A paddle for going in narrow mangrove tunnels

This is a special multitasking paddle that Captain Larry Jarboe of Wavewalk Adventures Key Largo created following a conversation that we had a few weeks ago.
The conversation was about advancing in extremely narrow and low mangrove tunnels. By narrow we mean barely a couple inches wider than the S4, and by low we mean with branches going across the mangrove tunnel at a height that sometimes forces the paddler to lay on their back and push the branch upward in order to allow the kayak to slide forward. This may involve turning around and lifting the branch over the motor too.
Paddling is just part of what the paddle has to do, and pushing branches is not less important. In this mode of advancement through a tortuous tunnel of dense vegetation, the ability to grab branches in order to pull the kayak sideways and/or forward is a real necessity.
A regular kayak paddle is much too long for this confined space, and a single-blade canoe paddle works only on one side, and since space is so restricted it’s not always easy to switch sides. In fact, sometimes it can be very hard.

Larry’s multitasking paddle is just a little over 4 ft long, and he made it by combining two canoe paddles, and cutting the blades according to these special challenges.

This is Larry’s first prototype, and he’s likely to keep coming up with new versions.

BTW, a trip in the mangrove tunnels is an adventure that’s impossible to forget!

 


More diving, fishing and outfitting with Captain Larry »

6 Comments

  1. RoxCT

    Nice, I like that paddle, you can grab branches to help pull you through
    the mangroves.

    If I get down that way in 2018, I may have to pay you a visit Captain Larry. 🙂

    Tight Lines and MoPaddle Safe all.
    Rox

  2. fish

    Larry,

    I’m guessing that the next generation will feature large-size blades, so that you could cut a bigger hook in them, for grabbing thicker branches.
    Mohawk Paddles are made in Virginia. They are modular, and they can be assembled into dual-blade paddles, or disassembled and outfitted with a T grip handle, to serve as canoe paddles. These paddles feature large-size blades.

    Yoav

  3. fish

    Rox,

    The place is very beautiful and interesting, and Larry is a most accomplished guide and host.
    You’ll have non-stop fun there!

    Yoav

  4. PackerYaker

    I took one of those mangrove tunnel trips on Caladesi State Park a few years ago in my W500 and its long paddle, and it was a real challenge. Perhaps the next iteration of Larry’s paddle might be a length adjustable feature so that it could be used for the tunnels as well as open water. The notched paddle can also be used to help pull a kayak closer to a mangrove patch to remove a lure that was cast a bit off course.

  5. Bassman

    Hi Guys and Rox,

    My fellow captain and co-conspirator, Capt. Jim, spotted the custom paddle, today. He noted the resemblance to a Klingon weapon.

    So appropriate for places “where no man has gone before.”

    Larry J.

  6. fish

    Larry,

    In weaponry terms, no paddle beats the Wavewalk 9’8″ 😀

    Yoav

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