kayak with a canoe paddle

I guess that would make all the pro …
boats kayaks.

Their seats are mounted on floor pedastals.

I wonder if the C-1 guys that bust their butts in the Clinton would take offense if you pointed to their boat and said: “nice kayak!”



oh yeah :wink:
Had a guy today compare his IK to my OC-1. “Yeah, they’re both open boats, same thing.” says he. Says I, “yeah, but you have holes to let the water out, 2 blades, one on each side at all times, and your butts not a foot in the air.” At recess, we both played hard, both had fun, but in totally different ways.

kayaks with single blades

– Last Updated: Jul-19-08 11:40 AM EST –

I just saw a link, posted by Tom Simpson on QajaqUSA to a 1804 painting showing many kayaks propelled by single blades while towing a sailing ship. I have to stop being a luddite and figure out how to post links.

You can find this link by going to the QajaqUSA website message board. Seeing the painting is worth the effort to find it.


good points
dave- good points yes indeed.

I converted a long time ago.

A single blade is less wear and tear on your body, you also use different mucsle groups using asingle blade …which are the stronger muscle groups instead of using and bracing with the weak shoulder muscles.

Also the weight factor of lifting a padde that is three times lighter is astronomical after a ten hour paddle day…as much as lifting 7 tons less weight over the course of a day.

I paddle only with a single blade and can maintain it for indefinatly 10-17 hours common for day but could never do that with my double blade which i would be spent after 8 hours.

I cut and pasted this old explanation a year ago.

I use a single blade not because of the stokes but for the less wear and tear on the shoulder joint/muscles/tendons over time. Effieciency ='s speed, Comfort='s speed too.

I know plenty of double bladers and many have developed shoulder problems…why? Well its not a normal/proper or effiencent position for the shoulder to be in. Ask any dr.- massage therapist - PT etc etc. Look at a base ball pitcher? Same position…i.e raising your shoulder overhead and forward thrust etc etc. With a single blade you end up using your back, torso, and NOT the shoulder…

Plus a single blade is LESS tireing…less tireing means more comfort, and more effiecnt too. If you’re tired you’re not going to use a proper stroke.

Read the simple math below what I previously used:

Double Blade weight = 23 oz.

Single Blade weight = 7oz.

(I use a carbon fiber Zav now)

Note: the Double Blade(DB) is exactly 1 pound MORE than my Single Blade(SB)

I paddle about a 50 stroke rate per minute;

SO with a DB, in ONE minute I lift 1150 OZ.

With a SB in One Minute I lift 350 OZ.

So i lift 800 Oz of weight MORE every minute using my DB which is 50 POUNDS! (IN ONE MINUTE)

I typically paddle 10 hour days on trips.

So in a ten hour paddle day:

With my DB I lift = 30,000 LBS or 15 Tons more weight than my SB paddle in the coarse of a 10 hour paddle day. Is this any different than going out to the local dirt pile and shouvelng 15 tons of dirt before going out to paddle? Whos going to be more tired? I use to be tired when i used the DB but not now. I have more energy to either continue to paddle or enjoy at camp etc.

Plus the extra weight you have to push forward during WIND…with the double blade …pushing the exposed end against the wind. Its more work.

Again, you can do what you want. I switched so i am not tired, worn work, wearing my shoulder joint so i can paddle when im in my 80s’s

food for thought. I have no problem keeping up with DB paddlers over the long haul either.

To each his own.

My wife preferred the ZRE bent in our
Old Town Castine kayak yesterday. I took it with me just to try it out in the Castines and was very pleased at how well it moved the boats along and how easy to Castine was to keep tracking and maneuver with the single blade, it was easier than my solo canoes or any of my other kayaks.

My wife’s shoulder and arm were bothering her from some work earlier this week, so I offered her the ZRE to try and she liked it and wouldn’t give it back. She said it was so much lighter (11oz) than the Epic Relaxed Tour (21oz) and Onno Mid Tour (about 25oz) and didn’t hurt her arm as much. She took right to that 47.75" ZRE Medium bent in the Castine - I was surprised. A 46" ZRE would have worked better probably, since the water was a couple inches up on the shaft when I used the 47.75" paddle with a vertical stroke. Now I need to get another short ZRE so we can both use one while paddling the kayaks.

