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bucketmouth64

sizing canoe paddles

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Ok, I bought my new canoe. However, I was wondering how do I know what proper length of paddle to get? Is it a matter of personal preference?

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I was told a long time ago that they should come up to your armpit to be the proper length. I went with that when I bought mine and it has worked well for me.

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Bending Branches paddle HSOforum has a page on paddle sizing, be it straight or bent shaft paddles. I'd list a link but that's a no no around here. It's easy to find at.....BendingbranchesDotCom

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Bending branches does show a great method.

There is no hard and fast rule about paddle size. The old rule for straight paddles is to place the blade on your tow and it should land right around your chin.

To get a more personal feel you should measure while you're sitting in your boat in the water. Different boats ride higher or lower in the water and seats are also at different heights that aren't always relative.

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Then of course you factor in whether you're usually paddling bow or stern.... I generally like a slightly shorter paddle for in the bow.

Best thing of course is to go to one of the canoe expos in the spring (the ones held on the waterfront) and try out a bunch of different paddles.

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