How to paddle a canoe

Paddling a canoe might seem like an easy task; but it doesn’t matter how simple the activity, and how easy you think it is, there’s always something new to learn. This article will provide information on what you need to know about paddling a canoe in the right way.

How to Paddle a Canoe – 8 Essential tips

One of the most critical aspects of a canoe is the technique used to paddle it. In order to perform well, you need to put into practice certain techniques that will ensure that you can paddle well. We will attempt to list down a few techniques you should use when paddling a canoe.

1 – Paddle Forward and Backward

Most beginners tend to paddle the canoe backwards while they use their arms for sporadic strokes. This is not done because it’s the more natural method of stroke: an efficient action is when your arm moves in front of your body so that you can push back with your paddle.

2 – Use your Legs

When you’re paddling a canoe, you need to use both your legs and your arms in order to propel the canoe. The easiest way of doing this is by using the side strokes: when you move your arms, make sure that they grind against the side of the boat.

3 – Bend Your Knees

Your paddling technique is enhanced so much if you bend your knees whenever there’s a flat area in front of you as it will prevent the risk of hitting something with the bow.

4 – Right Angle

When paddling a canoe, it is very important that you keep a right angle between your body and your paddle because it will enable you to move efficiently.

5 – Center of Gravity

When paddling a canoe, there is an imaginary point between your two feet where all the weight should rest. For this reason, you should be able to always maintain the correct centre of gravity so that you don’t rock the boat too much.

6 – Move in a Squaring Stroke Pattern

When paddling, the best way of doing this is by making sure that you always have a square stroke. This will allow you to use your body to push the paddle as it will allow you to increase efficiency.

7 – Paddling Forward and Backward at Different Angles

Paddling backwards in your canoe can be very useful at various times, but it’s more effective if you’re paddling through tight spots. You should also consider paddling forward when there’s a lot of water around because it can provide improved visibility for when your canoe hits rocks.

8 – Don’t Overdo It

Learn to pace yourself when paddling a canoe. Paddling a canoe can be very tiring but it’s important that you take it one step at a time. When you have done all the techniques, practice them again so that you can improve on them.

Canoeing laws in the UK & Ireland