-- Last Updated: Sep-24-12 9:56 PM EST --
..... other than paddling in deep waters are , using it to push your way out of skinny waters , tight chutes in a river ledge , gravel bars , pushing off rocks either on bottom or in a tight pass (basically using the paddle more like a pole but still sitting) .
A paddle makes a great ballancing stick when exiting a canoe on a steep or slippry river bank . Makes a good walking stick getting up that bank also .
Every now and then it males a great wasp swatter for that insistant pesky bee who wants to land on you regardless .
A paddle is a fine tool for helping to thread your way through or around fallen trees .
There's a multitude of things you might find yourself doing with a paddle if it just so happens to be in your hand or handy at the moment ... that you probably will be reluctant to do with a fine expensive paddle (carbon or not) . That's why I recomend having at least one decent paddling paddle that's not expensive along with you .
I like the Carlisle Beavertail in 57" and 54" for those types of things . It has a tip gaurd built in and paddles pretty decent also , not expensive , has a pretty thin blade edge , the 54" ones I have weigh under 20 oz. and the 57" ones just a little more . If you call Old Town Canoe Co. they can send one right to your door . There are other brands that cost about the same and are comparable ... but in my experience , such a paddle is a must , especially if you find yourself spending time on the mountain rivers and streams .
ZRE or other carbon or expensive fine paddle , yeah great (got some nice ones myself)... but have that more practical paddle onboard too , just sayin ...