Best Canoe Paddles – [2021 Reviews & Buying Guide]

So, you buy yourself a canoe and now you need a paddle to start your canoe expedition. It’s like buying a canoe.

You need to answer some questions like: where you will be paddling? How long will you paddle? Or what type of water you will be dealing with?

If you are confused or don’t know what type of paddle you will need, don’t worry. In this buying guide I’ve reviewed best canoe paddles out there and also I will walk you through every detail you need to know before you make your decision.

First Look

Best Overall:BENDING BRANCHES BB Special Canoe Paddle at Amazon

“The Best Canoe paddle.”

Best Budget: Carlisle Standard Canoe Paddle at Amazon

“Best for beginner level paddlers.”

Best for Professional: BENDING BRANCHES Arrow Canoe Paddle at Amazon

“Excellent paddle for canoeing.”

Best Canoe Paddles To Buy In 2020

#1 Carlisle Standard Canoe Paddle

Carlisle standard canoe paddle is one of the best paddle you will find out there. Its T-grip handle will give you more control when you paddle.

T-grip handle also comes handy when you want to retrieve your lost stuff from the water.

Its blade is made of High-Impact Polypropylene and that means, this paddle is well-built and very strong. The best part is, they float in the water. You don’t need to worry of accidently dropping it on the water.

When you hold it for the first time, you may feel it a bit heavy but you don’t panic. The reason you feel heavy is because of the material they have used to make it. However, you can paddle for a long time without feeling any discomfort.

When it comes to durability and strength, this paddle is one of the best. This paddle for long lasting use.

It is sturdy enough to handle your canoe in extreme conditions. As they proclaim, you can use it in any condition you go for paddling. And this makes it suitable for a beginner paddler.

The paddle sizes are available from 51 inches all the way up to 66 inches. A wide range of colors and sizes makes this paddle the perfect choice for your next canoe trip.

#2 Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle

Caviness Marine Twin Stripe Paddle will be a good choice if you want to buy a wood canoe paddle.

It’s true that It is not built for rough water but for paddling in the river or in the pond, It works perfectly.

And also If you are looking for a palm grip type paddle.

You will get a quality wood paddle for the price. You will not find another wood canoe paddle, which is very easy to use and good looking, at the same price. Many veteran paddlers recommend this paddle for a short canoe trip or paddling in the calm water. It is a niche and stylish paddle.

It is a palm grip type paddle which I’ve mentioned earlier. Its blade dimensions are  6 inches * 16 inches. You will get standard features for this one. Like every other wood paddles out there, This paddle floats in the water. There are different sizes available, you can choose the right size for you.

There are some complaints about varnish. It wasn’t up to the mark. If you see closely you will see some spots unfinished. Though It is very common for the budget wood paddles. However, this will not create any problem on your canoe journey.

#3 BENDING BRANCHES BB Special Canoe Paddle

BENDING BRANCHES BB Canoe Paddle is a bent shaft paddle.

With a bent shaft paddle you can go further using less energy and in less time. 

Bent shaft paddles are ideal for long canoe tours. 

You need to paddle less if you use bent shaft paddle. This saves your energy and also saves you from muscle fatigue. It is one of the best canoe paddle you will find and also it is a very stylish canoe paddle. This canoe paddle comes in three different sizes.

It’s Rockgard technology protects your paddle from any damage and cracking. This is why, you can use it for a long time without facing any problem.

This rustic natural paddle is made of very high quality upper Wisconsin wood, which is durable and strong. It is also sealed with commercial grade varnish and this will protect your paddle from damaging.

This paddle is very light-weight and at the same time highly-effective. Its tear-drop blade gives you much efficient strokes.

Bending branches is a well known brand in the USA and also among the paddlers. If you do not have budget problems or you want the best canoe paddle for your next trip, then this paddle is for you. This paddle is very comfortable and easy to use.

#4 Attwood Canoe Paddle

Attwood canoe paddle is also a good paddle for the money. It is a very economical wood paddle.

They also made it lightweight. Its palm grip will help you to paddle comfortably. This wooden paddle is way more cheap than other paddle with the same features and quality.

This paddle is 4-feet long and there are no other sizes available. That means, You can not choose your preferred size. If you are comfortable with a 4-feet canoe paddle, you are good to go. Though they are offering just one size, It is nearly perfect for everyone. They designed it for everyone.

It also comes with varnish finish. This will protect your paddle from damaging quickly. Though they are claiming that this paddle is durable and long-lasting but we surely doubted that.

It is suitable for beginner paddle and if you are going to paddle in the calm water. If you are a veteran paddler, It is not for you.

If you are going on a solo canoe adventure, this paddle will be a good choice. Solo canoe is lightweight, so you don’t need to strike hard in the water.

Though Attwood is a well known and reliable company, Don’t expect too much from this paddle. In the end, it’s all about personal preference.

#5 Bending Branches Sunburst Canoe Paddle

This is another well-made and strong canoe paddle from the Bending Branches.

