Gnu solo with a single blade?

I’m curious if anyone with a Gnu has tried paddling it solo with a single bladed paddle. Nancy at Alpacka says it works great solo with a double blade and could work with a single blade. I’m hoping the extra length would make this possible. If no one has tried it would someone be willing to? The boat’s a little spendy to buy for an experiment. I’ve tried it on my extended Llama and Explorer 42. Not a chance. But maybe with the much longer waterline?
Silver City, NM

Tough, but maybe doable.

I grew up paddling canoes, solo and double, on lakes. Pretty competent paddling solo with a single blade in a canoe, but I couldn’t make it work in the Gnu. Flaring out at the tail of the stroke just didn’t work the same to keep it straight.

Double blade was no problem at all.

Thanks for trying Mike. I’ve become proficient paddling my IK with a single blade using J and C strokes. The waterline on the Gnu is longer so I was hopeful. Sounds like it might not work. I guess I’ll have to get up to Mancos to try it.

It’s been ~30 years since I paddled a canoe, so take my experience with a softball-sized grain of salt. Just because I couldn’t manage it doesn’t mean much.

Mike, I agree with you 100%. I tried to use a canoe paddle with an 8-year-old in the front. Which means I was pretty much I was paddling by myself. It was extremely hard to cross a big moving river, and I had to set up for bumps way further in advance then I normally would.

I was able to make J strokes, but had to hold the end of the stroke in place much longer then i would have in a hardshell canoe. Which makes getting anywhere fast problematic and inefficient.

If I’m running solo or with a younger paddler in the front, I’ll be using a kayak paddle.

I may have spoken too soon. This past weekend we did 2 days on the North Fork of the Flathead (class I-II) followed by activities at the Packraft Roundup. I was not able to get a kayak paddle beforehand, and was forced to deal with the canoe paddle (2 piece Aquabound Edge 56cm). I was certainly apprehensive, but once I got use to it the canoe paddle worked great. Granted, the boat is definitely not as nimble, but using the paddle half the time as a canoe paddle, and half the time as a guide stick, equaled a whole lot of fun. I never missed a line or eddy. The only time things got to be an issue was on Lake McDonald in Glacier. Paddling went very very slow. Everyone else was casually cruising across the water while I was doing some serious work. I did not have the skeg on.

I’ll probably get to run some river class III-IV in the coming month, and I’ll post on how that goes.

Hope is still alive on this. I hadn’t given up but felt that a trip to Mancos was in order to try my hand at this. Thanks for reporting back and I look forward to hearing further reports.

Thanks for this report. All these trips were with a single blade - even your sister the novice? Also how did you have the boat set up - kneeling or? If you did get a skirt would you be in the rear cockpit? I have though it might be interesting to have a custom skirt made with a centered cockpit. I know how much Nancy loves it when we make custom requests (sarcasm).
I’m getting more hopeful for this being a capable solo single blade craft.