Paddles for the Solo Canoeist

paddles for solo canoing

Advantages of a Double-Bladed Paddle

Using a double-bladed paddle is generally faster and less physically demanding. Steering strokes aren’t necessary, which can especially help in the wind. Most solo canoeists also bring a single-bladed paddle along for maneuverability.

Anyone dealing with aches, pains or injuries will find the double-bladed paddle easier on their shoulders.

Disadvantages of a Double-Bladed Paddle

If you’re paddling all day you’ll probably find a double-bladed paddle more fatiguing, since there’s an extra blade and the paddle is much longer.

“Paddle drip” is a given with a double-bladed paddle. It’s not that big of a deal on a hot summer day, but it isn’t ideal in cold weather. Having durable drip rings and waterproof pants should help with this.

Why Use a Solo Canoe Paddle Instead of a Kayak Paddle?

Because you sit higher in a canoe than a kayak, a longer paddle is necessary to comfortably reach the water. Most kayak paddles stop at 240 or 250 cm, which isn't long enough for solo canoeing.

Bending Branches’ Solo Canoe Paddles

Bending Branches offers two paddles specifically designed for the solo canoeist:

Slice Solo • $159.95 MSRP—With a fiberglass shaft and epX engineered polymer blades, the Slice Solo is both light and durable. It comes with a 3-hole snap-button ferrule with two feathering angles, and a comfortable, ovalized shaft. It’s available in two lengths. Click here for more…

slice solo canoe paddle

Impression Solo • $199.95 MSRP—With its ovalized shaft of solid basswood and blades of eye-catching red alder and basswood, the Impression has beauty as well as performance. The blade tips are edged with our patented Rockgard® protection, promising years of durability. It comes with a 3-hole snap-button ferrule, and is available in two lengths. Click here for more…

impression solo canoe paddle

(For a real-world discussion on the pros and cons of a double-bladed paddle, check out this forum on