The best canoe paddles, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Read Trailspace's Guide to Canoes and Paddles.
Recent Canoe Paddle Reviews
L.L.Bean Beavertail Canoe Paddle
A classic redone with a robust edge guard and modern wood finish. This paddle isn't for white water, but on a lake or quiet stream, it's a lovely paddle to hold and use. I received this paddle as a birthday gift from my wife yesterday. I'm quite taken with it—it's so "Moonrise Kingdom." The wood used is straight-grained and clear of imperfection. The paddle is understated and beautiful. Beavertail paddles are a classic choice for lake paddling. Once the paddle is submerged, its shape allows it… Full review
Bending Branches Viper
Most comfortable paddle I've used for long distance paddling. The curved shaft really makes a big difference. I purchased this canoe paddle to replace my 20-year-old Bending Branches bent paddle that finally took some damage after many miles. This one has the curved shaft as well as the bend where the paddle connects. The curved shaft really makes a big difference for comfort, it just feels good. I also feel like I can steer better with the Viper as opposed to my old bent paddle, maybe it's just… Full review
Bending Branches BB Special
This is the only paddle I’d recommend for flat water and lake paddling. This paddle provides you more power more efficiently with each of your strokes. You can easily spend much more on a paddle, but you’ll not really gain much in performance. (Note the grip and oval shaft) Finish is excellent. After more than two decades of use, my paddle looks much newer. Firstly, in the interest of full disclosure, openness, and honesty, I’m biased toward wood paddles. I neither want nor need any high… Full review
ZRE Power Surge FW-Z Light
Hand made in the USA carbon fiber work of art that makes heavier paddles obsolete IMHO We purchased two ZRE Power Surge Light paddles a year ago and they still make us smile every time we use them or even just pick them up. At near 8 1/2 ounces (varies slightly by length), they allow two Medicare-age paddlers to paddle for four hours without even having our arms get tired. My wife has arthritis in her hands, so I phoned Mr. Zaveral himself for advice. He told us what measurements to take and then… Full review
Sanborn Canoe Co. Minnesota
The Sanborn Canoe Co. Minnesota 14° is a light weight (19 oz.) and durable paddle making all environments pleasant. The paddle is comfortable in the hands, takes a beating, and comes out still looking beautiful. Some may think the light weight compromises durability, but not with this paddle. I recently purchased the Minnesota 14° bend for an excursion in the BWCA. I have paddled with many other well-known brands before with no complaints, but this paddle came out on top for paddles to own. Full review
Sanborn Canoe Co. Gunflint
I am not easily impressed. I have had numerous paddles over the 25 years I have toured the BWCAW. After lending my favorite paddle to a friend who lost it (yes, I know I should not have lent it.) I ordered a pair of Sanborn Gunflint paddles. A bent one for the bow and long straight for the stern. I like them even better than the one I lost. I did much research before choosing and am thankful I did. Great craftsmanship, and beautiful. They are a little more beat up now, but I use my paddles... really… Full review
Sanborn Canoe Co. Gunflint
The Gunflint looks great, is very comfortable in hand, and is really powerful. Goes out in the canoe every time I do. Full disclosure: I received my paddle from Sanborn as a gift for some photos I did for them, and I had also used them prior to that. I have a Gunflint with the 14° bend from the blade to shaft. The weight is not ideal for an ultralighter, but it's still really comfortable, and definitely better than the cheaper paddles I've used. I really like the oiled grip. Seems to chafe less… Full review
Mitchell Paddles Premier
Many people spend thousands of dollars on a canoe or kayak, but go cheap when choosing something equally important...their paddle. If you are looking for a great performing white water canoe paddle, Mitchell Paddles makes the Premier using wood, fiberglass and carbon fiber. These paddles are very well made for paddlers, by paddlers. They are stiff, and heavier than lighter duty paddles, but will last more years than others. Background: David Mitchell started whitewater slalom racing in the early… Full review
Bending Branches Impression Solo
This is a well made, eight-foot-long paddle made for solo canoeing. It is a very strongly and beautifully made paddle. I just finished paddling the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca and the Venice, Louisiana, in an 18-foot canoe and spent many days fighting a south wind and the waves there would sometimes be so strong they would push me back. With my Bending Branch Solo Canoe Paddle I was able to make miles and fight my way down the Mighty Mississippi River on days I would otherwise have been wind… Full review
In order to show you the most relevant gear, we have omitted some older, unreviewed products.
If you like, you can view the list with the older products included.