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The Kayak Draw Stroke

Quite often, you'll want to go sideways with your kayak, maybe to get to a dock, maybe just to pull up beside your buddy who's got the Oreo's. When you do that, you want to rotate your torso so that both hands are over the water, both blades are over the water.


Overview


 The first draw stroke we're going to demonstrate is a draw stroke with an out-of-water recovery. For the catch: place the paddle off your hip, and draw the kayak towards the blade. Drop the top hand. That exits the rear blade. Catch. Propulsion. Recovery. Draw stroke with an out-of-water recovery. Loose fingers on the top hand.


In Depth


 The keys to all the draw strokes are to rotate your torso so that you are facing your work. The draw strokes with the in-water and out-of-water recovery mean that you would be rotated, and then for the catch position have the paddle blade straight off your hip with the blade straight square coming back towards your hip and the side of the kayak. Propulsion phase is to pull that working blade towards the boat. Really, you want to think about sliding your hip and the boat over towards that working blade.


Hand Placement


 The top hand, which is the shaft hand, is held loosely. If you grip that too tightly you can cause yourself to capsize. So a loose grip with the top hand. The top hand stays still. It's a fulcrum, and the power shaft is a lever. So the fulcrum stays still, and the lever and blade move the kayak to the side.


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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