I would agree with Tommy
I guess I can paddle most boats with the hull flat and only “resort” to a correction stroke like the J or Canadian every 6 or 7 strokes (that is 85% of the time, right?).
I sure can’t paddle a canoe in a straight line with the hull flat using a single bladed paddle without using any correction strokes, without switching sides, and believe me, I have tried.
It is certainly true that some hulls will carve a circle better than others. Typically it is much easier to do this with a highly rockered whitewater boat like the Outrage, and harder to do with a straight keeled boat. In some boats, I can approximate straight line travel carving a circle of very large radius. I can’t do it as well as Tom could, and I find that it requires more focus and concentration than I find agreeable at my current age.
After all, paddling is supposed to be fun, right?
A technique that I have found useful is to combine the “inside circle carving technique” with the “hit and switch technique”. I find this works pretty well in a hull with elliptical cross section and a bit of rocker, such as the Wildfire. By heeling the hull a bit and getting it carving on a big circle one can sometimes get in a dozen or more strokes on one side before the circle falls off to the opposite side. When it does, just switch and repeat.
I would agree with Tommy
I’ve seen that for shorter paddles too
One time at Canoecopia I asked someone who was selling traditional paddles what the flattened area below the grip was for, and they described the stroke for which it was designed. Those paddles were standard length, not long or requiring one to “choke up” as you say. The builder said some people like the flexibility of using the top grip either way.
I notice that the guy in that video is beyond huge, and sitting more outside of the boat than within it. For him, prying the paddle off his knee comes pretty naturally, but for a lot of us, that wouldn’t work. I guess it’s the same idea as prying off the gunwale, but I don’t see that being much of an option unless you have wood gunwales.
Agree as well…
Paddling style definitely depends on the conditions. It depends on the boat too, but I am almost always in the same boat – a Yellowstone Solo. In open water with wind and waves I’ll just switch sides – kneel and switch style. In moving water I am likely to do more cab forward paddling with a combination for forward and cross-forward strokes. Other than that it is pretty much always the J stroke.
I’ll sometimes flick my wrist at the end of the J stroke to get that swoosh sound that Becky Mason talks about in her videos. I don’t know if that makes it a Canadian stroke, but sounds good.
…did you forget that some of us who trip solo in tandems also like to stand up for a better view sometimes? The long northwoods paddle allows for stand-up use and a comfortable sitting stroke. Pretty much the only kind of use that makes sense for it though, IMO.
yeah, that was my thought for the long
paddle, used for some stand up action as well as sit down paddling - pre SUP, old school version, or maybe they like that paddle length for lashing in for portages, or for a pole on a gear tarp?
I did notice the end of a poling pole in the video- now that was very nmw- a hold over from when they used wood peavies to run logs down a river- must have had mad skills to do that back in the day