Paddling Topock Marsh - Paddles

I will be paddling in Topock Marsh (north of Lake Havasu fed by the Colorado River) in November. I use my Nashwaak Cruiser paddle for lakes and bays. However, according to maps I have reviewed, the depth of the marsh is between 1 and 4 feet. I need a shorter blade for the shallow depths. Any suggestions?

I don’t know what that paddle you …

– Last Updated: Oct-19-08 10:54 PM EST –

.... have mentioned is , but for skinny waters think wider blade with flat end as opposed to round traditional , I think ... the flat end has a faster catch and wider helps compensate for inability to sink paddle to optimum depth .

Acually , an 8" plain jane plastic blade like a Carlisle T grip , is a pretty powerful paddle and you can beat against the bottom all day w/o having to worry much about that ... I wish they would make one in 10" ... personally I use a Carlisle 8" Beavertail (great power, tough cookie, light weight, poly guard tip, and these ain't just a chunk a wood either, cheap at $55. direct from Old Town) , but we have both on board .

Occasionally you'll see an old used 10" beavertail come up on eBay .

Sounds perfect for poling :wink:
Sorry, I can’t help you with the paddle question. My reason for response is more of a selfish nature. I just wanted to request that you be sure to post photos of your Topock Marsh trip when you get back. I’m thinking I might be interested in doing same if I manage to sneak in a “snowbird-in-training” trip in February.

I will be paddling with my wife in the bow seat. Don’t you stand up while poling? My Hemlock Eagle is 32" wide at the gunwales. Is that wide enough for poling? I think I would be nervous standing, especially if the bottom is soft and deep mud. (This will be my first trip to Topock Marsh.)

I will certainly take some pictures and figure out how to post a couple of them. However, I believe I should post them in a different message board section, or possibly in Places2Paddle.

Carlisle paddle
Thanks for the tip. I won’t be paddling long distances in shallow water, and was hoping to find an inexpensive paddle that will do the job. Others that I have found are quite expensive, which would be OK if the quality and performance are significantly better; but then only if it would be my primary paddle, which it would not.

Poling in Topock Marsh

– Last Updated: Nov-22-08 11:10 PM EST –

For this trip I have decided to get by with an old wider paddle for the very shallow water. A friend of mine has a very long paddle that he uses to paddle his surf board while standing. I'll test my balancing skills with that paddle in the bay while standing in my canoe. If all goes well with the balancing act, and if after my trip, I find places to pole my canoe, I may consider a pole.

UPDATE: I purchased a kid's paddle which worked fine in the shallow water (1-2 ft). I also purchased a light-weight metal pole (expanding). I did not use in the marsh but am able to use it standing as a double blade paddle in a nearby bay. I need to find shallow water locally to use it as a pole. My canoe is very stable side-to-side; I need to work on my backwards balance. I need to fall out of my canoe at least once before water gets too cold. Thanks for the poling tip; I think I will be enjoying it.