How To Paddle A Kayak in 2022? – Paddling a Kayak

How To Paddle A Kayak

Do you wanna know that How To Paddle A Kayak then you are in the right place.

The ability to explore anything other than a body of water is one of the most appealing aspects of flatwater kayaking. The skill to control your craft, then, is the key to proper exploring.

You may paddle effectively and get exactly where you want to go by mastering a few strokes, such as the ones shown here. We’ll go through the fundamentals of kayak paddling:

  • For a more effective stroke, learn how to hold your paddle.
  • The forward stroke is used to go forward (as the name implies).
  • The reverse stroke is used to slow down and back up.
  • The rotating sweeping stroke
  • For scooting your kayak sideways, use the draw stroke.

If your kayak has a tiller or skeg, practice without it on the water. Your aim is to learn how to turn and stay straight using only stroke skills. It’s ideal to practice these strokes until their second nature in a quiet, comfortable setting.

It is recommended that you learn appropriate techniques from a knowledgeable guide or teacher. When you think about how many paddle strokes you’ll be doing, all of this eye for detail may seem excessive. You might quickly become exhausted if you have poor form.

How Should You Handle Your Paddle?

To have an effective, non-fatiguing stroke, you must hold your paddle appropriately. In addition, you must have a paddle that is the right length for you. If you’re unsure about yours, consult your guide or a paddling store, or read Choosing the Right Kayak Paddle for more information. There are four things to remember while holding a paddle properly:

  • Understanding what kind of paddle blades you have will help you make better decisions.
  • Adjusting where you grasp the shaft and orienting the blades correctly
  • Letting your hands rest on the paddle shaft is a great way to unwind.

1. Understand Your Paddle Blades

  • Are also the blades aligned (parallel) or fanned (at an angle)? With matching blades, it’s easy to learn how to paddle a kayak. If yours is feathery, check for a push-button and holes surrounding the shafts in the middle. To parallel the blades, push a button and spin the two shaft parts until they are level.
  • Are indeed the blades symmetrical or asymmetrical? If one side of each blade is somewhat shorter than the other, the answer is yes. (This might be subtle, so pay attention.) As you draw the paddle via the water, its form helps it track straight (rather than spinning). You have “symmetrical” blades if you see a uniform oval instead. You can learn to paddle with either sort of blade—all you need to know is which one you have.
  • Is it possible that the blades are somewhat concave (curved)? The response is probably “yes,” therefore take attention to which way the concave side of the shaft faces when you grasp it. For a more forceful stroke, this form allows you to “catch” more water.

2. Place Your Paddle Blades in the Correct Position

Take the paddle and hold it in front of you, checking three things:

  • Your huge knuckles should be directed up, and your blades should be parallel to the ground’s level.
  • Each blade’s shorter side should be on the base. (This isn’t an issue if your blades are symmetrical.)
  • Each blade’s concave side should be towards you. (This isn’t an issue if your blades are fully flat.)

If you didn’t grip the paddle exactly this way, simply rotate that till your hands and blades are in the desired position.

3. Change the position of the shaft in your hand.

The middle of the paddle shaft should be resting on your head.

Now adjust your hold along the shaft to a 90-degree angle with your elbows.

You’ll have “the paddler’s box” as you bring the paddles down in front of you, a shape formed by the shaft, your arms, and your chest. Maintaining that box while you stroke aids with proper torso rotation, which is another important aspect of excellent mechanics.

4. Let Go of Your Grip

Your arms, wrists, and hands will not become weary if you maintain a relaxed grasp. It also serves as a reminiscent to use your body to propel your paddle:

  • With your index and thumb, form an “O” around the shaft.
  • Then softly lay your other fingers on the shaft.

Stroke Forward

Paddling’s most basic stroke, the one you’ll spend the majority of your time executing, entails more than just arm strength. The majority of the effort should be done by your stronger torso muscles (core and back).

Make sure you’re gripping the paddle correctly. You can  now look forward to moving on to the ‘three stages’ of the forward stroke:

  • The catchphrase: Wind your body and fully submerge your blade on one side of the boat adjacent to your feet during the phrase.
  • The power phase: As the blade advances behind you, rotate your torso. Your torso will follow the in-water blade if you keep your eyes on it. As you move, concentrate on pressing on the shaft with your upper hand.
  • The release phase: “Slice” the blade out when your hand reaches slightly behind your hip.

Simply submerge the out-of-water blade next to your feet to repeat. (Your torso will already be properly wrapped.)

Method Pointers

  • Instead of utilizing your weaker arm muscles to propel your stroke, concentrate on employing your powerful core muscles. If you don’t use the appropriate techniques, your muscles will rapidly fatigue. You’ll be more prone to injury as well.
  • Maintain a near-vertical position and a constant (full) degree of immersion with the blade. You’ll be able to keep your track straighter and go quicker.
  • Maintain as much uprightness as feasible. You’ll keep your equilibrium and improve your efficiency.
  • Throughout the stroke, keep the paddler’s box in mind. This will assist you in properly aligning your body for each part of the stroke.

Stroke In The Opposite Direction

The reverse stroke can be used to put an end to a  moving kayak. If you’ve come to a halt, use the reverse stroke to get moving again. The backward stroke is exactly the same as the forward stroke:

  • The drop phase: Wind your torso and fully embed your blade on the side of the boat close to your hip during the phase.
  • The power phase: As the blade moves in front of you, rotate your torso.
  • The release phase: “Slice” your paddle blade out of the water when it is even with your feet.

Simply submerge the out-of-water blade next to your hip on the opposite side of the boat to repeat. (Your torso will already be properly wrapped.)

Sweep Stroke 

You’ll see the boat slowly rotating in the other way if you execute the forward stroke on the same side of the boat frequently. It is more effective to turn the boat by using the sweep stroke on the side of the boat.

  • To begin your sweep, extend your arms forward and submerge the blade at your feet during the catchphrase. Commence on the boat’s opposite side from the direction you wish to turn.
  • Swing the blade in a broad arc toward the stern of the boat during the turn phase. To optimize the stroke, put some strength into your body’s rotation, particularly just after the paddle has crossed the cockpit.
  • The release phase: Finish the stroke by cutting the blade out of the water as it reaches the hull behind your cockpit.

The outcome should be a steady arcing turn with little deceleration. If necessary, repeat the sweep stroke or return to your forward stroke.

Technical Tip: A broad sweep is crucial, so imagine clock hands in the water and attempt to contact all of the numerals in your arc.

Draw a line

To propel your boat sideways, use draw strokes. If you need to get near to a dock or the other boat, are using this stroke:

  • Make your paddle blade horizontal by rotating it.
  • Reach out with the tip of your blade to approximately two feet away, squarely on the side of your boat, and contact the water. (Make sure your paddle shaft is inclined steeply.)
  • Push the blade straight toward you with your lower hand, keeping the blade’s tip submerged in the water throughout the stroke.
  • Stop before the blade slams against the boat’s side.

Typically, you’ll need multiple draw strokes to be able to duplicate the stroke:

  • Slice the blade out of the water sideways after rotating it 90 degrees.
  • Steps 1 through 4 should be repeated.

If your paddle hits the edge of your boat, don’t try to pull it out of the water since it might flip your boat over and capsize. If you feel it hit you, just enjoy your time to let go of your upper hand. Instead of prying, try again.


Thus in the above article, we have discussed some fine pointers to paddling in a Kayak. We hope to have enlightened you enough to pick up Kayak Paddling as fuel to your adventurous fire. Happy Kayaking !!

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