its broadened my horizons. For lots of folks "paddling" means something completely different than it does to me. If someone wants to wear a costume and paddle to music that's cool. I can honestly see how that could be fun. When I suggest "messin' around" in boats, I'm talkin' about not paddlin' from A to B but rather you focus on developing skills and balance in a fixed location, be it a pond, lake or river. Call it freestyle or something else, its just semantics. Put music to it or not, just have fun and learn.
Many moons ago, I wanted to cut down on the portages I did on the East Branch of the Penobscot. The scout groups I worked with paddled tandem OT trippers. I found I could eliminate the "pond pitch portage" if I soloed the trippers. It was a lot of boat to move around, so I started heelin' them.
At hulling machine, I lined past the grater rocks and then paddled the runout to cutdown on the portaging.
Grand pitch and most of Haskell's was a definitive walk.
So "It just depends". I figure bein' a Maine Guide, Kayak Medic, you can appreciate that kind of "versatility".
What I'm suggesting to the OP is to go out and "play" a little bit. You're gonna get wet, but so what. I'm assuming the OP is banging his hands on the gunnels because he's paddling from a fixed location in the boat. If he or she utilized the 2ndary stability of the boat than they could learn something, gain more confidence, and utilize their existing paddle effectively. They stated they were a "newbie". So I'm sayin' "go out and mess around a bit" before you go and buy a "new" right sized paddle. Simple as that.
As far as hockey players and figure skaters.....they're all just "skaters". One group chases a little black disk, the other group wears frilly costumes. They both got some serious skills. How about them ones that wear the shower caps?.......
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