Stand tall and push with a 12' pole

Poling a sea kayak??? That I gotta see!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I might not be able to pole a kayak with it, but I could paddle one with it. :upside_down_face:

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Ah, an ultra-refined type of Greenland paddle–Now I get it!:canoe:



Nuumluk was quite a twitchy hard soul.
He wobbled upon his skin deck.
Vindictive, peg-legged, mean Eskimo.
He’d give that ole walrus his heck!

Ole Ahab could’ve commanded, “Stand Down, ya fool!”
But Nuumluk was way too far Inuit.
No atlatl, this time, for TuskerMo be,
His spear now he’d pole right on through it!

And as huntin’ ole walrus go far out to sea,
whilst standin’ a skinny deck yak,
thar oft follows quick-n-dead topped-turvy tale,
amidst the great jagged ice pack,

and with taking a pole amidst his quipmates,
Starchuuk, Fishmael, Freequeg,
theys all put their buuks upon fierce TuskerMo,
impinnipedded but still up a leg.

And bad, truly twer, ole Nuumluks ship fate,
just ask any informed Eskimo,
cuz tacklin’ ‘em tusks whilst standin’ on kayak husks?
Well it just ain’t no proper way to go.

Thus miss-poked with his pole into Eskimo roll,
and that role ain’t be right but popsicle,
when a pop went his top as ole mean tusker flopped.
With piercin’ Eskimo pies Mo tweren’t bit fickle.

An e’er since that day you’ll hear Eskimo say,
with polin’ kayaks I ain’t gots no trus.
And if ya stand to attack best take umiak,
when ya aim eye-to-I am the walrus.



I use a pole vault for storage. :crazy_face:


I think you learn a lot about a river going upstream


When I go up to NH I am often paddling on rivers coming down out of the White Mountains, and the view is always better looking upstream. A lot of times I forget to turn around and look - don’t have that problem going upstream. You definitely learn a lot about currents trying to go upstream.


@spiritboat I have also been experimenting with sustainable harvest of natural poles. I know spruce, maple and ash are traditional and for good reason. I currently have lengths of red cedar (too soft, probably, but we’ll see), hickory, borer-killed ash, and spruce in the garage waiting for a free weekend to process them. I’ve had past success with standing dead spruce previously, but the last one I debarked warped drastically almost immediately after stripping off the bark. Not sure if it was the individual tree or it wasn’t dead long enough and dried enough. I might try to soak it and tie it to the garage rafters to see if it’ll straighten a bit.

I’m also hoping Hayden comes back online soon. I got a Hayden once piece with a Millbrook Souhegan, and I like the Hayden pole a lot in some ways (for noise and comfort I like wood better). I’d love a Hayden two-piece to trip with.

In terms of solos, my Souhegan is made for slalom poling, and has a lot of room to move. Personally I think the solo seat is still a bit central to stand in front of trim wise - I tend to face the seat when poling as I find it’s trimmed better that way - I can back up further when poling upstream to really lift the nose of the boat. That boat is 32" wide with straight sides and very easy to stand in. I’ve only stood once in my Phoenix and very briefly- aside from the narrowness and primary stability of the boat, having tumblehome really cuts down on how wide you can plant your legs. In an unloaded boat I find a square stance for poling way easier for balance. Maybe with a heavy load one could do a more effective staggered stance and pole in a solo boat with tumblehome or narrow hull.

@eckilson if you ever get a bit farther west on a pole outing and want some company, feel free to reach out. I’m in the Hudson Valley but haven’t found a lot of polers around here - I could head to W MA or CT for a meet up. I’m still learning to pole, but find it to be great fun and a great way to learn moving water.

Although tougher and harder than one would suppose, and able to stand up to much abuse, you may find the problem with cedar poles is much the same as what happened with your spruce(or other softwoods for that matter): Warping once debarked. However, this is not true with properly made paddles from cedar, or poles slowly kiln dried.

Also, bringing any softwood pole/rod indoors too soon while still green, accelerates um, shrinkage…Ahem, causing the wood to bow. Native American lodge builders in the Eastern woodlands would submerge whole bundles of barked rods in rivers/creeks for a season to slow this.
I have worked carving red cedar poles a good deal in one form or another, mainly for hiking staffs. --Keeping them nice and straight can be quite the trick…

But hey, art is when/where the mistakes happen. For canoe poling, I stick(no pun intended) with strictly hardwoods like maple/ash. Cheers.


@Tsuga88 - don’t get out your way much, but I’d like to. I use a Hayden pole as well. I like to be able to push with both ends. More traditional polers around here use wood, but I’m good with aluminum - clank, clank…

You’re fortunate to have a Souhegan - nice boat.

@spiritboat that carving is beautiful.