Hello fellow paddlers. I am gearing up to go on a month long solo canoe trip down the Anderson river in the NWT this summer. One of my main questions has been about what type of paddle to bring. I have been using a double bent shaft paddle for most all of my paddling (not whitewater). However I have recently been told that beavertail or even ottertail paddles are better for solo canoeing. Does anyone have experience using the different types of paddles while solo canoeing long distances?
As a reference the majority of the trip will be on a fast flowing river (5-10mph) with only a few rapids. There will be some lake paddling and a couple day stretch of ocean paddling at the end. My canoe will be the Wenonah encounter 17.
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
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my personal experience|
Posted by: paddletothesea on Nov-13-13 12:41 PM (EST)
Sounds like a great trip. Keep us posted on your journey, would like to paddle that river myself someday.
I use curved blade, carbon shaft slalom|
Posted by: g2d on Nov-13-13 1:13 PM (EST)
paddles for river work, and they are superior to ottertail or beavertail paddles. But are you going to be sitting most of the time, or kneeling? For sitting, bent shaft paddles are fine. For kneeling, longer slalom paddles are better. The mechanics of bent shaft paddling don't work out as well for a kneeling position.
Posted by: kayamedic on Nov-14-13 10:46 AM (EST)
bent and carbon fiber straight.
Thanks for the good advice|
Posted by: GreatTurtle on Nov-14-13 9:15 PM (EST)
I currently have a mitchell outrigger double bend with a curved power face and I thought it was light at 20 oz. I was planning on taking it as a lake/ocean paddle along with a river paddle.
Posted by: plaidpaddler on Nov-15-13 6:16 PM (EST)
For a sleek Encounter the Zaveral Powersurge is the ticket for long distances. The midweight or lightweight version. The ultralight is great when you are close to home, but for an isolated trip like this I would opt for the slightly beefier versions. Werner has some lightweight carbon fiber bent shafts, but so far I have not used one, so can't do a recommendation. I don't believe this is a tight technical river, so you should be able to do all your paddling with the bent shaft without any difficulty.
Posted by: beaverjack on Nov-30-13 8:46 AM (EST)
In deep water, a double blade is my choice. Wind is so much easier to deal with and you waste much less energy correcting. I'd say take a straight shaft paddle for shallow, narrow places and a double blade for everything else. That's what I did in Quetico, and it worked out great. Be safe, above all else. Take a PLB too.
The downside of a double blade is |
Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-01-13 4:43 PM (EST)
that most are very heavy. You do have to hold the thing up all day. At least canoe paddles support part of their own weight if you do an inwater recovery.
I would have one ZRE bent shaft|
Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-01-13 5:11 PM (EST)
I have paddled that same country but on different rivers and the only thing I will say is to be very careful with your paddle to be sure it does not blow away. There is a lot of wind often times, and no cover. Hate to wake up in the AM and find your ZRE is no where to be found. I use my ZRE in anything up to a class 2 or easy three. It works fine. You will save a lot of energy.
let me put my $.01 in for a medium-wgt|
Posted by: bigspencer on Dec-02-13 1:00 PM (EST)
straight shaft, wooden beavertail, in addition to another one....bentshaft etc. Using different muscles will break up a trip and allow you to paddle longer/further without need to rest... $.01.
Same muscles used|
Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-02-13 9:46 PM (EST)
its just a heavier paddle.
the Same muscles used is what...|
Posted by: bigspencer on Dec-05-13 8:15 AM (EST)
ZRE Bent shaft|
Posted by: JackL on Dec-07-13 6:35 AM (EST)
to me is a do all paddle.
Posted by: Murph1 on Jan-19-14 11:07 PM (EST)
You can't go wrong following Paddletothesea's advise. He is one of the most experienced posters on this net.
Posted by: ppine on Jan-21-14 11:17 AM (EST)
For a long trip, it is logical to use different paddles to change the geometry and its affect on your body. A light quality straight shaft and a bent shaft that you have experience with should go on the trip. If it were me I would also bring a two bladed kayak paddle for paddling a 17 foot canoe with a lot of gear in it. The kayak paddle is especially useful for windy and swirling current conditions. Try every type of paddle you can before commiting to the long trip. Good luck.