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Hi everyone,

Just purchased my first canoe, a used 17' lightweight Grumman. The owner threw in a couple paddles but they look close to worthless. What should I look for when buying a paddle? What about length? I don't need top of the line, I need something functionable. Anyone have extra paddles laying around?

Thanks for the help!


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I got some at a sporting goods store in St. Paul (right off of hwy36 and rice). They can fit you to a paddle length. I'm sure that the other sporting goods store off of 494 and Lyndale can fit you to one as well. They will probably be expensive but nicer there.

I just went with some cheap ones that were the right length. They do the job just fine.

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You can choose bent shaft or straight shaft paddles from many different materials. You can wood, aliuminum, plastic, carbon-fiber and any combination of the above.

Weight and durability are important and the less weight and more durable raises the price. Also the looks of a paddle make it more expensive.

If its your first one, I would say that a wooden straight shaft is your best bet but you can get cheaper plastic and aluminum paddles for really cheap and they are durable.

If you're gonna do some longer trips and hit some bigger water you might want to try bent shaft paddles. The price is typically the same but the measuring process is different.

I would go to a sporting goods store like REI, Midwest Mountaineering or someplace that would actually know how to fit a paddle. There are general rules but you'll find that fine tuning it to you and your boat is important. You can probably look online. You'll want to find the measurement while you're sitting in your canoe in the water.

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