Why Should a Solo Canoeist Use a Kayak Paddle?

solo canoeist using a kayak paddle

This solo canoeist is using Bending Branches’ Angler Pro kayak fishing paddle (photo courtesy of @five2nine_ca)

Usually when we think of paddling a canoe we think of using a canoe paddle. But if you’re a canoeist who loves to head out alone, you may consider using a double-bladed paddle instead—what most people would see as a kayak paddle.

Some solo canoeists prefer using a single bladed paddle, some prefer using a double-bladed paddle. It comes down to preference—there’s no right or wrong for everyone.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Advantages of using a Kayak Paddle or Double-Bladed Paddle for Solo Canoeing

  • You can pull some serious water quickly—Every stroke is pulling one of your blades through the water. Solo canoeists are usually able to paddle faster with a double-bladed paddle than a standard canoe paddle.
  • No (or few) steering strokes are needed—There’s no need to j-stroke constantly, just keep an even cadence and you’ll move on straight ahead with no problem.
  • It’s easier on your shoulders if you have aches and pains—Long days on the water with a double-bladed paddle can mean less wear and tear, as long as it’s a high-quality, light paddle. Use a clunky, heavy paddle and it becomes a disadvantage.
  • It’s especially nice in windy conditions—With feathering options available and a blade in the water at all times, paddling into the wind is easier with a kayak-type paddle.

Advantages of using a Canoe Paddle for Solo Canoeing

  • It’s lighter and more maneuverable—Even the lightest double-bladed paddle is many ounces heavier than a canoe paddle with a single blade of comparable quality.
  • It’s smaller and easy to use in tight places—On rapids or in tight corners you’ll find the shorter single-bladed paddle much easier to use.
  • There’s no paddle drip—Paddle drip can be a big problem with a double-bladed option. Not so with a single canoe paddle.

Most solo canoeists who use a double-bladed paddle also bring along a traditional canoe paddle. That way they have options no matter what situation they find themselves in.

Bending Branches’ Kayak Paddles for Canoeists

Because you sit up higher off the water in a canoe than a kayak, your paddle needs to be quite long…longer than the average kayak paddle.

Here at Bending Branches we make two double-bladed paddles specifically for solo canoeists:

Slice Glass Solo—Black fiberglass shaft and bright orange epX engineered polymer blades. This paddle weighs 39 ounces, offers two feathering angles, and comes in 260 cm or 280 cm, plenty long for even tall canoeists. MSRP: $159.95.

bending branches slice solo canoe paddle

Impression Solo—For the canoeist who loves the look of a wooden paddle, the Impression Solo is beautifully crafted of basswood and red alder. It features our Rockgard edging at the tips of the blades and two feathering options. It weighs 44 ounces and is also available in 260 cm and 280 cm. MSRP: $224.95.

bending branches impression solo canoe paddle

What paddle questions can we answer for you? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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