FAQ: How To Hold A Canoe Paddle?

Where should your top hand be on a canoe paddle?

To properly grip a canoe paddle, you’ll start by placing your upper hand on the top grip. Meanwhile, you should place your lower hand near the bottom of the paddle shaft. A common mistake is keeping your upper hand too high or too low. Palinsky says that you should always keep your knuckles level with your shoulder.

How do you know if your paddle is backwards?

Look at a paddler with good posture, arms straight, blade near their feet at the end of a stroke. Notice the negative angle of the paddle shaft. If the blade was in the same plane as the shaft, it would be driving the board forwards AND down.

How do you pick a canoe paddle shape?


  1. A longer blade will maintain “bite” in a chop.
  2. A narrower blade is quieter and will enter and exit the water with less turbulence.
  3. A broad blade is more powerful and will be better suited for moving water.
  4. A broad blade, surface area being equal, will be better suited for shallow water.

Is it hard to paddle a canoe?

Don’t be alarmed if you’re not paddling in a straight line. This is virtually impossible in flat water in a canoe, though it likely won’t stop you from sort-of-politely and usually-unsuccessfully offering your paddle partner totally uninformed advice for troubleshooting.

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How tall should a canoe paddle be?

The General Rule. The general rule is the shortest paddle that allows you to comfortable reach the water is best. In the middle of your stroke, your grip hand should be at the height of your nose. The throat of the paddle (where the blade meets the shaft) should be at the water line.

What is the power face of a paddle?

power face: The side of the blade that presses against the water as you paddle during a forward stroke; the other side of the blade is the “back face”

Why do you hold a paddle board paddle backwards?

Holding the paddle backwards or incorrectly makes the engineering behind the paddle’s design work against you. The paddle blade angle should tilt away from you when held correctly. At the start of your stroke a correct blade angle will push the nose of your board up and out of the water.

What muscles are engaged during the forward paddle stroke?

The three primary muscles in your back that kayaking puts to work, and the drivers behind every kayak paddle stroke, are:

  • Latissimus Dorsi.
  • Rhomboid Muscles.
  • Trapezius Muscles.

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