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09/14/2015 06:20PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I know nothing about double blade paddles, but would like to try one. I've only used one once when testing a Canak, but was impressed with the speed. I am 6'2" and will be paddling a North Star Solo canoe that is 27" wide at the paddling station and 15'6" long. The lighter paddle the better. I'm open to anything out there. Thanks in advance for suggestions.
 
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gkimball
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09/14/2015 08:14PM  
I have shifted to using a kayak paddle all the time when in open water. Only use a regular paddle when approaching shore or in tight conditions. I bought an AquaBound paddle last year and it has worked great. Light and strong, and I really like the solid mechanism for adjusting feathering.

Get one at 8' long, and plan to paddle at a lower angle than in a kayak to minimize dripping back into the canoe.

 
NotLight
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09/14/2015 08:39PM  
I found it difficult to pick out my first double bladed paddle. There are just so many different choices. AND, most stores only carry kayak paddles up to 240cm in length. I'm guessing, but based on your height (tall) and boat (wide solo) I think that you would likely want a 260cm kayak paddle - but that's just a guess. That carbon fiber manta ray in the photo above is a very good choice. It's not a heavy low end paddle, but doesn't cost that much more. (The blade size is kind of medium sized - if the blade is too big with a 260cm paddle, you might get fatigued. If the blade is too small, then you'll have no power.)

I don't think your first paddle will be perfect for you. You will likely try one for a while, and then maybe buy something slightly different once you develop a style you are comfortable with. So whatever you get, don't break the bank just yet.

 
kanoes
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09/14/2015 08:46PM  
suggestion? don't. ;-)
 
Arkansas Man
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09/14/2015 09:02PM  
Contrary to what some think, a solo canoe paddle in the 260 - 280 cm range can be and is a very efficient means to paddle. I have paddled both single and double blade and for the majority of my paddling I prefer the double blade canoe paddle. I personally prefer wooden paddles therefore I use a Bending Branches Impression. Only you can decide for yourself, everyone here can give you their thoughts and experiences, but you will need to compare them to see what fits your paddling best. Good luck with your decision making and have fun.

Bruce
 
09/14/2015 09:27PM  
If you want the very best (of course that's my opinion not fact) check out ONNO paddles
 
UphillHarry
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09/14/2015 09:45PM  
I had a similar question earlier this year. What length to get was an important consideration. I rented an adjustable length fishing double blade paddle from Midwest Mountaineering and did a bunch of testing to get the size I liked best. I found that many places didn't carry the longer sizes, but if I shopped a bit online I could find the size and style I wanted.

I'm not sure ONNO is still in business. I read several posts on other forums saying that he was not responding to people's inquiries.
 
09/14/2015 10:29PM  
Double blade paddles have lots of traits that better suite one type of use or paddler and personal selection is a matter of experience. I have been happy with my Werner paddles. werner paddles I particularly like the bent shaft finding it does reduce wrist bending and carpal tunnel symptoms.
You would do well to start with something around 260cm with a medium blade and paddle for awhile, it takes some getting used to but if it is the right paddle you will feel the sweet spot of paddle blade pushing water. Try a couple different lengths and you will know right away what fits your style best. Expos and other tryout options such as a wing event are great places to try things out. A good paddle is too expensive to have and not enjoy using.
 
ZaraSp00k
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09/15/2015 08:47AM  
quote NotLight: "I found it difficult to pick out my first double bladed paddle. There are just so many different choices. AND, most stores only carry kayak paddles up to 240cm in length. I'm guessing, but based on your height (tall) and boat (wide solo) I think that you would likely want a 260cm kayak paddle - but that's just a guess. That carbon fiber manta ray in the photo above is a very good choice. It's not a heavy low end paddle, but doesn't cost that much more. (The blade size is kind of medium sized - if the blade is too big with a 260cm paddle, you might get fatigued. If the blade is too small, then you'll have no power.)


I don't think your first paddle will be perfect for you. You will likely try one for a while, and then maybe buy something slightly different once you develop a style you are comfortable with. So whatever you get, don't break the bank just yet.