Now, if only the 56 lb Castines weighed 20 lbs less. I like their handling, just not the weight.

I like it!
Last winter we were paddling the spring runs in Central Florida. They’re frequently overgrown at the headwaters, so I brought a short canoe paddle to use with my Epic 18. I was having so much fun I used it for the whole river. Great fun doing a post around the bends. Try it.


single bladed paddle vs. double bladed
In narrow streams, very shallow water and while stalking wildlife a single bladed paddle works better.

While I don’t want to figure out the adjustment, the calculations paddletothesea made would have to be adjusted to account for the flotation of the blade still in the water if one is using a wood double blade.

Yanoer, depending on the cause of your wife’s arm soreness, she might also have found relief with a very narrow blade such as a GP. There are reasons (beyond being a fad) that many older paddlers are finding GPs to be a partial solutions to their aches and pains.


This is just nonsense. Not only does it ignore water lift, it ignores counterweight. Moving a single blade into position is not comparable to pivoting a balanced weight from its center. Lifting a double-blade between strokes is simply incorrect, so any analogy with lifting dirt is specious. Furthermore, and with great confidence, I promise you would not keep up with a double-blade paddler that had any interest in leaving you behind. Efficiency ≠ speed. Comfort ≠ speed. Those are categorically false statements. Speed derives from a combination of factors which interact in a complex manner. In my experience, efficiency and comfort are variable and debatable and adjustable. When trying for speed, though, there is no contest; in any conditions over any distance or time, in practically any boat, two blades beats one hands down. Lastly, if you think double blades are paddled with shoulder muscles, you don’t know how to use one.

I sometimes use a bent-shaft single bade with butt-on-the-bottom kayaks and I sometimes use a double blade kneeling in open boats. Everything has pluses and minuses, almost everything is worth finding out about and using in some situation, but this is a case of irrational rationalizing of a personal preference.

kneeling, but
also sitting. Those C boats also have pedestals and straps. Kneeling in an open canoe puts all your weight on your knees with some relief from a thwart. A pedestal distributes it much better over a larger area. On the other hand all that contact is for quick, strong control in seriously challenging conditions so the rides aren’t terribly long for reasons other than comfort.

I’ve seen pedestals in pleasure boats but I’ve never used one. Much of the point of kneeling is easily shifting position for trim and edge and reach, which a pedestal seems to obviate, but I can’t say without trying.

Practical switch
Also on the serious side, I use double for covering distance to a fishing spot. Once there I strap the double in the paddle holder bungee and use a short handled single blade for maneuvering and changing locations. Its easy to stow the single under a forward deck strap for a back-up paddle. The short single blade is much easier to handle with the fly rod in use.

I think kayaks are too shallow for
efective canoeing strokes

and that advice is based on

A kids short shaft paddle works fine. If you want a bigger blade some folks cut down their Zav shafts.

not old enough
you still have a little learning to do.


Give it a try, Pam
I can do just as effective J-strokes in my OT Loon as I can a canoe, from sitting nearly on the floor. The short shaft is the trick. It keeps me from reaching for the sky like I’m riding a “Look-at-me!” Harley with ape-hanger handle bars.

high angle

– Last Updated: Aug-01-08 12:23 PM EST –

kayak stokes favored by racers are very similar to canoe strokes, with the blade at a high angle to the water, passing close to the hull---but beware they do take some practice to use in a kayak, particularly in rough water---I've seen a canoeist who was in a kayak for the first time use the canoe stokes, who, after being told a low angle stroke might be better, actually trip over the paddle and capsize---note after that he tended to listen and use the low angle stroke in the rough water for the rest of the trip.

PS Old Town Loon is really more like a canoe than a kayak and youre probably safe using the canoe strokes in it in the type of water its designed for.

On the nose
One reason I felt so comfortable in the Loon to start with is because I began my paddling in canoes.