How To Use A Kayak Paddle For Canoe?

The freedom to explore any part of the lake conspires with the beauty of kayaking. Well, the ability to control the craft can be the key to the ultimate adventure. There are many ways to use a kayak paddle in a canoe and it’s just knowing how to use them and learn them while trying.

The side of the paddle often determines the amount of water to pull. A pro tip – would be to ensure that the power face part of the paddle faces you. The power face is the part of the blade that is smooth and concave.

Another pro tip – would be to check on the space between your hands when holding the paddle. Both of your elbows must stand in a right-angle position. The duct tape around the paddle shafts can mark the appropriate point to grasp.

Generally, the paddle must feature the appropriate size and length. The key to performing a non-fatiguing & efficient stroke is to hold the paddle rightly.

Key factors to control the paddle properly

  1. Checking the type of paddle blades.
  2. Learn to orient the paddle blades well.
  3. Master where to hold the shaft.
  4. Normalize relaxing hands-on the paddle shaft.

Mastering how to hold the paddle is the most crucial skill in this arena. There are numerous positions to hold the paddle. However, making even the slightest mistake can result in a tragic accident.

It would be best if you learned several crucial tips on how to hold and use it rightly. 

1. Kayak paddle parts

  • First of all, mastering all parts of the paddle will enable you to familiarize yourself with this arena. Hence, you can learn more about it. Here are the crucial tips about the kayak paddle design:
  • You must check if the blades are at an angle (feathered) or parallel (matched). The parallel paddle blades are more comfortable to use. But to use the feathered paddle blades aptly, you must monitor the holes and the push-button when circling the shaft. In any case, you must press it and rotate the shaft halves to a parallel position.
  • It would be best to be cautious with asymmetrical blades that feature a longer length on one side. The difference in the blade length can be subtle. Its shape enables it to track straight and non-spin when you pull it in the water.
  • On the other hand, symmetrical paddle blades feature a uniform oval shape. There are more versatile and can paddle with any blade type.
  • Curved or slightly concave blades come with curved sides when you hold the shaft. Thus, they are suitable for performing a powerful stroke since their shape can grab more water.

2. Paddle blades orientation

In this tip, you must check the paddle closely for the following factors:

  • You must ensure that the blades point perpendicular to the ground while the knuckles point up.
  • If you use the asymmetrical paddle blade, make sure that the shorter paddle blade lies at the bottom.
  • The concave side of the paddle blades must face you unless you use completely flat paddle blades.

3. Push and Pull in the correct motion

  • You must dip the blade into the water using your lower hand and pull the shaft to move forward. The upper hand must push forward concurrently to exert leverage of the paddle shaft. Hence, the lower hand serves as the picot point to generate greater power.
  • Apart from relying on your arm strength for the pull & push, your rotating torso can also boost your efforts. Experts describe this practice as the “push-pull”. If you master it, you can learn to paddle with less fatigue, for a longer duration, and even faster.

4. Relax and Gain confidence

It would be best to hold the kayak paddle at a wider width than that of your shoulder. You do not have to grasp the paddle too tight. If the knuckles go white, that can be an indication that you are holding it too close. You must ensure that you relax and grasp the paddle firmly to allow blood circulation in the hands. Many people ask the question if a two-person kayak can be used by a single person? The answer is yes it’s possible.

Additional tips to follow while kayaking

Ensuring that you master the tips in this article and gain confidence in your ability will enable you to hold the kayak paddle rightly. Once you master the basics, you can focus on learning how to stop and turn while kayaking. Here are the additional tips you should check out!

Tip 1: Forward Stroke

  • A catch phase includes winding your torso and fully immersing the paddle blade next to your feet on one boat side.
  • The power phase is comprising of rotating your torso while the paddle blade moves from behind. Focusing your eyes on the in-water paddle blade will impact your torso to follow. In any case, ensure that you also focus on pushing the shaft using your upper hand when moving.
  • The release phase involves slicing the paddle blade from the water once it reaches behind your hip.

Tip 2: Reverse Stroke

  • The drop phase will involve winding your torso and fully immersing the paddle blade next to your hip on the boat side.
  • The power phase where you must rotate your torso while the paddle blade moves ahead of you.
  • The release phase involves slicing the paddle blade from the water that’s even with the feet.

Tip 3: Sweep Stroke

  • It involves the catch phase, where you must push your arms frontward and ensure that you immerse the paddle blade near your fee to kick-start the sweep. It would be best if you kick-started from the opposite side of the direction you would like to turn.
  • A turn phase involves sweeping the paddle blades on a broader arc towards the boat side. To optimize the sweep stroke, you must add power to your body’s rotation significantly after it exceeds the cockpit.
  • A release phase involves finishing the stroke when the paddle blade reaches the hull at the back of your cockpit by slicing it out of the water.

Tip 4: Draw Stroke

  • Rotate the blade to a horizontal position.
  • Next, you must reach out to touch the water directly on the boat side and about two feet away using the blade’s tip. Thus, the paddle shaft must feature a steep angle.
  • You can pull the paddle blade straight towards you using your lower hand. You must ensure that you keep the paddle blade deep in the water when striking.
  • Ensure that you stop the paddle before its blade hits the boat side

Solo canoeing with a kayak paddle video tutorial

Final words

This article has directly answered the question Can you Use a Kayak Paddle in a Canoe? It has addressed the top factors that you must learn to master the art of paddling a canoe using a kayak. It would be best if you understood all these factors to leverage water bodies ‘adventure.

The guide for the techniques that this article discussed is decisive to become a pro in this arena. It would help if you considered implementing all these strategies to learn to paddle quickly. Most importantly, it would be best to practice regularly to improve the experience.

Learning the skill and combining it with experience can help to boost your safety when traveling on water. Above all, it can be an excellent idea for indulging in suitable activities for refreshment and general enjoyment.

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