How to Use a Kayak Paddle

Kayaking is a fun hobby to get rid of monotonous life. It lets you explore new places, push your boundaries, or spend quality time with your family. Though it looks easy, it can be difficult if you have less idea about how to use a kayak paddle for various paddling strokes. So, let’s not waste time and jump into the details.

How to Use a Kayak Paddle
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Various types of kayaking strokes

Forward Stroke

This is the most basic stroke. When we go kayaking, we mostly do this one to move in the forward direction. The efficiency of the stroke depends on the arm power and the right techniques. Make sure to engage your back and core muscles so that you can get sufficient strength. If you use weak arm muscles for paddling, it can be tiring and may cause fatigue. Push the leading blade into the water and pull it out in an anticlockwise motion. Keep the elbows near to your body while maintaining an upright body gesture. It will offer maximum support.

Reverse Stroke

It is opposite to the forward stroke and helps to move the kayak backward. If you are stuck between tunnels, rocks, apply this stroke. First of all, wind your torso. Dip the blade properly into the water next to the place you are sitting. Hold the kayak paddle shaft firmly and rotate your hand to bring the blade in front of you. Now, pull the perfect sized paddle out of the water smoothly. Then, your fishing kayak will start to go backward.

Sweep Stroke

When we perform the forward stroke, the kayak can turn into other sides due to waves or wind conditions. Sweep stroke is for keeping it in the right way. You just have to perform some forward stokes on the opposite side of your desired direction. Extend the arms away from your body and immerse the blade on the water. Pull it out and repeat the same action until the kayak is facing the way you want. And that’s all.

Draw Stroke

Sometimes, we need to move our boats sideways to reach a doc or land to a place. Draw stroke helps us to do it. Rotate the paddle blade horizontally. Place the lower blade into the water away from the kayak. At this time, the flexible and suitable kayak paddle will be slightly tilted. Now, pull it towards your kayak while keeping it inside the water. When the blade comes close to you, pull it out. You may have to repeat the steps multiple times. The boat will be moving sideways when you do it.

Kayak spin

A kayak spin is used when you want to go in circles on stationary water. In this case, the kayaker alternates between forward and reverse movements. Wind the upper body and place a backstroke on any side. Then immediately turn the other side and do a forward stroke.


Final Words

Now that you know about the techniques, it’s time for practicing. Start on a calm river or lake if you are a learner. Once you develop skills, you can also start kayaking on waves.

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