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      What’s your favorite paddle style and why?     
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04/04/2020 06:12PM
What’s your favorite paddle style and why?
 
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x2jmorris
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04/05/2020 08:37AM
I'm not too familiar with any styles or what you mean so here are two answers.

I normally paddle on one side until I am tired. I don't use any C or J or anything like that. I believe what I use is something like a "river drag" or river ... hold on I'm going to google. Actually I do use that C stroke but always considered it a sweep stroke. The drag thing is like using your paddle as a rudder for half a second.

My current paddle of choice is a bending branches paddle. I do like those graphite bent ones up in Ely though. So light. Too expensive for me though.
 
04/05/2020 08:53AM
Thank you for sharing. When I said favorite paddle style I meant to say favorite style of paddle. Like Beavertail Ottertail, bent shaft, voyager, ETC.
 
OCDave
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04/05/2020 09:00AM
CanoeViking: "What’s your favorite paddle style and why?"

I like long, thin paddles that allow me to reach deep into the water. I feel more in control of my canoe on flat water than with a short, wide paddle. More importantly, I feel like the long paddles promote a paddling cadence that matches my wilderness tripping mood. My "favorite" changes each time I paddle but is one of 4.

My Fishell Ray Special is my #1 paddle. I also have a Fishell Modified Special which is frequently my #1 paddle. These paddles are produced by the Fishell family in Ontario. They are a direct continuation of the paddles designed and produced by Ray Kettlewell as Ray sold his patterns and equipment to the Fishells.

My other #1 paddles are my Badger Tripper and Badger Sliver . Badger paddle is also a family-owned (Mike and Fiona Ramsey) shop; also in Ontario. I especially like the Tripper in windy conditions or in the early season to get into paddling shape. I choose the Sliver when the goal is to paddle all day everyday for a week.

The Badger paddles are just a bit lighter and flexible than the Fishells. The shape of the Fishells Zip effortlessly through the water during my Canadian stroke recovery.

OK. Feeling the need to go for a paddle

 
x2jmorris
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04/05/2020 09:38AM
Ah ok. My favorite is Bending Branches BB Special. I have had mine for roughly 8-10 years now.

I really really want the Bending Branches Black Pearl II paddle.

The BB is a perfect angle and is lightweight and it has lasted a very long time. Zero complaints with it.
 
Savage Voyageur
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04/05/2020 09:49AM
I like a beavertail paddle, because it gives me a big blade in the water to control the canoe on every stroke. The smaller blades like a Voyageur style or otter tail just don’t give me the power I need.
 
Blatz
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04/05/2020 10:01AM
I come from a bit of racing background so it's sit and switch for me. I can J stroke all day if I like , but prefer Sit and Switch. Bent ZRE paddle
 
sedges
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04/05/2020 11:14AM
My favorite paddle style is the one fit the activity I am engaged in. I paddle a lot and do a variety of activities for which the canoe is the platform.

Touring/covering some distance, my short bent shaft is my go in the stern of a tandem or the bow for that matter, also solo. If the situation gets shallow and boney I pick up the spare which is often my oldest and first paddle(1967), a solid ash beavertail.

On moving water requiring draws and ferries and back paddling the straight shaft Clement or Dagger comes out. Typical touring blades, the Clement a little bigger. No flat blades, all have a raised center section to prevent flutter when really digging in.

Dancing on the calm lake with some freestyle moves one of the old beavertails is the choice. I have a long one and a short one. I also have Dagger that is really light and a little longer for dancing.

All my paddles are wood and quite a few my own creations. I guess my homemade bent-shaft gets the most use. Even though I made the Dagger paddles when I work for them decades ago, my favorite straight shaft is still the Clement.
 
andym
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04/05/2020 01:48PM
Two favorites and I carry both: ZRE carbon fiber bent shaft for all day long comfort and efficiency along with my wood BB pretty normal straight for extra control and steering in shallow rocky water or small winding creeks.

I do want to try some of the longer, thinner types one of these days.
 
scat
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04/05/2020 02:15PM
Straight style, T grip. I had a Bending Branches for years til I snapped it in half pushing too hard when stuck in a muddy pool. The one I have now cost $18, with a plastic paddle, aluminum shaft. I love it. Super light and has the T grip.
 
carmike
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04/05/2020 07:16PM
For moving water/whitewater, I like a long Bending Branches with a big blade and a T-grip.

