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Once you get on open waters with a kayak you feel the freedom and you can have once in a lifetime experience of your life by exploring anywhere. Once you learn the ability on how to control the kayak for nyc kayaking you will be able to have a proper adventure.

learn a few basic strokes which will help you paddle efficiently, the kayak will take you where you want to be. Most people who want to learn kayaking do so by renting a boat while on vacation. most people who want to learn kayaking do so by renting a boat while on vacation.

One need not be an expert on kayaking. However, if one doesn’t want to be in a bad situation, it is better to take proper kayaking lessons. In all water conditions basic techniques for paddling remain the same. You need to take care of the size, shape, and type of paddle you want to buy.

Most of the paddles comes in 210, 220, 230, or 240 centimeters, and the one which is perfect for you is based on your kayak’s size, width, and paddling angle.

If you choose the wrong size of the paddle board it will be far more challenging to paddle it. You still need to consider your height when choosing the length of the paddle. 

Let’s take a look at the basics of how to paddle your kayak:

The first thing you need is how to grip your paddle to make an efficient grip.

  • Going forward- For scooting your kayak sideways one needs to learn the draw strokes.
  • while forward stroke is to move forward and speed up at the same time reverse stroke is for you to slow down and back up.
  • For scooting your kayak sideways one needs to learn the draw strokes.
  • And sweep stroke for turning the kayak.

How to hold a paddle?

Now let’s take a look at how to hold your paddle and use it. The way someone holds their paddle can affect how much control they have and how much energy is needed. 

Following are the steps you need to take into consideration:

  1. Knowing the structure of your paddle.

A kayak comes with two blades attached to the shaft, while a canoe paddle comes with only a single blade attached to the shaft. The part that you hold is called the shaft, and the part that is used to stroke forward and pull through the water is called the blades.

2. Holding the paddle with both hands on the paddle 

You need to hold the paddle with both hands about 40 cm apart. This will give you the perfect grip and help you to control the kayak perfectly and with stability.

3. Having the paddle’s face in the right direction.

As a beginner you want to avoid making mistakes such as holding their paddles backward. The smooth or concave side of the paddle should be facing you; this is the part you are going to use to pull through the water.

While it may look that it may not make such a big difference by which way the paddle is facing , it actually has a big chance on your technique of power stroking.

4. which side needed to be upward 

There is a top and a bottom to the blades which makes them asymmetrical. You need to learn how to hold your kayak perfectly. While the top of the kayak is more horizontal, the bottom has more of a tapering shape. You will also find the writing on the horizontal side to help you to hold it correctly and perfectly.

5. Check your control grip.

If you are a left-handed person your control grip will be with your left hand, on the other hand, if you are a right-handed person your control grip will be with your right hand.

While kayaking you need to keep your hands loose to make sure that it allows the paddle to rotate and reposition so that each paddle enters the water smoothly. Once you have perfected your control grip you should not change it.

Make sure your paddle goes deep into the waters for which you need to push hard with your paddle.

How to paddle and row a kayak?

The important kayaking techniques are the same in all water conditions: stabilizing muscles, pushing paddles from the shoulders, and pulling back with your core. But on the other hand, river kayaking can be a little different in rapids and currents. At the same time, all paddle strokes require a proper grip: hands must be shoulder width apart, knuckles upward. 

Forward stroke  

The most crucial stroke, One of the most used strokes. It is important to use your core and back muscles to get the work done. 

Once you check you are correctly holding the paddle. There are three phases of the forward strokes: 

  1. The catch phase. You should start by taking a deep breath and put your paddle blade on one side of the boat next to your feet.
  2. The power phase. As the blade goes behind you you need to rotate your core sideways and back. To keep check follow the blade with your eyes and the core will follow. As you move you need to focus on pushing with your upper hand.
  3. The release phase. Slice the blade out of the water, when it reaches behind your hip.


To maintain balance and efficiency you need to stay as upright as possible.

Try maintaining the blade in a vertical position. You will go much straighter and move faster. 

It is important to use your core muscles rather than the muscles of your arms. You can get tired quickly and be prone to injury if not used proper techniques.

Reverse stroke

The reverse stroke is used to slow down the kayak. And if you are in a stationary position, the reverse stroke can be used to go backward. The Opposite of the forward stroke is the reverse stroke.

  1. The drop phase. You need to take a deep breath and dip the blade next to your hip.
  2. The power phase. Move the blade in front of you while rotating your core.
  3. The release phase. When the paddle comes even with your feet, slice the blade out of the water. 

Sweep stroke

To stop the boat from turning in the opposite direction you need to sweep stroke for turning the boat, it is a much more efficient way.

  1. The catch phase. Extend your arms in front of you and dip the blade near your feet on one side. Remember you have to begin on the other side from the direction you want to make a turn. 
  2. The turn phase. Make a wide sweep with your paddle towards the back end of the kayak, with the power to optimize the stroke. Once the blade reaches the cockpit, you are going to need more power.
  3. The release phase. Slice the blade out of the water, when the blade reaches the hull.

This will result in taking a slow turn. If needed you can do one more sweep turn or resume the forward stroke.

Draw stroke

To move the kayak sideways you need to do a draw stroke. This is very useful if you need to get close to another boat or the dock. 

  1. To make it horizontal, you need to rotate the blade.
  2. About two feet away, on the side of the boat, dip the blade steeply into the waters.
  3. By using the lower hand pull the blade in, keeping the blade dipped in the water. 
  4. Remember to take the blade before it hits the boat.

You should let the grip go easy on the top hand and relax if you feel the blade hitting the boat. Then start over.