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​Eric Sevareid on double blades in canoe

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I've read Canoeing with the Cree.. A remarkable event at a young age

But I have also read Canoeing the Adirondacks With Nessmuk
 
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I think I'll pass, it would be even harder to trip in, although it might work well against bears.
 
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Glenn and all, I did not intend a polemic attack, and probably had a few beers in me when I wrote that double blade response; the “defensive hint of double blade scorn” would have been better described as “humorous jibes”, examples of which appear above in this very thread. Half the paddle, twice the man, etc.

In real world real/real life I experience my share of double blade schmegging banter from my paddling friends, some of whom would not touch a double blade if their life depended on it. Friend T paddled a loaded Voyager into a fierce headwind while everyone else (all solo canoes) went to a double blade. He, having Pfffttt’ed at double blades for some years since he learned to single stick effectively, stuck with his single despite the obvious effort.

In the obverse friend J has paddled an estimated 60,000 miles, including wilderness trips from northern Canada to Mexico and all across the US. He grew up in a canoe, I have seen him single stick and it is elegant to behold, but as his body has broken down he turns more and more frequently to a double blade.

I regret if any hard feelings were raised by my words. I find myself horrified enough on this day without adding unintentional insult to people I think of as friends.

Fortunately I finally have things to otherwise occupy my hands and mind. Joel is in the shop for his twice yearly boat maintenance and tune up and we have three kayaks under work in the shop, CD Caribou, CD Nomad, Necky Looksha IV HV.

Bottom repairs, skid plate repairs, hatch cover repairs, rudder repairs, skeg work, 1 inch S-glass tape, 2 inch E-glass tape, Dynel, peel ply, West 105/206 and G/flex mixes, one run to the hardware store, two breakfast runs to the diner and my favorite shop partner going full bore in the shop for 48 hours.

In some ways it is still a very good day to be alive.
 
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I regret if any hard feelings were raised by my words. I find myself horrified enough on this day without adding unintentional insult to people I think of as friends.
In some ways it is still a very good day to be alive.

Mike,
I didn't realize that you said something offensive. Why are you horrified? As Fred Rogers used to say, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!" And, everyday is a good day to be alive even when my back and shoulder hurt.

Keep'em comin' man, I enjoy reading your perspective on stuff in general.

Jon
 
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For those committed heart and soul to the single blade I assume you have a spare in your boat.

Someday the wind gods ( the real wind gods, not mans attempt at being a wind god) will blow and you will appreciate your cleverness when you realize that you have duct tape with you. Every tripper has duct tape.
And you overlap the shafts of the singles together and duct tape them together so each end has a blade.

Now admittedly I am old and my memory leaks, but I think I remember some ten years ago on a Okefenokee prairie the wind blew and several single bladers got creative. I do believe one of them was Glenn.

Correct me of course if I am off...
 
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Maybe I've just never paddled in a really strong wind, although I think I have, but I don't have a problem with a single blade in the wind and don't ever recall wanting to trade it for a double in those situations. Back when I used to race kayaks I spent a couple really long days paddling down the Missouri river into a 20-30+ MPH wind with a double bladed paddle and hating it. Not only do you have the resistance of the blade in the water but you've also got the resistance of the wind pushing on the blade that's waving up in the air. After 35 miles or so my shoulder couldn't take it anymore and I swapped the double for a 46" Zav. I dropped ~.2mph but was much more comfortable.

Short and quick strokes, keep the blade feathered and low on the return stroke, and make those switches snappy but hold on tight during the transition so the paddle doesn't get blown out of your hand.

Alan
 
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The other issue in the Okefenokee is the water was not deep enough to immerse a single blade. It was about a foot deep full of weeds. Double blade does way better under these conditions as you only need some six inches of water... Thats also why I double sometimes in the Glades . Not enough depth to sink a single.
Sorry I forgot to mention that.
 
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Back when I used to race kayaks

My goodness, Alan, the truth is out! I'm glad to see you have converted to the true faith though. Keep at it my pal, soon we'll have you back eating meat too!
 
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Oh wow there is no room for bi? and tolerance of swingers? We gotta get Alan out of Manitoba and into the subtropics for the winter.
 
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The other issue in the Okefenokee is the water was not deep enough to immerse a single blade. It was about a foot deep full of weeds. Double blade does way better under these conditions as you only need some six inches of water... Thats also why I double sometimes in the Glades . Not enough depth to sink a single.
Sorry I forgot to mention that.

