Kayak paddle + canoe?

-- Last Updated: Jun-10-04 5:22 PM EST --

I wrote a little while ago asking for help with finding a kayak for a big guy. This is turning out to be more difficult that I was expecting. The one thing last weekends demo taught me clearly is that you should never buy a boat sight unseen. The differences in comfort between the CD Storm and Necky Askia I tried were enormous. And finding kayaks to demo is proving nearly impossible due to where I live.

So, now I'm considering a solo canoe instead. The Clipper 14' Prospector or 15'6 Solitude look like good choices. I've always liked the quality of the Clipper line, and have rented the Ranger before which was a great paddle for the wife and I a few years ago. Plus a bonus is that I have everything I need already for canoeing (dry bags and what not). However I find that a kayak paddle is very natural for me, and am curious if a lot of you soloers out there use them with a canoe. Is it odd? Or does it work great? Would like to hear and learn from other folks experiences. Thanks!

I paddle with people
That do use double bladed paddles. You can use kayak paddles or there are some double bladed canoe paddles–the canoe paddles are generally just longer than a kayak paddle.

Do to the height off the water, you need a longer paddle than you would if you were in a kayak.

It isn’t important what paddle you use, as long as you get out on the water and have fun.

… you can’t have fun if your not comfotable. So I guess the gear does matter after all. :wink:

I didn’t even know about double bladed paddles specifically for canoeing. I’ll have to look into those as well, thanks for the info! :slight_smile:

probably makes me a “big guy”.

Went the same route as you with the same results.

Am happily paddling solo in a Dagger Reflection 15 with a kayak paddle, with a canoe paddle on board for an occasional change of pace.

Nothing odd about it.
You got some great responses already. Your looking at some fine boats too.

See you out there!

I’m 6’5" . I use a 240.
Works great for all the reasons stated.

How about a “Big Guy” review of the two kayaks…

You didn’t say which one fit better… GH

Consider this
If you are going to pick out a solo canoe to paddle with a double blade take a look around for one that is “not” 36 inches wide. Some canoes are are as narrow as a kayak and will give you kayak performance because they are built like a undecked kayak. Traditional fat and highy rocked canoes don’t handle well and are slugish to paddle from the center with a single or a double. Look around because there are some very nice solo boats on the market that are ideally suited for the double blade.

The Wenonah Voyager for
instance. I can paddle my MR Malecite from the center seat with a double blade , but that’s when Ape Arms come in handy.

kayak paddles…
…which are long enough to be used with a canoe

are hard to find.

for long paddles across wide open lakes in heaviy

laden canoes and a quarterwind, they are invaluable.

Storm fit much better.
Not sure I’m qualified being new to kayaks, but I suppose I can comment. Being 6’2" at 268 lbs (35" inseam, 42" waist) the CD Storm fit me much better than the Neck Askia. In the Askia we had the thigh braces set as far forward as they could go and it wasn’t far enough. Felt slightly cramped overall and I had lots of trouble tracking in a light to moderate breeze without the rudder. The Storm on the other hand tracked great without the rudder in the exact same conditions, and I was very comfortable. Unfortunately my weight was about the most it could handle so there was nothing left for gear. Both felt very stable after the first few minutes of getting used to being in a kayak. Even though I don’t have much experience, I did play around with bracing and leans (within reason) and didn’t feel at all worried that I might roll in either.

Thanks everyone!
Just wanted to say thanks for the replies all. I mentioned Clipper canoes because they are by far the easiest boats to get my hands on around these parts. After thorough examination of their catalog, I’m going to see if I can get my hands on a Solitude to try, hopefully with both kinds of paddles if I’m lucky. Since most of my travels will involve soloing the larger northern lakes around here up to a week long at a time, a double bladed paddle seems to make the most sense. If all goes well, I’ll most likely us a regular straight blade as a backup and for manouvering in tighter areas (like day trips exploring creeks and what not). Based on everything I’ve read so far, I’ve decided that “use whatever works and forget what folks think” is the rule that applies best. :slight_smile: