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Paddling

We didn’t invent the canoe paddle, but having made our fair share over the past 150 years, we’ve sure learned a thing or two about making a great one. We start with native grown wood from right here, in Maine. We’ve found that wood from Maine, like people from Maine, is rugged, hearty and up to the task. We’ve also learned that while paddles come in thousands of shapes and sizes, there are really only seven unique traditional designs you need to concern yourself with. We offer those seven in different lengths and a variety of wood species – all perfectly straight and completely free of knots and defects. Because as any seasoned Maine Guide would tell you, when you take short cuts, you get lost.

Paddling

Traditional Paddles

Each of our traditional wooden canoe paddles are crafted from a single piece of wood. It takes longer and it takes a skilled craftsman, but nothing will feel better in your hands or on the water. Our shafts are oval, the way they should be to fit your hand. Our grips are unvarnished, so they won’t cause blisters. Our blades are very thin to provide excellent flex. Our commitment, to make our paddles, handcrafted, one at a time, makes each one an heirloom for you to enjoy for a lifetime.

All paddles can be custom engraved.

Our most versatile paddle.

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$99.00
A different grip on our classic Penobscot paddle.

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$149.00
Our traditional hunting and fishing paddle.

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$159.00
Our larger but flexible paddle.

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$169.00
The perfect paddle when you need to move alot of water.

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$159.00
Time tested comfort and performance.

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$149.00
Great for lakes and quiet waters.

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$149.00

Specialty Paddles

Extremely efficient in paddling canoes and touring kayaks

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$399.00
For Greenland or Inuit style paddling

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$199.00
Painstakingly handcrafted for function and beauty

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$429.00
Our SUP paddles build on 150 years of on water experience

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$295.00

Paddling Accessories

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$399.00

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$49.00

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$31.00

How to Size Your Oars

To determine the correct length oar for your boat measure the distance between the port and starboard oar sockets. Then apply the Shaw and Tenney oar length formula to determine the oar length that will provide the correct 7:18 leverage ratio. This length will provide an oar where 7/25 the length is inboard of the oarlocks and 18/25 of the oar is outboard of the oarlocks. It is the ideal ratio to row almost all boats. Sized correctly, when rowing your hands will be 1 to 3 inches apart and you will be pulling directly towards your abdomen. If you are popping out of your oarlocks when rowing your oars are far too short. If you prefer an overlapping grip, add 6” to the calculated oar length. If you have more than one rowing station in your boat, measure both. Typically they will require two different length oars which is fine if you’re going to be rowing tandem and need two sets. Otherwise you’ll need to compromise the correct length to work properly in both stations. If you are rowing more than 75% in one station size the oar to that length. As always feel free to call us and were happy to help you select the correct oar length and blade style for your boat.

The Original Shaw & Tenney Oar Length Formula

To help our customers size their oars correctly, we’ve been using the same formula since 1858: Measure the distance between the center of the port and starboard oar sockets, which hold the oar locks on each gunnel. This is called the “span” between the oarlocks. Divide the span by 2, and then add 2 to this number. The result is called the “inboard loom length” of the oar. Multiply the loom length by 25, and then divide that number by 7. The result is the proper oar length in inches. Round up or down to the closest 6” increment.

How to Size Your Paddle

For traditional wooden paddles the ideal length for the Stern paddler is the bridge of your nose or 6 inches less than your height. For the bow paddler the paddle reaching the cleft of your chin or 9 inches less than your height is correct.

For our Racine paddle if you are over 5’6” tall select the 63-1/2” length and the shorter paddle if you are under5’-6”tall.

When paddling solo we typically recommend a bow length paddle. For Canadian style solo most paddlers prefer an even shorter paddle.

For paddling canoes when standing (yes our mother let us do this) a 69 inch or 72 inch paddle is usually about right.

Stay In Touch with Shaw & Tenney

© 2014 Shaw & Tenney, Inc.

Have a question or need some help?

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