Canoe Strokes - A Sample of Video Clips

The following provides a sample of canoe strokes. This is certainly not the definitive list and I will not claim that the illustrated strokes will be consistent with everyone's expectations. The following provides visual demonstration of the strokes, where there are links to the title there is a more complete page of descriptions. Although many of these are done solo most apply both Tandem and Solo. There are differences for tandem: Sweeps (which are only 1/4 between stem and hip), Jam/Cut strokes are primarily bow strokes.

The Elusive Forward Stroke

Froward strokes are primarily for forward motion of the canoe. The hands should be stacked and over the gunwale or water on the paddling side. Consider pulling yourself forward.

Forward Sweep

Reverse Sweep

Reverse or Back Strokes

Essentially the reverse of a forward stroke - with the same considerations. I have found that keeping your grip elbow high, almost at the mouth or nose level, helps with paddle placement and pull.

Draw & Push or Pry

A draw or pry is used to move the canoe (or at least your end of the canoe) sideways. A standard stroke pulls (or pushes) along a perpendicular line from the canoe. Keeping the paddle vertical is key, having your grip hand over the water. In both Draw and Push strokes the recovery may by sliced in (or out) of the water next to the canoe from behind (out of water recovery), or the paddle rotated and sliced back through the water (in water recovery). A pry, following Paddle Canada, does not have an out-of-water recovery.

Sculling Draw and Pry

Sculling strokes sweep the paddle blade back and forth through the water with the blade pitched between 10 and 15 degrees. The pitch creates force to move the canoe sideways. These strokes apply constant pressure rather than a periodic pause in each stroke.

Turning or Running Side Displacement

Running (static) strokes use the movement of the paddle through the water to apply pressure. Cut strokes are a continuation of running draw in the bow, shifting the paddle blade forward, angling the shaft forward, and bracing the grip against your paddle side chest or shoulder. A jam shifts the blade forward and under the bow stem of the canoe, the grip hand is further outside of the gunwale than the shaft hand.

Correction Strokes

When paddling forward the canoe will turn away from the paddle side (solo or stern). The reason is the distance from the pivot point has greater leverage. These strokes push the back of the canoe back in-line. Basically a push-away at the end of the stroke.

Reverse Correction

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Last modified: Sun Nov 14 09:19:20 2010