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   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Is my paddeling style unconventional?     

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12/16/2016 02:29PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
All,
I normally do a long stroke with sort of a C stroke, and actually go under my canoe a little, the whole stroke is sort of my correction.
Any thoughts on my C stroke? Good, bad, any suggestions?
I do not know how I got to using the C stroke, not sure if I read it here, or if I just evolved using it.

I am also not very ambidextrous.
I can pretty much only do a J stroke or C stroke from the right side of the canoe, if I go to the left I am very inefficient. (I can paddle OK from the left side, but not using the J or C stroke.
I paddle an Old Town Pack, 12.5 feet long, with the seat moved about 8" to the stern from where the manufacturer put it. I use ballast in the bow so I do not paddle in circles, I have 52 &54" bent shaft paddles.
This is the best pic that shows my canoe and seat. I have since removed the front thwart.
Linden
 
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12/16/2016 04:36PM  
No more unconventional than my style.
I paddle for the fun of it not to perfect any particular style. Not intending to denigrate trained paddlers, I just prefer to move my canoe in the most efficient and controllable manner I can with the gear I use.
I was informed I use a "goofy J stroke" before I knew what a J stroke was. I welcome any tips or corrections, yet reserve my implementation to that which works for me.

Kind of like my fly-fishing, still do not know what X tippet I'm using, and make my own hand tied leaders because they work better for me than store bought tapered leaders.

Paddle on and have fun!

butthead
 
sedges
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12/16/2016 08:48PM  
Unconventional is not important. Inability to get yourself out of a jam is important. Paddling on only one side with only one stroke in your toolbox limits your ability to respond to a sudden shift in wind or wave conditions. It also limits how hard you can paddle over time. Even with only one stroke, being able to change sides rests muscles and also allows at least a minimal response to changing conditions.

You can learn to do your unconventional stroke on your left side. It takes concentration and time. Adding paddling styles to your toolbox will let you get even more enjoyment from your canoe travel. On a long day on the water I will use a bunch of different styles using different sets of muscles in different ways. It has a big impact on how I feel at the end of the day!
 
12/16/2016 09:52PM  
Try a short kayak paddle. We do what works for us. I'm guessing you pretty good at your technique, your good. But I'd suggest you play with your weak side some to get more proficient anyway when you can.
 
12/17/2016 05:58PM  
I've done 20+ miles a day in this boat on a few occasions, but it's tough.
I think alot of my style relates to the boat being short and its rocker.
I do not use the C stroke soloing in other canoes.
I agree that it is good to have more paddling strokes in the tool box and will work on my weak side.

BlueskiesWI, any advice? You paddled my canoe in AK.
 
12/17/2016 08:28PM  
Don't take this wrong Linden. Have you tried other solo canoes? The OT Pack line is not exactly known for efficient paddling, or handling.

butthead
 
12/17/2016 08:34PM  
quote butthead: "Don't take this wrong Linden. Have you tried other solo canoes? The OT Pack line is not exactly known for efficient paddling, or handling.


butthead"




My thoughts too... 20 miles in that boat would be a chore.
 
12/17/2016 08:34PM  
quote butthead: "Don't take this wrong Linden. Have you tried other solo canoes? The OT Pack line is not exactly known for efficient paddling, or handling.


butthead"




My thoughts too... 20 miles in that boat would be a chore.
 
12/18/2016 11:43AM  
quote butthead: "Don't take this wrong Linden. Have you tried other solo canoes? The OT Pack line is not exactly known for efficient paddling, or handling.
butthead"


Don't worry, I will not get "butt hurt" with your suggestion ;-)
I am definitely planning on getting another boat when I move back from AK and do more BW trips.

I am seriously looking at the Ally Flatwater 15.5 foot folding canoe. ~2,200 bucks including shipping.
39# and I can use it as a solo or tandem with my wife.
I wouldn't be surprised if I buy it this spring, I want to do a solo in Woodtickchick State Park north of Dillingham soon. The park is off the road system and I can take it on the plane with me to get there.
Ally canoe I am about to buy.
 
12/18/2016 02:51PM  
Linden, try before you buy. If at all possible beg borrow and even look closely at similar dimension-ed canoes. Multi purpose is often usable but not necessarily fun to use. Try to get some seat on the water experience with as many as you can. The experience may change your desire/vale ratio.
Canoecopia is in the spring with LOTS of canoes to look at and discuss with other paddlers and makers (including pack/folding canoes/kayaks). Dan Cooke often sponsors canoe nites near the TwinCities, swaping canoes for trial is encouraged.
Even Wingnite get togethers often offer try-outs of a variety. Mine sure has.

Not trying to steer you from a collapsible, or a dual purpose, it's that for me the more canoe styles I paddled, the easier my decision on the solo I use primarily. And it wasn't what I thought I wanted.

butthead
 
12/18/2016 04:16PM  
quote butthead: "Linden, try before you buy.
butthead"


Good advice,
I will see what I can do, but it will be tough for me to try one out. I go to Ak at the beginning of March, I may not go to Woodtickchick SP until 2018 so maybe I can wait to buy one, and that will give me time to try one out. I can also rent one there from an outfitter.
I'm guessing it would be a pretty decent tandem canoe, so at worst, if I did not like it for a solo I could purchase a true solo later. (I'm sure the wife would shake her head if I got another canoe, that would make our number of canoes around 5-6, we have 4 now, but are selling one, and I would sell my Old Town Pack)
There are a fair amount of the Ally river canoes in AK, but have not seen any flat water canoes up here yet. I looked at one Ally river canoe last summer but didn't try it out.
 
