At home on rivers or lakes, Bending Branches’ attractive Arrow wood canoe paddle delivers great performance for a reasonable price. Blade features seven laminates of basswood, butternut, and maple.
Beautifully-crafted from multiple hardwoods, these high-tech, ergonomically-sound paddles are designed for the canoe elitist who wants the finest in power, comfort, and beauty.
While many methods exist, a simple and accurate way is to measure your torso. Sit up straight on a flat surface and measure from the surface in between your legs to your nose. Follow the chart below:
An easy way to measure in the field is to place the grip of the paddle between your legs (while sitting) and mark where the shoulder is (where blade meets shaft). The shoulder on a straight shaft should be at your forehead; the shoulder on a bent shaft should be at your nose. Note: this is only a guideline to sizing. Seat height, style of paddling, and arm length can all effect the size you need. Demo paddling is always recommended.
I own two Arrow paddles, a 58", and a 60". The 60" is my day to day, all day long if I can. I have, previous to these two, busted every paddle I have ever owned, but not these two.
This is now 5 years later, the 60" has seen perhaps a hundred days use and 2,000 miles of rivers, still looks and works well. More than well. The 'bending' portion of the name is the absolute truth. When I stroke hard, when the canoe needs to 'get', when I have a heavy load aboard, when I need a strong sweep for the tight bend in the river, the paddle and shaft bend like a swim fin. J-stroke? Just stroke firmly and roll the blade outboard, the snap of the shaft and blade as it straightens gives more than enough correction. A straight blade that gives an action not unlike a bent shaft when you pull hard, the total of blade and shaft recurved not unlike a bow.
And oh, what a sensory pleasure of balance, of wood and light weight ! I've used lots of plastic, graphite, glass, kevlar,,, and yes, many or all of those are, and can be, good. But nothing like the real thing, wood, has such life to it. Yes, it does vary from paddle to paddle,,, I always take the 58" as back up and for the shallows, weighs the same, looks the same, but it is not as 'lively', doesn't have that degree of satisfying bend and snap of the 60".
Needs some refinishing now. That is why I came to the site this AM. Guess I'll go and find some marine grade , solvent based, urethane, as suggested, and make it pretty again.
To the faceless, nameless, crafts person there at Bending Branches who made my 60", "Thank you."
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