I have been canoeing for a few years (about 7) and in the last couple of years had started to get pain in my forearms and hands after paddling for more than about an hour and a half.

After discussing the problem with a couple of people (Lizzie and Ray) it was suggested that my canoe grip was causing the problem. Ray let me try one of his paddles with a different grip to the ones that I had been using and I found this helpful, but had to give his paddles back.

I spent a couple of months using my Grey Owl paddle and trying not to over grip and although it helped it wasn’t ideal and in particularly cold weather or at the end of long trips I was suffering to the point that I was struggling to even hold my paddle.

Then, my sneaky husband put together a plan with Lizzie and Don Paddler to have a new paddle made for me. Along with the improved grip this paddle also has a slightly narrower shaft than my old one, making it easier to hold. I haven’t had as much chance to use it as I would like, planning to change that over the summer, but so far I’ve had a handful of longer river trips and a day on Ullswater without any problems in my arms or hands.

Apart from the improved shape of the paddle, it is a lovely looking paddle and gets lots of admiring comments from other canoeists. I’d highly recommend Don’s paddles and from what I’ve been told about the ordering process Don was awesome, making the effort to discuss the requirements at length to make sure he got it right.

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