-- Last Updated: Jan-04-13 6:28 PM EST --
Have bought all my canoe paddles for several years on E-bay. I picked up a new, lightweight $200 paddle for $51 last time I answered this question on P.net last summer.
Bent shafts are not that hard to use, even for maneuvering on rivers. But a nice Beavertail or Ottertail can feel good in the hands too. I've found what feels good to me may not to the next person. Wenonah's outfitter carbon paddle is really nice as are Zaverals. Also Mitchell's and Bending Branches makes some decent paddles that won't break the bank account. Here's a few to peruse over:
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
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