Paddling around in a canoe is fun and a great exercise or hobby. You, however, need the right paddle for different scenarios and environments. For instance, there are paddles specialized for rivers and others ideal for lakes and reservoirs, while some are suitable for both. Finding the right one for your needs can be a little confusing with all the different designs and styles available. We’ve, therefore, carried out some extensive and intensive research and identified some of the best canoe paddle brands, selected five of them, and picked a quality product from each to help you narrow down your search. We hope you find one for yourself!
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Our Top Choice
Caviness Woodworking RD Series Paddle
Caviness is a family-owned business selling paddles and oars worldwide. This classic-style wood paddle is ideal for both casual and hardcore canoeing.
Lightweight. Varnished. Comfortable palm grip. Long blade for control. Dark wood stripes for rustic look.
Not as durable as some aluminum paddles, but many paddlers prefer the look, feel and weight of wood.
3' to 6'
Lakes & Rivers
Carlisle Economy Tgrip Paddle
Carlisle specializes in strong, reliable paddles experts can rely on. This economy canoe paddle is made with high-impact materials for highly durable use.
High-impact durability. Available in a wide size range and in 4 colors.
Doesn't have the feel or look of a natural wood paddle, but excels in durability.
48" to 68"
Lakes & Rivers
Beavertail Recreational Canoe Paddle
Bending Branches invented the composite-tipped paddle for rugged canoeing. This beavertail paddle is very strong and easy to use with an oval shaft for comfortable paddling.
Oval shaft for natural grip. Beavertail blade for control. Durable laminate and Rockgard tip for safety pushing off rocks and 'bending branches'.
On the expensive side, but very long-lasting.
54" to 60"
Lakes & Slow Rivers
Attwood Telescoping Canoe Paddle
Attwood specializes in all types of reliable marine industry products. This convenient paddle collapses down for easy storage and portability.
Lightweight. Extremely portable. High impact plastic blade. Makes a good back-up/emergency paddle.
Not quite as durable and long-lasting as standard paddles, but more than sturdy enough for casual and emergency use.
Aluminum & Plastic
1 lb. 5 oz.
Backup & Emergency
Crooked Creek Aluminum Paddle
Crooked Creek combines good prices with fun, high quality designs. This unique synthetic paddle is easy to use and highly durable.
Canoeing for sport and leisure both require you to use your body strength. The best canoe paddle, thus, is one that you can hold and maneuver easily, and is light enough for you to keep it afloat. We’ve broken down the details of all that you ought to look for to assist you get the best. Read on to learn more.
Our Top Choice
The Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle combines practicality with comfort, featuring a palm-grip and lightweight shaft. For something that lasts longer and comes with a lower price, check out the Caviness Synthetic T-Grip Paddle.
Caviness Woodworking Marine Twin Stripe Paddle with Palm Grip and 6" Blade – Available from 3'6" to 6'
The Caviness Woodworking Company is a family-owned and operated company producing a variety of paddles and oars for various activities including canoeing, kayaking, fishing and white water rafting. The family business started out as a maker of wooden furniture as well as paddles, but has since specialized to meet the need for high quality paddles at an affordable price.
The Caviness paddle uses a classic design, where the long blade gives you plenty of control while the medium width of the blade offers plenty of power without overworking your paddling arm. The paddle is varnished to give it a smooth feel and protective surface. The twin stripe design helps the paddle stand out so you can immediately tell which paddle is yours in the middle of a long trip or when you're fetching it from the shed.
You can order this paddle in a range of lengths from 3'6 to 6 inches.
Carlisle Economy Aluminum Canoe Paddle with T-Grip & High Impact Design – Available in Black, Green, Red and Yellow & from 48" to 68"
Ralph Stevens founded Carlisle over 30 years ago to satisfy the needs of local wilderness guides and experts. He built paddles with the core strength these experts needed to reliably boat down tight rivers and white waters. Today, they've expanded their lines so they can offer a paddle for every unique paddler.
This economy-class paddle delivers the bare essentials with added durability and core strength. Its high-impact design keeps you paddling even in tough situations. It's available in black, green, red and yellow, and from 48 to 66 inches. The design is relatively lightweight and very easy to use.
Bending Branches Beavertail Canoe Paddle with Oval Black Willow Shaft & Freestyle Palm Grip – Available from 54" to 60"
Bending Branches was founded to harness the power of the adventurer's spirit. Touring canoeist Dake Kicker and flat-water racer Ron Hultman joined forces to create something great – the first composite tipped canoe paddle. They changed the entire industry with their highly functional innovation, allowing you to push off rocks and bend branches without damaging your paddle. They've expanded into paddles for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and stand up paddle boards, creating paddles that let you make the most of each adventure.
This paddle uses a beavertail blade, which is the preference of many avid canoeists. It pushes less water than a traditional squared paddle, making it easier to paddle for long periods of time. The long blade also offers great control. Overall, this paddle is ideal for lakes and slow moving rivers. The oval shaft is another feature that many avid campers prefer for the natural grip it offers. The paddle itself is strong and coated with protective laminate to keep water and debris out. The tip of the blade is protected by a Rockgard tip to keep it safe.
