If you capsize and have to swim back to shore, swimming with your paddle will be a lot easier and faster. In this video, Moulton Avery demonstrates the best way to swim with your paddle, and explains why the backstroke is the preferred style.
How to Swim With Your Paddle
One of the great techniques that is not often discussed when talking about paddling is learning how to swim with your paddle. If you are ever in a situation where you fall out of your kayak and you have to swim for shore, using your paddle rather than your arms is much easier. To do this, lay back, relax your legs, try not to kick at all, and paddle with a reverse stroke.
Swimming with your paddle in a backstroke has more advantages than doing a crawl. A crawl stroke with a paddle is difficult to do when your body is face down in the water. As a result, people tend to lift their heads and adopt a more vertical position that increases drag.