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Whatsit
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01/09/2017 09:24AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Hi
I've been reading a lot of Cliff Jacobson's books on canoeing. Anyways, he really puts his point across that the only way to paddle while soloing is to do the C stroke. Well I normally do the J stroke and I don't seem to have any issues. Others I've read say if you do anything but the Canadian stroke you will burn yourself out right away. I guess I'm wondering what kind of stroke do you veteran soloist do while soloing?
Thanks
Mike
 
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01/09/2017 09:58AM  
If I need to get across the lake fast I'll do the Sit and switch (marathon stroke) it goes by many aliases. But just cruising along I'll use a J stroke. I've paddled a Vagabond,Advantage, Canak, J200 marathon canoe, all Wenonahs always with a carbon bent shaft. I will use a Kayak paddle with the Canak
 
Banksiana
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01/09/2017 10:03AM  
Choice depends on your canoe, physical capability and body structure, type of paddle, posture (sit or kneel) etc. I have a straight tracking dedicated solo with a center mounted seat (Wenonah Advantage) and rely exclusively on a bent shaft paddle. I switch sides (hit and switch) , usually about 5 or 6 strokes per side. Rarely (if ever) use a j stroke and never c stroke (why expend energy (with j or c) to slow your canoe down?).
 
Tony
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01/09/2017 10:14AM  
usually I will use the sit and switch. Generally three stroke per side depending on the wind. I have tried the others but this is the one I found works best for me.

tony
 
01/09/2017 10:24AM  
I used a kayak paddle for a few trips in my solo canoe and it's great on big water. My last trip I did the sit and switch every 4-6 strokes with a new lightweight carbon bentshaft. I liked it very much and will stick with that until I can afford a carbon yak paddle.

I most likely wont bring a yak paddle on a solo unless I know I'll be on a lot of big water a lot of the time.

 
01/09/2017 10:35AM  
Not meaning to bust your bubble but CJ is not the know all end all of canoeing. What he does is good for his situation, but not necessarily the best for all canoeists or situations.
Paddle the way that suits you and your gear, you'll enjoy it more!

butthead
 
Whatsit
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01/09/2017 10:42AM  
I'll be renting a wenonah solo Kevlar canoe. I've never been in one before so it will be a first the moment my solo starts. As I said above, I normally do a J stroke in my tandem soloing.
Mike
 
Whatsit
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01/09/2017 10:44AM  
quote butthead: "Not meaning to bust your bubble but CJ is not the know all end all of canoeing. What he does is good for his situation, but not necessarily the best for all canoeists or situations.
Paddle the way that suits you and your gear, you'll enjoy it more!


butthead"

I agree 100% with you. That's why I was asking what you all did. I'm too old to get offended by things like this, so butthead never worry :-)
I do a J stroke with a bentshaft paddle soloing, which is everything CJ says not to do. But I'm trying to read up on everything canoeing during this long winter. CJ has a lot of canoeing books out there and I've ordered a lot of things them, thus the reason I may be quoting him a lot lately. I've also been reading about Bill Mason and he's great too.
Mike
 
01/09/2017 12:34PM  
Which Wenonah model? Most likely you'll be sit and switching, honing single side paddling will come later.

For what it's worth, my big paddle stroke contribution is,
"I'd rather paddle in ignorant bliss, than be arrogantly informed." (has been used as a members quote in the past). But that's the irreverent person I am!

butthead
 
GraniteCliffs
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01/09/2017 01:45PM  
Most of the time I am a hit and switch guy. If I am purposely just meandering along a shoreline or feeling a little lazy I might revert to the J stroke but I don't like the idea that I am slowing myself down some when using a J stroke----and causing me more work---if I do.
 
MacCamper
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01/09/2017 01:52PM  
When not moving on big water or into the wind with my double blade, most often I like the J but sometimes find myself slipping into a Canadian or C style. Only in tight creeks will I do a hit and switch. My boat is an original Merlin model cedar strip that tracks on a snap line. That said, I have yet to be critiqued on the lake and tend to "just paddle" until I get to my destination, with little focus on style points. Many would consider my stroke techniques inconsistent, yet somehow I manage to traverse successfully to my intended destination without being too tuckered out.

A thought I do gravitate to, is balancing the number of strokes per side over the course of a day. I favor my left side, but like to condition my right equally so will switch, or try to switch, every fifteen minutes or so.

Mac
 
Whatsit
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01/09/2017 02:38PM  
quote butthead: "Which Wenonah model? Most likely you'll be sit and switching, honing single side paddling will come later.


For what it's worth, my big paddle stroke contribution is,
"I'd rather paddle in ignorant bliss, than be arrogantly informed." (has been used as a members quote in the past). But that's the irreverent person I am!


butthead"

Hi butthead
This is the info from the outfitter

We-no-nah Solo Kevlar (36 lbs) $30.00

Why do you say mostly sit and switch, because it's very difficult to steer sitting in the middle of the canoe?
Just wondering
Mike
 
01/09/2017 04:35PM  
Just easier. Comes naturally to first time solo paddlers, after they get their ballance!
paddling style some examples of lazy paddling here.

butthead
 
01/09/2017 06:34PM  
For years I soloed with a small tandem canoe paddled from the bow facing backwards. Two years ago I bought a Northstar Northwind solo. It tracks very well and I have basically switched to the hit and switch method unless I'm just loafing along.