For flatwater, I'm a recent convert to the graphite/carbon bent shaft paddles.
 
bwcadan
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04/05/2020 08:52PM
I prefer front to back. HA HA
 
andym
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04/05/2020 11:05PM
bwcadan: "I prefer front to back. HA HA"

That might be the most common stroke but I think my favorite is a sculling draw.
 
riverrunner
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04/06/2020 03:48AM
Blatz: "I come from a bit of racing background so it's sit and switch for me. I can J stroke all day if I like , but prefer Sit and Switch. Bent ZRE paddle"

ZRE bent shaft carbon
 
riverrunner
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04/06/2020 03:50AM
scat: "Straight style, T grip. I had a Bending Branches for years til I snapped it in half pushing too hard when stuck in a muddy pool. The one I have now cost $18, with a plastic paddle, aluminum shaft. I love it. Super light and has the T grip. "

Great paddles for rough work for sure.

Not what I bring to the BWCA
 
mschi772
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04/06/2020 07:07AM
andym: "bwcadan: "I prefer front to back. HA HA"

That might be the most common stroke but I think my favorite is a sculling draw."


I don't know if a sculling draw is MY favorite, but it sure seems to be the favorite of all the newbies who see me do it. It never fails to impress someone with limited or no paddling experience.
 
MikeinMpls
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04/06/2020 08:25AM
I have a Sawyer straight-shaft t-grip that I purchased 40 years ago. I've had it re-finished several times. It's been through a lot and has bailed me out countless times. I have looked at fancy carbon bent-shafts that weigh half as much as my paddle, but I have a sentimental attachment to my paddle.

Mike
 
justpaddlin
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04/06/2020 11:21AM
I like short, light straight shaft paddles with stubby blades since I do a lot of upstream paddling on rivers and they can be used to hit and switch to power upstream but also work great for j-stroking or just playing around on quiet water. I'm a kneeler.

Three of my favorite 56 inchers shown; a Black Bart Troublemaker, Bending Branches Sunburst, and a straight Zaveral. The Troublemaker is my overall favorite largely because it has great power and balance and a symmetric grip.

Last year I got a 54 inch GRB Newman Designs 6 degree bent shaft (pic) and fell in love and use it all the time. The shorter length makes it even easier to handle, the power is strong and just right for me and the 6 degree angle is more enjoyable for boat control than normal bent shafts with 10-14 degree angles.
 
AmarilloJim
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04/06/2020 12:34PM
Bending Branches Viper 54"
 
VaderStrom
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04/06/2020 03:38PM
justpaddlin: "I like short, light straight shaft paddles with stubby blades since I do a lot of upstream paddling on rivers and they can be used to hit and switch to power upstream but also work great for j-stroking or just playing around on quiet water. I'm a kneeler.


Three of my favorite 56 inchers shown; a Black Bart Troublemaker, Bending Branches Sunburst, and a straight Zaveral. The Troublemaker is my overall favorite largely because it has great power and balance and a symmetric grip.


Last year I got a 54 inch GRB Newman Designs 6 degree bent shaft (pic) and fell in love and use it all the time. The shorter length makes it even easier to handle, the power is strong and just right for me and the 6 degree angle is more enjoyable for boat control than normal bent shafts with 10-14 degree angles.
"


I'm in the same (yet different) boat as you with the Black Bart being my paddle of choice. I've got two 50" bent that I love.
 
04/07/2020 12:03PM
The bent paddles from Bending Branches. I have always preferred bent because they enter and exit the water smoother than straight shaft paddles. Bending Branches upper hand hold are the perfect size for my hands (my hands are on the small side). I have tried others in the past (outfitter rentals) but ended up buying an Espresso from BB.
 
04/07/2020 01:10PM
Straight shaft, Tee handle. Currently we're both using Wenonah 56" Black Light carbon paddles and carry an older Sawyer 60" wood paddle as backup. Tried the bent shafts, but not for us.

TZ
 
missmolly
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04/07/2020 01:53PM
I have a bent carbon paddle, which I like and don't like. On a windy day, it's so light that the wind has blown it out of my grip and it can land a stretch from my canoe.
 
