How to Choose a Canoe

The eternal question for someone looking to buy and OC-1 or OC-2 canoe is "How to choose?"

The biggest mistake you can make is to choose canoe based on someone else's success. A certain model or make canoe may not be the best canoe for you just because it's the canoe winning races. 

The first question you need to answer is: Where will you paddle the canoe most frequently?

If you live in Kailua-Kona and paddle out of one of the West-Hawaii bays or Live in Sacramento and paddle on a lake, you will spend most of your time paddling in relatively calm waters with occasional wind swells, but rarely paddle in open ocean swells. It would be a mistake to buy the model of boat that is know as a surfing or channel canoe.

Conversely, if you live on on the North side of Kauai or on the Windward side of O`ahu, you will probably spend most your time paddling in "bumps".

If you buy the wrong canoe for for where you paddle the most, you won't have as much fun and probably won't paddle as much.

The other major consideration is how small or big you are. There are canoe specifically designed for women, medium frames and the big boys and girls. You also need to consider your height (or lack of).

Finally, choose a builder you know and like. Check out the reputations of the builders from people you know. If you're gonna give someone over $3,000, it makes sense that you trust them. Besides, you want to have the confidence in your canoe when you go out farther than you really want to swim.

Once you narrow down your choice, find someone who will let you take the model you're considering out for paddle. there's nothing better than getting out on the water before you write the check.

A little time doing your homework can help you make a decision that will help you have hours and miles of great paddling.

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