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I have a couple solo canoes, I normally just use single bladed paddles, but find I am quite limited in the wind speed I can safely paddle against on bigger lakes. I am planning on getting a double bladed paddle.

First and foremost, has anyone here tried using a double bladed kayak paddle for a canoe?

Second, assuming a paddler of 5' 8" and using a Clipper Tripper S (beam of 32"), what length paddle should I be looking for, and should I be looking at small, medium, or large blades (most manufacturers do not appear to use blade area), assuming multi-hour paddling?

I have found limited info online, mostly reviews from people just starting with the double bladed paddles. With that information, so far I am thinking a 270-280cm with mid to small blades would be ideal for my combination, but would appreciate any first hand experiences, and advice.

Also open to kayakers comments on paddle selection in general even without canoe experience.

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  • I once used a kayak paddle while solo canoeing (in a normal multi-person canoe, no less), but wouldn’t have the experience to actually give any sort of recommendation on what to look for. I can say that I did generally prefer it to a normal paddle, though it might have been a bit less efficient on a per-stroke basis. Jul 16 at 2:27
  • yea, I tried a kayak paddle as well, but it was a short whitewater blade, in a wide tandem, did not work well. Jul 16 at 4:50
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Do you really mean 270"? 270cm would seem far more likely easier to handle - but then the last river I took a canoe on wasn't much more than 270" wide (I'm more often a kayaker but occasionally canoe on flat water or in that case as part of a whitewater rescue course).

The only times I've paddled a canoe with kayak paddles they were the typical ones at flat-water activity centres in the 90s: flat-bladed, length selected so you could put one end on the ground vertically and just reach the other, so say 2.4m (8ft) for me. That might have been a little short paddling near the middle of the boat.

Blade size is likely to come from a combination of personal preference and paddling conditions. I'd pick something fairly large by (general purpose/whitewater) kayak standards.

In your position I'd look for an unusually long set of adjustable kayak split paddles (most go to 2.2-2.3m) to allow for some adjustment. Some basic splits could be made longer starting from 2 sets, but I haven't used those recently

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  • I wasn't paying attention to the units, I assumed the us manufacturers wouldn't use metric lol. As far as blade size, some folks online recommend a smaller blade with a higher cadence, but I am looking for first hand experience on the blade size, thanks for your input though. Jul 16 at 18:53
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First, the paddling of smallish, classic-canoe-style boats as though they were kayaks seems to be a trend. And why not? (I paddle both canoes and kayaks and find kayaks much easier to control.) One company that specializes in such boats -- small, narrow, open canoes -- is Swift. It calls them "Pack Boats". (I dislike that term as they do not fit into a pack like so many other boats do. I would have thought "can-ayak" or "kay-noe" might be better terms.)

Second, the best length for a kayak paddle is determined by various factors:

  • The paddler's height.
  • The width of the boat.
  • The height of the seat.
  • The preferred paddling angle style: high vs low. High = aggressive and fast. Low = relaxed.

The only way to know for sure is for you to get in and try paddling using different kayak paddle lengths. The right length is one that allows you to paddle comfortably and efficiently.

As for blade size: larger means more aggressive, while smaller means more relaxed.

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