This canoe paddle is a work of art.

Their years of experiences are used to make this paddle.

If you are looking for a premium quality canoe paddle, Bending Branches Sunburst Canoe Paddle is for you. This paddle comes with all the essentials for your canoe trip.

It is astounding and at the same time high performance canoe paddle. It is the most lightweight paddle from the Bending Branches.

When you hold this paddle, you will feel very comfortable. Its grip is a bit like a T-grip and palm grip both. Without any muscle pain, you can paddle as long you want. Its grip blend is very easy to hold and easy to control. Its 11 degree bend gives you more power per stroke.

It is designed to give you full satisfaction. You can use it anywhere you go for paddling. They have also used Rockgard at the top of the blade and this provides protection and shock absorption.

Around the blade, they used fiberglass wrap. This makes the paddle very strong and beautiful. This will safeguard your paddle and damage quickly.

So, Now the choice is yours. If you are looking for the best paddle in the market you can choose this for your next canoe expedition.

#6 Crooked Creek C10301 Wood Paddle

If you’re looking for an inexpensive canoe paddle for your canoe trips to the river or in the lake, this is an easy choice for you.

Crooked Creek C10301 paddle is a decent wood model you can find. 

This wooden paddle is lightweight but built for high performance.

If you like traditional palm grip, then you will love this one.

This paddle is very easy to use and also you will feel very comfortable. It is water resistant, as they used waterproof polyurethane.

For this, your hand won’t be slippery, if your hands get wet. Its blade tip is made of brown epoxy and it gives more durability. However, It is not made for rough water. If you stroke hard for a long time with your full strength, there is a chance that it will break.

They have used multi-ply laminated construction material for strength and you will see real power behind your every stroke. Beginner paddles love this Crooked Creek paddle’s traditional shaft, because they can learn very easily, and advanced paddler appreciate its strength and high-performance.

Surely, It will pay back after your couple of canoe trips. There are 6 different sizes available to choose from. For child paddlers, you choose the small size for them.

TBH, After reviewing this paddle carefully we find it pretty much ok, but not great.

#7 Carlisle Economy Aluminum Canoe Paddle

This economy canoe paddle from Carlisle is also a decent paddle for the money.

It is an aluminum canoe paddle. Aluminum canoe paddles are more lightweight than wooden paddles.

They are also strongly built.

Every paddlers, who used this paddle, liked it very much. Its T-grip is very comfortable to hold, which makes it easier to paddle. For your long canoe adventure, you definitely depend on this one. You can also go for paddling in the rough water with this paddle.

The shaft of this paddle is made of tempered aluminum and this provides durability and maximum strength, You will see power to your every stroke for its 20-inches blade. Its oar measures 63“.

Its T-grip handle will allow you to maneuver your canoe easily. This UV-ray protected paddle stands up to weathering. You can use this paddle in any weather you like. You can also use this paddle for heavy use.

It comes in different colors and sizes so that you can select the perfect size and color for you. Whole one year warranty gives you tension free canoeing. 

#8 Crooked Creek C11445 Synthetic Paddle

Another rugged paddle from Crooked Creek. One of my friends, who is a veteran paddler, suggested this paddle.

This one is very eye-catching and also a very strong paddle you will find.

Its hybrid grip is made of synthetic material. This makes it easy to grip it and paddle. Your wrist will not get hurt after your canoe trip. I always like hybrid grip because it promoted more natural wrist motion. They used synthetic material for the blade. 

The shaft part of this paddle is made of aluminum and this makes it very strong and lightweight. Some parts of the shaft are covered with rubber sleeves. You can grip it with your other hand on this part very easily. This will give you more control over paddling. If you want to know, If this paddle floats in the water or not. The answer is yes, It floats in the water.

Like other canoe paddle companies, they also offer a lot of colors and sizes. You will also get a 1 year warranty and it is strong enough to take it anywhere you want to paddle. So, this is why this can be also a good choice to go for this paddle.

#9 Bending Branches Arrow Canoe Paddle

If you are a serious paddler and always want to go the extra mile to get the best product then I am introducing you to the Arrow Canoe paddle.

It is a craftsmanship paddle from the well-known brand Bending Branches. It is a straight paddle made in the USA. This will be also a good choice if you are going solo or everyday paddling.

You can buy any paddle Bending Branches are offering you with your eyes closed. Because Every paddle you see from Bending Branches are really up to mark. They are known for the quality of their product.

Some people complain about their high pricing. They used Rockgard protection on the tip of the paddle. Basically this is the main reason for high prices. Higher quality means high performance and that leads to high price.

This paddle is made from carefully sourced wood and high quality materials. Its grip type is classic palm grip, which is very easy to hold and you can maneuver your canoe very comfortably. The blade is made of three types of wood: Maple, Red Alder, and Basswood. Top class varnish finishing will give you the durability and more quality performance. They are offering 3 types of different sizes and you can choose the perfect size for you. This canoe paddle is well functional as well as nice-looking.