"


the Aqua Bound is a very nice bang for the buck paddle, light weight, yet doesn't cost a bundle of cash

just be sure you get the Posi-Lok and the proper blade to paddling style, Manta Ray is for high and Sting Ray is for low

it is better to get Sting Ray if you do both

260 should be good, the people that say go longer, I wonder if the real problem is that they are using a too wide blade or perhaps don't have their drip rings in the proper position?

The Bending Branches Impression is a beautiful paddle, but gawd is it heavy! I can't imagine using a 280, the thing weighs more than a canoe
 
ZaraSp00k
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09/15/2015 08:56AM  
many people seem to think a wider paddle is better, yet check out a Greenland paddle, better yet use one and your mind might change about that
 
NotLight
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09/15/2015 08:58AM  
quote ZaraSp00k: "quote NotLight: "I found it difficult to pick out my first double bladed paddle. There are just so many different choices. AND, most stores only carry kayak paddles up to 240cm in length. I'm guessing, but based on your height (tall) and boat (wide solo) I think that you would likely want a 260cm kayak paddle - but that's just a guess. That carbon fiber manta ray in the photo above is a very good choice. It's not a heavy low end paddle, but doesn't cost that much more. (The blade size is kind of medium sized - if the blade is too big with a 260cm paddle, you might get fatigued. If the blade is too small, then you'll have no power.)

I don't think your first paddle will be perfect for you. You will likely try one for a while, and then maybe buy something slightly different once you develop a style you are comfortable with. So whatever you get, don't break the bank just yet.

"


the Aqua Bound is a very nice bang for the buck paddle, light weight, yet doesn't cost a bundle of cash just be sure you get the Posi-Lok and the proper blade to paddling style, Manta Ray is for high and Sting Ray is for low

it is better to get Sting Ray if you do both

260 should be good, the people that say go longer, I wonder if the real problem is that they are using a too wide blade or perhaps don't have their drip rings in the proper position?

The Bending Branches Impression is a beautiful paddle, but gawd is it heavy! I can't imagine using a 280, the thing weighs more than a canoe"


I agree, sting ray is a better choice.
 
09/15/2015 09:08AM  
Do not worry about maker or style/size, First find out if you like to use a double. Borrow, borrow, borrow, paddle with one for a couple of days. They use different muscle sets, maneuvering strokes are obviously different, find out first IF YOU LIKE TO USE THEM. Any other advise is useless if you ultimately decide to stay with a single. Try some, you may like them.

butthead
 
09/15/2015 09:41AM  
Lot of old threads at this forum on double blade use. kayak
 
pblanc
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09/15/2015 10:00AM  
I have tried using a double bladed paddle in a solo canoe and did not care for it, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Yes, I would definitely try borrowing a suitable double bladed paddle first to give you an idea on length and whether or not you like it. I tried using a 230 cm paddle with a Sawyer Summersong. The Summersong has a maximum beam of 28" but a beam at the gunwales of only around 23" or so. I am about 3" shorter than you.

I found a 230 cm paddle awkwardly short. It required a high angle stroke with a lot of resulting paddle drip into the boat. I considered buying a longer double bladed paddle for canoe use, but decided that I preferred simply using a single bladed bent and paddling sit and switch. I have done a fair bit of kayaking so I have some notion how to use a double bladed paddle. I feel that I can maintain nearly as high a stroke cadence with a lightweight bent shaft as with a double blade. The paddle is much lighter and there is much less drip into the hull.

If you do want to use a double blade I would definitely recommend buying a take apart 2 piece paddle. You may well want to bring along a single bladed paddle for times when a double bladed paddle is impractical, like negotiating narrow streams with overhanging branches. A two-piece paddle is much easier to store in the canoe.

Paddle length is very subjective. I have heard of open boaters who are very happy using a 230-240 cm paddle. For myself, I would probably go no shorter than 260 cm.