The Attwood Telescoping Paddle works wonders as a highly portable paddle for regular or back-up use. For a more traditional wooden paddle from the experts at Attwood, check out the Attwood Wooden Canoe Paddle.
Attwood Telescoping Paddle with Corrosion-Resistant Aluminum & High Impact Blade
Attwood creates products for the marine industry – boat fueling and electrical, fishing, mooring, trailers and more. Their experience in aquatic products and accessories is obvious when you look at their high quality canoe and kayak accessories.
This collapsible paddle is highly unique, offering unmatched portability and storage. It's often used as a back-up or emergency paddle, since it works great in a pinch and doesn't take up too much space. It can also be a great choice for long trips when you don't have much space to carry extra gear. The blade is made with high-impact plastic and the aluminum shaft is corrosion resistant, so you can rely on this little paddle for years to come. It's no wonder this paddle is a best seller on Amazon.
The Crooked Creek Synthetic Paddle is designed for superior paddling comfort and ease of use, with a hybrid palm grip and rubber sleeve. For a more traditional paddle from Crooked Creek, check out the Crooked Creek Wood Paddle.
Crooked Creek Synthetic Paddle with Hybrid Grip & High Impact ABS Polymer Blade – Available from 4' to 5.5'
Crooked Creek follows the vision of its founder Tom Rogers by combining value with quality. Tom wanted paddlers to get the full experience without having to pay the full (over more than full) price for quality material and design. You'll find unique designs and durable options in a range of reasonable prices at Crooked Creek.
This unique synthetic paddle has a more comfortable set of grips than most aluminum paddles. Its hybrid grip supports the palm, so you get a natural motion with every stroke. The shaft has a rubber sleeve for better grip and control as well. The sturdy anodized aluminum shaft is lightweight and the blade is made with high impact ABS polymer for reliable use. The foot of the blade has a thick ridge along the bottom for increased durability when pushing off rocks or if you need to put pressure on the blade for any reason.
Whether you are canoeing for exercise or for leisure, you’ll require the right canoe, paddle and other equipment to enjoy the waters and also keep safe. Using a paddle that is too heavy for you can be a huge problem, especially if you are canoeing in rapid river waters. It’s not only unenjoyable, as you get tired quickly, but also risky, as you might just topple over with the weight.
When you are canoeing for fun, maybe on a lake or reservoir, it’s advisable that you get the most appropriate canoe and paddle for that kind of environment. If you go fishing, you may need a boat anchor to keep your boat stable as you go about your fishing activities and, of course, the right portable travel fishing rod. Never forget to carry along a life jacket, especially when you’re on deep waters.
Canoe paddles are relatively inexpensive. You can get a basic one with a simple shaft and blade for about $10. There are also those that retail at upwards of $150. Such paddles have high-quality materials like fiberglass and are a bit classy. They also have additional features, such as a ferrule loaded with a spring that can be operated by the push of a button. All in all, you need to consider the features and the quality you want first and match it to your budget. You may want to avoid very cheap canoe paddles, as most are fragile and break easily.
Having a quality canoe paddle makes the difference between a good and a bad canoeing experience. You may need to check the weight of the paddle to ensure that you can use it easily without getting fatigued quickly.
Here are some more aspects that you may want to consider:
Material - These paddles are made of different materials, including wood, plastic, aluminum, fiberglass and polypropylene, among others.
Length - The length of the paddle determines the environment you can use it in.
Grip - This is especially important, as it determines how well you can paddle. There are T and Palm grips.
Blade and Shaft Shape - Check the shape of the blade and the shaft based on your needs.
Uses - Some paddles are made for rivers, some for lakes, and others for both. Consider where you want to use yours before buying.
Now let’s get into more detail.
Construction and Design
A canoe paddle is a simple tool that resembles a spade, but with a flat and wide blade. This blade narrows down to the throat, which extends into a shaft that acts as the paddle’s handle. The shaft is usually round and narrow in shape, ending with a grip at the top. Paddles come in different materials and colors. These materials include fiberglass, aluminum, polypropylene, wood, and plastic, among others.
Performance and Ease of Use
For you to paddle easily and efficiently, your canoe paddle must be light, have a good grip and appropriate shaft and blade that suit your environment. A light paddle ensures that you won’t get tired easily, a good grip sees to it that you won’t drop it accidentally, while the shaft and the blade ensure that you move smoothly and with ease. A long shaft with a narrow base is appropriate for deep waters, while a short one is ideal for shallow areas like rivers. In addition to these features, also consider the material of both the shaft and the blade. Quality materials protect your paddle from sucking in water, hence, ensuring its durability, and they are also lighter in weight.
We’re glad to have been part of your canoeing experience and hope you’ve found the right paddle. We strove to bring you some of the best canoe paddles, but you can still check out other options from these top brands if you haven’t found one yet. There’s definitely one for you!
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