12/18/2016 05:14PM  
Have fun shopping and checking out the canoes. I enjoyed my search.
The canoe probably dictates the paddling style, in my opinion.

butthead
 
12/18/2016 05:14PM  
Have fun shopping and checking out the canoes. I enjoyed my search.
The canoe probably dictates the paddling style, in my opinion.

butthead
 
Minnesotian
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12/18/2016 05:20PM  
quote LindenTree3: "
I am also not very ambidextrous.
I can pretty much only do a J stroke or C stroke from the right side of the canoe, if I go to the left I am very inefficient. (I can paddle OK from the left side, but not using the J or C stroke.
I paddle an Old Town Pack, 12.5 feet long, with the seat moved about 8" to the stern from where the manufacturer put it.
Linden "


I agree with what others have said, in that your are probably using that particular stroke to compensate for that canoe. I paddle a Vagabond, and at 14'6" that is the shortest I will go with a canoe.

However, I can go all day paddeling that canoe because I can switch sides equally. My right side is a bit stronger and my left side has a bit more finesse. But it is key to know how to paddle on both sides of your canoe, for all day paddeling and to make sure your workout is balanced. You don't want to wear out your right should prematurely.

I suggest watching Bill Mason Solo Basic video. I watched this particular video many times until I felt comfortable solo canoeing.
 
pswith5
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12/18/2016 06:29PM  
I see in that ally ad they reference 'freshwater' . I wonder if that means it isn't recommended for saltwater. I would also be nervous about toughness against rocks. I have no experience in Ak but would imagine lake size and wind might be high. Too bad you are going before canoecopia, I remember these canoes there last year. Good luck, pete
 
12/21/2016 09:08AM  
It's amazing all of the subtle variations in strokes people have. I teach scouts canoeing and spend most of my time in the stern so I get to feel all the different micro bursts of propulsion from individuals. And as others have said, each individual's stroke can effect various canoes differently. I feel equally comfortable J-stroking from each side but tend to spend more time on the right. On some long trips my right wrist gets sore so instead of pulling the J I will push out at the end of my stroke. I feel equally strong with each stroke and sometimes I don't even consciously know which I'm using.
 
jcavenagh
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12/22/2016 02:36PM  
quote AmarilloJim: " I feel equally strong with each stroke and sometimes I don't even consciously know which I'm using."
I believe that is a state approaching nirvana... ;-)
 
12/22/2016 04:09PM  
quote jcavenagh: "quote AmarilloJim: " I feel equally strong with each stroke and sometimes I don't even consciously know which I'm using."
I believe that is a state approaching nirvana... ;-)"


I had to re-read the post, the second half brought tears to my eyes, and made my gut
hurt. But I digress. ;-)
 
ockycamper
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12/22/2016 05:30PM  
I paddle a Wenonah Wildnerness. . .15 1/2 feet. I take both a kayak paddle and a bent shaft. . .find I can make better time with the bent shaft and using a J stroke.

I used to have a Wenonah Voyager. . .17 1/2 feet. Wish I kept it. Man could that boat fly.

Keeping a canoe on a straight line is as much about length and rocker as the paddle stroke. Canoes with rocker are for rivers. Open water, you want length and zero rocker if you are wanting to turn some miles.
 
12/29/2016 08:02PM  
Many of us I assume are self taught meaning most of us probably develop a few bad habits that either had to be be unlearned . To the OP, I say a C stroke is not really a good forward paddle stroke. Remember the majority of the paddle stroke should be used to move the canoe in the desired direction. A C stroke to go forward is using only a small part of the stroke for going forward which would be the middle part. The last part of the C is correcting the slight draw stroke you're doing the beginning of the C. I would suggest you learn a good J stroke. Some great videos out there and have someone video you while you paddle. It's a great tool
 
12/31/2016 12:51PM  
Is mine unconventional? Found a few videos of my solo paddling style------

Getting in from Glimmerglass
Paddling Clark
straight shaft Gov. Dodge
bent shaft Gov. Dodge

butthead
 
01/01/2017 11:46AM  
Nothing unconventional. The only things I see that that I would do different. Plant your paddle a little more forward by twisting at the waist a bit. This gets your abdominal muscle more into play. When you switch side on the sit and switch technique again plant your paddle more forward than you are. It gets you more bang for your buck on your first stroke after the switch. I also noticed when paddling on your right side sometimes your top hand is inside the canoe rather than more over the bottom hand.
 
01/01/2017 11:52AM  
Thanks all for your help.
I think from reading your replies that my C stroke is used to compensate for my short canoe and it's Rocker. It's a river canoe.
I'm looking forward to getting rid of it, bet I could 500 for it in AK.
I'm pretty good with my J stroke from the right side, and will work on it with my left side. I do not use the C stroke in other canoes, and I can't remember how my left side J stroke works in other canoes, it could be a weakness also attributed to my Old Town Pack. It's tough to Paddle. Think I'll try a double blade soon as well.
Linden
 
paddlinjoe
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01/11/2017 04:05PM  
No matter what canoe you get when you return to Minnesota, it won't come with the same beautiful mountain view as your Old Town Pack. I have an uncle who only paddles on the right side of the canoe because of a shoulder injury. If it works, it works.

 
mastertangler
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01/12/2017 06:20AM  
quote butthead: "Is mine unconventional? Found a few videos of my solo paddling style------


Getting in from Glimmerglass
Paddling Clark
straight shaft Gov. Dodge
bent shaft Gov. Dodge


butthead"


Hey those are neat videos. I will have to make some for myself like that. I keep forcing myself to use the Go-Pro as it seems all I do with it is just lug it around after spending a pile of dough on the thing. Nice! Like your boats BTW.
 
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