SUP vs. poling?

So…has anyone who is a canoe poler tried out Stand Up Paddling yet?

I was wondering if there is much difference in styles (besides the whole having a blade for SUP)…

See you on the water

Well, yea, there is. Poling is just as
different from SUP as it is different from SDP. And poling is also different from taking it lying down.

Haven’t tried it yet…
…but I will when I get a chance.

There has to be a huge difference in technique, if you use both ends of the pole a lot as I do. Even when I stick to one end (with “pool cue recovery”), it’s still much different than handling a paddle. Seems to me, just by looking, that single-blade paddling is much the same (as far as what the paddle must do) - whether sitting or standing. The modern poling technique isn’t even close to the same as either.

The question I’d like to know the answer to is whether a long single-blade (SUP) paddle will outperform a “kayak-stroked” pole. If it won’t - or if it won’t by much, I can’t imagine why I would bother to carry an extra long paddle in my canoe.

The SUP stuff is just beginning to catch on here. I hope to borrow some gear this summer.

Hey guys … this site has some good
stuff on it if you want to see more.

Pole or paddle
Corigmas, I am a poler and have recently built a couple long paddles. 80 and 82 inches. I gave one to one of my other poling frinds. We agree it may be ok for a short while but is nothing like the pole. As been said earlier windmilling a pole can make my Penobscott or Explorer fly. The single blade cannot outperform the pole in a river or a lake.

just something els to do for me

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deeper pools will sometimes have me reaching for a paddle. I can't do a draw stroke with a pole, and sometimes it's nice to have dry hands for awhile. Just dawned on me my longest paddle became my shortest
My Dumoine has no kneeling thwart when set up for poling, so kneeling doesn't offer much support.

As far as SUP, it looks like fun, but I'm spread too thin as it is with what I do now on the water. Surf would kill me ;-).

Very different muscle groups involved. Poling is generally arms high in front, and doing kind of a pullup. Spawmomine Aaron demonstrating too the extreme here.

You could easily propel a board with a pole. Folks have been stand up paddling canoes for centuries.

A long paddle could be lighter than a comparable pole but I suspect most are about even.

Ideally a pole gives you solid contact with a firm river bottom allowing you to push up against a fairly stiff current. Ideally a paddle gives you an infinitely variable control/propulsion surface, making it easier to control the course of your craft.

Boards are flat. They have minimal windage which I’m sure is nice on open water. But you give a good deal of that away by standing. I’ve never seen a board that I’d consider useful in whitewater. Those long flat things would be a mess to push up a little class II.

Doesn’t mean you couldn’t make one, add a little rocker, raise up the edges some, but I wonder if you would just end up reinventing the canoe?

I do have a question. Why the bent shaft on most SUP sticks? AFAIK a bent shaft moves the power stroke aft a little at the expense of some of that infinitely variable control. (can something be less infinite? :wink:

That’s valuable to a seated paddler, much less to a kneeling paddler. I’d think a standing paddler would find a straight shaft more useful. No?

I saw a guy on a SUP board
yesterday on the Crystal River here in Fl., and did he ever do a balancing act when a power boat came by!



why they use a bent-shaft paddle?
probably they haven’t heard yet of the “less control” myth…

That and the paddles evolved from
adapting existing Outrigger paddles and blatently COPYING ZRE paddles.

The majority of people getting into the sport have yet to learn about some of this stuff.

Jack, did you get a chance to get on one

Howd ja do ?

Dirk can you show me an effective position for a sideslip with a six foot bentshaft?

Or maybe a crossdraw?

Mmm Pretzel Logic!

Did it once
But much prefer sitting to standing. Where do you put the cup holder?

no, you are to far away :wink:
but for most things that I do in a touring canoe, I have more than enough control with my bent-shaft paddle, and when I don’t, I probably should have been paddling in a whitewater canoe…

If you were talking about the difference between a straight and a curved blade, then yes, I prefer a straight blade for maneuvering, especially when paddling on my left side.

in the holder of course
Andy-when mine arrive we might have to arrange a meet up so you can try one.

I was asking because i have yet to try poling… i moonlight at a kayak shop that has gotten into SUP pretty well and it is fun…personally the SUP boards that i own are more for flat water touring than surfing…but then i have boats for surfing in :wink:

I liken SUP paddling to a higher up C1 (but have not tried that either but it sure does look like the same motions)

I love watching people who have tried getting into SUP on their own paddling a bent shaft backwards…

See ya on the water!

I prefer a pole
Last summer I tried a long paddle that BMO had in stock. I used it in my Prospector on the BMO test pond.

Why I wanted to try it: I thought it would provide more control going downstream in bigger water, or being able to move faster through deep water.

This is what I thought would happen: I would have a much longer stroke, have a wider low brace and much more control.

What I found: My stroke wasn’t any longer than kneeling or sitting. My low brace was worse since I couldn’t get the paddle horizontal unless I was hanging uncomfortably way over the side or bent over. In order to have as vertical stroke as possible I had to move closer to the paddling side, causing a balance concern in faster water; and not having a vertical stroke made it difficult to go straight. It took more torque to move the paddle through the water, as your hands are much further away from the blade.

The long paddle didn’t do anything I wanted it to do, so I’ll stick with a pole or a short paddle.

Some Differences
The main difference I notice on an SUP board is the extreme lack of secondary stability vs a canoe. The boards respond well to weight movement for turns but will not allow aggressive leans without dumping the paddler.

The other major difference is that its much harder to keep a cooler full of beer on a SUP !

Tommy, I’ve seen some guys who practice

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this stuff side slip with the paddle coming around behind their back or cross in front. This is with a 7' foot paddle.

edit to add: 12 degree bend

I thought you were good with pictures?
I’d never say you couldn’t get reasonable control with a bent shaft. I can do roughly 85% of my strokes as well with a bent as with a straight.

Bent shaft paddles give a sitting paddler better stroke mechanics. You lose a small amount of dexterity for a significant gain in power.

Standing seems to me like kneeling, you can easily get good stroke mechanics with a straight shaft.

So why sacrifice that roughly 15% for no gain?