New Paddler Question


I’m very new at paddling my Old Town Pack, solo canoe. I’ve been doing fine with a canoe paddle but I was told that I could also use a kayak paddle with this canoe. …so I tried one. Hmmm,

Am I supposed to get so darn wet and end up with an inch of water in the canoe after only five minutes?

Is that normal? The paddle did have those little rubber drip things on it, but they didn’t do much.

Any suggestions?

If you were doing fine with the …
canoe paddle, then stay with the canoe paddle.

Why do you think they call a canoe paddle a canoe paddle and a kayak paddle a kayak paddle?

Let the arguments begin!



It moves me through the water faster
The canoe works fine for just puddlin’ around but the kayak paddle helps me “move” with much less effort, especially if there’s a wind. (I’m a very beginner)

double blade issues.
Double paddles used solo are the easiest game on the water. If one can remember that tricky left-right sequence, the boat goes pretty much where intended and the paddler arrives pretty quickly.

Solo single blade paddling is the hardest game on the water. Knowledge, precision and practice are required to arrive at one’s destination.

Further, single blade paddlers are generally seated higher, and so need better balance, but the single stick is dry.

Pack canoes are minimalist canoes designed for paddlers seated just off the bottom and using double blade sticks. Old Town’s version is the widest pack canoe offered and does not use traditional low seating.

There are two ways to stay dry with a double paddle. The first is to acquire a long, 250-260cm, paddle and use a flat, or horizontal stroke. Disadvantages are that the wide footprint caused the hull to yaw away from each forward stroke, and the wide footprint doesn’t work on twisty brush banked streams.

The other option returns us to that nasty precision and practice. Get a shorter paddle with dihedralled power and back faces that hoist less water. Isolate a short stroke pretty far forward so the paddle blade exits the water mid thigh. Find a cadense, usually pretty fast, that flings the minimal water still on the blade off into the air.

A 220cm AT Exception is about perfect, but their are others.

My 2 cents
I just got a Pack, too. Since I need to keep up with my friends, the constant switching back and forth with a canoe paddle was costing me precious speed. So, I switched to a 240 cm kayak paddle with no offset. I’d still like something longer though, but it is good for now.

I got pretty wet the first half of the trip as I was sorting out what I needed to do. It seemed I actually got wetter with a shallower angle. When I switched to a high angle, putting the blade in the water about like a canoe paddle close to the boat, it didn’t drip in the boat as much.

Also, when I tried the offset settings, there was a lot more water in the boat.