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How to choose a suitable paddle grip?

A complex question. And the choice of grip is much more important than we might think at first.

The rower comes into contact with the boat at three points: the rolling seat, the footrest and the paddle grip. The grip gives him feedback on the technical execution of rowing. It is a sensitive connection for the athlete, through which he "feels" the water.

Most paddle manufacturers offer several types of pairs and alternate paddle grips. However, in addition to getting used to it, it is important to clarify some other criteria in order to choose the right grip. "Suitability" often means personal preference: some athletes "hold the paddle very easily" - they only hold it with their fingertips and move the paddle forward. Others, however, prefer a more robust grip to control the blade.

If you choose a Crocker grip, you can choose from different sizes for double rowing, and different sizes and material qualities for alternating paddles.
If you choose Concept2 paddle grips, you have a large selection of sizes and materials available for double and alternate paddle paddles.

These handles of different types, materials and sizes can all be found in our webshop.

There is no consensus on the "best" grip material: in terms of stickiness, handling in certain conditions, or the kindest material against the skin. The hands of rowers have to endure a lot due to various environmental factors . Some interesting thoughts about spade handling are available here in English.

Let's see what factors the rower can influence.

The handle is mounted on the handle, which is inserted into the blade tube. However, the grip is not built into the structure of the blade; easily replaceable, wearing part.
Daily maintenance of the grip - disinfection and cleaning - helps preserve the original properties of the grip.

When should the grip be replaced?

  • If the surface of the grip feels slimy, hardened, has a change in color or texture, it must be replaced.
  • If mold appears on the handle. Mold or other unsanitary conditions are a health risk.
  • Grips with non-removable black spots should also be replaced.

On what basis should we choose a grip?


  • As a general rule, smaller/younger paddlers, such as children, teenagers and smaller women, prefer smaller sized grips.
  • The medium grip fits the hand sizes of a wide range of paddlers and is popular for club rigs where many users share paddles. The most popular Concept2 grips are the orange contour (33.5mm) and the green medium grip (34.5mm).
  • A thick grip (35 mm or thicker) is usually used by men with large hands.

Croker Shovel Grip Dimensions

Material selection

Croker and Martinoli (Braca) paddle grips are made of the same material.

Croker grips are made of antibacterial, thermoplastic elastomer.

Concpet2 makes grips from several materials:

  •       The green rubber grip has a firm and smooth surface
  •       The contoured orange grip is the same material as the green rubber grip, but features radial, finger-sized contours and a brushed texture.
  •       The azure and ice blue grips have longitudinal lines.
  •       Black rubber grips have the most grip and wear on the user's hand. For this reason, it wears out sooner than other handle types, but provides a more direct palm feeling.
  •       The microfiber suede grip has a soft velvety feel. Some athletes prefer to use this grip wet rather than dry. Wears faster than plastic grips.
  •       The blue cell (foam) grip is foamy and spongy.
  •       The wood veneer grip is smooth; the surface can be lightly sanded to provide more texture.

Grips cannot be "objectively" compared in terms of their material, you have to decide individually which one is best for you.                                                                                                                 


The handles will wear over time with use. The care and storage of the blades also affects the lifespan of the grips. It is recommended to store the paddles indoors in a dry place: ultraviolet light, dirt, dust and moisture can change the characteristics of the handle.

IMPORTANT! Be sure to wash your hands after using sunscreen. It is recommended that athletes avoid wearing rings while rowing.

Some general information about the durability of each type of grip:

  • Rubber grips are more durable and more resistant to the elements than other materials.
  • The Concept2 black rubber grip ages faster when exposed to sunlight. This can cause the surface layer of the grip to peel/crumble when rowing, indicating that it needs to be replaced.
  • Microfiber suede needs to be replaced more often than other grips, but it's cheap to replace (no tools required!). With normal use, the microfiber suede grip is expected to last 6-12 months.
  • Blue cellular foam grips need to be cleaned more often to maintain their grip properties. The frequency of its cleaning depends on the environment; hot, humid or dirty conditions require more frequent cleaning of the handles.
  • The veneer handle is made of wood: it reacts to moisture and humidity, so it must be stored dry. The porous material accumulates oil and dirt over time. The surface can be lightly sanded to provide more texture.

The power of habit - how well does your hand know the grip?

Many rowers prefer to row with what they already know: what they learned with or what they row with now.

If you frequently switch between boat units and paddles, your hands will prefer the familiar grip. The familiar grip provides security when swiping and can reduce irritation due to differences between different surfaces and sizes. Some athletes may be more sensitive than others, so we recommend finding the one that works best for you.

All grip types are available in our webshop.

If you can't choose, write to us. We help!

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