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PostPosted: April 5th, 2021, 12:53 pm 
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Joined: March 25th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Thunder Bay
What are the pros and cons and your opinions about using a double blade, kayak style, paddle for solo paddling a tandem canoe?


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PostPosted: April 5th, 2021, 7:50 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1232
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Your blade has to be extra long as you sit so high in a canoe that windmilling tends to be wet. (or sit lower in your canoe)

Keep your blade low and learn to use your torso instead of arms for a more efficient and dry ride.

Another problem with a kayak paddle is that when shit hits the fan you can be overwhelmed with limited stroke options whereas with the paddle you (can) have many strokes at your disposal.

I'm gonna suggest to skip the speed and easiness of the kayak paddle for a single blade.
You can take credible lessons or learn the strokes yourself by reading the paddling bible "Path of the Paddle" by Bill Mason.
The video version is available on the nfb.ca website.

Nothing beats the feeling of keeping the paddle continuously in the water and still being able to make the canoe do whatever you want without thinking. It's a real connection to the water and your surroundings.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 7:13 am 
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Joined: April 16th, 2019, 9:44 am
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I bring both when I go out solo. I prefer the single blade, personally, and I use it most of the time (when fishing, or if I'm just going out for a paddle). I use the double blade if my goal is to cover some distance quickly. As others have mentioned, the double blade tends to make for a wet ride.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 7:42 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
With a double blade unless you have practiced a LOT it is hard to place your boat exactly where you want it. I disagree that you need an extra long double blade. A 240 suffices if you are soloing from the backwards on the bow seat position. Its the same width as a dedicated solo. No one usually solos a tandem from the actual center of the boat in which case you would need longer than is practical.

Kayakers have moved to shorter paddles now and can do snap stern draws but it requires a lot of torso rotation and a high paddle angle. Wind can therefore be your enemy. Snap stern draws are the only way you can get a boat to line up again perpendicular to following stern seas or that dreaded quartering stern wind. Its easier with a single blade.

Yes with high angle double blading for precise boat placement you would best wear raingear.

I taught single blade FreeStyle canoeing for years and with a single blade I can place that boat wherever I want within an inch using boat heel and placing the paddle right next to the boat. You can imagine its way harder with a double. ( I taught kayaking too and could never do those bow jams that are so handy with a single blade)


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 8:03 am 
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Joined: May 5th, 2020, 7:08 am
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I've done it once and would recommend a longer shaft. I'm have a Souris River Q16 and mostly used a single blade except to battle head winds on larger lakes to keep up with another tandem pair. I think the type of canoe and your size is a big factor. Personally, I hated it and would often switch back to my otter tail even in the heavy winds. Have you considered a bent shaft paddle instead?

Pro: You might gain a little more distance on larger lakes
Con: Awkward, kinda boring, you get wet


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 3:08 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 2080
Location: Manitoba
More difficult to steer/No rudder on the canoe
Limited stroke options
Can't switch side (rest/different muscles/preferred side given wind conditions, etc.)
Get wet from drips
Extra expense (probably still going to bring a canoe paddle)
Heavier paddle (given that it's longer and has two blades)
Learn a new skill could be a con or pro
More efficient/Faster
More balanced muscle usage
Taller paddle for a tarp etc.

_________________
Brian
http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca

 


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 9:35 pm 
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Joined: September 11th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Sudbury, Ontario Canada
Kayak paddle can be useful in the right circumstances.

Used one on the last couple days of a river trip in Labrador. All three of us were solo in tandem canoes on the open Labrador Sea miles from the mainland; lots of rain, wind and big waves. We needed the extra push of two blades, couldn’t have done some of the island hopping to minimize our time on open water with a single blade.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 10:42 pm 
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Joined: November 16th, 2007, 1:11 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Mid-coast Maine
Every tool has a purpose. A kayak paddle is a kayak paddle. But a double-blade built for canoeing is a useful tool to have in your toolbox (boat). 9' doubleblades were available at one point from Carlisle, Mohawk, etc. I had one custom made by Accent with a carbon shaft and clipped spoon blades that breaks down into 2 pieces. When paddling a large canoe solo, the doubleblade can make a lot of difference. You can have your otter tail and paddle into the wind and keep looking at the same tree next to you that isn't moving, or you can break out the double, put your head down, and make some time. It is not the paddle to make super technical moves with. But if you want to knock out 30 clicks in a day in a stiff headwind, bring a doubleblade. Fine for cruising through nontechnical CII/III water, too. I bring 3 paddles - my preferred single blade, my backup single blade and a double blade. Mohawk makes an interchangeable T grip that turns half a double blade into a single if you really are concerned with the extra pound or two. Play around with one, you'll find it invaluable once you start carrying it. Makes for a good center pole under a tarp, too, as someone else pointed out. And if you have drip rings and the correct length, you won't get terribly wet. On a pool/drop river, I'll switch back and forth between single and double blades all day - takes about 10 seconds to stow one and grab the other.
Bottom line, having one gives you more speed & more versatility.

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"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - WATER RAT, The Wind in the Willows


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 12:13 pm 
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Joined: March 25th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Thunder Bay
Thanks to everyone for comments. Lots of varying opinions that I’ll need to sort through for my own situation. I guess I should try to borrow a double blade and see how it works for me. As to the getting wet issue I happened to see a couple of intesting solutions while researching double blades. One is a product called never wet that does not allow water to adhere to the blade and therefore no drips. The other was a piece of 2 inch duct tape hanging from the near end of the blade that directs the water outside the boat.


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 1:01 pm 
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Joined: September 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
Posts: 637
Hope I'm not too late. Confession - I have been using a double blade as my primary means of propulsion in solo canoe tripping for the past 30 years.

I use a 260 cm Bending Branches Slice in my 32" beam, 29" gunnels Swift Raven. You don't want to go shorter in a tandem. If you're getting wet, your paddle is too short.

I don't see this "limited stroke options" issue. I have, on both sides, forward stroke, reverse, forward sweep, reverse sweep, bow draw (duffek), and straight draw. I also have a low and high brace on both sides - to have any offside brace from near centre in a wide tandem you would have to be much taller and more flexible than I am. The double blade also allows powerful front and back ferries in shallow rocky rapids where it's hard to get a vertical plant with a single blade.

The notion that a shorter paddle (lever) will give you more power to straighten your boat in a quartering wind strikes me as strange - I'd like to see the equation for that one.

You can also choose to paddle feathered or not feathered, depending on the wind and how your carpal tunnels (my first reason for trying the double blade) are feeling on any given day.

For technical maneuvering where the water is deep enough for a vertical paddle plant, the lighter, shorter single blade is easier to manage, and I always carry a single blade for such situations and as a spare.

In the end, you should do what you enjoy, and what works best in a given situation. Canoeing is an avocation, not a religion. You should also feel free to travel as quickly, or slowly, as you may like; to fish and photograph or not; to cook for gourmet or "food as fuel" on the fire or stove of your choice; and to travel alone or with others as you prefer. The fact that others do things differently does not mean they are wrong.

End of rant.

jmc


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