Double Blade vs. Single,stern in canoe??

Have piloted both craft over the years and have often wondered the pros and cons. Would it be an advantage at stern to double blade with a weak Bow partner(older brother a little panicky but listens)?

Why not stay with the traditional and
just do the J stroke more often!

Jack L

You could try it and see
Or you could give him the double blade and paddle stern with a single.

I suspect I would simply do what Jack suggests.

Switch places may be best
Some people dislike the bow, you can use the double there without dripping in the boat (2x the weight though, single blade is less wear on our bodies), or lower the bow seat.

Mostly cons

– Last Updated: Jul-10-10 12:50 PM EST –

The double blade paddle solves all issues with directional control and increases speed through higher cadence.

That said, it is also wet, because water drips off the raised blade, and the higher cadence grinds the paddler down over time.

One of the beauties of the tandem canoe is that opposite sides, in cadence, works pretty well if the stern paddler can refrain from powering the blade behind his body.

As next steps, paddle parallel to the keel, not the rail, get the top hand across the rail to present a vertical paddleshaft and isolate the stroke[s] power pulse forward, ending at the knee when kneeling, mid thigh when sitting.

The bow paddler is the engine. Swap positions if possible.

Boat yaw and hence the need to correct is almost always caused by an improper stern stroke, That is one with sweep. Follow the keeline of the boat and not the gunwale and do not go past your hip. Thats right the imaginary keelline keelless boats.

Double blading has lots of sweep unless you perfect that stroke, In the starn its only going to make things worse.


– Last Updated: Jul-10-10 3:16 PM EST –

If you're just an occasional canoeist who often has hood ornaments for bow paddlers, or if all you want to do in a canoe is locomote casually from A to B, or if the canoe is primarily a platform to engage in other activities (e.g., floating, nature watching, fishing, photography), then why not use whatever paddle makes you comfortable. Double or single, in the bow or stern, or both. They'll all work for these purposes.

On the other hand, if you are interested in learning the technical and proactive art of traditional canoeing, then you need to stick with the single blade in all canoe paddling stations, learn all the relevant strokes, and then practice them for years.

Warning: Traditional single blade canoeing Gnosticism is the highest and most elegant form of paddling, but it is a rapidly dying art. There are only 666 people remaining in the U.S. who know this art. Almost all of them will be gone in 30 years. After that, I expect single blade canoeing will survive in a very few sporadic and heretic pockets, but its practitioners will be hunted down as X mutants or witches and eventually exterminated.

Maybe a little longer single blade ??
Single blade IS an art, I believe myself to be as profficient as most. Thing is that my older Brother has had some nasty spills with other partners and I agreed to leave the yak behind on this the 33rd year for our annual brothers nephews trip(all guys, all male=26 this year). He has stated that he may not paddle anymore, I countered by telling him he would be with me from now on. He just turned 60, I am a fairly fit 51, been paddling since I was 11, but I have never had to pacify anyone due to their trust in me, and was just wandering which style would afford me the most control in a quick move situation. I am also the only one that carries safety/rescue gear.My brother can still motor a little but has always had trouble reading the stream. I’ve had numerous rookies and am confident, but kinda need to impress big bro. Hope this explains my quandry.

12’ pole
poke him in the back of his head with it when he get panicky. works with the dog.

"hood ornaments for bow paddlers"
Ah’ like dat, Glenn!


you would have much better control from the stern of a tandem canoe with a single-bladed paddle than a double-bladed paddle.

I have had a couple of those.
They were good looking so I didn’t mind.

poke him in the back of his head with it
Tripper, U sure we aren’t related? That’s some funny SH** right there. I do carry a gaff, it’ll reach.

SETTLED, I’ll go woth a longer single blade, and let Captain Jack, keep me focused. Will report back. Thanks guys!!