#10 Bending Branches Loon Wood Canoe Paddle

Loon canoe paddle is a simple wooden paddle design from Bending Branches.

If you like niche, clean and simple design, then you will like this paddle. 

Though It looks like a simple canoe paddle but It is a very strong and high performance canoe paddle.

Like other wooden canoe paddles from Bending Branches, they used Rockgard technology to protect the blade. It makes your paddle strong. Rockgard technology really increases paddles lifespan. The blade of this paddle is made of Basswood and Maple. It is a palm grip paddle designed to the contour of your palm. The shaft is made of solid Basswood. This is why it is very strong and will not break easily.

Only 20 oz in weight makes this paddle very lightweight. This is why it is suitable for long canoe trips. The finishing of this paddle is astounding. You will  feel very smooth when you touch it because of their industry’s best varnishing. This straight paddle can be your great choice for your next canoe trip.

Things To Consider Before You A Canoe Paddle

A canoe paddle can make your trip enjoyable and at the same time it can ruin your canoe adventure. Canoe paddles are very important because it powers up your canoe.

To make your canoe trip more relaxed and enjoyable, you need to find a quality paddle. This is why you need to consider some facts before you make a decision. 

Sizing

First thing you should consider before you buy a canoe paddle is paddle size. Paddle size depends on your canoe size and your height and also where you are going for your canoe trip. Usually, you will need a short paddle if you have a narrow canoe and a long paddle if you have a wider canoe. You can watch this video for better understanding:-

Material

You will see paddles made of different types of materials. Such as wood, Aluminum, or plastic, or fiberglass or carbon fiber. Each type of material has its own specialty. 

Wood canoe paddles are best for canoeing in the pond or river. They are very aesthetically pleasing canoe paddle. And aluminum and plastic canoe paddles are alternatives of wooden paddles. They are not very good looking as wooden paddles but they are lightweight and cheap.

Fiberglass paddles are very strong and specially made for white water canoeing. They are also expensive. On the other hand, Carbon fiber paddles are very lightweight. Carbon fiber paddle are designed for competitive sports.

Blade Shape

Shape is also an important thing to consider when it comes to canoe paddle. There are different types of canoe paddles out there and to be honest, they are very confusing. 

First time when I was looking for canoe paddles I was very confused about paddle shapes. I didn’t know which shaped paddle would be ideal for me. And then my couple of canoe expert friends helped me out. They told me everything I needed to know. And now, from that experience, I am telling you what you need to know about paddle shapes. 

You will see a few types of different paddle shapes. First option for you is straight or bent shaft paddles. The second option is straight or fanned fin paddles. 

Straight or Bent Shaft Paddles

Straight paddles are traditional paddles. You need to learn how to paddle before you use a straight paddle. Not very suitable for beginners.

On the other hand, It is very easy to paddle with bent shaft paddles. For this reason, Everyone recommends bent shaft paddles to a beginner.

Straight or Fanned Fin Paddles

What type of paddle fin you choose depends on the type of canoeing you will do. Usually, straight fin paddles are for calm water. On the other hand, If you are going to rough water canoeing , where you need a lot of maneuvering, then finned fin paddles are for you.

Weight

Paddle weight is another important thing to consider to pick a canoe paddle. Lightweight paddle is suitable for long time paddling. Fiberglass and carbon fiber paddles are much light weight considering other types of paddle materials.

Price

Price is always an important fact to consider before buying anything. So, you need to find a good canoe paddle within your budget range.

In the canoe industry, It is true that higher price means higher quality. However, if you are an occasional paddler you don’t need to throw your money on an expensive paddle. You can buy a plastic or aluminum paddle. They are budget friendly.

If you don’t have a budget problem or not an occasional paddler you can go for expensive ones. They are well-made and long-lasting canoe paddle and also sometimes stylish. To get the best performance you need to spend some money.

Paddle Grip

If you can’t grip well, you will be in trouble while paddling. If you can grip your paddle comfortably, your canoe trip will be more enjoyable. Without any discomfort you can paddle for a long time.

There are mainly two types of paddle grip you will see. First one is palm grips and the second one is T-shape grip. Among the vereten paddlers palm grip paddles are more popular. It is very comfortable to paddle with this type of paddle.

T-shaped grips, on the other hand, offer the highest degree of control than palm grips. These types of paddles are best for beginners, You can easily control your canoe.

Some paddle companies made their paddle grip hybrid. A bit of both palm grip and t-grip. This type of paddle is way more comfortable to hold on than other types of paddle grips. Most paddlers pick this type of paddle grip because It is contour of your palm.

Conclusion

Choosing a paddle is very important for a successful canoe trip. Veteran paddlers always suggest buying a good canoe paddle and not to go for a cheap one. Cheap canoe paddle can bring trouble and can ruin your canoe trip.

I hope this buying guide will help you decide to buy the best canoe paddle for you. Happy paddling! 

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