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Interesting concept

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Good thread. I paddle a lot and like SUP-ing my boats when conditions warrant. I've never poled, though. Steve, do you ever run poling clinics in SW Ontario? (I see you're in Guelph, I live in London.) I'd be up for learning poling from a "poling booster".
 
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Ok...I will just say it. It's a guy thing...." I can just power through this no problem ". For all of us older ladies and less than athletic gentlemen, or even just those with some common sense, this is a marginal idea at best. There is always someone who does the extraordinary. I mean hell, I could put my motor on the front of the boat and use it in reverse and it would work. There is a reason nobody does that and also a reason why you dont see people doing this on a regular basis either.
 
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Time to chime in again.

I agree with much of what Steve has contributed. It's especially true that water scrubs off momentum much more than ice, so each push is, to a large extent, accelerating the canoe from scratch. For that reason, it's necessary to ensure that the poles are planted angled well backwards. This ensures that the beginning of the stroke is most certainly not a pull. Rather, the arms are swinging by the body and pushing backwards. The commentary on the video also mentions that the stronger the current, the steeper this backward angle must be. I haven't done any biomechanical analysis, but have established a technique which feels good, which does not unduly strain me. I too, have an interest in preserving an ever aging body for many adventures yet to come. The original article also acknowledges that this technique will not propel a canoe against as strong a current as will traditional poling: the leverage just isn't there.

The manoeuvring depends to a large extent on hull shape and/or ability to heel. With poles well planted and the boat well heeled, little extra effort is required.My canoe has a relatively long keel line, so the bow is a little slow to respond. More of a rocker would certainly help. This is acknowledged in the journal of my 2013 through-paddle of the NFCT.

A couple of corrections:
Steve - as mentioned in the article and in my previous post, my poles have no straps. You're right - that would be asking for trouble.
Iskweo - I'm hoping your "guy thing" is a tongue-in-cheek comment. Really, as mentioned in my previous post, application of power without technique is likely to cause injury. I love developing technique such that less power is required. I also acknowledge that the strength requirement for this technique may put it out of reach of many. No-one is making it compulsory! And I'm not sure where my apparent lack of common sense comes into this.
Steve - (typing with a smile here - I don't do emojis) surely any successful propulsion of a vessel by means of one of more poles can be called "proper poling"? I know what you mean, but couldn't resist!

I'm in no way trying to undermine traditional poling, which is a beautiful art form as well as an effective means of propulsion when done well (and I wish I were better at it) I'm just trying to share ideas. I suggest trying this technique before judging it. Before consigning it to the file labelled "Arcana", give it a try in gentle conditions. Who knows - you may even find it easier than it seems!
 
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So Otter Creek I am duly chastened for not double checking about the loops on the poles. I don't want to be seen as a poling snob :( (I do some emojis on occasion) I hope you are happy and healthy and double poling for many years to come. I believe that they are way easier to pack and carry than a "proper pole." Cheers to all. As far as poling instruction in Canada one just goes to the Paddle Canada website and go to the "Courses" pull down and then "Find an Instructor." Enter the info and voila!
 
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A quick follow-up ...

I took to the NFCT again last year (2018), but with a difference. This time I through-paddled from Fort Kent ME to Old Forge NY, east to west. That involves something like 120 miles more upstream than downstream. Once more I used this double poling technique to very good effect, except that on the third day I lost a pole (probably snagged by vegetation as I was wading) and couldn't get a replacement until the end of day 13. That's certainly a weakness of the technique - a single pole doesn't work well for double-poling! Still, it took me up several miles of the St John, some of the Allagash, quite a lot of the Connecticut, some of the Nulhegan, and a significant distance up the Saranac. It would have been great to have two poles for the West Branch Penobscot, the Moose and the Dead Rivers, but, alas, I just had to walk when paddling wasn't feasible.

Incidentally, the link given in an earlier post to my previous (2013) through-paddle is now obsolete - my ISP closed down that bit of web-space. Journals of both my through-paddles can be found via http://www.OtterCreekSmallcraft.com.
 
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