kayaking using a songle blade paddle

-- Last Updated: Nov-21-05 8:50 PM EST --

I tried using a short single blade canoe paddle while paddling my kayak the other day and it worked fairly well. Is there any good advice and ideas out there concerning the best design and length for a single blade paddle to use for kayaking?
Strip builder

I enjoy a single blade too
First thing I did was look at traditional single blades that were used with kayaks: http://www.arctickayaks.com/paddles.htm

I’m using a King Island paddle at the moment but I think I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me. I like the King Island but The one I carved could be improved upon, I’m just no sure how yet.

"Good advice"
Practice sit and switch, and when you get it down real good, get rid of the yak and buy a solo canoe.



Yeah, get a wider, slower hull and
paddle it sit-and-switch. That will work.

The point about kayaks is that they can be narrow, fast hulls which can be driven to the limit with a double bladed paddle.

I am a 30 year C-1 paddler, and I can paddle, and roll, a kayak with a short canoe paddle. But WHY? If you don’t like double bladed paddles, get a canoe and prepare to lag behind.

Why not?
Singles are great for a backup paddle. Single bladed paddles have been used as a primary paddle for Arctic kayakers for many thousands of years. Yes when you want speed you need two blades. But I like being flexible and don’t like to always just go fast in a straight line. I enjoy cruising along using an in-water recovery and keep up with double bladed kayaks quite easily. I paddle an 18’x19" very low V kayak. Still I use my GP more often.

Sounds like the kayakers you
keep up with quite easily are like a lot of the kayakers I keep up with quite easily.

Don’t know what you’re getting at with that statement.

Well don’t get me wrong, I have to work a bit harder or the guys just give me a break or both. I know Pyker can scoot right along with a single in a kayak. I’m probably not as good at it as him.

You’ll want the paddle short and light.

– Last Updated: Nov-22-05 9:56 PM EST –

probably somewhere 46", 48", or maybe 50", but 50" may be too long. Maybe even down to a 44". Should not have to really lift the paddle much on the return. If you feel you are lifting it is probably too long. Paddle should not go into the water deeper than the throat. As you paddle your top hand should be at a level between your nose and chin, or maybe a little lower.

Bent shaft with a small blade will work best. Something 11 oz or less with a blade width of 8" or less. Not one of the outrigger style as too big and heavy. The main thing you gain going to a single blade is a great reduction it actual lifted weight and all the benifits that come with that.

ZAV and Black Bart paddles are good. Mitchels are nice too. Do not like the Bells.

Happy Paddl'n



Mine is 48"
But I could lose a couple inches off it.