12 Best Canoe Paddles to buy in 2021

Best Paddles For Canoe

To me, canoeing can be the best thing to do in leisure time. There’s something very therapeutic about having the boat paddled around a stream and to fish oftentimes.

But this experience can become a whole lot worse if you’re not having the best paddles for canoe.

 Finding the right canoe paddle can be harder than you can imagine! 

Chances are your paddles that will be too heavy or too large for you to control, making your arms sore and bringing you back home in an ache.

But that wouldn’t a problem anymore since the list here will have all the best paddles you can get. My extensive experience in boating enables me to safely recommend paddles according to various needs.

Best Canoe Paddles of 2021: 

Here is our list of the best paddles for a canoe with their ratings:

Best Canoe PaddleRatingsPrices
Bending Branches BB Canoe Paddle10/10 (Editor's Choice)
ZJ Sport Tahiti Type Carbon Fiber Canoe Paddle(9.5/10)
Bending Branches Beavertail Paddle(9/10)
ZJ Sports Outrigger Canoe Paddle(8.5/10)
Sunburst ST Canoe Paddle(9/10)
Cruiser Plus 11 Canoe Paddle(8.5/10)
Carlisle Beavertail Wooden Canoe Paddle(8/10)
Viper Canoe Paddle(9/10)
Arrow Canoe Paddle(9/10)
Polyethylene Clad Canoe Paddle(9/10)
Aluminum Canoe Paddle(9/10)
Magic Nylon Kayak Paddle(9/10)

1: Bending Branches Special Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • 11-degree bend increases the paddling efficiency
  • Sturdy wooden design
  • Lightweight (22 oz)

✅Aesthetically pleasing❌ Not for deeper waters
✅ Best paddle when it comes to handling
✅ Lightweight

2: ZJ Sport Tahiti Type Carbon Fiber Canoe Paddle:

What we love:

  • Carbon Fibre gives excellent paddling experience
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • 12° bend for effective paddling

✅Lightweight❌Not a versatile paddle
✅ ideal for longer cruises and open water cruising

Here we present another carbon fiber canoe paddle which is as impressive as the one before. The main difference here is the 12-degree bend at the blade, with a T-handle handle grip. The bend makes the paddle best for open water cruising and longer distances.

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3: Bending Branches Beavertail

What we love:

  • Made and perfected for deepwater paddling
  • Rockgaurd Edge increases durability
  • Lightweight (22 oz)

✅ the best paddle for deep waters❌The handle can be hard to grip on often times
✅ narrower shape for easier handling
✅ Great Maneuverability


4: ZJ Sport Carbon Fiber Outrigger Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Strong and unmistakable
  • Unique choice of materials
  • Lightweight (21 oz)

✅Lightweight❌ Handle is often harder to grip on
✅ strong carbon fiber material


5: Bending Branches Sunburst ST Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Strong and unmistakable
  • Straight shaft blade
  • Lightweight (16 oz)

✅Aesthetically pleasing❌ Handle is often harder to grip on
✅ sturdy and reliable


6: Bending Branches Cruiser Plus 11 Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Fiberglass wrapped blade
  • Straight shaft blade
  • 11° bend for effective paddling

✅Smoother paddling❌ a bit heavier than usual
✅ Beautiful to look at

7: Carlisle Beavertail Wooden Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Sturdy basswood design
  • Urethane tip guard increases durability
  • Lightweight (23 oz)

✅Lightweight❌ Questionable durability
✅ Versatile


8: Bending Branches Viper Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Beautiful wooden structure
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • 11° bend for effective paddling

✅ Easier to control❌The rock guards can wear out
✅A beautiful and sturdy wooden structure

Another beautiful paddle that has almost the same properties as the other great Bending Branches paddles. This one comes with a curved palm grip, improved rock guards around the edges and little improvements as such.

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9: Bending Branches Arrow Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Wider blade for deepwater cruising
  • Lightweight and easy to use

✅ The wider blade allows better performance in deep water❌A little harder to handle
✅A beautiful and sturdy wooden structure

This shares the same design as the Carlisle paddle but with an improved BB rock guard protection and a better grip. This paddle will work best for deep water paddling and will last long enough for years to come.

