Best Canoe Paddle: 5 Must-Try Canoeing Adventures

Kayaking

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 9/29/2022

The process could be a little complicated without the proper guidance, so we'll do our best to give you all the information you need. Below are five of the best canoe paddle currently available on the market.

Despite not seeming to be the essential piece of equipment, canoe paddles are the engine that drives your kayak.

Paddles Types

When choosing a high-quality paddle, it will be easier to paddle for more extended periods with less effort. While out on the water, the paddle's materials, size, and style will affect your performance and enjoyment.

To paddle efficiently, you must have the correct paddle size and width.

Check out our handy Buyer's Guide to learn what to look for when choosing a canoe paddle. Let's get started!

Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle

The Caviness Marine Twin Stripe is an excellent choice for those who value appearance and performance. A lightwood blade is complemented by two black bands, making it one of the finest canoe paddles on the market today.

The stripes serve a useful purpose by increasing the stiffness while rowing. Stripe Paddle is constructed using cross-grain and laminated construction to prevent cracking.

A paddle with these features is often seen on luxury canoe paddles, so getting the same level of quality for a reasonable price is a significant advantage. Furthermore, Caviness Marine Twin Stripe comes in four sizes, so there's a paddle for you no matter what size.

Caviness reinforces their blade with a wedge inlay with a finish because canoeing involves bumping up against the river bed and boulders. The patterned edge makes an excellent wall decoration when paddles are stored for the winter.

Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle

Caviness paddles are also increasingly popular among paddle enthusiasts because they are so aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Several reviewers reported slight flaws in the finish of their paddle, but these can be easily fixed by sanding and finishing with clear lacquer or varnish at home.

Pros

  • Beautiful design - The striped motif looks excellent on the water and the wall as quirky decor.
  • Caviness Marine Twin Stripe paddle is made with hardwoods, which allow it to perform well without cracking or breaking.
  • A variety of sizes - Caviness Marine Twin Stripe paddle comes in various sizes, ensuring a perfect fit for everyone and improving performance.

Cons

  • Several customers reported flaws in the clear varnish finish of their blades.
  • Caviness RD Series Laminated Wood Paddle, Natural, 5-Feet
  • Canoe paddlers want to look good as they paddle, and
  • Caviness makes it easy with these nice paddles. In addition to looking great and being well made, they are also affordable.

Attwood 11765-1 Canoe Paddle, Aluminum, And Plastic

The Attwood 11764-1 Ergonomic is the best canoe paddle for the money if you're looking for excellent performance on a budget. Aluminum construction and plastic blade make Attwood 11765-1 a light, compact canoe paddle that won't cause wrist or arm discomfort.

Lightweight and maneuverable, Attwood 11764-1 Canoe is solid and precise, allowing you to glide smoothly over water. As a short canoe paddle with just 48 inches of length, the Attwood 11764-1 is most suitable for younger paddlers or those who move faster.

You will find Attwood 11764-1 Canoe paddle one of the most ergonomic paddles if it's the right size.

The plastic grip feels natural in your hand, and the paddle glides through the water so smoothly that you could easily mistake it for a high-end model. It would be best if you dried Attwood 11764-1 Canoe paddle immediately after each use.

The metal will tarnish and rust if it is stored in moist conditions. Let it dry indoors or in the sunlight.

Attwood 11765-1 Canoe Paddle

The straight shaft, molded polypropylene ferrule, plastic blade, and comfortable grip make Attwood 11764-1 easy to paddle across lakes and rivers.

Attwood 11764-1 canoe paddle is excellent for beginners searching for a high-quality paddle at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Exceptional performance: The long and sturdy blade performs just as well as expensive, high-end paddles
  • Ergonomic paddle grip: The comfortable paddle grip will allow you to paddle for longer without feeling tired or numb
  • A lightweight design: Attwood 11764-1 is robust but does not weigh much, thanks to an innovative aluminum shaft

Cons

  • Attwood 11764-1 Canoe paddles cannot be adjusted and are not retractable.
  • Attwood 11765-1 Canoe Paddle, Aluminum and Plastic, 5-Feet Long, Black Blade, Ergonomic Grip
  • Assures a sure, comfortable grip for the most enjoyable and effective paddling
  • Low-hand grip with poly-protected shaft

Bending Branches Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle

Bending Branches make Beavertail Recreational Canoe paddle blades, a company is known for producing today's finest paddles. Beavertail blades are perfect for various tasks, from deep-water canoeing to long-distance sailing to everyday use.

