Kayak Clinic: How to Perfect Your Forward Stroke

Start with the paddle horizontal to the water. Keep your eyes forward and rotate your torso moving the lead hand and shoulder forward.

More: Paddling Gear

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Step 2: Entry (Catch)

With an almost straight top arm and relaxed grip, hand and wrist at eye-level, and slightly bent bottom arm, reach paddle forward and enter blade into water with minimal splash. The paddle will begin entering at an angle, but should finish the catch almost vertical. Maintain erect posture (do not lunge forward) and assure the full blade is submerged before beginning the Power Phase.

Kayak Paddling Entry 

More: How to Care for Your Kayak

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About the Author

Stefani Jackenthal

Stefani Jackenthal is an adventure journalist and elite endurance racer who has competed and reported worldwide. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Outside, Conde' Nast Traveler, Marie Claire, Runner's World, Shape, Fitness and Women's Health, among others. Visit her site at www.stefjack.com.

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