If you’ve never been canoeing before and are getting ready for your first trip, then you are in for quite a treat. Before you get too excited, though, it’s important to know that you figure out which size canoe paddle you’ll need before you get out on the water. After all, they vary in size considerably. Fortunately, whether you’re going to be borrowing one or buying your own, this list of helpful tips for choosing the right size canoe paddle will set you on the right course.
Getting One at the Boat Rental
When it’s your first time canoeing, you will most likely borrow a paddle from the place where you’re renting the boat. Luckily, this is the easiest way to determine if you have the correct paddle length. Simply drag your boat to an area of the water that’s deep enough to stick your paddle into. A dock would be the ideal location. Make sure it’s secured so that you don’t drift off while testing.
Next, get inside the canoe and kneel down. Stick your paddle into the water and put the grip at about the same level as your nose. The place where the paddle meets the shaft, or the throat, should be right at the waterline. If it’s too low or high, grab a different paddle and try again.
Buying One from the Store
If you’re planning on buying your own paddle, it’ll be a little bit harder to test but not impossible. You won’t have a canoe or water to use, so you’ll have to make do with what you have. Start by kneeling on the floor and lifting your bottom about six inches in the air. This will compensate for how low the canoe will sink into the water.
Next, you will turn the paddle upside down with the grip firmly planted on the floor. The throat of the paddle should now be level with your nose. Once again, try out some other sizes to find the best match.
Looking for One Online
Now it’s time for the hardest way to test the height: from your own home while shopping online. This is where our helpful tips for choosing the right size canoe paddle will be the most useful. If you are currently searching for canoe paddles for sale online, be sure to check out the ones offered in our store.
You’ll start the same way as if you were shopping in-store. Once you’re kneeling with your bottom off the ground, take a tape measure or yardstick and determine how far away your nose is from the ground. Add that measurement to the length of the blade. This is typically 20 inches, but some models vary, so be sure to check the details in the listing. After adding those together, you will have the total length needed for the perfect-sized canoe paddle.