freestyle canoeing


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I saw some online video from Becky Mason's "Classic Canoeing" and was very impressed. This is something I want to learn more about, will get the DVD soon. But how practical is this type of paddling? Leaning the canoe onto one side would seem to be limited to very calm waters and this could be all the more precarious if carrying a large load, i.e. camping gear, etc. I have a 17 footer, so this would definitely be of interest, but I just question how much this can be used for everyday solo canoeing.


I too was inspired by Becky's video. She does Canadian sytle paddling (big canoe small paddle). The American version is called freestyle and is more extreme tending toward small canoes and big paddles. It's actually pretty stable and a lot of fun. I've done it in a 17 foot Prospector and in my 16 foot Pal. It works great with both canoes. Heeling the canoe over while seated amidships is really a pretty solid stable attitude for the canoe. I'm not quite as daring as Becky and prefer to leave a little more freeboard on the low side of the canoe. I recently ran accross a link to a pdf document that had a really good explanation of the techniques. I'll try to dig up the URL for you and send it to you.

Try it, it's a wonderful experience!
Andy, perhaps you'll share the URL, or the pdf, with me too? I'd love to know what this technique is all about. Thanks, Tom
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Omer Stringer was one of the pioneers of this type of paddling and you could source his material from Nashwaak Paddles...unfortunately, they have closed their doors. The site will be open for a little longer and you can at least see the reference material to study this further. Even our own Tom McKenzie has his video listed. Check it out...

This should work....

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Thank you Ric, this looks like a great resource. I paddle one of "our own Tom McKenzie's" canoes! It's a joy!
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Please put me on your list also. By the way, which canoe did you have with you last year at the Sylvan meet? Larry and I couldn't remember and I didn't have time to really look around much.

The link that Rick shows above for Jeff Solway's site is where I got the downloads. Just click on the "Free Downloads" link and start downloading the "Flatwater Zen" Chapters. There's an excellent chapter on Omer and the best description I have ever seen of the C stroke.

Max- I had the one shown in my avatar. It's the Pal.