The Beavertail Recreational Canoe paddle features a slender, broad blade design that allows for seamless and effective strokes. The rock guard innovation from Bending Branches protects against cracks, breaks, and other damages to the blade's tip.

Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle is made of tough and resilient upper Wisconsin Red Alder and Basswood and has a simple design that is pleasing to the eye. Beavertail paddle weighs 22 oz, making it ideal for long paddle sessions. With the freedom palm grip, your strokes will feel comfortable and natural as they will conform to the curvature of your hand.

Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle is a thoughtfully designed paddle available in various sizes that are great for handling around tight corners.

Bending Branches Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle

More skilled paddlers may find the paddle awkward due to its thickness. Nevertheless, Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle is a sturdy piece of canoeing equipment suitable for large bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers.

The Bending Branches beavertail recreational model will function well, and you will enjoy paddling alone on it. Bending Branches has a one-year warranty if you are unsatisfied with your new paddle.

Pros

  • One of the lightest canoe paddles on this list, the Recreational Canoe paddle weighs just 22oz.
  • Paddles with Rockguard technology are protected from damage at the tip, extending their lifespan.
  • Bending Branch's products are all USA-made, focusing on quality and design.

Cons

  • A little thick for more experienced canoeists - The more comprehensive design may feel clunky.
  • Bending Branches Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle For Deep Water Lake Paddling, 54in

The lightest canoe paddle available is ideal for paddling solo in deep water. We are proud to make products in the USA for Bending Branches, a brand known for paddle sports.

Attwood 11761-1 Canoe Paddle

A low-cost paddle like Attwood 11761-1 is an excellent option for visiting the lake or on summer vacation. Canoe enthusiasts will appreciate the old-fashioned charm and practicality of this kayak. Small paddles are perfect for smaller paddles, while large paddlers can use the big paddles.

An inexpensive paddle will provide a great workout when canoeing, particularly wearing a life vest. The shaft size can be either 2.5 ft. or "4" ft., depending on your preference.

Attwood 11761-1 wooden paddle is convenient if you have small hands. People looking for a hardwood paddle with a great look can find this to be a terrific deal.

Attwood 11761-1 Canoe Paddle

You can enjoy every moment of your canoe trip despite the paddle's hardwood structure and comfortable grip. Attwood 11761-1 gives you a good feeling when you paddle.

T-shaped grips are excellent in inclement weather because they make navigation much more manageable. The lightweight design lets you paddle effortlessly without tiring your arms and hands.

Pros

  • The Attwood 11761-1 canoe paddle is constructed from quality hardwood and finished with lacquer to enhance durability.
  • A comfortable paddle grip makes it possible to paddle without strain or injury for long periods.
  • Design - The Attwood 11761-1 canoe paddle is lightweight for easy transport and storage when not in use.

Cons

  • The paddle is short - Attwood 11761-1 Canoe Paddle isn't suitable for people with long arms or large hands.
  • Attwood 11761-1 Canoe Paddle, Wooden, 4-Feet Long, Ergonomic Grip, Premium Wood Construction, Protective Finish

It can withstand rough water on shallow rivers and creeks because it is varnished. Stylish and comfortable, this canoe paddle is just right for paddling.

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Crooked Creek Wooden Boat Paddle

The Crooked Creek paddle is among the most durable alternatives with its multi-ply laminated structure and weatherproof polyurethane coating. In addition, the Crooked Creek paddle contains epoxy resin that provides additional durability.

