Poll: What percent of the time do you use a double blade paddle solo?

Poll: What percent of the time do you use a double blade paddle solo?

  • Never

    Votes: 70 72.9%
  • 25%

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • 50%

    Votes: 6 6.3%
  • 75%

    Votes: 6 6.3%
  • Always

    Votes: 10 10.4%

  • Total voters
    96
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YC! Clobbering lobster out from shore is an amusing image. Worth the effort I'm sure! Eventual yum
 
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So Yellowcanoe, are you saying beer is bad, or good?

Most beer is bad.. No flavor or too hoppy.. Your beer of choice Mem unfortunately falls into the Old MIlwaukee camp. The beer version of Ripple
Mast Landing beer is good very good. Grateful Grain New England IPA is great. Penobscot Brewing WIldfire Rauchbier great. Foundation Burnside great.
 
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In these times of infrequent trips to the liquor store, all beer has become good to my palate, hippy beers included. I was once a snob to snob beers, preferring my working class swill, but will now venture into beers that have four words in their names, if they are given to me. 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. Kayak paddle, not so much, even if someone gives me one, it will probably sit in the garage beside the ever growing mountain of empty beer cans (beer store isn't taking empties in this covid time).
 
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I've been a beer snob for a while. I started making my own at home several years ago, but then there came so many really good microbrews to try made not far away that I fell away from doing home brew so much. Then I went to Europe where my son was stationed both in Germany and Poland. In Germany he was next to the Belgium border where beer is the finest IMO. Further spoiling me was visiting Ireland and Scotland. Back Home I sought out similar commercial brews at large beverage outlets.

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.
 
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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.

Are you my husband?;)
You both must have learned those lines from the same teacher.
 
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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.

This isn't quite true. I would never give away a carbon paddle. In return I got a whole box full of stuff including a rusty knife and a half worn out canvas pack. I can't remember what the other stuff was at the moment but I remember the knife and the pack because I still use them and smile every time I do. It was a good trade.

I'm pretty sure Mem also has a custom paddle sock for it. Or maybe I was supposed to keep that secret?

Alan
 
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Ha ha, it was really funny, I believe the whole crew canoetripping crew hd jut showed up for the Marshall lake trip, and the paddle sock came in the mail. I hope you don't mind Alan, but it is the perfect sock for my single shot 12 gauge, I bring it along whenever I think I might be out after dark.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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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.

Absolutely correct, Al.

That was my point about trying to become ambidextrous as a single blade correction stroke paddler, at least for propulsion and some turning strokes. If you're in an on-side quartering or beam wind and you continue to paddle on that side, your C's, J's and stern pries will need to become Herculean and will slow your canoe. And slowing the canoe is the exact opposite of what you want for stability and directional control in those conditions; you want velocity. The only way to do that is to have the skill and confidence to switch sides and paddle on the lee side of the canoe.

Confidence. A confident mental state. These psychological attributes are crucial for the aggressiveness needed in tough paddling conditions -- whether it's scary hard whitewater, big wind lakes when you can't beach, the boiling waters of the ocean, or the diminished strength and stamina of old age. If you anticipate facing these tough conditions, and the best way for you to remain mentally confident is to use a double blade, then it makes eminent sense to do so.

However, I still make the aspirational argument based on long experience and observation: One can acquire the requisite single blade skills to be confident in those tough paddling situations, at least when young and strong and without disability, and and an open canoe newbie should aspire to do so.
 
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Just got back from my first paddle of the year.

R3xE0yv.jpg



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.

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
 
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Against a stiff breeze I find myself doing an in-water recovery stroke with a palm roll quite often. It lends to easing into draws and C strokes as quite effective for direction control and forward motion. Best to have a thin blade with a sharp taper in the edges to move through the water by easily slicing through the water.
 
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I know it's hard to see the scale of the paddles, because your attention is drawn to the fugly paddle, and it seems to be all you can see, but look closely, Mike's post is really a pretty good joke.
 

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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. I had no problem controlling the canoe in moderate rapids and winds, using either on-side correction strokes, for which the animal tail paddle was better, or sit & switch strokes, for which the pizza paddle was was easier to flip.

NOOw5f8.jpg
 
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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.

Glenn, if we ever manage to paddle together remind me to bring those paddles. I want a photo op of you and me using them.

BTW, I found the top hand grip works well using just thumb and index finger. You may feel free to extend your pinkie for added elegance.
 
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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? :D
 
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An elegant retort. Was that intentional? :D

Moi? Intentionally tongue in cheek retorting Mem’s experimental double blade paddling trial, using a high angle 220cm kayak double in an open canoe?

I would only do such a thing if I was certain that Memaquay had a sense of humor.

God bless Mem, and anyone else with a sense of humor, or at least a live-and-let-live attitude.
 
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