White Water Canoeing Gear : How to Shop for Canoe Paddles

So probably the second most important piece
of gear for solo whitewater canoeing is the paddle and these paddles come in a variety
of different shapes, and sizes and types of materials, and as you can see here we have
kind of a variety of them laid out. This particular one has a wooden blade, and a carbon fiber
shaft, it’s nice and light, it’s a very stiff shaft so it doesn’t give a lot of
resis, a lot of flexibility for your shoulder joints or elbow joints when you’re paddling,
but it is nice and light and it does deliver all the force to the paddle. This is a more
inexpensive version, aluminum shaft and a plastic blade, the blade’s fairly flexible,
inexpensive as I said, not super high-tech, not, not, not, doesn’t have a great feel
to it but it will work and it’s a great spare paddle. This is a fiberglass blade and
a fiberglass shaft, it’s a good utility paddle and great for paddling, it has a nice
move through the water, you can see the ribs on either side of the blade are fairly low
so that it will slice through the water nicely, and you can also see that it’s fairly durable,
it, it lasts after several years of use and several years of wearing on the side of the
boat. This is a paddle with a little different blade shape, and these are coming into use
more and more. This has a curved blade, a spoon blade, and what this does, this is the
power face of the blade so this is the blade, the face of the blade that would face back
toward the paddler, when you’re taking a forward stroke and with that curved blade
you grab the water more effectively and get more of a grip on it, and so that’s a nice
option and one that a lot of people are using. And finally sort of the all wood version,
this is the more traditional paddle, it’s a really nice looking paddle, feels great,
it has a little bit of flexibility to the shaft so it will give you a little more of
a soft feel on your shoulder and your elbows, but it takes a lot of maintenance, this ones
just been redone but it does take a lot of maintenance and a lot of work to keep it up
and to keep it in good shape. To determine the length of the paddle you want to use,
what you want to do is kneel down in, on the ground or ideally kneel in your boat if you
can, but kneel on the ground at about the height you’d be sitting in the boat, and
then take your paddle and turn it upside down so that the grip is on the ground. And with
the grip on the ground and your hand about, on the throat of the paddle, you hand should
be about eye level or a little bit lower, and that’s probably the ideal height to
use, the ideal length to use for a paddle. Paddle lengths are anywhere from about fifty-four,
up to about sixty-four inches and depending on what kind of boat you’re going to be
in or how your arms are, how tall you sit in the boat, that will, that will affect the
paddle length. So the parts of a paddle are the blade, the throat, the shaft, and the
grip. And you’ll notice that all these paddles have T-grips because T-grips give you great
control on whitewater and they allow you to know where the blade is at all times and know
the angle of the blade and that’s an important factor when you’re paddling down the river
and not able to focus on the a, on the, on the set of the blade but need to be able to
know that intuitively without thinking about it. So make sure that you take care of your
paddle and get it sized right and it’ll be, be your best friend.

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