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!