Let me guess, you’ve now just recently discovered kayaking, bought your own, or are planning to try it out but don’t know where to start? Well, it’s always a good bet to learn some basics – and this time, it’s going to be all about how to hold your kayak paddle!
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It’s not as easy as you think!
Sure all the pros and the videos make it seem pretty easy to do it, grabbing and stroking to move around in the water. But did you know the majority of first-timers almost always never can do it right the first few tries? That’s because there are motions and a proper hold you’ll have to master first!
• The blades – these are the ends of the kayak paddle that make contact with the water to control movement. Both ends are usually offset at an angle. The curved part of the blade that looks to scoop is called the power side and the opposite side is the back side.
The long part of the blade is called the top edge and the shorter is the bottom edge.
• The shaft – the shaft of the paddle is where you affix your grip. It connects both blades and the end in between the blade and the shaft is called the “throat.” The two kinds of shafts are the straight and the curved shaft.
Holding the proper way
• First, remember to hold it loose and relaxed to facilitate rotation and lessen stress
• At an equal distance from the center hold it a little wider than shoulder length.
• Make sure the top edge is up, your knuckles lined up with it. Make sure your power side is facing towards you.
• The relaxed grip allows you to rotate the blades so that the power side can make contact with the water every time it goes down.
• This position allows you to make use of all the muscles of your back, arms, core and shoulders.