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Forward Sweep Stroke in Kayaking

Kayak, whether it is moving forward or at a stop. As the name suggests, this basic turning technique involves making a sweeping motion in the water to turn the boat in one place or drive it in the desired direction. It is also done to correct your course when you cannot keep a straight path. Learn how to do this turning technique in this section:

Kayak Technique – Sweep Strokes

In this episode of Paddling TV, Ken Whiting explains the correct technique for sweep strokes – the most effective strokes for turning kayaks.

Here is a step by step guide to Forward Sweep Stroke

  1. Lean forward

    With the front side pointed away from the bow, place the Kayaking Paddle blade in the water. Put it as close to the bow as you comfortably can.

  2. Rotate your body

    With your lower arm straight and your other arm not higher than shoulder level, pull the Paddle blade and sweep it out in the widest arc that you can make, simultaneously pushing forward with your foot on that side. A bigger arc means a more effective turning technique. Make sure that the blade is completely submerged as you swing the blade away from the bow.

  3. Straighten your body

    Straighten your body up as you sweep past the middle of the arc.

  4. Take It Out of the Water

    When the blade is about 45 degrees to the stern, take it out of the water. Do not let it catch your boat, otherwise, it may capsize.

This stroke is a turning technique that most kayakers find very effective. Whether you need to turn 180 degrees while moving forward, avoid an obstacle, or correct your Paddling direction, the Forward Sweep Stroke is the maneuver to carry out.

Last modified: March 13, 2020