Stand-up Paddling: Pretty Fun!
I've long been wondering about stand-up canoe paddling. I like to get my whole body into my activities and I tried stand-up paddling a few years ago, sort of. It made me want to really try it---with a longer paddle and faster boat.
See, I already love canoe poling. Even in a tippy, fast race hull. Especially! It works great for our local shallow waters.
But I thought: what about when the bottom is mucky? Or when it's deep, like in a lake? ...Stand-up paddling might be the answer.
I finally did it today.
I borrowed a friend's long paddle. He said he, too, is into stand-up paddling. I think it's because of his back. But he's also a nut. He's done everything in canoeing. So it turns out that he actually had a sweet superlong paddle. I thought it would be cobbled. It looks production-made. It's six feet long. Bent-shaft with carbon stiffening. Cool. He said he's been paddling while standing up for years now -- when his back is sore.
I went out on our spring-swollen local river today and gave it a whirl.
Well, I haven't poled in awhile but this sort of paddling is tippier. There's no hard bottom to lean into and push off from and brace into. I used my old race-style C1. Still, everything went fine. I didn't go for a swim. What kind of outing is that? Obviously, it's a perfectly stable way to go. If you don't swim, you're steady. Right?
The paddle was still a bit too short. I'm going to see if I can get our local paddle guru to made me up an extra-long carbon item. He makes carbon paddles already. They come with shaft, blade and grip. All I need is a longer shaft. He also has some damaged items and rejects, so I can hopefully give it a whirl with a cheap second. Or just borrow it from him. It'll be catching. We should start it at 6'10" and shorten as need be. Make it adjustable until we dial it in. But 6'8" seems like it will be just right, and will let me throw in my dyno moves on the water.
[UPDATE 2008: I finally built my own paddle. It's 6'6" and seems pretty good. It's made from two kevlar-handled paddles spliced together. Kevlar is pretty stiff but this paddle is still too flexy for my taste. It'll do. I remember googling for extra-long paddles several years ago and I found nothing. There was one company that sold a 6-footer. Recently, though, I checked again and lo-and-behold I found a dozen websites offering such paddles -- for the hot new sport of SUP paddle surfing! Crazy!]
Someday maybe I'll try waves. But those gunnels might hurt my shins if I fall on 'em. So far, though, whenever I fall out of a boat while standing the thing squirts away before I can hit.
But it seems fast and quite satisfying. Only a little sketchy.
Here's another pic, showing a little duct tape, as I like to do...