Kayaking & Canoeing for Beginners : Advanced Kayaking Forward Stroke Tips

We want to talk about advanced forward stroke
now for kayaking. In the earlier lesson, in “Beginning Forward Stroke”, we were talking
about just using your arms, pulling and pushing the paddle with your arms. Now, if you’re
kayaking, you actually want to rotate your body instead of using your arms. My torso,
the muscles are a lot larger and stronger than in my arms, so I want to use my torso
muscles, the center core muscles in my body to propel my kayak down the river. So first
thing, if I put the kayak blade on top of my head, and I just rotate like this, see
how I’m actually using my stomach muscles to bring the blade back and forth? Kind of
like the Energizer bunny, you’re just rotating like this. So, let me show you on the ground
what that will do. So I go ahead and sit down in my kayak like I’m sitting in a boat, again
my knees are slightly bent. What I want to do, instead of just pulling and pushing with
my arms, when I reach forward, see how my whole body rotates forward like this? I’m
going to plant the kayak paddle in the water, and then I want to rotate my entire body back
like this. I lift out, again I plant front blade in the water, and I?m going to rotate
my entire body back. See how I’m using my stomach muscles to paddle rather than my arms?
So, one of the ways you can do that, is, actually one of the tricks, the end of the paddle that’s
in the water is called the “business end” of the paddle. What you want to do, plant
that end of the paddle in the water, I’m going to lock my neck and my head on my shoulders
so when my neck moves to watch that paddle blade, my whole body’s going to move. So see
how I’m locked? I rotate like this. See how I’m looking back at that paddle the whole
time and it forces my body to rotate? Same thing here. I’m going to plant the “business
end” of the paddle in the water, I’m going to rotate backwards and watch that paddle
blade. Again, that forces my body to rotate with the paddle. And that way I’m using the
core muscles in my body to do the paddling. This way if I do twenty miles, and I get done,
my stomach muscles should hurt, but my arm muscles will be fine. Okay, for the advanced
forward stroke, what I want to do is rotate my body. So full rotation, as you can tell
I’m watching the blade. See how my body is rotating and making the boat go forward? Looking
forward, my whole body’s rotating and my core muscles are doing the stroke and giving the
boat power.

13 thoughts on “Kayaking & Canoeing for Beginners : Advanced Kayaking Forward Stroke Tips

  1. This is one of the most lame examples of the forward stroke I have ever seen. I am speechless. Two words: Ben Lawry.

  2. Nice nutcase…. it took me two months to get my gf out of the very novice habit of looking at the "business end" of the paddle…. Great kayak and audio for his demo 🙂

  3. Utter rubbish, body rotation a good thing. looking at your paddle Never teach this it will take months to get out of this kind of habit, Alex got it spot on above. exept the bit about ok for beginners. start the right way from the beginning is better

  4. kinda like the energizerwastemytime..you shouldnt have to watch ur paddle son. im trying to watch for rocks and falls

  5. Power on the stroke all the way back? I don't agree with that. No need to power past the hip. Some say the knee. Keep the stroke and the power up front. rotate from the hips. Pull the boat to the paddle. Push the boat with the legs.

  6. You guys are dumb. He wasn;t saying to watch your blade he was saying to watch your blade to learn turning because turning your head naturally turns your body. Same as spinning in the air while snowboarding. This video is for newbies. If you are such a great kayaker, wtf are you watching this anyways?

  7. I'll stick with Ben Lawry, Nigel Foster or Brent Reitz (depending on my goal) for forward stroke instruction – this guy has good intentions, but I used to paddle like that and it really wastes energy. You need energy for later in the trip…

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