Monday, June 7, 2010

Stern Pry

This is a very simple stroke that can pay off big dividends. It is a stroke performed at the stern of your kayak to begin a turn. It's like giving a push in one direction while setting your kayak up for a pull in the other direction.

It fits perfectly in sync with the forward stroke which is where I use it. There are two different ways you can integrate it into the forward stroke.

Method #1. At the end of your forward stroke, lift your paddle from the water - do not plant the opposite blade yet - slide your paddle to the rear of the boat as if you were going to do a reverse sweep, plant the blade in the water, and the give a short push towards the bow. You are doing the first six inches of a reverse sweep. Then plant the opposite blade and do your forward stroke as you normally would. Optionally you can add a small sweep at the end of your forward stroke.

Method #2. At the end of your forward stroke, in stead of planting the opposite blade, bring the opposite blade to the back of your kayak, and plant it as if you were doing a reverse sweep. Do the first six inches of the reverse sweep - meaning push from the stern of your kayak out, about 6 inches, and then continue your forward stroke on the other side. Optionally, again, you can add a sweep at the end.

So the pry starts a turning movement, then you do a forward stroke, and finish it with a sweep which continues the turn.

There is no better illustration of integration - which I have talked about before - than these three simple strokes working together. With Practice, all of your strokes can integrate as fluidly and smoothly as this.

stern pry from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.