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How To Hold A Kayak Paddle?

Hold a Kayak Paddle
Written by Jessica Herron
Last Update: August 14, 2023

Kayak paddles are one of the most essential and fundamental components to ride a kayak. It can also turn your ride into a dreadful experience. This happens when you do not have a clear knowledge on how to hold a paddle.

Unlike the pedal kayaks, paddle models require the right way of exerting pressure on the paddles to keep the kayak move forward steadily, or else your labor will go in vain.

Most of the people ignore the fact how much important it is to learn about kayak paddles. While, there are people like you who care about to be aware of its purpose. We respect your concern and thus we have attached here few steps that you can ponder to know the proper ways to hold a kayak paddle.

Step 1: Know your paddle

Kayak paddles include a shaft that we hold and 2 blades fixed to the shaft of the paddle which are used to pull one while riding the kayak. It is important to understand your paddle thoroughly to recognize its functionalities.

Step 2 : Holding your kayak paddle

Take your paddle and hold them with your two hands. Hold them in a way that a distance of 40cm creates between your two hands.

Step 3 : Determining direction

If you are a beginner, you might think of holding your paddle backwards. It is so obvious to think so as you can be confused to vary which side pulls you through the water during the forward stroke. But, this mistake affects your stroking skills. The right way is to let the paddle blade remain in a position smooth facing you since the face of the paddle is the part anyone would like to pull through the water. You can practice by imagining your hand as paddle. This has helped many.

Step 4 : Ensuring right-side up

There are different brands and models of kayak paddles in the market and among them asymmetrical paddles are remarkable. It consists of a tops and bottom to the paddle blade and you should hold it based on its design. On the contrary, a symmetrical one can be identified by looking at 1 blade. In a symmetrical paddle, the top of the paddle blade is similar like the bottom of the paddle blade. The top is more horizontal when compared to bottom and the bottom is narrower. Keep in your mind to hold the writing upright only when you recognize that the paddle has a horizontal writing.

Step 5 : Checking knuckles

The next step to hold a kayak paddle is to verify your knuckles and see if they are uniformed well with the blade. If not, take measures to make it stay in line with the blade.

Step 6 : Controlling grip

There are numerous paddles that contain blades balanced with one another. If you lay the paddle on the ground, one blade would lie flat on the ground and other would be angles upward and you will understand what we have just mentioned above. It is needed to make a good grip.  Make sure you let the paddle to rotate and relocate in your loose hand when taking a stroke. It allows a smooth water flow with each paddle. Your grip is fixed and does not change with the strokes. If you are a right handed person and your grip should be with your right hand likewise.

Step 7 : Grab your paddle

Once you control grip with your both hands centered on the paddle, you can start your first ride. Hold it about 30 cm away from your body and do not hold it too tight. If you want to keep your paddles on top of your head while still holding with your hands, a slightly smaller than 45 degree angle must be created with your elbows.
So, this was all from us. We would suggest you to practice before you preach. Practice can be a key to success. Hopefully, now you can hold a kayak paddle accurately. Have a happy ride and stay safe!

About the author

Jessica Herron

Hi! This is Jessica. I can be your virtual outdoor buddy, lol! My friends call me a devotee of adventure. I believe, as any outdoor enthusiast does, adventures are all about the thrill. My love consists of a mix of fishing and camping in the wild, if you ask (what thrills you most?). So, I could be of help (through my articles on this website) to any adventure seeker as long as backpacking, survival, camping, hiking, and fishing are concerned. Are you planning to take a trip to the wild next weekend? Maybe, you already are in the middle of a journey. No matter where you are, my words are on the air!

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