A learning experience.

I would like to pass this along to other canoe paddlers since it might come in handy some day.

Last week end, we, (my wife and I) tipped our canoe in a river with a current in deep water.

The current wanted to take us to sweepers and I grasped the upside down canoe by the gunnel with the paddle parallel to it and jamed up against it.

I was trying to do a side stroke using my opposite hand but was getting no where.

I am not sure how or why I changed the paddle to my swimming hand, but the second I did I was able to make good headway.

Visualize holding the paddle in the middle of the shaft, so it forms a T with your arm. The combination of the blade and handle pulling against the water works ten times better than just using you hand.



One of the videos that I have has an exersize about swimming with your paddle with and without your yak. The video is about beach launches and landings. They stress the importance of practicing two handed swim paddling and one handed swim paddling towing your boat. I have only tried the two handed paddle once when I fell out attempting a landing.


Sounds Good
Hmm - gotta say that while I have practiced swimming with just my kayak paddle, two hands on it, I don’t know that I have ever practiced swimming one handed with it and the other on the boat. At least on purpose, though it’s been in my hand for many a swim. We have the first outdoor group practice session on a local pond/lake tomorrow - will have to give it a try.

The one thing I find with swimming with the paddle two-handed is that I have to slow down the pace of what would be my normal stroke, typically a side stroke. Otherwise I am fightinmg the paddle too much.

I am guessing that a kayak paddle
would be much too long and would wear you out.

Keep in mind that this was a 50" long canoe paddle and a ultralight one at that.



yes, but what about …
Congratulations on saving your canoe and your paddle. What happened to your wife?

Lots Of Positives
Dunking the canoe also washed out all the snakes.

Happy Paddling,


Holy crap !
thanks for reminding me.

I need to get back to that river immediately and start looking for her.

Either that or start looking for a new bow paddler



A new bow paddler
Don’t worry about your wife, she’ll be fine! Now is your chance to train a beaver for up front. Cheap to feed(bark is practically free), comes with attached paddle, and they chew right through any strainers you come across! Still gonna look for your wife?

The North Branch Edisto stikes again
Sounds like they still haven’t gotten all the downed timber from the 2005 ice storm cleared out yet. As I recall, last year Baldpaddler & I went swimming seven times during the Blackwater Race. Did you still wind up on the medal platform in spite of your dip?