Here is a page from Foxworx Paddle's website regarding sizing double bladed paddles for solo canoe. Note that the photos show a pretty narrow solo canoe. I pretty much agree with their take on length:

Sizing double bladed paddles for canoe

Foxworx does make some pretty nice paddles at a decent price and will make some of their double bladed paddles quite long for use in a canoe. Their K3 is quite reasonably priced:

Foxwork double bladed paddles

 
09/15/2015 10:27AM  
quote UphillHarry: "


I'm not sure ONNO is still in business. I read several posts on other forums saying that he was not responding to people's inquiries. "


Just checked some more recent posts and it does appear he's MIA, so I would probably stay away till he's back on his feet. When you get one of his it is a work of art. I do remember chatting with him a few years back and he was having huge personal life struggles with his ex and a serious case of parental interference IE his ex was basically deifying court orders and disappearing with his young son. I know he was working very hard to track them down and get his son back. Not sure if that's the issue now but I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was.
 
NotLight
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09/15/2015 10:35AM  

On sizing... I am 5'9". I have tried 230cm, 240cm, and 250cm for a couple years now.

230cm is just too short.

In my wildfire, 250cm is perfect.

In my Magic, 250cm feels a bit wide, and 240cm feels a bit short.

So that is why I am guessing 260cm for you. I suspect 270cm would be ok, but 280cm a bit long.

But I'm just guessing.

The problem with trying a paddle just once, even for a couple hours, you won't quite develop enough of a feel for it. Certainly good to try before you buy. But you may end up wanting to tweak the size after you've gained some experience. Unfortunately, if you buy a low end 260-270cm paddle to try out, you might be disappointed. That's why I think the aqua-bound sting ray carbon is maybe a better first paddle - despite the higher price.

 
09/15/2015 10:43AM  
I got tossed into a 9' kayak paddle from the start with my encounter. It always worked well for me. Then I developed shoulder trouble and had surgery. The trouble wasn't caused by the paddle but I had spurs that when paddling hard those spurs actually tore my rotator cuff muscles on both sides. I resorted to a single blade this year and paddled considerably slower. I did everything slower and it drove me nuts. Like butthead said try out your options before you buy. If you get a heavier double blade I don't think you'd like it. I'm determined to get the single blade down. I feel if paddled right it would be good enough speed wise and easier on the shoulders.
 
Dammfast
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09/15/2015 10:44AM  
I have the Aquabound stingray as well. I love it, now, at first it took me a few trips out to get the hang of it but now I can cruise nice and easy. I have the 250cm model and think the 260 might have been a little better. The only time I get any water is when I am bucking a tough wind otherwise I stay nice and dry.

I agree with the above statement that the aquabound are good bang for buck. I bought mine from steepandcheap.com over the winter for $107 before shipping. I looked at a LOT of paddles before I pulled the trigger there were no other paddles that were in the same weight and materials category that were anywhere near the price of the aquabound.

 
ozarkpaddler
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09/15/2015 10:46AM  
Personally, I prefer a single blade, even when I would paddle a decked canoe and a kayak. That said, my wife is the opposite. She prefers the double blade. Tried a lot of paddles. Larger blades wore her out, narrow blades didn't have enough purchase on the water to make quick turns she sometimes needed. Finally, got her a Mid Swift and it's perfect. She's been using it for probably 7 years now? It still looks almost as good as it did when I bought it and it's held up very well.

This year she also found a Foxworx paddle for a "Steal" and has used it occasionally. She likes them both, but likes the feel of the wood shaft of the Foxworx a little better. Here's pics and links:
FoxWorx Paddle
Swift Mid-Swift Paddle

 
yellowcanoe
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09/15/2015 10:49AM  
I've been very happy with a short double blade.. relatively short. 230 and 240.

The paddle blades are long and thin.. not wide Euro style double blades.

A Greenland paddle works fine once you are used to it but mine does not come apart. Transport hassle.

The shape of the paddle has a lot to do with how much drip the paddle gives vs the amount of water it sheds early during recovery.

I ve been using Wind Swift and Adventure Technologies paddles and drip is not at all an issue.. the blades shed before the paddle gets high.

Your stroke mechanics may dictate a longer blade. The only way you will know is to temporarily use other folks paddles.
 