It simply is more efficient with less wasted effort in a straight tracking solo canoe. But I still love loafing along using a variety of strokes.
 
01/09/2017 09:16PM  
Just a word on Hit and Switch (Sit and Switch...) If you choose to do this. Two common mistakes
1) While switching sides make sure you plant your paddle far enough forward( where you would normally plant your paddle during a normal stroke. I see a lot of people planting their paddle some where in the middle of the stroke resulting in a weak first stroke on the new side.
2) Don't drag your paddle at the end of the stroke. Pull your paddle out when your lower hand gets even with your hip. This may feel too soon, but going any further back will slow you down. The forward stroke and recovery is all one motion. Recover with the blade horizontal to the water. The stroke and recover should eventually be quite with little water splashing
 
DanCooke
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01/09/2017 09:24PM  
You asked what Strokes I use for solo paddling in the BWCAW. When paddling hulls that I enjoy the most, it is usually J stroke, C if I need more correction, intermixed with just forward strokes when I can get away with it. I like to feel the canoe respond to the nuances of the paddle.

If I am trying to make time then I will switch over to a bent shaft paddle and go to hit and switch. I prefer not to be in that big of a rush.

Time in the evening is time to get out on the water and let freestyle paddling take over. Most folks are not into freestyle, or doing the BWCAW in the hulls that make would make me grin ear to ear. That being said- find a hull and style you enjoy. I highly recommend instruction in paddling so you can properly execute the paddling strokes, I have found that it added a lot to my enjoyment of paddling.



 
01/09/2017 09:54PM  
When paddling my Wenonah Canak, I use a kayak paddle when traveling across a lake, getting to the campsite, in a windy/wavy situation and any time I want to make good time to get somewhere. When I want to travel leisurely, enjoy an evening paddle, troll while fishing and the like, I really enjoy using my home made, straight shaft, square blade paddle. I like using the j stroke when in these situations as it keeps me moving straight forward with little effort. I will change sides from time to time, just to keep things balanced.
 
01/10/2017 06:56AM  
quote DanCooke:


Time in the evening is time to get out on the water and let freestyle paddling take over. Most folks are not into freestyle, or doing the BWCAW in the hulls that make would make me grin ear to ear.
"



Freestyle paddling is very cool and I highly recommend anyone to take time and learn some of those skills. linking stokes and truly becoming one with your canoe and paddle and it's a lot of fun.I first got into it back in the late 80s, early 90s when Canoesport Journal came out ( great Magazine wish it still existed) I only had a Wenonah Advantage back then which is a very un Freestyle hull, but I could still apply those skills and be a much better paddler. Linking a C stroke with a reverse sweep, and leaning the gunwale to the water. I could get that boat to do just short of a 180 turn. All you need is a pond, paddle and canoe. Check out some youtube videos
 
bwcasolo
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01/10/2017 08:17AM  
as stated, i use a combination, depending what paddle i have in my hands. my go to paddle is a sanborn 7 degree bent, with a bending branches straight as spare, or when i feel like switching sides. although i do switch sides with the sanborn as well.
it's all should be what you enjoy, and if you are happy with the way the paddles and strokes are moving u and your canoe.
i have a prism, so it is plenty long for all strokes, properly done, that is.
 
Minnesotian
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01/10/2017 09:20AM  
quote bwcasolo: " my go to paddle is a sanborn 7 degree bent, with a bending branches straight as spare, or when i feel like switching sides. although i do switch sides with the sanborn as well. ."

Exactly what I do too. In fact, I have the same exact paddles. I mainly use the J-stroke for crossing lakes and cruising. In creeks, rivers, or coming up on a landing I will switch to my straight shaft and use combinations of j-stroke, c-stroke, pry, figure-8, draw, all those.
 
Whatsit
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01/10/2017 10:44AM  
quote DanCooke: "Time in the evening is time to get out on the water and let freestyle paddling take over. Most folks are not into freestyle, or doing the BWCAW in the hulls that make would make me grin ear to ear. That being said- find a hull and style you enjoy. I highly recommend instruction in paddling so you can properly execute the paddling strokes, I have found that it added a lot to my enjoyment of paddling."
Thanks Dan!
Since moving from Wisconsin to Oklahoma, I've not seen any kind of paddling instructions of any kind available, that's why I'm reading as much as possible during the winter months. I have a paddle next to me as I'm reading and practice the strokes in air and on the floor :-)
I did not have the benefit of anyone teaching me either. Self taught and self love of the canoe in general. First solo coming up and really trying to be ready as I can.
Thanks for all your advise. Supposed to be 70's tomorrow so hopefully lakes will be open to get out and try a few things. I only have a 15 ft wide belly tandem Sportspal from North Bay, so not much like the nice solo canoes. One day perhaps :-)
Mike
 
01/10/2017 11:16AM  
Mike, I'm sure you are aware that water temps will be colder than air temps. Be careful out there and read up on cold water immersion if you need a refresher.
 
