but I think your question is akin to "what is the best I can do"
Can you kneel? Solo paddling using a kneeling thwart about 12-18 inches aft of the widest part of the boat allows you to tuck into one chine. The boat is heeled. You do not lean.
If you try and stay centered in the boat, every stroke is going to be a sweep stroke requiring a heroic j to undo the sweep you just had to do.
Otherwise I would just throw bunch of weight in the bow and assuming you have webbed seats sit int the bow seat backward.
Your dealer's suggestion is not all wet. But to paddle efficiently you need a vertical stroke. How comfortable are you at sitting when the boat is heeled over so the gunwale is about three inches off the water?
Touring Kayak Paddles
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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