Parts of a Canoe Paddle

Canoeing Merit Badge

Req 4a: Name and point out the parts of a paddle...

There are a ton of different brands, colors, materials, and varieties of paddles for canoeing... but, they all have five things in common.  The following is a list of the parts of a canoe paddle.

  • Grip
  • Shaft
  • Throat
  • Blade
  • Tip

Here are a few tips from an old Scoutmaster that I have found to be beneficial while using a canoe paddle.

  • Make sure to never shove off, or store the paddle by the tip.  In wood paddles, this usually results in the splintering of the paddle as it creates small little cracks that the water can enter the paddle, swell up the wood, and eventually crack the paddle as it dries out from your last adventure.
  • When paddling, have one hand covering the grip from the top and the other hand on the shaft.  Doing so will result in the best leverage and increase your speed and control.
  • Place the blade fully in the water, up to the throat, when the water is deep enough. This will result in a longer draw and causing fewer strokes to conserve energy.
  • Do not paddle with your hand near the throat. This usually ends up with your hand or fingers finding out how hard and painful the sides of the canoe can be.