Now that you’ve learned the techniques to move forward and backward, as well as to turn 180 degrees, you will now learn how to move your Kayak sideways in a controlled manner. This is called the Draw Stroke. Just like the other techniques, you need to know how to do this stroke properly as this is one of the basic maneuvers for other techniques that you will learn as you gain experience. Learn how the Draw Stroke is done in this section:
Here is how you can do a draw stroke by following some simple steps –
- Move Your Torso
Move your torso to face the direction where you want to go. With the drive face (front side) towards the Kayak, reach out with your lower arm and place the Kayaking Paddle blade as far away from the boat as possible. Make sure that the blade is completely submerged in the water.
- Move The Blade Toward Hips
Pull the blade towards your hips. Simultaneously, push the other blade away from the boat with your upper arm. Keep the Paddle as vertical as possible to ensure that the boat will keep moving sideways.
- Twist The Paddle 90 Degree
As the blade comes near the boat and the Paddle becomes vertical, twist the Paddle through 90 degrees so that the drive face is now pointing towards the stern.
- Move The Blade Sideway
Slice the blade out sideways as you push it away from the boat.
- Get The Wrist Back To Starting Position
Move your wrists back to the starting position. At this point, the front side of the blade should be facing the boat.
Learn how to do the Draw Stroke so you will be able to move laterally to avoid an obstacle, approach a jetty, or move close to another kayaker. Practice this basic technique so you will be able to learn other maneuvers with ease.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.