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Kayak Paddling Techniques: How To Paddle Like A Pro


Do you want to learn how to paddle like a pro? In this blog post, we will discuss kayak paddling techniques that will help you move through the water with ease. We’ll cover everything from proper stroke techniques to how to navigate in choppy waters. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, read on for tips and tricks that will help you take your paddling skills to the next level!

Why Your Kayaking Paddle Technique Matters

Your kayaking paddle technique is important for several reasons. First, it helps you move through the water efficiently. Second, it helps you maintain control of your kayak in all types of conditions. And finally, the proper paddling techniques can help prevent injuries to your shoulders and back.

So what are some basic kayak paddling techniques?

Paddling Techniques

There are a lot of different techniques that you will need to practice to truly become a master of kayaking. Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been kayaking for years, improving any of the below will improve your experience significantly.

Choosing The Right Paddle

While this doesn’t seem like a “technique” exactly, it’s important enough to make its debut at the front of our list.  Choosing the right paddle is key to having an enjoyable kayaking experience. Paddles come in all shapes and sizes, so you must find one that is comfortable for you to use.

If you’re not comfortable with your paddle, your technique will likely break somewhere else along the line.

Blade Orientation

The “blade” of the paddle is the wide part that goes into the water.  When you are kayaking, it is important to keep this blade perpendicular to the kayak (at a 90-degree angle). If the blade is not oriented properly, your efficiency in moving through the water will be significantly reduced.

If the blade is slightly turned, the efficiency of the paddle will decrease by up to 50%. So, be sure to keep that blade perpendicular!

Hand Placement

Your hand placement on the paddle is also important. As you take hold of the paddle make sure that the following are true:

  • Hands are about shoulder-width apart.
  • Knuckles are facing upwards.
  • The distance between the paddle blade and hands is equal on both sides.
  • The grip is secure but relaxed.

Muscle Engagement

When you are paddling, you should be using more than just your arms.  Be sure to engage your core muscles and legs to generate extra power and stability.

The Catch

The catch is the part of the stroke where you first enter the water with your paddle.  A good catch should be aggressive and powerful. You should “dig” into the water with your paddle, using your arms and shoulders to generate power.

The Power Phase

The power phase is the part of the stroke where you generate the most power. This is typically done by pulling the paddle through the water with your arms while also using your legs and core for extra power.

The Exit

The exit is the part of the stroke where you remove your paddle from the water.  A good exit should be quick and smooth. You should “feather” your paddle out of the water to minimize drag and turbulence.

Practice Paddling Perfectly.

Now that you know the basics of proper kayak paddling techniques, it’s time to get out on the water and practice! Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll become at using these techniques. Soon enough, you’ll be paddling like a pro and enjoying every minute of it.

If you are brand new to kayaking it never hurts to get some kayaking lessons while you are first getting started, even if it’s just to make sure you are practicing good form.

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