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The Canoe Cross Bow Draw Stroke

by Andrew Westwood

Like the Stationary Bow Draw, the Cross Bow Draw is a stroke primarily used with forward momentum. It's used by the bow paddler of a tandem canoe or a solo paddler to turn the boat on its off side.

The Cross Bow Draw involves lifting the paddle over the canoe to your off side and then planting it deeply in the water as vertically as possible, about a foot and a half away from the canoe and in front of your knees. Of course, this position will require you to rotate your torso aggressively.

From this position you'll twist your paddle so the power face faces the bow of your canoe. This means twisting your control thumb so it's facing away from you.

By opening your power face like this, you'll catch a lot of water when you're moving forward, so make sure you're ready for that force. By holding fast and not letting your paddle get pulled away from you, you'll cause the canoe to turn towards your paddle. 

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