Old Town Guide 119

Just bought an Old Town Guide 119. Wanted to know if people perfer a kayak paddle or a canoe paddle. I’ve always paddled 18 footers and am now going solo and bought this small canoe so that I can carry it. I was told I should use a kayak paddle with this. Do you agree?

No. Whoever gave you that rule
is incorrect.

You can use a canoe or a kayak paddle. Your choice

You can place the boat more precisely with a single blade.

The seat may need adjustment. Test and find out if you find yourself getting pushed off. If so lower the seat in front about half an inch. Just the front.

Guide 119
I’m assuming you’re talking about the Guide 119, which is available in some of the big box stores like Dick’s, and not the Discovery 119. I believe the hull is the same, but the seat in the Guide is a molded in seat, while the seat in the Disco 119 is the webbed bench seat. In my opinion, if you have the molded in seat, the very first thing you should do is take the darned thing out and throw it away. Not only is it impossible to adjust, but it is set way too far back. If it is set in the spot where all the photos I’ve looked up of present day Guides, it is placed just in front of the rear thwart. That seat placement will make paddling the canoe straight when you want to go straight a LOT more difficult, and it will also make the canoe feel more tippy. I have paddled Guides with this seat placement and it sucks. I have also owned an Old Town Pack, which had the same problem, though the seat was placed a little better. It was still hard to make it go straight, and it felt tippier. But the seat was a bench seat and was easy to move forward. In my experience with these canoes, the seat should be placed so that the front edge of the seat is within a couple inches of the center of the canoe. Not only will this make the canoe track better and feel more stable, it will also make it easier to keep the canoe balanced with a light load.

As for single or double bladed paddle, the double blade will make it easier to keep up the pace while going straight, and that will be especially beneficial if you DON’T move the seat. As said above, the single blade will be more precise. Since I use my canoes for fishing, I love the single blade because I can make minor course and positioning strokes with it one handed, without setting my fishing rod down. I only use a double blade when I’m wanting to paddle through a lot of dead water as quickly as possible, or paddle upstream against a steady current.

agree with previous post
Ditch the seat asap and move the webseat to a position that will balance the boat with you in it. It may take some time to figure out where it needs to be, but spend some time thinking about it, testing.

Double blade is efficient and straight but often use a single blade as its more traditional and funner.

Its a great boat, you can beat the crap out of it.

Thanks - do I need a backrest?
Thanks to your seat suggestions.

I haven’t had the boat in the water yet. The previous owner put in a cane seat which he said is about an inch lower than the original. I’ll try it and move it forward if it doesn’t handle well. I know the canoe will weathervane if the seat is too far back.

I have always used a canoe paddle, but the canoe came with kayak paddles. Do you need a backrest if using kayak paddles? I am planning on using canoe paddles but would like to try the kayak paddles.

No need for backrest

– Last Updated: Jun-01-16 1:58 PM EST –

I've noticed that the same people who stick with double-blade paddles for solo canoeing tend also to use a backrest, but it's by no means a requirement. I think it's a modification that lends itself toward comfy sitting in a low seat with legs outstretched, rather than to performance. I used a double-blade paddle back when I first got started solo canoeing, and the first change I made was to adjust the seat to accommodate kneeling so that I could get more versatile performance from the boat. The double-blade worked fine when kneeling.

a backrest…
is for comfort, not paddling performance. A good backrest is a really nice thing to have, though not necessary.

Coming at this from the standpoint of someone who mainly uses solo canoes for downstream floating while fishing, I have all my solos set up accordingly. I don’t kneel escept in the rare instances when I come to whitewaer that looks tricky enough that I really need the extra stability that kneeling provides. And as an angler, I want to be sitting higher, not lower, in order to see the water I’m fishing better. I also want my seat high nough that I can get my tackle box (an auto battery box) under it. I am going to be sitting 99% of the time, so I want a good backrest to keep from being so fatigued at the end of the day

A backrest is useless
Without footbar or foot braces

Think about the physics on your body with a paddle stroke. It pulls you forward. Without a footbar to resist that force the backrest loses lots of functionality

Look at a sea kayak. You may not see a backband though you usually do. But there is always a footpeg mechanism

It has nothing to do with single or double blading

You can often get better back comfort kneeling or sitting with a canted sest