a Wenona Spirit II (68 lbs) with wood stays and am needing yolks for portages. Most of my use will be short over level ground. Anyone have recommendations regarding comfort of various types? Thanks.

What I do
either make my own, or you can buy them for about ten bucks, and then add foam blocks.

If you want to go all the way on the blocks, cut two pieces of exterior plyood (3/4"if you have some) about two inches by four inches, (one for each shoulder). Then put a quarter or three eights inch diameter bolt through the center of each with the nut on the buttom counter sunk flush and the length of the bolt long enough to fit through the yoke

I then take a block of foam just a little bigger than the plyood block and about three inches thick and cover it with vinyl or some other sturdy fabric and glue it to the face of the plywood.

Figure where you want them on the yoke and then drill a hole for the bolt. Use a wing nut on the bolt and you can put them on or take them off as necessary.

When you are figuring where you want them it is best to tape them on the yoke before you drill the holes in it, so you can get the most comfortable sprtead for you shoulders.

I am glad you posted this. It reminded me that I have to go get my good ones that are on my OT Disco at one of my son in laws place.



Yolks? Yokes, Pads?
Not sure if you mean the actual yoke or yoke pads. The Spirit has a center carrying yoke already, does it not?

I have found Chosen Valley portage sling pad to be the lightest and most comfortable.



– Last Updated: Nov-13-05 10:12 AM EST –

Chosen Valley yokes and/or pads...

An de nicest folks that ah' have ever dealt wit...

Fat Elmo

Yolk advice
Thanks for the tips, and I was referring to yolk pads.

The Spirit II does have a wood yolk, but it hurt my tender shoulders.

Sit on it awhile and it may hatch.

Agree with Chosen Valley recommendation
They are absolutely the best. They also cost more, but if you have to carry the boat for quite a ways or over rough ground you will bless every penny. I’ve had the Old Town yoke pads, beefy yoke pads from an outfitter in the Boundary Waters, a foam cup style (absolutely dreadful), and the ones from Chosen Valley. There is no comparison on comfort; Chosen Valley wins hands down. Kevin makes an extra thick pad that I’d recommend, but even his regular thickness pads are great.

BTW: If you ever need a portable yoke, Kevin can make one of those too. I’ve been saving my pennies for a solo, removable yoke for my new Vagabond. I tried one in the shop and loved it.


just a satisfied customer

The portage pads from Chosen Valley are more comfortable than anything else I’ve personally tried. So, that makes three of us who think CV makes superior products…

FWIW, my CV pads are on a removable Bell brand yoke which I purchased with my Wildfire several years ago. I portage that boat & other solo canoes all the time and rarely mess around with attaching the yoke… But I’m just carrying light-weight solo canoes. If I had to carry a heavier canoe I would definitely want that yoke in place. I’m also not getting any younger… messing around with a yoke again is probably in my future.

JBV’s comments about Teal yokes caused me to look them up on the ‘net. Here’s a link to Teal’s small web site:


No doubt about it those things certainly have a more pleasing appearance than an aluminum & web sling pad. I can’t imagine that they’d be as comfortable, but even if they’re close in comfort they certainly look a heck of a lot nicer and as JBV pointed out they wouldn’t stick up above the gunnel-line.

An observation: I’ve seen Teal brand paddles in paddle shops in Ontario over the years. They always struck me as the “bargain brand” of Canadian canoe paddles. They’re basic no-frills paddles, but they look durable enough and are certainly affordable. I would expect their yokes to be in the same quality range. The yoke prices seem very reasonable to me.

A decided step up in quality among Canadian paddle makers is Turtle brand. They also make a sculpted wooden yoke – which I have not personally seen – but it’s probably nicer than Teal brand. Link:


I have one of those deep sculpted yolks on my Jensen. It is comfortable enough that I plan on keeping it If I sell the Jensen. I have about an inch of foam on it though. I used yolk cups on th e90 miler with 5 miles of carries. The next purchase of portage gear will probobly be from Kevin at CVCA .

observation on Teal yokes vs paddles
it’s a funny thing that their paddles are just as you say: kind of run of the mill quality and design, unlike many other small Ontario canoe shop stuff (Kettlewell, Turtle, etc) but their yokes are quite a cut above. It seems to me that most of their (very small) business is in yokes oddly enough. many folks with traditional Cdn canoes and some with modern boats put the Teals in them. they seem to have much better symmetry and quality detailing in the yokes. my boats both have black walnut trim including the yokes. if anyone is interested i’d send them photos, they really are beautys!

Not just 3 three rec’s
The chosen valley pads have been recommended by what seems to be just about everyone. I ordered a set earlier this week. If you order directly from the link jjoven provided, you not only pay less than what the outfitter charge, but you don’t pay until you receive them and are happy with them.