When it comes to choosing the best canoe paddles it can be quite tricky with all of the different options available out there to choose from.
In this post I want to share with you some of my recommendations when it comes to canoe paddles that I think are suitable to use and I hope that this post also acts as a starting point for your own research into finding a paddle that you’re comfortable with using.
Choosing the Right Paddle
There are a few different things that you want to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a paddle to use for canoeing.
There are quite a few different types of paddles available but some of the most popular include fixed length and adjustable.
Fixed length paddles are available in a specified length depending on what it is you’re looking for and adjustable pedals can be adjusted into different sizes.
For those that know the specific length that they need I would recommend taking a look at the fixed-length options and if you’re going to be paddling with a variety of different people or you’re sharing your gear with your wife or someone else then it’s a good idea to consider looking at the adjustable paddles.
These days aluminum, hard plastic, and wood are some of the most popular materials that paddles for canoeing are made from.
When it comes to choosing the material it’s usually based on preference but there are both some benefits and drawbacks to each type of material depending on what you’re using it for.
Both aluminum and hard plastic paddles tend to be more portable, lightweight, better suited for beginners, and depending on what you’re doing they can also be more durable.
Wood paddles are much more popular, especially for seasoned hobbyists, though they require some basic maintenance if you want to keep the paddles appearance.
There are two common shapes when it comes to the paddle grip.
Palm grips are the most popular and the shape of the grip is designed to fit naturally into the palm of your hand.
These grips are more comfortable if you’re spending a lot of time on the water paddling and are well-suited for flatwater paddlers.
The other type is a T-grip and this is designed so that it possible to wrap your fingers around the handle for more control and a better grip.
Paddles that come equipped with a T-grip are better suited for faster moving or white water conditions and are also popular with children’s paddles as well.
Now that I’ve gone over some of the basics when it comes to choosing a paddle let’s take a look at some of the different options that I recommend checking out if you’re looking for the best canoe paddles to use out on the water.
The Best Canoe Paddle
Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle
It’s the Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle that I would recommend taking a look at if you’re looking for a wooden paddle to use when you’re canoeing.
This one comes equipped with a palm grip and depending on what you need there are a few different sizes to choose from.
There is a wedge insert in the blade that helps to protect the paddle wood from splitting when you’re using it in rougher conditions or just on a regular basis and the blade itself boasts a width of 6-inches.
Despite it coming with a varnished finish the finish itself is still a little bit rough and this really helps with the grip though it should get smoother over time as you use it more and the wood starts to break in a bit.
Sun Dolphin Canoe Paddles
The Sun Dolphin Canoe Paddles are what I would recommend checking out if you’re looking for something a little bit more lightweight and portable than the wooden paddle that I just mentioned.
These ones are designed with an aluminum shaft and both the handle and the blade are made from a lightweight hard plastic.
The materials that these paddles are designed from help to keep them lightweight and for even more portability they can be taken apart into two pieces where you can just put them back together when you need to use them.
As for the group, there is a T-grip handle and although it’s not as comfortable as the palm grips it does offer a little bit more control and grip when you’re out on the water.
One thing that I like is that these actually come in a set of 2 so you’re ready to go right away without having to buy an additional paddle.
I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Sun Dolphin Canoe Paddles if you’re looking for something lightweight and portable to use out on the water when you’re paddling around.
Carlisle Economy Aluminum Canoe Paddle
The Carlisle Economy Aluminum Canoe Paddle features a tempered aluminum shaft and a polypropylene handle and blade.
These materials help to keep the paddle lightweight while still being durable and suitable to use out on the water.
Each paddle comes equipped with a T-grip handle and this helps to give you more control and grip when you’re out paddling, especially in rougher conditions.
Thanks to the wider blade you’re able to take advantage of more power per stroke and depending on your size there are a few different lengths available to choose from.
The paddle is lightweight, durable, and they even float if you happen to drop it when you’re out on the water so if these are some of the features that you’re looking for then I would definitely suggest taking a look at the Carlisle Economy Aluminum Canoe Paddle.
Carlisle Standard Aluminum Canoe Paddle
The Carlisle Standard Aluminum Canoe Paddle is another lightweight paddle that I would recommend checking out.
Both the blade and the handle are made from a polypropylene hard plastic and the shaft is made from tempered aluminum but it comes with a vinyl clad covering for protection and for reduced maintenance.
The hard plastic and aluminum design helps to keep the this paddle lightweight and also portable if you’re interested in doing any canoe camping or portaging and don’t want something too heavy to carry with you.
As for the handle, it comes equipped with a T-grip and this really helps in rougher water conditions as well as giving you a better grip for more powerful strokes.
Depending on your preferences there are a few different sizes to choose from in different lengths and also a few different colors are available as well.
One feature that I really liked is the fact that the shaft is covered with a vinyl clad covering and what this means is that your hands don’t have to touch the aluminum directly when it’s cold outside so they don’t get as cold either.
Attwood Telescoping Paddle
The Attwood Telescoping Paddle is one that I would recommend checking out if you’re looking for something to use in emergencies or you also need something that’s very portable and that can be put into a small size.
This paddle takes advantage of a telescoping design and what that means is that the shaft essentially nests into itself in a telescoping way that helps to keep it compact and portable.
It’s able to be extended up to 42 inches in length and the shaft itself is made from a corrosion resistant aluminum material with the blade being made from a high-impact plastic.
The materials that it’s designed from as well as its telescoping capabilities allow for this paddle to remain lightweight and portable and it’s even possible to adjust the length anywhere between when it’s fully opened and fully closed with the telescoping design.
It comes equipped with a T-grip and there’s even a small hole in the grip that you can use to run a piece of rope or cord through and then attach this paddle to your backpack, boat, or even canoe to use as a backup or even as your main paddle if you’re looking for something lightweight that doesn’t have such a big profile.
Interested in canoeing and kayaking?
Check out my article on the best canoe seat to use for more comfort when you’re out on the water.
It’s also a good idea to stay safe and wear a life jacket so you might want to check out my post on the best life jacket for kayaking and canoeing.
For those just looking to get started you can check out some of my recommendations for the best inflatable kayak so you can even see if you enjoy being out on the water paddling around without having to spend too much upfront.