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10: Carlisle Standard Polyethylene Clad Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Rugged Polyethelene structure for long-lasting performance
  • Simple and functional

✅ Strong and rugged

❌Heavier weight than moat paddles

This one isn’t flashy like the Bending Branches paddles we have shown earlier. This one is a simpler and more functional paddle that is more versatile.

By compromising in weight, the heavy-duty polyethylene will be immune to all bumps for years to come. Other than that, the vinyl-clad aluminum shaft promises no rust or corrosion.

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11: Carlisle Economy Aluminum Canoe Paddle

What we love:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple and functional
  • Encouraging performance for the price

✅ Strong and stiff
❌Only for amateur canoeing
✅ Budget-friendly

If you’re tight on budget, this one is probably the best you’ll find. The Carlisle Aluminium Paddle will come with a 20-inch blade, that will prove beneficial for those long strokes in the river.

The PVC used on the paddle is immune to high impacts and the UV-protected polypropylene that resists added pressure.

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12: Carlisle Magic Nylon Kayak Paddle

What we love:

  • User-friendly
  • Simple and functional
  • Stiff and durable

✅ Easy to use❌Not versatile/ not for every occasion
✅ Durable

Lastly, we bring another paddle. This time, it’s a paddle with nylon blades and aluminum shafts. This paddle is super responsive, which makes it the best buy for new paddlers around.

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Although we have listed the top 12 paddles in the list above that will suit you the best, however, if you want to explore more, we have also listed the runner-ups in the list below. Check for yourself and get the right paddle.

Runner-Up Paddles

Lightweight CanoesRatingPrices
BB Folding Branches Wooden Canoe10/10 (Editor's Choice)
Caviness 4 'Wooden Paddle9/10
Paddle for Recreational Travel10/10
Canoe Paddle - Unfinished8.5/20

How to get the right Canoe Paddle?

Knowing and doing a little brainstorm before you make your purchase goes a long way when choosing a paddle. There are several aspects that make a good canoe paddle but we’re going to cover a few fundamentals.

  • Sizing: Sizing canoe paddles is arguably the best thing you can do before buying one for yourself. If you mess this up, you’ll not only put a lot of stress on your shoulders while paddling but will also have the guilt of throwing your money away. The problem is, most people don’t know how to To put it briefly, the best paddle length for you comes with a simple test. Put the T-handle under your under and see if the paddles stand straight without lifting your shoulder. If it doesn’t, the paddle is too long for you. If it falls short, find the one that sits nicely between your body.

  • Length: Paddles come in various lengths that eventually contribute to sizing your paddle. Arguably the most important thing to notice is the length of the shaft. To find the right length and sizing your paddle, do this: Squat with your back just 6 inches from the ground. Measure the length between the floor and your nose. This measurement is how long your shaft for your paddle should be. Most companies provide various paddle lengths to cater to every paddler’s size.
  • Weight: Other than sizing and checking the length of the paddle, the next big thing to check is the weight. You don’t want a paddle that’s too heavy that it strains your shoulder. You don’t want it lighter either since that won’t paddle you farther. The goof balance and the ideal weight to look out for is around 18 to 23 ounces.

Making your own Canoe Paddles:

If you fancy making your own paddles, then we can help you gather the stuff you might want to make one. Rather than covering how to literally make a canoe, we’ll suggest which wood to opt for and things to look out for.

  • Choosing your wood: Getting a cheap piece of wood from your basic home depot will do nothing but leave you stranded on a lake with a broken paddle. Choosing the best wood is the first thing you should consider when making a canoe paddle and this shouldn’t so hard. The best kinds of wood that you can get are ash, walnut, cherry, and maple since they provide a lot of stiffness and strength which will make your paddles durable. For a more flexible endeavor, choosing cedar, pine or basswood would suffice. When making a canoe, companies use both options to create effective paddles that can be easy to use and long-lasting at the same time.
  • Design: The next big thing to consider is the design, get dimensions and templates for your paddle. Determining the width and length of the paddle will significantly affect eh way you will paddle. For example, if you’re planning to for paddling in deeper waters, then you might want to choose a beavertail design that will make you paddle deeper and farther. So have your dimensions for your paddle sorted to be one of your top priorities.
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