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Canoe Paddles 

Canoes can be propelled with sails, poles or oars, but, the most common method is with paddles. Canoe paddles can come with double blades like kayak paddles but they are most often single bladed. By the way, oars are used in row-boats, attached to oar locks and are pulled while you face backwards in the boat.  Paddles are used while you face forward. Don't ever call a paddle an oar. That would make the River Grizzly surly!

Paddle Parts

Paddles come in many shapes, sizes and materials. Some of the cheapest paddles are made of wood -- and so are the most expensive. Paddles, like canoes, are made of a variety of synthetics including  aluminum, kevlar, fiberglass, plastic or graphite.

Designs vary according to use. The old fashioned, wooden, beaver tail paddle is great for long cruises on deeper water thanks to wood's shock absorbing properties. Whitewater paddlers use shorter and wider blades with T grips. Spoon blades provide higher performance. Marathon paddlers are fond of graphite, bent shaft paddles which provide a very efficient forward stroke.

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