The weight is also meager for a wooden paddle, only 1.5 pounds. Crooked Creek paddle pen provides a stable and comfortable grip with its sleek shaft and hardwood grip.

Crooked Creek paddle is treated with PU, protecting the hardwood in fresh or salt water. The 4- and 6-foot models are available for tall canoers.

Crooked Creek Wooden Boat Paddle

Crooked Creek canoe paddle has an A-Palm grip, which provides a comfortable grip. The blade is flat for quick paddling, and Multi-process manufacturing allows the edge to be lightweight and robust.

Featuring epoxy rock guards and a polyurethane coating, the Crooked Creek Wood Paddle has been crafted with a level of detail usually reserved for more expensive canoe paddles. Crooked Creek paddles have consistently received compliments for their stylish and long-lasting finish.

Pros

  • Crooked Creek canoe paddle ranges from 3.5 to 6 feet, so there's something for everyone.
  • Evil Creek canoe paddle is made to last with a laminated hardwood construction and a polyurethane finish.
  • The comfortable A-palm paddle grip will allow you to canoe for longer without injury.

Cons

  • Paddles are heavy - Crooked Creek canoe paddle is more severe than the others on this list.
  • Crooked Creek 4-foot Wooden Boat Paddle - Features Multi-Ply Laminated Construction For Added Strength - Lightweight, Waterproof Finish (50431)

Crooked Creek is a paddle to fit everyone's height and paddling style, offering a range of sizes. Crooked Creek canoe's well-built paddle will give you years of fun on the water.

Best Canoe Paddle Buyer's Guide

Choosing the best canoe paddle can be difficult based on the materials, designs, and sizes. When selecting a paddle, there are several important factors to consider.

Blade Design

The blade design should be considered when selecting a paddle for a canoe. More oversized paddles offer more velocity and power but require more effort to use effectively. In general, shorter paddles are more efficient on the water.

Compared to paddling with a thinner blade, paddling with a larger blade exhausts you more quickly than paddling with a thinner blade. Whitewater paddling and canoeing in heavy currents benefit from the more significant edges. Shorter blades require less energy per stroke but have less force and speed.  

You won't have to worry about strong winds or currents when you paddle on calm streams or ponds.

Beavertail Paddles

Beavertail paddle blades are long and slender, making them great for canoe trips or everyday use.

Traditionally, Beavertail paddle blades are slender, curved, and resemble the beaver's tail. In deep water, the length of the blade makes sweeping movements possible.

Ottertail Blades

Ottertail blades have a thin, curved tip, while Beavertail blades are thick and straight. Canoeists need them to travel, explore deep waters, and solo canoeing. Ottertail blades and Beavertail blades both offer rapid movement.

Best Canoe Paddle

The curved tips allow them to enter and exit the lake without splashing, making them ideal for paddling in quieter conditions and getting close to animals without frightening them. Ottertail blades make them ideal for canoe fishing.

Teardrop Blades

Teardrop-shaped paddles are used with bent-shaft paddles. In addition to making paddling more efficient in shallower waters, Teardrop blades make strokes quicker and more efficient.

Teardrop-shaped paddles are usually made of high-end materials, such as carbon fiber and fiberglass, and are preferred by most marathon runners.

Square Blades

Square-tipped blades produce maximum power and acceleration in whitewater and high flows.

When you paddle with them for an extended period, they are inefficient in the water and can cause staining. Canoeing with square blades is less effective in flat water because the square tip might splash.

Size

The paddle size refers to various factors, the most significant of which is the shaft length. A paddle's size refers only to the shaft's length, not the blade and the whole paddle.

The shaft length should equal the distance between your shoulder and the water. Here are some ways to check:

  • To use a paddle, kneel about 6 inches off the ground and flip it upside down on the floor. Your face should be near parallel to the shaft.
  • If you do not have a paddle, kneel 6 inches from the floor. Measure how far your head is from the floor. Measure how long your shaft should be.
  • If you purchase a paddle, you should add the blade length (usually 20′′) to the shaft length.

