What Size Canoe Paddle Do I Need?

How Long Should A Canoe Paddle Be?


It can be quite relaxing and peaceful paddling along in a canoe on a beautiful tree-lined lake. However, when people do not have the proper paddles, it can make the process of paddling a difficult chore. Before people decide to go canoeing, they should always make sure they have the proper canoe paddle.

It can be quite confusing for the beginner or occasional paddler to choose a proper paddle. People are quick to offer many suggestions, however, the best suggestion is to choose a paddle that feels comfortable to them. In general, the taller a person is, the longer the paddle he or she will need. Following are a few ways to help determine the length of a paddle that a person will need.

Measuring With A Broom

An easy way to determine the size of paddle one will need is by using an ordinary broom. The first step is to hold the broom with both hands over one’s head. Making sure the elbows are bent at about 90 degrees, people should then make some marks on the broom where the outside of each of their hands are gripping the broom. It is best to have someone help them with this, so that the other person can make these marks. Now, they should measure the length between these two marks. This measurement is how long the handle of a paddle should be.

Measuring By Sitting On The Floor

For this method, people should sit on the floor with their backs perfectly straight. Next, they need to measure the total distance from the tip of their noses to the floor. This measurement will also tell people how long the handle of their paddles should be. Although this method is not as exact as the broom method, it does work quite well. This method does not work with Bent Shaft Paddles, as these paddles are much shorter than Straight Shaft Paddles.

Measuring By Sitting In A Canoe

This method is excellent in that people can determine the proper size paddle by sitting in the canoe they will be riding within. While the canoe is in the water, people need to sit on the seat they will be sitting on while they are paddling. They then need to measure the distance from the tip of their nose to the water. This, too, will give them the proper length of the handle they need.

Helpful Tips

Following are a few useful hints to help people complete their search for the perfect canoe paddle. First of all, people need to keep in mind that the above measurements are just for the length of the handle of the paddle. The length of the blade should be added to these lengths to get the overall length of the paddle they will need.

As stated above, Bent Shaft Paddles are usually shorter than Straight Shaft Paddles. They usually run anywhere from 4 to 5 feet long, which is about 2 to 4 inches shorter than Straight Shafts. The size of the canoe can affect the length requirements of the paddles. Taller canoes will require longer paddles to allow the paddle to reach the water properly.

If people are going to be paddling in shallow water, they will want a shorter paddle so that the paddle does not hit the bottom of the river or lake. Whitewater paddles are perfect for this form of canoeing, as they have shorter, wider blades than other paddles do.

In conclusion, it can be terrific fun canoeing on a peaceful lake or river. However, without the proper canoe paddle, canoeing can be quite difficult. Anybody can choose the right size paddle by following the useful tips as outlined above.

Photo source: woodleywonderworks

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