Your shaft length plus chosen blade length
equals your total paddle length
How to measure your shaft length:
Grab a broom and position yourself in front of a mirror. Place the palm of one hand flat against the end and the other wrapped around the shaft further down, then place on top of your head. Slide your hand down the shaft until your forearms are bent inward from elbows at just under 90° and your head is centred between hands.
Lower the broom (maintaining grip) and the hand placement should feel comfortable for your upper body when you take a few "imitation" paddle strokes. Measure from the end of the broom to outside of your lower hand. This is your shaft length.
Paddle Blade Lengths
Bruce Smith Classic 27"
A popular multi-purpose paddle, designed for solo paddling, lake travel, general tripping
Ottertail (and Modified) 28"
A wider blade at the top, narrowing at the bottom, generally more rounded. Designed for style manoeuvring, solo paddling, lake travel, general tripping.
*A Modified Ottertail is even wider at the top, and tapers more at the bottom*
Similar to the Bruce Smith Classic with a fuller configuration allowing to pull more water. Designed for general tripping, shallows and rapids
Historically used by the voyageurs, its long, narrow blade, widest at the top, pulls water efficiently without placing excessive strain on the paddler. Designed for distance lake travel
Morning Mist 29"
Based on an East Coast First Nation's design. Bruce's version has less taper on the blade to add a little more strength to the tip. Attractive design and paddles efficiently. Designed for deep water paddling
A greater surface area near the bottom of the blade, enabling it to move larger amounts of water when necessary, but also requiring a little more strength to do so. Designed for light, recreational use