Girls and women generally require shorter paddles than men, as they do
not have the same reach of arm, and you can take your choice of lengths.
For the stern the paddle should be longer than for the bow. Paddles are
made of red oak, maple, ash, spruce, and cherry. Some authorities prefer
spruce for ordinary usage, but in rough water and in shooting rapids a
harder wood is best. The weak part of a paddle is where the blade joins
the handle, and this part should not be too slender. If you use spruce
paddles keep them smooth by trimming away all roughness and keep them
well shellacked, else they may become water-soaked. Paddles range in
price from one dollar and fifty cents to three dollars.