ZaraSp00k
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09/15/2015 12:20PM  
quote yellowcanoe: "

The paddle blades are long and thin.. not wide Euro style double blades.

The shape of the paddle has a lot to do with how much drip the paddle gives vs the amount of water it sheds early during recovery.

Your stroke mechanics may ..."


I tend to think the above has more to do with excessive drip than paddle length.

Borrowing someone's paddle is a great idea, yet, it does take some time to work out the mechanics, borrow the paddlers knowledge too
 
09/15/2015 02:16PM  
One individual had a little custom cut on the side of the paddle where it drips and apparently it helped control the drip going down the paddle.
Length of paddle will have some determination where the drips fall.
 
TuscaroraBorealis
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09/15/2015 02:35PM  
I use a Bending Branches Navigator paddle 280 in length. It's a stylish yet lightweight & durable paddle that more than holds it own in the long standing tradition of quality paddles produced by Bending Branches.

I'm also 6'2 and this length has worked well for me. Although I'd say I'm kind of a 'tweener, 260 seemed a little too short, 280 a little too long. It was just more comfortable (for me) to adjust my stroke for the 280. Plus that length also worked better if/when I'd paddle a canoe solo.

Like others have already stated, try out a few different lengths to find out what suits you best & go from there.
 
09/17/2015 11:01AM  
I made my own double blader to match my stripper. It breaks down into two pieces just off center and I made a handle for the longer side to use as a single blade when fishing and coming into portages. Also makes it much easier to portage as two pieces instead of one.

JD



 
mjmkjun
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09/19/2015 04:03AM  
~~Beautiful paddle, jdevries.~~

I had purchased a blemished FoxWorx K3/ 280 cm a couple of years ago and found it worked very well for me. Unfortunately, the wood shaft cracked badly on a Kayaking trip when it slipped between two boulder at sharp turn on moving water. I really miss that paddle.
My replacement paddle is a Cannon Wave Slider because it appeals to me that it adjust in length for kayaking narrow channels of moving water & canoeing open water.
the canoe: Prism (Gunwale 26"/Max 30.75")
me: 5'8"/170 lbs/age 65

the higher seat position of a canoe and a preference to lo-angle paddling makes a 270 cm or a 280 cm a good choice, for me & my canoe.
 
09/19/2015 09:36AM  
quote jdevries: "I made my own double blader to match my stripper. It breaks down into two pieces just off center and I made a handle for the longer side to use as a single blade when fishing and coming into portages. Also makes it much easier to portage as two pieces instead of one.


JD



"


Beautiful work!
 
warhawk
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09/19/2015 05:46PM  
Shorter is better. 230. Hope you like a wet boat. Get a cheap one. They all work the same.
 
09/19/2015 06:57PM  
I humbly disagree about they all work the same. Weight alone can be a real issue if you paddle more than three hours per day. Length can reduce drip and with a good low angle paddle with smaller/moderate blade you can really zip along on calm water. Get into a stream, current or wave/wind you will likely want a shorter paddle with at least a moderate blade size and will increase the angle towards high angle paddling. Some blades are designed to reduce drip, but with a high angle paddle technique wet legs below the knees and water in the bilge are givens. I have used waterproof gaiters to great advantage when it is colder. Yes you can pay more and I would always recommend try it before you buy it, the really good stuff costs more.
 
UphillHarry
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09/19/2015 09:35PM  
My experience is that when I use my 230 I definitely get some water in my Northwind Solo, but with a my 250 paddle, I get very little dripping in the boat.
 
warhawk
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09/20/2015 10:39AM  
I had a 240 and it was too long. I probably do paddle more vertically. That feels the most natural. The 230 is perfect. That's probably why I get wet. Great advice here. I learned some things. It is great exercize. I don't use it often on trips. I have stopped being in a hurry.
 
timf1981
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05/21/2022 02:53AM  
Definitely get a kayak paddle. No question about it.

I have taken my 20ft 3in Wenona Minn-3 on five solo canoe trips.
On the first trip i used my $59 aluminum kayak paddle for the first two ours of traveling.
Then i picked up my expensive carbon fiber canoe paddle. Stroke stroke stroke stroke switch and repeat. I use it for about 60 seconds then returned it to the bottom of the canoe where it has remained for the last 15 years.
J-strokes are energy wasting and momentum killer.

