double blade paddle in solo canoe
Posted by: old_user on Oct-27-10 11:40 AM (EST)
As I recently completed an 8-day solo canoe trip in my Penobscot 16 (first solo), I was very interested in reading Tom Watson's "double dipping" article. Being used to paddling tandem, I quickly learned that I needed to modify my paddling style. Instead of paddling primarily on one side of the boat and steering with a J-stroke, I switched to the back-and-forth approach: a couple of paddle strokes on the port side followed by a couple on the starboard and so on. In this way I didn't lose forward momentum, and steering was easy: just add an extra stroke on one side or the other as necessary.
It occurred to me that this style of paddling is much closer to double-bladed kayak paddling than my normal canoe paddling approach, which got me to thinking about the possible advantage of using a double-blade paddle when canoeing solo. I don't think I would try it in rapids, but for flat-water cruising, the double blade might make a lot of sense. Aesthetically, I will have a hard time putting aside my classic Old Town wood paddle for a plastic and aluminum job, but the advantages might be worth it. The next time I go on a solo trip, I will probably rent a double-bladed paddle (maybe two in different lengths) and give it a test.
By the way, I was impressed with the Penobscot as a solo boat. I was carrying lots of gear and sat in the bow seat facing the stern so as to be closer to the center of the boat. In this position I was able to arrange my gear to achieve good front-to-back trim. The Penobscot is perfectly symmetrical, so the bow angle is the same facing forwards or back. With a sharp bow entry and a somewhat narrow beam, the Penobscot is a swift canoe, and the narrower profile helped with my reach across the gunnels when paddling. At 58 pounds in Roylex, the Penobscot is a tough boat but easy for one person to handle on land. With the Penobscot configured this way, and paddling on both sides, I was running about as fast as the tandem canoes I encountered on the river, and I was able to maintain good progress even when paddling into stiff upriver winds.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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double paddle a canoe|
Posted by: vcmtthws on Oct-28-10 7:58 PM (EST)
Just a quick history. A few decades ago, you weren't allowed to race a canoe unless you were using a double paddle. The double paddle in a canoe is often thought of as a new approach, but in fact it's been around a for a long time. It's the single blade for racing canoes that is the new approach.
canoes vs. kayaks|
Posted by: Wavetamer on Nov-03-10 11:04 AM (EST)
I might tend to disagree on the archival argument that all canoes and kayaks are canoes? In name? In definition? There is evidence of kayaks being built over 5,ooo years ago. I don't think the "canoe" can hold that claim. My understanding of skin boat history is that Man developed four basic skin boat crafts: umiaks (open skiff-like boats), kayaks, canoes and coracles (open, bowl-shaped boats used to pole across lakes and rivers - used in MidEast, Africa, Asia. Also, human migration probably came from the east, the kayak builders who settled into the interior of North America (the canoe builders). I would think that,too, would lead me to guess kayaks are older. Canoes being modified without the need for the deckcovering.
canoe vs kayak|
Posted by: hand2dplow on Nov-05-10 8:16 AM (EST)
canoe vs kayak|
Posted by: hand2dplow on Nov-05-10 10:13 PM (EST)
Oh...I'm sorry. I must have fallen asleep.
doublel bladed paddles|
Posted by: Wavetamer on Nov-10-10 10:04 AM (EST)
That exciting, eh?
double bladed paddle|
Posted by: Wavetamer on Nov-03-10 10:58 AM (EST)
Hi, glad to learn that you gave the double paddle a try. I agree that it is more for cruising,open waters instead of working through a rapids.They also seem to work better with a narrow boat. Continued good paddling, thanks for the comments, and most of all, be safe out there.