Do you want to learn how to hold a kayak paddle? It’s the first and most important lesson to learn how to paddle a kayak. Kayaking is a great outdoor activity. It lets you enjoy the beautiful scenario of shoreline at your own pace. If you are a new kayak paddler, it’s highly likely that you will hold your kayak paddle wrongly. Don’t worry. Follow the below steps to hold the paddle properly.
Holding a Kayak Paddle Properly
Holding a kayak paddle correctly will ensure that you’re navigating it like a pro. In this article, we have discussed the issue that is holding a paddle properly in a step by step process. Lets paddle it like a pro.
Know the structure of a kayak paddle
If you are new to the world of watersport, you will be surprised to know that the main difference between canoes and kayaks is in their paddle. kayak paddles come with a long shaft and feature two rowing blades These blades are connected to the paddle shaft sometimes in uniform angle, sometimes in different angles. Understanding paddles’ structure is quite important to paddle the watercraft like a pro.
Hold the paddle blade face in the proper direction
Paddle blade faces come in different designs and shapes. They could be ribbed, flat, or curved. They could also be fully smooth. Curved blades come with a concave side while ribbed blades feature a smooth side. In blades terminology, these sides are called power face. While holding a paddle, position the power faces of blades directly facing you. Holding the paddle like this way will help you to generate more powerful strokes in the water.
To envisage this placement of paddle blades face, think about the palm of someone’s hand as a paddle. Keep thumb and fingers together and slightly curved. In this imaginative scenario, the palm of someone’s or your hand represents the face of a paddle blade and the back of the hand represents the rear side of a paddle. The power face of paddle functions with the flow of the water and that is the part you will use to pull the water.
Symmetry and asymmetry of Paddle blades and stroke
Paddle blades also feature different edges. Some blades are symmetrical. It means both of their edges have the same shape. There are also asymmetrical paddle blades. The symmetry or asymmetry of paddle blades determines how you stroke. If you have a paddle with symmetrical blades, vertical strokes will work best for you. But if a have kayak paddle with asymmetrical blades low angle stroke will work best for you.
If you use a symmetrical paddle, place any of the sides on top. But, if you use an asymmetrical paddle, it is important that you hold it the way according to its designed. Though paddle with asymmetrical blades come with different shapes, identifying the top edge of the paddle blade is easy since this part is designed larger than the bottom. Manufacturers also sometimes help kayak paddlers to hold the paddle correctly by placing their logos on the paddle blades. If you find that the paddle you purchased is branded with the manufacturer’s logo, place the logo along the upright direction. It means you are holding your paddle correctly.
A few models of kayak paddles are feathered. It means, in these designs of paddles, one blade of the paddle is connected a little differently than the other. To determine, whether you have a feathered paddle, lay your paddle on the ground. If you observe that one of the blades is staying flat on the ground while the other blade is angled upward to some extent, it means your paddle is a feathered paddle. Many kayak paddles are intentionally feathered. It is because feathering makes paddling easier in the direction of the wind and feathering helps to exert less pressure on your wrist.
Grasp the paddle
Go ahead and hold the paddle. If you are right handed, place it on the paddle’s shaft first. If you are lefty, do the opposite. Ensure that you hold the paddle with both of your hands while keeping a distance between two hands is not more than shoulder width. If you like to place one of the blade over your head while holding the shaft with both of your hands, the distance between two of your two hands should be slightly less than your usual hands position.