-- Last Updated: Jan-04-13 4:25 PM EST --
ZRE (Zaveral Racing Equipment) paddles are indeed nice as well as lightweight, but will set you back $200 or more apiece.
Figure on spending a minimum of $50-60 per each for a decent "entry level" paddle. Makers of quality paddles in the $60-120 range include Grey Owl, Bending Branches, Sawyer, and FoxWorx.
Bent shaft paddles are a bit more efficient for paddling from a sitting position, but straight shaft paddles can be used by seated paddlers, obviously.
A number of the paddle makers websites have sizing info. Although paddles are generally listed by overall length, in determining the proper length paddle for your use, it is the shaft length that counts. Shaft length depends on a number of factors including your torso length, the seat height in the canoe (if sitting), the draft of the canoe (which varies a bit with load), and personal preference. Bent shaft paddles are typically several inches shorter than a straight shaft paddle used by the same boater.
I am about your height (maybe an inch taller) but again it is torso height that is important. For what it is worth, I use straight shaft paddles anywhere from 54"-58" in length and bent shaft paddles anywhere from 48"-53" in length.
URCHIN Portable Anchor
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