Help with paddling?

Can someone tell me what configuration would be best for paddling with three people in a standard canoe? It would be three guys with weight ranging from 155 to 180. What I’m asking is should the two in the front paddle on one side and the guy in the rear paddle on the other? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. By the way, none of us has been in a canoe in years:)

Rub-a-dub dub
I’d advise a second boat. No kidding.

Alternate sides,
front to back, then HUT!


I’ve done it two ways
We’ve had to paddle with 3 people in a canoe during several Adventure Races. Our first time, we had the front two opposite and the rear switching as needed. The other option (what we do now) is use kayak paddles. Good luck!

Thanks to everyone for the advice…


The strongest paddler on one side
and the other two on the opposite side.

As soon as the boat starts to turn call a “hut” and everyone switches to the opposite side.

If for some reason you luck out and the boat goes straight, call a “hut” after every eight or nine strokes.



that was hilarious

Another alternative…

– Last Updated: May-27-08 7:26 PM EST –

Sounds as if you will just be out for a recreational paddling trip?
No racing, no rush, no schedule?
Why would everyone have to paddle?

The alternative: The person in the center does not paddle at all, or only if necessary. They just sit there; chill out, take some photos, enjoy the scenery, & relax.

When/if a paddler tires: pull over, take a break, and switch postions. It might be beneficial in skill improvement? If not, it might be worth a couple of laughs.