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View Poll Results: How do you PREFER to paddle?
I prefer to paddle solo whenever I can get away with it. 86 78.90%
I prefer to paddle tandem with a partner--two sets of arms are better than one! 20 18.35%
I'll paddle with as many people as I can fit in the canoe--the more the merrier! 1 0.92%
I prefer to sit back and let someone else do all the work. 2 1.83%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-07-2008, 02:53 PM   #21
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Holland Patent, NY
Posts: 48
Paddling Tandem

With the right partner I enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie of paddling tandem. However, it is often tough to find a matching partner.

This past weekend we did 50 miles on the Delaware River, my 5th long distance weekend with the same tandem paddler. Each year I declare frustration with his technique and strength - yet I will probably go again next May.

Like Wldrns I think it is nice to paddle bow and zone out occasionally just focusing on cadence and technique. Unfortunately at 6'4" and 220 there aren't too many opportunities to do so.

My wife has a passionate discourse on our current society not being able/ willing/ or finding it necessary to work through the minor conflicts that can occur in a tandem boat. A favorite example is people talking about their shared experience - which is shared by solo paddlers communicating over walkie/talkies.

It is always nice to have the option to do either.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:34 PM   #22
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I prefer to simply paddle

Any way I can get on the water is acceptable - tandem, solo it doesn't matter. I always went tandem when the kids were small but as they got older I bought them each their own solo canoe. I bought used ones at about 1/3 the price of new. With each kid in their own boat there was less fighting (You're not paddling right!, Stop splashing me!). I also got a used solo for me. I then needed a trailer so I could get three boats to the water. I bought a used single axle boat trailer on Ebay for $500 and added racks ($250) to carry four boats, added a used pickup truck cross box to carry (and store) all the PFDs, straps, ropes, pads etc. I intend to make a longer wood box for the trailer to carry all the paddles so they don't have to be in the car. I also mounted the bike rake to the trailer so we can take four bikes on the trip as well. It's a never ending cycle. You can never have too may boats. By far the best thing I ever did was get a divorce. Now the kids and I can do as we please - no nagging, no nagging, no nagging!! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, free at last!

J. Curtis

PS: Now all I need is a blond bimbo in a bikini to decorate the bow seat.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:05 PM   #23
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To add to my previous response, I have a tandem canoe that is paddled with two double-bladed paddles. I much prefer this to paddling a tandem with a single stick, because there's no compensation required when one paddler is much stronger than the other. It's best to keep in sync to avoid hitting each other's paddles, but other than that, each can just do their own thing, including stopping for a rest whenever they feel like it.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:29 AM   #24
Native Earthling
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scooterville, NY
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I definitely prefer solo, but I'm as happy alone or as one of a fleet of solo craft.
Scooting here and there
Through the woods and up the peaks
Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)

"Pushing the limits of easy."
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:35 PM   #25
CT Tripper
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In quick water I prefer solo. You only have yourself to blame for an accidental swim. While fishing solo or tandem either way is fine. When duck hunting tandem is the way to go, setting up decoys in the wind is no fun when you are by yourself. But when tripping I like tandem. It's nice to have someone always close by to share the views and the sounds and the chores.
It only hurts for the first 100 paddle strokes.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:31 PM   #26
charlie wilson
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Solo or Tandem?

Yes, I paddle solo or tandem, except when in a C-4 or C-6
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:07 AM   #27
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Remsen, NY
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I recently began to really love solo canoeing. I try to get in about 5-8 miles after work (I live on a lake) solo, or 8-12 tandem, but I'm at the mercy of the availability of the bow partner for the tandem training, so lately I've been solo, and really liking it a lot, even though I've never raced solo.

I'm not usually a "work out to music" kind of guy but I recently got a iPod shuffle and a waterproof case and headphones and I definitely notice that I get a burst of energy from certain songs. I'm on a big lake with very few people so I'm used to being able to make noise and not attract attention, but yesterday I came around a bend in the shoreline and I must have been really singing along because there was this family on shore just staring at me like I was a 17 foot long loon or something! Gotta watch out for that. Can't wait for another dry day to get back out there!