Whatsit
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01/10/2017 11:29AM  
quote boonie: "Mike, I'm sure you are aware that water temps will be colder than air temps. Be careful out there and read up on cold water immersion if you need a refresher."
Thanks Boonie.
Good point. You think it's nice outside and get caught up in the "early spring fever" and forget about the fact the lake had a layer of ice a week earlier.
Mike
 
01/10/2017 11:55AM  
I appreciate all you sharing your knowledge as well, since I have the same questions.
I too was all self taught, in all aspects of canoeing and camping, I had no mentor to guide me. None of my family did a any sort of tent camping.
 
Whatsit
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01/10/2017 12:11PM  
quote LindenTree3: "I appreciate all you sharing your knowledge as well, since I have the same questions.
I too was all self taught, in all aspects of canoeing and camping, I had no mentor to guide me. None of my family did a any sort of tent camping."

same for me for camping as well. I'm a graphic designer so more of a computer person then a hands on outdoors man. In fact my wife thinks I'm having a mid life crisis wanting to go on a solo in the BWCA. :-)
Mike
 
IceColdGold
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01/10/2017 01:32PM  
I 'Sit and Switch' on lakes when I am training, or trying to get somewhere, J stroke when 'puttering' around. Various strokes when padding down river.

Also, what Blatz said about not going too far back with your stroke. BeaV taught me this. Once your paddle is just past your side, snap it out of the water sideways then forward for the next stroke.

I bought my Vagabond last spring. It's short (14'). Sit and Switch, I can get 6 strokes on the left and 4 on the right. I cannot figure out what I am doing differently. Maybe I and just stronger on the right.
 
01/10/2017 05:01PM  
quote Whatsit: "quote boonie: "Mike, I'm sure you are aware that water temps will be colder than air temps. Be careful out there and read up on cold water immersion if you need a refresher."
Thanks Boonie.
Good point. You think it's nice outside and get caught up in the "early spring fever" and forget about the fact the lake had a layer of ice a week earlier.
Mike"


Here's what made me think of it. It's not the first one I've read from someone on here.
 
OBX2Kayak
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01/10/2017 09:37PM  
quote DanCooke: "You asked what Strokes I use for solo paddling in the BWCAW. When paddling hulls that I enjoy the most, it is usually J stroke, C if I need more correction, intermixed with just forward strokes when I can get away with it. I like to feel the canoe respond to the nuances of the paddle.


If I am trying to make time then I will switch over to a bent shaft paddle and go to hit and switch. I prefer not to be in that big of a rush.


Time in the evening is time to get out on the water and let freestyle paddling take over. Most folks are not into freestyle, or doing the BWCAW in the hulls that make would make me grin ear to ear. That being said- find a hull and style you enjoy. I highly recommend instruction in paddling so you can properly execute the paddling strokes, I have found that it added a lot to my enjoyment of paddling.
"


Well said, Dan. Truly the voice of an experienced paddler.
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/11/2017 05:02PM  
quote Whatsit: "
Supposed to be 70's tomorrow so hopefully lakes will be open to get out and try a few things.
Mike"


people are nice enough to give you advice and then you rub it in
:)

there is no law that you have to paddle at a fast rate when using sit and switch, it is perfectly OK to paddle at a slow rate, not plant your paddle so far forward, leave your paddle in the water a little longer and use it to give a small correction at the end (too much and you'll lose the efficiency of the stroke)

used this way it can be relaxing, especially since the stroke is much more efficient than a J or C

it's been probably 25 years since I used a J or C, I'm not sure I could do one properly without a little practice first
 
01/13/2017 08:25PM  



there is no law that you have to paddle at a fast rate when using sit and switch, it is perfectly OK to paddle at a slow rate, not plant your paddle so far forward, leave your paddle in the water a little longer and use it to give a small correction at the end (too much and you'll lose the efficiency of the stroke
This is obviously a response to some of my posts. I'm not trying to make anybody into a marathon paddler or be some kind of canoe snob. I'm just trying to give good sound advice to someone who may want it. The amount of paddle strokes we take during a typical trip is actually quite large. Why not take the time to learn the beautify art of paddling a canoe? It's incredibly rewarding and makes every trip much easier. Padding is an art and that's how I approach this wonderful sport. I know for some people the canoe is only a means to get to a destination, but there are many of us who look at paddling as a reason why we're out there. This will always be a point of contention. Those who paddle a canoe as a means, and those who a canoe as a source of enjoyment. Some may be in the middle for both.


it's been probably 25 years since I used a J or C, I'm not sure I could do one properly without a little practice first"
 
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