When two kayak paddles were used in our tandem canoe.
We picked up a mile per hour. But my brothers shoulder did not like the kayak stroke.

Length of kayak addle? I cant help you there. Too long is better then too short.
Rent an adjustable paddle like mentioned by someone else.
Some Kayak paddle can be purchased with attachable T-handles .So the kayak paddle can be broken apart into two canoe paddles.

Dont set up the kayak paddle with the blades inline with each other. There is usually three positions. My brother did paddle with the blades inline. But he was too stubborn to switch. When paddling with the blades offset. You need to have one had being dominate. If the right hand is dominate. It will allways remain in the same position. And its wrist will rotate with each stroke. While the left hand will loosen an let the shaft rotate every other stroke. Find a video. It is easier to show then tell.

Yes, a 20 foot long solo canoe. Use what you have.
Is it fast? Yes. I got it up to 6.1 mph with 125 lbs of gear. Age 52 in average condition.
I once rented a real solo canoe. I was thinking of buying a rental from Anderson Outfitters, Crane lake MN. I had a choice of two canoes . A 13.5 ft canoe or a 15.5. I took the smaller one. Its top speed was only 3.25 mph at max thrust. 3.0 mph at 65%.
When traveling with a purpose. I can hold a steady 4.25 mph in the Minn3.
I once took it out on a local Minneapolis lake during a high wind warning. It did great when i got to the end of the lake with the largest waves.

When I go out fishing. I will bring a 5 gallon bucket of water for bow weight.

When traveling. Moving the weight forward and back will help keep the boat straight even in high winds. The lighter end of the canoe will be slid down wind until you find the correct balance.

Paddling tip.
Get your packs out of the wind if at all possible.
Our food pack has always been a small backpack that held a 30 inch high 12 inch diameter dry-bag. It fit perfectly behind the stern seat. But stuck up about 18-20 inches. On our last trip my brother was constantly fighting a rear quartering wind. It was exhausting keeping the canoe on line. After a portage. We got every back below the gunnel. WHAT a difference it made. I wish we had realized the significance of this 37 years earlier.
 
bwcamjh
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05/21/2022 07:14AM  
I have a Bending Branches Slice Glass Solo 260cm.
For the price, weight, usefulness it balances out well for me. Not the greatest latest lightest carbon fiber paddle out there and that's ok.
I happen to like the color orange as well, so that helps.
 
sueb2b
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05/26/2022 10:16AM  
I got a cheap 240-260 cm paddle off Amazon.

I don’t worry so much if it gets beat up a bit on a bwca trip vs some of my shorter, lighter, and more expensive paddles.
 
gravelroad
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05/28/2022 10:06AM  
timf1981: "Yes, a 20 foot long solo canoe. Use what you have.
Is it fast? Yes. I got it up to 6.1 mph with 125 lbs of gear. Age 52 in average condition.
I once rented a real solo canoe. I was thinking of buying a rental from Anderson Outfitters, Crane lake MN. I had a choice of two canoes . A 13.5 ft canoe or a 15.5. I took the smaller one. Its top speed was only 3.25 mph at max thrust. 3.0 mph at 65%.
When traveling with a purpose. I can hold a steady 4.25 mph in the Minn3.
I once took it out on a local Minneapolis lake during a high wind warning. It did great when i got to the end of the lake with the largest waves."


Those three additional feet would have come in handy last fall. :-)







Same load this fall, but I’m hoping by starting a week later that I can leave the 75 pounds of ice on shore.

Ditto on everything you had to say in your post.
 
