Sizing your canoe paddle
Regardless of the model of straight or bent shaft paddle you have selected, the size should be determined by the shaft length rather than the overall length.
The following formula applies: The shaft length should equal the distance from ones shoulder to the waterline of the canoe. To determine this distance, sit erect on a chair and measure from your chin to the seat. Add 6 to this figure to get the approximate shaft length.
Thus, someone whose chin to chair measurement is 26" would add 6" to come up with a 32" shaft length.* This is equal to a 52" Touring Bent Shaft, a 54" to 56" Sugar Island or a 58" Chieftain.
* This figure represents a rough guide from which a plus/minus 2" comfort range should be considered. Also, canoe seat placement will affect shaft length.
These paddles are distinguished by their long slender blades and overall resilience. Originally carved from one piece of wood from a small tree, cedar and basswood were prized because of their light weight while ash, maple and cherry were chosen for strength and durability. Cherry was especially preferred for its resistance to rot and warping along with being relatively light in weight.
Though not the easiest paddles to use in depths below 12", one can learn to manage quite well with a sweep stroke. All basic strokes such as the J and C strokes, along with draw, pry and feather strokes evolved from this type of paddle.
No other paddle can give you the enjoyment and feel of cruising like a traditional paddle. The blade width area is more than adequate to maneuver your canoe so pick the model that appeals to your price range, usage and aesthetics.
Blade Area (sq in)
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Please see our blog about reopening for details of the changes we are having to make which may affect the delivery of your order.
Our standard charge is £4.95 for a total order of £49.99 or under.
Standard shipping is free for a total order of £50 or more to most of mainland UK. Once you have entered your delivery address then upgrades may be available.
There may be further charges depending on the size/weight of the order or the delivery address.
Plastic canoes are delivered on our own transport or by third party carrier.
T-Formex and composite canoes are only transported on our own transport. Delivery times may be longer and we suggest that you call us on 01454 261058 to discuss delivery options.
There are no further charges for delivery to most postcodes in mainland UK. Deliveries to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands and islands (including Isle of Wight) may incur further charges. Please call us
A shipping charge of £15 to £20 will be applied to all small orders from outside the UK.
Boats and paddles may cost extra. Please contact us for a quote.
We are not able to deliver canoes and kayaks exceeding 3m outside the UK.
VAT is not charged on orders that originate outside the EU for delivery outside the EU.
Wood is nature's own composite. As a naturally forming polymer, wood is comprised of long-chain, cross-linking cellulose molecules, bound together with lignum. This miraculous combination gives wood its unique properties of strength, stiffness, resilience, buoyancy, and durability. Because no two pieces are exactly alike, wood provides a broader range of individual 'feel.' A single model will vary in flex pattern, stiffness and action. This offers the consumer a wide range of choices when selecting a paddle.
Of course, the beauty and feel of wood are unmatched. Ask any seasoned canoeist or kayaker why they love their wooden paddle and they will say, 'It's the feel.' This affinity with wood is a love affair that prompts canoeists with day jobs to hang their wooden paddles on the wall of the office. When you take your wooden paddle on the water, you're returning it to its natural habitat.
What makes a great paddle is a combination of many things. A grip that fills the palm just so; a shaft that is smooth, oval, and doesn't twist in the hand; a blade that knifes into the water without a 'plop'; a lively action that pulls without a flutter or vibration; a balanced fulcrum that doesn't feel like a shovel full of wet snow on the return phase of the stroke. Wood that looks beautiful and is lightweight in design, with a finish that gleams in the sunlight. And finally, an affordable product that has the durability to withstand the rigors of the sport.
At Grey Owl, years of research, development and innovative ideas meet with engineering excellence to bring you the most advanced wooden paddles available. We continue to lead the industry with features such as our uniquely laminated exotic woods, or our models with urethane plastic tips and edging where you need it. Our respect for the past has led us to retain hidden plastic inserts in the tips of our one-piece wooden paddles.
The blades are cambered with fine edges for maximum efficiency and tracking ability. The shaft is oval in design and made of either solid wood or a laminated wood composite to give just the right flex, strength and feel. The grips are designed for hours of fatigue free paddling and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Only the finest materials find their way into Grey Owl products. The wood, glue, varnish, etc. are all of the highest quality. Our kayak ferrules are machined to the closest tolerances possible to eliminate any wobble.
With many different models, no matter what style of paddling you prefer, or what your size, there is a Grey Owl Paddle that will fit in your hand and 'sing' in the water.
Composite is Durable, lightweight, stiff and sleek only begin to describe the new Grey Owl composites. Evolving from our very successful wooden paddle line, these new additions complement, rather than displace, our legendary wooden models.
Though lacking some of the beauty, warmth and resilience of wood, the high-tech world of modern thermoplastics and composites offers some added dimensions not available in our more traditional wooden products.
For those wishing to extend their paddling experience, our newest generation of paddles has incorporated design features that, in the past, have been difficult and expensive to produce in wood.
High-tech, molded materials allow the designer to build a stiff, light, rugged paddle with knife-edged tips and dihedral blades with extreme curves.
Though not indestructible, these durable paddles require little maintenance and generally are not subject to the minor repairs and upkeep of their wooden counterparts.
Whether you are a serious racer, week-end warrior, guide, novice or seasoned tripper, we have a model that will excite your paddling sensibilities and satisfy your boating needs..
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How can I break thee? Let me count the ways… Let’s keep it simple; we don’t want to turn this into a personal challenge. If there’s a problem, bring it back. We stand behind our workmanship and materials for one year from date of purchase.
*Please note that Racing Paddles are not covered by warranty.