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Old 08-22-2008, 08:19 PM   #28
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Solo. In the Guide Boat.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:40 PM   #29
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I usually paddle solo in my touring kayak or in my Apple Line Wee Lassie but every once in awhile I dust off my 99year old 18ft. wood & canvas, muster up a long lost partner and go for a "real deal" paddle. The old guy tracks like a dream on the open water but truck topping it is not as fun as it used to be..Weighs a 100lbs...Nothing like it when your siitting in the aft seat looking out at all that beautiful canoe riding out in front of you, though.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:19 PM   #30
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Location: Seneca Castle(Fingerlakes area in NY)
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Darling bride and I have 2 tandys- a real pretty fiberglass and one for the bumps. I do take the glass one out solo....but in a wind....I'm too old to fight
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:26 PM   #31
previously adk88
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Location: Saranac Lake, NY
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I usually paddle solo, but it depends on who I'm with. I most prefer to simply be in a kayak (a solo kayak) where I can participate with others, but be in control of my own boat.
Videos --- Camp Loonsong --- Mountains Climbed
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:25 AM   #32
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follow up ....By tomorrow afternoon, we will be paddling our new solo boats.
whoopie! We decided on Blackjacks. Thanks to ALL the helpful input from this great place(and many test boats later) Looks like good paddle weather for this, our last long weekend of waterplay. Feels strange to leave home with the truck rack empty tho. woo hoo!!
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:50 AM   #33
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I paddle both tandem or by myself. Really depends on my mood I suppose, If I want a bit of independence, I'll go alone to escape and be by myself but If I'm in a lively mood I'll ask someone to go along with me. I just don't like when you're paddling tandem and the person your with talks TOO much, often scaring off any wildlife you may see other than the loons.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:14 PM   #34
Sir Rhosis of the River
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I definitely prefer to paddle solo, and I often do so whether I'm in my solo boat or tandem boat, and often (a la Graybeard) whether my wife is in the tandem with me or not. That being said, I never dislike paddling tandem...any time spent in a canoe, alone or with others, is fine with me. I'm also not picky about what seat to take in a tandem, so long as my paddling partner is reasonably competent.

But I only pole solo. So far, anyway...I haven't tried any tandem poling yet.

In the haunted house of my life, paddling is the only stair that doesn't creak.
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:54 AM   #35
Glenn MacGrady
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Location: Western Connecticut
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It's really not a matter of preference, but of necessity: solo.

If I had to find even one other person to go canoeing when I want to go and where I want to go, I would never go. There is no such other person that I know.

I used to paddle whitewater with the AMC for many years. Whitewater shouldn't be paddled alone. But even then, most canoes were solo boaters.

Actually, I really enjoyed tandem whitewater with an expert partner. You can shred the river and make all sorts of moves better than you can solo. But it was rare to find such a partner.

Since my kids grew and went, all my paddling has been solo and mostly alone.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:59 AM   #36
der Doktor
accept no substitute
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I have single and double kayaks, and I definitely like the freedom of exploration that comes with a single.
Forever Wild!
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:17 PM   #37
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Paddling solo or camping solo is like going to a movie alone…. and I don't like it for all the same reasons.

But I just happened to find someone who I seem to mesh with with the same sense of; humor, adventure, curiosity, liquor, fishing, exploring, badess- wise. We both have wives that snore, so we don't bother each other with ours, but other tents don't always appreciate our nightly harmony . "Did I snore last night? I didn't hear ya"… we have never fought. Wish he was way better looking and a girl…. but then we'd fight. I do not like getting into a boat with someone I don't share those things with… then I'd much prefer to be solo.

I'd rather go solo then not-at-all.

So All of the above…

Last edited by RichieC; 06-15-2016 at 07:44 PM..
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:17 PM   #38
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Location: Johnstown, N.Y.
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Do you paddle solo or tandom?

Solo for me, I like to paddle when I want and glide when I want and go where ever I like. I do like to paddle with others though in a group in control of my own
canoe. I will do tandems on occasion if the opportunity presents itself.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:37 AM   #39
Grandpa Paddler
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Originally Posted by 1bluefin View Post
Solo for me, I like to paddle when I want and glide when I want and go where ever I like. I do like to paddle with others though in a group in control of my own
canoe. I will do tandems on occasion if the opportunity presents itself.
I prefer to paddle solo for similar reasons. The primary reason I prefer to paddle with a group is because I don't particulary like camping solo. When I talk to myself, I don't always like the responses I get

I like to paddle tandem if it's with my wife or one of my sons. I will tolerate paddling tandem if it's a grandkid or a good friend who can't paddle solo.

...better to be up a creek without a paddle than to not be on the water at all!

Last edited by Grandpa Paddler; 06-16-2016 at 11:41 AM.. Reason: addition
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:16 AM   #40
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In class 2 and 3 WW, I, as the more experienced paddler and river reader, always have taken the bow. Typically on wilderness trips the canoe is fairly heavily loaded and in the heaviest of WW we are ferrying back and forth back paddling so I am in effect paddling from a stern position from the reference of water flowing past the canoe. I find my self giving, via shout, draw/pry stroke commands throughout the WWater passages. When we come to the smooth water it gives my less experienced partner good practice. I am definitely not always the stronger paddler.
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