So Yellowcanoe, are you saying beer is bad, or good?
When I go to a restaurant and the waitress comes over to ask if I want a drink, I will tell her one of two things. Don't ever mention the word "light" to me in your list of beers, and If I can see through it, I don't want it.
Much like paddles, I would never have tried a carbon fibre paddle, until Alan gave me one, and in this new era of trying new things, I am going to actually use it this summer.
And some purists only paddle from one side their whole lives. do what ever you want.
I hope not, they'd be C&J stroking their butt off every time a good wind was coming from their paddle side.
Just got back from my first paddle of the year.
Took the Raven. You will notice that there is a DDB in the canoe. First time ever.
I put the DDB together and started flailing down the river. It was not a pleasant experience. Water flying everywhere, paddles up over my head, drips raining down on my head.
So on the way back, I was paddling into the wind, upstream. I thought this would be the perfect time for the DDB to shine, but I was disappointed. Alan described what I experienced perfectly, as the wind was fairly strong. Switched back to the single and life was good again.
So I gave it a whirl, but won't be trying it again. Just didn't like it, took away from my serenity mostly I guess. If I want to go fast I'll just take the freighter and a motor.
Since I have the same two paddles as Mr. McCrea, I broke quarantine and used them in one of my old river boats on my local Housatonic River.
Memaquay’s trial of a double blade in his Raven got me thinking that I should try the same thing in one of our solo canoes, heading out with no double blade crutch to lean on, just a couple of single blades so I had no choice.
I took the Mohawk Odyssey, a 14’ river solo that does well with an active blade, and two different straight shaft single blades; a long slender Guide stick, made by my friend NT, and a shorter more standard single paddle I DIY’ed some years ago.
To be certain I was doing everything correctly I watched a few paddling instructional videos, refreshing my single blade memories. By the time I launched I felt positively Mason-esque in technique.
I will admit that, with attention to proper technique, I did not experience near the amount of wrist pain and fatigue as usual, and had very few paddle drips in the canoe. However I had nowhere near the top speed I could achieve with a double blade, so Brad may be right about that.
Catching eddies did prove more problematic for me than with my usual double blade, I nearly flipped when my brace proved ineffective. I may simply need more single blade practice, or instruction.
The real disappointment was paddling back into the wind, actually just a light breeze. With either of the single blades I was struggling to make any progress. I was wishing I could inelegantly go splish-splash on alternating sides, but, again, that is probably just my lack of proper single blade technique.
So I gave dedicated single blading a whirl. Not sure what I did wrong, but if nothing else this experiment convinced me to bring both a double blade and a single blade on every trip.
You will notice that the two single blades in the canoe are quite different in length and shape, which didn’t seem to make much difference.
P5030003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
An elegant retort. Was that intentional?