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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forward

The paddle stroke we are going to do most frequently, is the forward stroke. It is also, when done correctly, one of the more difficult things we will do in a kayak. Well, dificult may be too strong of a word. How about counterintuitive. It goes against everything we think we should be doing when we are in our boat. Starting with the previous lesson, we know that we are sitting in the cockpit correctly. we are going to grasp our paddle a little bit more than shoulder width apart with the paddle parallel to our bodies, and our arms completing a square, or box. If we are going to start by dipping the left paddle blade in the water, first we must slightly rotate our body to the right. this will give us a slightly longer reach. Drop your left hand so the paddle blade enters the water. Then push with your right hand, and at the same time rotate your body to the left. When the paddle blade is near your hip, lift it out of the water. This will put the right blade in the water, and your body slightly rotated to the left. You are now in a perfect position to repeat the movements on the other side. When The right paddle blade is near your hip, raise it out of the water. You have just completed a paddle stroke. If we rotate correctly the paddle shaft will almost always be parallel to our body. And our arms will always be forming a box with our body and paddle shaft. The single most important things we can remember is to rotate, and push. So this is the basis for the most rudimentary of paddle strokes. It is important to remember that everything we do in a kayak begins and ends with a forward stroke. With just a few exceptions every stroke we do will leave us in a good position to do a forward stroke. The reason for this is we are the most stable when paddling forward. We will come back to the forward stroke many times, giving greater emphasis to some things, and adding many additional 'tweaks' to further perfect it. On every stroke we rotate left, and right at our core.

For now this will do.


forward from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.



Next we will add the ability to do some turning.

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