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#156558 - 11/01/11 12:37 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: alanwenker]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
Fellow paddleheads,

Great to hear from people who know canoes. The debate about solo paddling styles has raged for centuries. In Maine, the most extreme style has emerged where some people paddle on the same side of the boat for their whole careers, not just for 10 minutes at a time. It seems excessive, but it surely helps with technique.

I have paddled solo with other boats many times, but have yet to try an overnight trip alone. The C stroke has worked well, but the boat needs to be trimmed by moving the dunnage, self, and dogs around. Weight forward in a headwind, weight, aft in following wind. Kayak paddles work, but do not feel right. They can provide impulsion to keep up with tandem paddlers.

In traditional boats, turning the boat around and paddling from the bow seat has been the accepted standard method. Many new canoes however, are asymmetrical and much slower paddled backwards. Please keep up the lively discussion.

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#156583 - 11/01/11 08:02 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: ppine]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
ppine,

Interesting the extreme style you mention... paddling only on one side. I am most comfortable paddling on my left. In fact, it is so preferable, I will paddle on that side for all but the rare occurrence if/when the circumstance requires it.

I learned technique over years of paddling. The basics from my father, the rest from experience and experiments. I remember reading about specific strokes and I didn't know what the person was talking about, but when the stroke was described (or shown) I realized it was one I have been using for years. I just didn't know it had a name!

As far as solo tripping, there is a dedicated forum just for it... solotripping.com All about solo canoe tripping.
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#156635 - 11/02/11 12:54 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: DTape]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
Dtape,

Most of the good paddling technique we read about in books, Canadian stroke, J stroke, Minn swithc, etc. has all evolved from people who live in canoes.

A great story comes to mind when a couple of Candaians decided to paddle across Canada back in the 1980s. They built a 20 foot expedition stripper tripper and had paddled for several months when they showed at the big race in Flim Flam, Manitoba. They took off with lots of confidence, but disappeared in the wakes of people who have spent their whole lives in canoes. The only way to get good in a canoe, is to paddle one for thousands of hours.


Edited by ppine (11/02/11 12:55 PM)

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#156722 - 11/03/11 07:03 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: ppine]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I've seen exposition Canadian Stroke where the person sat on one gunwale so that it had maybe a inch of freeboard and was radically tilted. This creates a very tiny and short footprint on the water and allows the boat to do things like a 360 degree turn without pulling your paddle out of the water. Its hard and you can get wet practicing, but its pretty much just for show like most skulling.

I figured when I could paddle a solo canoe fast, straight and with an aggressive rythmic stroke for a mile or so, then I could claim to have mastery over it. After mastering the solo canoe and C stroke I began using only a perfectly straight stroke, but I rotate the blade in my hands, as the paddle moves through the water, to simulate the thrust dynamics of a "J" or "C" or anyother stroke... A symetrical wood paddle with about half an inch of thickness has the correct "lift" for flying through water, thin plastic blades have no Lift.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#156765 - 11/04/11 12:29 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: Jimshaw]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
You are describing freestyle canoeing which is really interesting and a great to improve ones own skills. I think your solo technique can be described as a Canadian stroke.

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#156786 - 11/04/11 04:55 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
After mastering the solo canoe and C stroke I began using only a perfectly straight stroke, but I rotate the blade in my hands, as the paddle moves through the water


I was taught that by a local outfitter. After many trips with my wife, where I struggled to keep the boat straight by changing sides with my paddle, he came cruising by me one day with his wife in the front on the boat sitting there like Queen Nefertiti just enjoying the view and him casually paddling on one side of the boat and keeping it straight as an arrow, and turning where he wanted to go, I asked him how he did it. He gave two great pieces of advice:

"Tell your wife to keep her paddle in the boat." and "Learn to twist the paddle at the end of your stroke to steer the boat".

The really hard part was (and still is) getting that first piece of advice to work. laugh
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#156787 - 11/04/11 05:12 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: billstephenson]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
That story brought me a smile Bill.

_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#156812 - 11/04/11 10:51 PM Re: solo canoeing [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I always told my wife that if she turned around and rode topless I'd do the paddling. grinI guess years of experience paddling two people in a small canoe put a little power into my stroke - and I reach deep too... I mean I like long paddles. smile

With all do respect even a weak bow paddler is a great help if you are an accomplished sternman, and her (his) added power is always nice going into a wind. You simply rotate your paddle to balance the combined forces of wind, wave, bow paddler and the thrust of your own paddle. As long as the bow person pulls pretty much straight back it works.

An aside - we took out our 16 footer which is pretty heavy and beamy and took a friend on her first canoe ride. She nearly swamped us right out of the shore. I wouldn't let her paddle and my wife and I were both on extreme balance mode just to stay upright in the water. I stayed really close to the shore so we could walk it if we flipped, and after about ten minutes she got enough canoe balance that we paddled out into the lake and she even paddled a bit.

I had a canoe sink right out from under me in class 4 water, and it was crushed by a sweeper log, while I lept and practiced walking (running) on water to the shore... crazy Other than that I've never swamped a canoe, but once I was in it when my wife decided to step on the gunwal as she got out.
Jim smile
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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