• Home
  • Learn
  • How to Paddle Backwards in a Canoe
Cart |

How to Paddle Backwards in a Canoe

Moving backwards in a solo canoe is one of the more challenging things to do. You can't easily see where you're going, and you need to use strokes that you won't use on a regular basis. The most common stroke to use is the reverse J-stroke because the pry at the end of the stroke helps move you in a straight line. You can also use alternating reverse strokes and cross backstrokes to go straight backward, although this combination works best in the beginning when you're accelerating from a still position.

Moving backwards in a tandem canoe is challenging because it involves a full reversal. The bow paddler is now responsible for steering the canoe, which is best done with reverse J-stroke, while the stern paddler simply provides propulsion with reverse strokes. Paddling comfortably backwards in a tandem will take lots of practice, although it certainly isn't a necessary skill. Unless you're in a really tight spot, you're best to just pivot around and paddle forward.

Related Articles

Every kayak is different just like how every human is different. Some kayaks work for people and not…

Casting out a rescue throw line, either contained within a Throw Bag or gathered in coils requires…

The first time I was asked to stand in my kayak as part of a training exercise I couldn't imagine the…

By Tom Watson              ""The noise resembles the roar of…