MATERIALS

You should choose 2 inches paddle size for optimal performance. Typically, pads are provided in three-inch increments, so round up. Add another 2 inches to the top if you want to paddle alone or if your canoe is large.

Material

When it comes to paddle components, nothing beats the appearance and structure of a traditional wood paddle.

Hardwood is not only lightweight and aesthetically pleasing but also feels good in your hand. The inherent warmth of wood provides a soothing sensation in contrast to the false sense of plastic or aluminum.

Solid or layered wooden pads are available. Modern paddles frequently combine hardwoods and softer woods to create lightweight and durable composites.

The center is usually made from lighter wood, while the perimeter is made from thicker, stronger wood.

While wood paddles are reasonably light, with higher-end versions weighing less than one pound, they will never be as light as carbon fiber. In addition to reglazing and sanding, wood requires regular maintenance.

Hybrid paddles are made from fiberglass and carbon fiber. Fiberglass is a relatively uncommon material except for canoe competitions and stand-up paddleboarding. Paddles made from carbon fiber are ultra-lightweight, long-lasting, and virtually maintenance-free.

The hybrid paddle is somewhat expensive since it provides excellent performance. Plastic and aluminum paddles are the cheapest materials, but they perform the worst.

3 Key Strokes All Paddlers Should Know

Blades and handles are typically plastic, while the shaft is aluminum. Low-maintenance, long-lasting, and inexpensive, these paddles are a great choice. Plastic and aluminum are not recommended as primary paddles, but they perform well as backup paddles.

Weight

When choosing a paddle, you should also consider a paddle weight. It is generally better to have a lighter paddle—especially when paddling for long periods or camping by kayak.

A lightweight paddle allows you to paddle for more extended periods without fatigue. Wooden canoe paddles typically weigh between 20 and 24 ounces, but lighter options are available.

Plastic and metal paddles are typically heavier, weighing 30 oz or more. One-pound paddles made of fiberglass and carbon fiber are the lightest on the market.

Grip

A paddle's grip is a point of contact between your palm and the pivot generated by the paddle.

Paddling for long periods without soreness or pain is possible with a firm, ergonomic grip. The most common grip styles are canoe paddles, hand grips, and T-grips.

Specifically designed to fit the contours of your hand, palm grips are flexible, fan-shaped grips. Palm grips are comfortable holding and feeling strong in your hands, making them ideal for longer, more leisurely paddles.

Paddles with T-shaped grips provide the most control. Using a T-grip facilitates steering and stabilizing.

Price

Canoe paddles are precisely for what you pay. The efficiency of your canoeing will decrease if you use an inexpensive plastic or aluminum paddle.

Wood paddles offer other advantages besides being efficient and reliable sources of propulsion. Many are stunning and would look great hung on your wall. It will motivate you to go out and paddle more often if you have a decent paddle!

A composite paddle may be suitable if you are a seasoned paddler seeking ultimate performance. Best canoe paddles are not cheap but light, durable, and last many years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Should My Canoe Paddle Be?

The size of your canoe paddle depends on your height and the size of your boat. It may be uncomfortable and reduce your efficiency if your paddle is too short or long. You can calculate the paddle size by measuring the distance between your head and the floor at the level of your canoe seat. After a few hours of paddling, you won't have muscular fatigue because you'll be able to find the height of the paddle that best suits you.

Can I Use A Kayak Paddle When Canoeing?

Paddling a canoe with a kayak paddle is not a good idea, and you should only use canoe paddles. A kayak paddle is smaller than a canoe paddle, which is why. Paddles for kayaks typically have blades on both sides and are meant to be held horizontally so that you can use both ends to propel the kayak through the water. When you try to paddle your canoe with a kayak paddle, you'll get exhausted because you'll have to switch sides.

From What Should A Canoe Paddle Be Made?

A canoe paddle's lightweight structure makes it buoyant and straightforward to use. Wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber are the most common materials used for canoe paddles, and they can also be made of plastic. Consider a paddle made of wood, aluminum, or both if your budget is limited.