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The Kayak High Brace Stroke

Another anti-capsize stroke is the high brace. You want to be careful with this one, but it's essentially a pull up position with you elbows in close and your working blade hand at about shoulder height. The in board hand will be lower. The idea is you're going to let the power face of the paddle stop your fall and then rotate your kayak under you with your lower body. Here you are exiting by rotating your knuckles forward. Here you do that again.

The high brace is a stroke that we use to avoid capsize. You are going to set your paddle with your elbows down, knuckles up, and you'll have an on water hand. That's going to be the hand nearest the blade that is going to be bracing against that wave that's coming at you is going to be at about shoulder height with the power face the blade down. The power face of the blade is going to affect the brace. The other side, which is the non working side, is going to be kept as low as possible maybe even as low as the cockpit combing so that the paddle shaft is essentially horizontal at the time that you contact the water to affect the brace.

When the brace contacts the water the blade contacts the water that will stop the fall. When that happens you're then going to be stable, and as that wave washes under you you are now going to use a hip snap. That is going to be by pushing down on your off side, and lifting up on your on water side to rotate the kayak back upright.


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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