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  More on skegs, tracking, and experience
  Posted by: guideboatguy on May-17-13 12:32 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: May-17-13 1:15 PM EST --

Daggermatt is right. When I first learned about solo canoes and was planning to buy one, I read comments here about a canoe by Souris River that had a rudder. One old-time poster here who seemed to know a lot about canoes gave it a higher rating than any non-Kruger canoe he'd used (in retrospect, since he was so enthusiastic about Kruger canoes, perhaps he'd learned to prefer rudders to fancy paddle strokes). At that point I thought about solo paddling as being less than ideal due to the off-center power application of single-blade paddling, and realized a rudder would be more efficient than correction strokes. I almost considered getting that ruddered canoe, but once I learned "how to paddle" I was sure glad I hadn't. Sure, the rudder would have been great for open-water cruising but it would have been terrible for everything else a general-purpose canoe is supposed to be good at. I've since learned to paddle well enough that the slight inefficiency of correction strokes does NOT provide a good reason to handicap a perfectly good canoe with a rudder. One of my canoes will spin 180 degrees within a few seconds of laying down the paddle to grab a camera, but I'm perfectly happy making it go a straight line via paddle control. The original poster will not feel like there's a need for the skeg after his skills improve.

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