Paddling Technique
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New and inexperienced paddlers may be under the impression that kayaking is as easy as sitting up in your kayak and pulling the paddle blades through the water.

In fact, it pays to learn the correct paddling technique if you want to get the most out of your paddle and avoid injury to your back and knees.

It will only take a few minutes to browse this list of correct paddling techniques and if you'd like more descriptive advice, click on the links below and read the guidelines issued by the Coastguard and KASK or apply for a Sea Safety pamphlet through KASK which you can take with you on your paddle.

Forward Stroke

Sit up straight to harness your upper body and arm power. Entirely submerge one of the paddle blades. As if pulling your kayak past your paddle, rotate your torso, pulling back with your lower arm (but not beyond your hip) and pushing forward with your upper arm. Too much splashing will mean a lot of wasted effort so try not to lift water with your paddle at the end of the stroke. Paddles are near vertical.

Sweep (Turning) Stroke

The principals are the same whether your sweep stroke is forward or reverse. Paddles are near horizontal. Don't try turning your paddle by rowing harder on one side. Instead, start your stroke in the same place as a normal forward stroke. Sweep out to the side and at a distance from the kayak, continue the stroke down the length of the boat. Remember to rotate your body.
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