Ever since the 6 weeks of training in the canoe for the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic I’ve been a little bit crazy about canoing. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but I seem to have really fallen in love with the fun that can be had in a canoe and I’ve been pondering ways to ramp up my canoe adventures and in particular, keep practicing my canoe strokes.
I thought I’d trial using the canoe paddle with my sea kayak. There’s a great deal of evidence that shows that the Inuit very often paddled with a one blade canoe-style paddle, so I figured it must be something that should work out. Of course, it would seem that the Inuit using such blades had kayaks that tracked far better than mine, as I found myself zig-zagging across the harbour despite various attempts at regular switching and J-strokes! I came to the conclusion that it might work with a ruddered boat, but not all that well with a skeg boat. Have a look and let me know what you think! Cheers – FP
A canoe paddle was definately used in some areas instead of a kayak paddle. The Bark Canoe and Skin Boats of North America notes that kayaks built in several areas of Alaska were paddling with a single blade paddle. In addition to using a canoe paddle, in some, the passengers sat back-to-back.
I’m waiting to see you do the later in your boat. 🙂
Gee – I think that was pretty good going – though I can see you are having to put in some effort to keep it straight. When I had my lesson with SHK at the Spit, I could not paddle in a straight line at all – zigzagged each stroke! It seems my curved/scoop-like (olympic type)paddle is not suited to my chunky sit on kayak (which can do a complete circle on the spot!) The instructor said they were for those super thin long sleek kayaks. So, I am going to have to trade it in for the basic normal paddle!
Hi Sue. That’s right about your wing paddle, its not going to be much good with your SOT kayak. You can get a really nice carbon-fibre (ie very light!) Euro blade (the standard type) from SHK at a pretty reasonable cost. I’d suggest the Archipel by Boreal Design – its a smaller blade but nice and easy to use. Enjoy your paddles! Cheers – FP
I think your were doing great. Try it with a shorter paddle and keep at it and you’ll get better at going straight. I really like the single blade as something to use at the end of long days or if the wind is coming strong from one side of the boat.
I do like it more in a boat with a rudder but I use in in skeg boats as well.
J-strokes work fine on my Seda Impulse 18, but it tracks very straight.