I am surprised I forgot that as well.

Okefenokee, Everglades, Assateague, Bear Island/Hammocks Beach, other shallow bays and estuaries or simply running over any expansive sand bar or mud flat.

Six inches of water may be enough to float the canoe, but it sucks for single blading.
 
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I'd rather single blade but it literally sucks when the mud sucks the paddle out of your hands and there you sit with it impaled in the mud 15 feet back
 
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in the modern era's tragic, kayak-centric milieu of the Domination of the Double Blade

Despite that Mr. MacGrady's adjectives (and adjectival phrase) do in fact accurately describe many aquatic environs, and lest We of the Single Blade lose all hope for any rising generation of great canoeists, I shall point your SINGULAR attention now to one of KAYAK SESSION'S 2016's short film entries (the irony is lost on no one). Not the standard fare for this forum, so please forgive the odd trajectory this film takes from canoetripping's typical semantic environment. And while the film's title, Making Canoeing Great Again, might lead one to suggest that there was a time when CANOEING (using Mr. MacGrady's possible definition of the term) somehow slipped from greatness, don't let such youthful jesting ruin the joy of rebirth. There is a singular type of pleasure to be had in paddling a canoe as a canoe. A joy that is hard to beat. Whatever water you are on. However young you are. Whatever tragedies have befallen the great American experiment. A joy that is hard to beat.
 
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New guy here...try not to kick the daylights out of me on my first excursion. I have read every post on this thread in one setting and it sort of made my head spin a bit. I have been a single stick paddler for 50 plus years, but make no claim to any expertise. My trips are all flat water, except when I get caught on a big body of water on an angry day and then it is "Tall Water". As time goes on I am finding it harder to con friends and family into making trips with me. Some lame excuses about families and jobs. So I see more solo trips in my future, but do not want to be limited to small water, but do not have an over abundance of confidence in wind and wave solo. I good friend who ONLY travels solo and typically takes 3 week trips always uses a double paddle and claims it is the only sane way to buck a big wind solo. But........he only uses extra long doubles around 9 feet specifically because it lowers the angle of the paddle to work over the 31 inch gunwales of his canoe. It also drastically reduces the drip water in his lap because of the shallower angle.

In all of the posts here, there was never a mention of double blade length. I found that odd.

That being said, I bought a 9' 2" double and have used it a few times on a local lake. When I finally figured out the stroke he described, sort of brushing the water as opposed to burying the blade, I felt like I was flying. Then I measured times up and back the lake with both a single and the double. Times were essentially the same. I have not been out in enough wind to test his belief that it is much easier fighting a headwind with a an extra long double.

Thoughts?

Thanks for any and all opinions.

Regards,

MossBack
 
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In all of the posts here, there was never a mention of double blade length. I found that odd.

Not at all. Too many variables.. Low or High angle? Cab forward or sweepy strokes? Width of boat at gunwales?
Height of paddler? Height of seat?

I am 5'5" have several solos all around 27 inches at the gunwale with a seat height of nine inches to four inches and use a low angle cab forward stroke with the catch part of the blade almost touching the boat far forward and if sitting ending at mid thigh. If kneeling ending before thigh. I use a less than 2 lb carbon fiber paddle of 230 cm. Due to the blade design, the paddle throws no water in the boat..

I think technique has a bit to do with it.. I pause a bit just before the catch of the stroke..

A 280 would have way too much swing weight for a long day on the water for me. That's a lot to hold up.

What the extra long double does have is the capacity to increase the yaw of the craft..Its cadence that counts in the wind..Its hard to have a high cadence with a long shafted paddle.
 
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YC,

Thank You for the reply. I believe I understood all of it except the term "cab" forward stroke? Could you explain please?

Thanks for the education.

Regards,

MossBack
 
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"cab forward" means early termination of the stroke,, It ends ahead of the hip.. the blade never passes the hip. So the forward stroke is short and quick.. something hard to do with a long heavy paddle. This minimizes yaw.
But if you have a long and skinny rockerless boat it probably matters little.. I have boats that have rocker.. Even my trippers have an inch and three quarters in the stern.
 
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Once I used a double blade, and after I got out of the canoe, I promptly pee-d in the river and put my groundsheet on the inside of the tent.
 
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