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Kayak Sculling Draw Stroke

Sometimes you want to make your kayak go sideways and the most elegant way to do that is by using a stroke called the Sculling Draw. It starts like with all draw strokes rotating your torso, both hands over the water, both paddle blades over the water, and then you are going to slice the blade forward with the leading edge away from the kayak, stop, twist the angle, slice it back, and stop. Both hands over the water, this is hard to see. It is sliding the blade forward with the edge away from the bow when you're coming forward and sliding it back with the edge away from the stern when you're sliding it backwards, the Sculling Draw.


The Sculling Draw is all physics. It uses the Bernoulli Principle it's called or the Principle of Lift to draw the kayak towards the blade. It's done as with all draw strokes by rotating your torso so that you are facing the direction that you want to go in. Both hands over the water and you then insert the working blade with the leading edge away from the kayak.

So, if you are sliding the blade forward, the leading edge is angled away from the kayak. At the end of that stroke, it stops. The edge is switched to away from the kayak coming back towards the stern, stop, and then do the same thing over again. This will pretty elegantly and pretty smoothly move the kayak forward. It may take a little practice, so don't get frustrated. Try to have the paddle shaft as vertical as possible when you do this stroke.

This has been Mike Aronoff with Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company (CKAPCO). I hope we'll be seeing you on the water!

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