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How to Paddle Canoe

Updated on November 25, 2011

How To

When paddling a canoe, it is essential you have the right technique. Should you not, paddling will be a lot more difficult. Most people end up using their arms to paddle. However most of your power should be generated by your big muscles (aka your back and legs. Here is a simple tutorial on how to paddle correctly for beginners. As with anything, practice makes perfect. Be patient.

1. Like I said before, paddling should be using your big muscles. So although you wouldn't think you would use your legs, you actually do. The first step is to get into an "athletic stance" inside the boat. Put your right leg forward when paddling on the right side and vise-versa. You should use your leg as a brace to push off of. It also will help you lunge forward and allow you to "catch" more water.

These next steps should all be done one after another in rapid succession. Twist torso, lunge forward using legs and lower back, catch water far up(the farther the better, all your power should be at the front of your stroke), dig into the water, sit up straight(this sitting up motion will generate all the power you need to have a great and powerful stroke), take the blade out early(around mid-thigh), feather blade (tilt it so you don't catch wind with paddle), repeat

Try not to bend your top arm at all, only bend your bottom arm at the end and recovery of your stroke, use your legs to push and generate power, use your back to pull, your arms should only guide the paddle, they should not feel worked, Its all in your legs and back.


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