Indian Stroke & Straight Keeled Canoes:

I was out in my Wenonah Whisper today (15’6" x 29") and started out with the carbon bent shaft as usual, but then switched to my Grey Owl Chieftain straight shaft traditional paddle just for the fun of it and discovered that it worked quite well with the indian stroke while sitting and using the footbrace in the Whisper, which is straight keeled and most similar to the Prism in Wenonah’s current line up.

Using the footbrace for the power stroke and then zipping the paddle forward in the water, rolling it over and repeating for a nice rhythm that was surprisingly pleasant and sustainable and kept the Whisper straight and true when desired with little effort and worked quite nicely for maneuvering as well.

I expect that the traditional paddle and indian stroke will be my primary propulsion in the Whisper from now on, when the water is deep enough, and the carbon bent will be the alternate to break up the monoteny from now on instead of visa versa. For now, that traditional paddle is the GO Chieftain. I hope to have a Grey Owl Sagamore before the summer is over, because it has a narrower blade for better endurance on long outings.

Experimentation is good.

keep going
you can never have too many paddles.

Inwater recoveries work well with any symmetrical paddle no matter what the width. Concave ones want to wander and require more attention and bent shafts are difficult to get a vertical blade with as you have to have your hands stacked out really far or the blade under the boat…which of course is counterproductive.

In-water recovery with bent shaft
seems pretty easy with the Zaveral - at the end of the stroke, I roll my grip thumb up, not down, so that the blade is straight up and down in the water and the shaft is angled in over the boat, not out over the water. The blade comes out of the water to start the new stroke.

Experimenting is good
Took the J-boat that Tommy gave me out on Sat for a club trip on one of the local rivers - mostly flatwater with a couple of ripples to make things interesting. For speed, you can’t beat sit and switch, but it does get boring after a while. Started doing j-strokes and cross strokes to break things up - worked fine. No rules.

I wish you lived in Florida
I could sure learn a lot from you. Not many canoes down here, strangely enough. I don’t know anyone else with a solo canoe.

just missed it
Dang! You’re a little late making this discovery, you just missed the 4th annual meeting of the Indian Stroke Association.

Possibly you meant the native american stroke? :slight_smile:

I think he was talking about the Politically Correct stroke.

i live in florida and solo
you’re not alone, but it may just be the two of us. :slight_smile:

yup thats possible
not try on your next recovery to slice to the hull of the boat in front of your knees.

That will be an inverted jam and should result in the boat making a sharp turn away from the paddle.

Beware of that turn, that you follow the boat in the boat.

Since you live near the University of Illinois, is Chief Grey Owl related to Chief Illiniwek? As a part Illiniwek descendant, I’m offended that our most famous chief has been banned from campus.

Chief Illiniwek
As a member of the University of Illinois Allumni Association, I used to get a lot of calls asking for donations. I told them not to bother to call since they got rid of the chief. Another stupid move from Illinois.

I’m still ticked off about that.

Where do you paddle in Florida?
I’m in the Orlando area.

that would be the First Nations stroke, in Canada speak…

Southwest Florida
Fort Myers/Naples area.

Everglades, etc. I race, too.


Include me for FL solo canoer
I live in South FL and paddle a Hemlock Kestrel have two other canoers I paddle with. One has a Wenonah Vagabond and the other a Rapidfire. We mostly paddle Everglades coastal and backcountry plus Biscayne Bay.

You are not alone :wink:

Yer fergot…
“Eh, hoser”


Nice to know there’s some
kindred spirits out there.