Scoobs
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06/02/2022 07:37AM  
gravelroad: "timf1981: "Yes, a 20 foot long solo canoe. Use what you have.
Is it fast? Yes. I got it up to 6.1 mph with 125 lbs of gear. Age 52 in average condition.
I once rented a real solo canoe. I was thinking of buying a rental from Anderson Outfitters, Crane lake MN. I had a choice of two canoes . A 13.5 ft canoe or a 15.5. I took the smaller one. Its top speed was only 3.25 mph at max thrust. 3.0 mph at 65%.
When traveling with a purpose. I can hold a steady 4.25 mph in the Minn3.
I once took it out on a local Minneapolis lake during a high wind warning. It did great when i got to the end of the lake with the largest waves."


Those three additional feet would have come in handy last fall. :-)




Are you buried under there somewhere? LOL





Same load this fall, but I’m hoping by starting a week later that I can leave the 75 pounds of ice on shore.


Ditto on everything you had to say in your post."
 
Scoobs
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06/02/2022 07:38AM  
AndySG: "I know nothing about double blade paddles, but would like to try one. I've only used one once when testing a Canak, but was impressed with the speed. I am 6'2" and will be paddling a North Star Solo canoe that is 27" wide at the paddling station and 15'6" long. The lighter paddle the better. I'm open to anything out there. Thanks in advance for suggestions. "

I have a Werner Camano 2 piece - 240cm - which seems to be the cliche paddle of Swift pack boat owners. I didn't want to spend $500 on a paddle, but I also wanted something light. It's not the most expensive paddle, but it's not the cheapest either. ...and if I spent good money on a canoe, I feel like I shouldn't chinse out on the paddle. :)

The Camano is all of carbon fiber and all of 25 oz, and barely feels like it's in your hands. I have it tethered to my thwart with a 3ft 1" strap when I'm on the water. Just peace of mind it won't float a way when I'm reeling in a toad.

I love this paddle. It's light, slices into the water, and has enough surface area to really give you a good push. The paddle angles are also adjustable. I can get hauling with this blade, and they maneuver my Prospector 14 Pack with ease. ...I'm guessing there's a reason these are always out of stock.

 
gravelroad
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06/02/2022 03:43PM  
Scoobs: "Are you buried under there somewhere? LOL"

No, but I did have to straddle the load with my feet. Stability was not an issue. :-)
 
tonecoughlin
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06/27/2022 08:31AM  
I have a Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon at 260cm it's the only paddle I use for solo trips. I am 5'10" and paddle a Graphite Prism. I could probably get away with a 255cm but any smaller than that you're gonna be hitting the side of your boat.

Always bring a single blade for backup.
 
GeneH
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06/27/2022 10:56PM  
Aquabound 260 for me. I picked one up last year for the first time and won't turn back. Paddling a 32 in wide OT Pack, so it's pretty wide, and I'm 5 ft 5, not a particularly strong paddler. My seat is about 4 in below the gunnel. It's short enough to do high strokes for more power or go lower for more comfort, but I have to be careful not to bump the gunnel.

I think mine was a couple hundred bucks. Go with the lightest carbon - carbon you can and you won't regret the swing weight savings. Also I chose the middle-of-the road blade form: not super wide or supper narrow.
 
Chicagored
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06/28/2022 07:12AM  
tonecoughlin: "I have a Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon at 260cm it's the only paddle I use for solo trips. I am 5'10" and paddle a Graphite Prism. I could probably get away with a 255cm but any smaller than that you're gonna be hitting the side of your boat.

Always bring a single blade for backup."


Andy: Its been a while. I am 5'8" and paddle a kevlar winona prism. I love the double blade paddle. You don't waste time or energy with steering strokes, just ease up or paddle harder on the appropriate side to adjust your direction. Also faster and easier to maintain a rythm. A sweep stroke is much more effective when you have a full length double paddle to work with. Started with a 220 because that came with the boat. Moved up to a 240 which was better, and just purchased the bending branches Angler Pro Carbon 260 at canoecopia this year. Pricey, but paddling around my little lake, I love it. Taking it to the BWCA on the 10th, and looking forward to it. These days, I split my time between Chicago and Antigo, WI. Would be happy to let you try/borrow any of my paddles if we could work out the logistics.
 
Scoobs
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06/29/2022 12:36PM  
Shorter is better. - False
Hope you like a wet boat. - Water.
Get a cheap one. They all work the same. - also false
 
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