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The Canadian Stroke New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Canadian stroke
  Posted by: freewheeler on Dec-30-06 10:29 PM (EST)

Hey Kevin,
I find this stroke very useful on those long
hauls to just be able to change the pace
while getting thru those 10,000 strokes it sometimes takes to complete a trip. I also find it very useful to carry this stroke a little further and spin it at the end during the return, that is let the blade rotate 180o. This makes it
feather very natrually.


Frank walsh

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Messages in this Topic


  canadian stroke
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-01-07 2:55 PM (EST)
I agree, especially on those long solo trips.
  Canadian Stroke
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-03-07 10:26 AM (EST)
Kevin, nice article but I have to admit that I never have been laughed at for switching sides. I use a bent shaft almost excusively (why doesn't everyone?) and still fail to recognize the advantages of the variations of the J-stroke used by my straight shaft peers. The two major flaws with J-stroke type technique (incuding the new flavor of the week, Canadian stroke) is that 1) it is not as effecient as a forward stroke on the other side because you are still using a form of rudder. Read: less distance with more energy expenditure. And 2) Extending paddling on the same side is what chiropractors dream about. It is bad bio-mechanics to stay on one side, which can lead to back problems and motion injuries.

This email's purpose is not meant to start a silly debate over why the hit 'n swith method is usually better to use and better for you. It just makes sense to promote something other then what was written in Boy Scout manuels from the 1940's. I have paddled a lot. And on 4 different continents. Some of the cultures of paddling go way beyond what we have in North America and NONE of them use the J-stroke. Gee, I wonder why?

The other thing that bothers me is the kneeling position in your picture. I wonder how many newcomers this has turned off. Again, we are the only culture I know of that kneels in a canoe. Can you think of a more uncomfortable position? Sit! It is much more pleasant. Use kneeling as a tool for unstable water, not as a modus operenti.

John M.
Bath, Maine
  canadian stroke reply
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-03-07 2:13 PM (EST)
You're right that the bent-shaft is much more effecient. The only reason I prefer to not use that method is that it doesn't match my character and reason to be out there - I'm in no hurry. And you're right about the kneeling as well. I figure once you are past 40 the knees definitely give out. My buddy was kneeling because I was rocking the boat too much up at the bow tryijng to get the picture.

Thanks for your input.
  more feedback; the Cdn stroke
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-03-07 6:00 PM (EST)
Kevin you are a gentleman for your humble response to the previous poster. i wish i was a polite Canadian like you because while his stated response "This email's purpose is not meant to start a silly debate over why the hit 'n swith method is usually better to use and better for you" may be true, the purpose seems more to be to tell you/us how stupid you/we are for using the antiquated kiddie stroke we learned from a boy scout manual, and how he should know- he's a genuine and worldly pro, unlike you. what an arrogant and condescending jerk.

while i could go on about the efficiencies of the knifing j and related strokes, and how incredible one tandem canoe can do all things, and do them very well, including extended solo travel, it is well known to you and will be lost on the j hater.

anyhow Kevin i must say that i think different photos could have demonstrated the stroke a bit better. as you know the most natural and easy way to do this powerful yet relaxing stroke is with the boat heeled over where the stroke runs very close to the body. the biomechanics of the stroke performed in this way make for an easier stroke, lots of trunk rotation if you want to haul it out, and the boat remains very nimble with a shortened water line. of course you can adjust in a second to a wider stance as in your photos to contend with wind gusts, moving or bouncy water.

on a side note: your river rat movie was remarkably well recieved at a number of kayak festivals i attended last year. to my surprise given that they were dedicated kayak festivals/symposiums!!

i don't get to canoe Ontario much anymore, so i like to experience it vicariously through you. paddle on and cheers. James
  Cndn stroke
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-04-07 6:41 AM (EST)
James, You are right, Kevin is a true gentleman. I apologize if my response was offensive in any way as it was meant to be helplful. I am not an arrogant jerk, as you indicated, but since we don't know each other I will leave it at that. The sport of canoeing is not growing and today's kids do not seem as interested. I find this sad. If there is any feedback I can give to help the sport in a constructive manner, I will. Please use this forum as an educational tool and leave the name calling in your middle school cafeteria. It does not have a place here. John
  further demonstration
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-04-07 10:05 AM (EST)
of my original post. you confirm what you are.
  the bigger picture
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-06-07 10:21 AM (EST)
I think all three of us should go on a canoe trip together; it's obvious you're just as passionate about canoeing (and talking about canoeing)then I am. All points made about the proper stroke to use is correct - but the big picture here is that all three of us like to go paddling (no matter how we get ourselves across the water). I actually have one canoe partner who uses a bent-shaft in the bow and I use a tradtional paddle in the stern. This shouldn't work, and we definitely get laughed at when we paddle together, but we've done this for a dozen years or so and neither of us will change for the other. It's commical really.

And yes, the photos should of had my buddy leaning to one side; doing so in a propector design while solo has to be the most Canadian thing I know.

Thanks for your input


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