Tuesday evening I tried out this double bladed paddle during a training session on Lady Bird Lake. It felt weird. Sheila Reiter photo

I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to get comfortable using a single-blade paddle, which is what I’ll be using most of the time during the Texas Water Safari in June.

But because the race is so long – 260 miles from San Marcos to Seadrift on the Texas coast – my teammates want to mix in a little double blading to break things up.  Tuesday night, teammate Sheila Reiter delivered a little trial by fire in the form of a double bladed training session on Lady Bird Lake.

We hauled the tandem canoe down to the water and she handed me two funky looking spoon-billed paddles that snapped together to make a double bladed paddle. After some land demonstrations, I got in the boat and felt like I was back at square one – tippy and awkward and completely out of my element. Again. I might as well have tried to use a giant double-ended spoon to scratch the backs of an imaginary pair of dogs swimming alongside the canoe.

We paddled to Red Bud Isle, turned a few circles, paddled down to MoPac, made another turn (I got to put my cross bow draw stroke into play) and then cruised back to the dock.

Just when I think I’m making progress, I’ve got plenty more to learn.


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