This is where we start to see our work pay off. If we start paddling with our forward stroke, and get some good forward momentum, we are then free to start integrating other strokes into that movement. From a forward stroke instead of pulling your paddle out of the water at our hip, we can then add a sweep to the end.
This is how:
When The paddle blade is at your left hip, instead of removing it from the water, straighten your right arm, and rotate further until your blade is at the back of the boat. You are adding a sweep to the end of your forward stroke, and it should turn the boats nose to the right. Then immediatley continue with your forward stroke, by planting the right paddle blade in the water, and fluidly slide back into the rythm of your forward stroke. All of this should be fluid and smooth. If it isn't, practice will cure that.
With the concept of practice in mind, think about this: If you go for a paddle on sunday morning, and the weather is beautiful, and the water is calm, you may decided to paddle for 4 hours. In those four hours you will complete about 15,000 paddle strokes. After 15,000 it should start to look and feel fluid. Start, being the key phrase. As I said in the beginning, the forward stroke is very counter intuitive. It takes time.
In this lesson I am just illustrating the concept of integrating the forward stroke with the sweep, which is very useful. But later, when we learn other strokes, we will add them to our repetoir of integrated strokes, and at some point we will also add edging, and leaning. there is a lot to learn, but we must go slowly.