04/07/2020 02:11PM
I have a bending branches special bent shaft paddle that I really really like. I was curious if there’s anyone out there that uses the Ottertail paddles and what has been their experience. It might just be the woodworker and me wanting to make one but it looks like it might be fun to use in calm weather.
 
singlebladecanoe
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04/07/2020 03:10PM
Depends on where I am paddling. If I am on flat water I prefer a carbon bent shaft. I have a black pearl that I really like. For whitewater and our rivers and creeks here in the mountains of SW VA I have a custom paddle made by Stinger Paddles. Wood shaft and carbon curved/cupped bladed.
 
Grizzlyman
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04/08/2020 08:54AM
CanoeViking: "I have a bending branches special bent shaft paddle that I really really like. I was curious if there’s anyone out there that uses the Ottertail paddles and what has been their experience. It might just be the woodworker and me wanting to make one but it looks like it might be fun to use in calm weather. "

I made a cherry ottertail years ago. I always bring it with! I find it’s comfortable to change paddles every so often, half hour or so, just to change things up. I always enjoy paddling the ottertail as my change up from a bent shaft.

Make one! Do it!
 
ZaraSp00k
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04/08/2020 10:19AM
over the knee although not many women are into it

if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand
 
eroom
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04/08/2020 10:29AM
I purchased a Bending Branches Beavertail last year. I really like the longer and narrower blade that is different from the standard paddles that I have used in the past. I think I'm in love.
 
Portage99
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04/08/2020 12:04PM
Whiskey jack bent shaft. I love that thing!! Because it’s beautiful, it’s light weight, and I can really move with that thing. It just feels like a part of me.
 
Abbey
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04/08/2020 09:55PM
Sanborn Grand Marais or Sanborn Minnesota, depending on the water.
 
04/09/2020 04:10PM
Thank you everyone for sharing there were a few companies I hadn't heard of and a few paddles now that have my eye one them.
 
Dreamer
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04/10/2020 06:05AM
I read through all these answers. I've been paddling for years and didn't know there were so many different styles! I've seen them in the stores, but have never had the luxury of buying one at those prices...

I did make my own one time and used it on a trip. And I still have it. But now I just use a straight paddle with a nice long blade that goes deep and allows me to pull a nice big handful of water. I'm sore today because of a day on the lake. It's a wonderful feeling.
 
04/10/2020 07:26AM
Sit and switch, ZRE Z-Lite.
1. 48 inch, 15 degree, 8 inch blade.
2. 50 inch, 0 degree, 8.5 inch blade.

Not pretty, but I have to do the paddling and am lazy.

butthead
 
Bradv
member (31)member
 
04/29/2020 09:57PM
OCDave: "CanoeViking: "What’s your favorite paddle style and why?"


I like long, thin paddles that allow me to reach deep into the water. I feel more in control of my canoe on flat water than with a short, wide paddle. More importantly, I feel like the long paddles promote a paddling cadence that matches my wilderness tripping mood. My "favorite" changes each time I paddle but is one of 4.


My Fishell Ray Special is my #1 paddle. I also have a Fishell Modified Special which is frequently my #1 paddle. These paddles are produced by the Fishell family in Ontario. They are a direct continuation of the paddles designed and produced by Ray Kettlewell as Ray sold his patterns and equipment to the Fishells.


My other #1 paddles are my Badger Tripper and Badger Sliver . Badger paddle is also a family-owned (Mike and Fiona Ramsey) shop; also in Ontario. I especially like the Tripper in windy conditions or in the early season to get into paddling shape. I choose the Sliver when the goal is to paddle all day everyday for a week.


The Badger paddles are just a bit lighter and flexible than the Fishells. The shape of the Fishells Zip effortlessly through the water during my Canadian stroke recovery.


OK. Feeling the need to go for a paddle


"



I’m using a Badger Badgertail and rocking the Canadian stroke as well.

 
lundojam
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04/30/2020 06:23AM
A Buck's Hardware plastic grocery bag over a Frabill landing net moves a lot of water. Loop the handles of the bag around the index finger of your lower hand to hold it in place. A 57 inch stick from the woods works a little bit, too. The stick is more durable, but you gotta really swing it when it's windy to get anywhere.
These are my favorite paddle styles because they enrich the narrative. I also like vintage Coast to Coast paddles with peeling varnish.
 
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