Few places in the world are as perfect for canoeing and kayaking as Canada, whether you want to spend an afternoon on a peaceful lake or have a week of adventure in the heart of the Rockies. To get the most out of your canoe or kayak adventures, here are five basic paddles to help you get ahead, turn around and stay afloat with ease.

Keep in mind when reading this guide that these shots can be used in a canoe as in a fishing kayak. Therefore, these two terms are used interchangeably in this article.

1. Paddle forward

  • This paddle stroke propels your canoe forward.
  • Start with your paddle out of the water.
  • Hold it vertically at eye level with your hand at the top of your paddle. It's the "hold" hand that holds the handle.
  • Push the blade of the paddle forward and into the water with your lower hand.
  • Then pull the paddle straight along the boat, guiding with the hand holding the handle.

2. Paddle while shooting to turn

  • This paddle stroke helps turn and change direction.
  • Orient your torso in the direction where you want to steer the kayak.
  • Place your paddle in the water as far as possible from the canoe, on the side of the desired direction.
  • Pull your paddle back towards the stern and lift the paddle out of the water when it comes within inches of your kayak.

3. The circular

The flyer is the opposite of the previous pull technique, it is used to rotate your canoe towards the paddle. Think of it as turning your boat with the back, rather than the front, as the pivot point.

  • To make a circular, put your paddle vertically in the water, and when you reach the end of the forward motion, quickly pull towards you the hand holding the handle and push the paddle outward.

4. Paddle cross to turn

  • This paddle stroke helps you turn your kayak to the opposite side of the blade.
  • To begin this movement, take the paddle out of the water and bring it to the other side of the kayak.
  • Then turn your torso completely without changing the position of your hands.

5. The J paddle neck to go straight

This paddle stroke keeps your canoe straight as it moves forward and helps correct its direction. Here's how to do it:

  • As you pull your paddle back along the kayak, let the hand of the handle push forward and down while the lower hand pulls back.
  • Toward the end of the movement, turn the blade outward to quickly make a "J" shape in the water.

Be careful and keep control

Learning these five basic paddling strokes is essential if you want to be safe and keep control when you're in your canoe or kayak. Once you've mastered them, you'll never have to worry about circling again.

Author's Bio: 

I am Malik Nauman, a reputed guest blogger, who has been in this profession for about 6 years now. I have been sharing my opinions and contributing to varied websites.