One former frequent poster here was devoted to double-blading a canoe, and his paddles were either 8 or 9 feet long, I forget which. I wouldn't care for the extra effort needed to produce the same push from the blade when the blade is that much farther away from one's body (after all, the hand position is about the same for any double-blade paddle, so the longer it gets, the farther you end up on the opposite side of "mechanical advantage", in terms of input force versus output force), but this person said he liked the amount of steering correction he could get when applying power that far from center, so like everything else, you weigh the trade-offs make your choice. I started out double-blading a solo canoe because my rate of learning to be efficient with a single was too slow to suit me. Unlike the long-paddle lovers, I used a 230-cm paddle and a much shorter and rather vertical stroke (I haven't used a double in years though). There seems to be quite a range of variation as far as "what works" simply because "what works" is defined by the individual.
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