How to Paddle a Canoe

The Paddle: Place your upper hand over the top grip. With your lower hand, grip the shaft about a foot above the blade/shaft intersection. Remember holding the shaft closer to the blade only makes you work harder with each stroke.

The Power Stroke: A strong stroke is the fundamental tool of canoeing. To begin rotate your torso so that your paddle-side shoulder is forward. At the same time, plant your blade in the water up to the blade/shaft intersection. The blade should be kept close to the boat, with its inside edge just touching the side of the canoe. The shaft should be vertical. Your strongest stroke will utilize the full forward range of your torso/shoulder rotation, yet keep the shaft absolutely vertical. Your stroke ends when your torso rotation brings the paddle back to your hip. Paddle recovery is now a straight-forward matter: rotate your torso to put your paddle-side shoulder forward while bringing the paddle over the water surface to begin the next stroke.

The Efficient Stroke: The thrust of your stroke is achieved by rotating your torso rather than pulling with your arms. Using your torso muscles distributes the work to many muscles rather than a few, making your stroke both powerful and efficient. The results: more forward thrust and less fatigue.

How to Steer a Canoe

Any who has spent time in a canoe knows that they are mcuh easier to steer from the back (stern) than from the bow. But have you ever really thought about why that's the case? The answer actually provides insight into how and why a canoe reacts the way it does to all the strokes you take.



380 mile 26 day canoe & kayak trip

my name is hickory edwards and i am head paddler of the onondaga canoe and kayak club. this summer we are doing a paddle trip of about 380 miles from onondaga nation (just south of syracuse ny) to the united nations building in new york city. this is a 25 day trip. designed to educate the public on the two row wampum belt treaty and to create an sutanible ecosystem for all living things on the planet. we will be holding 13 events all along the hudson rive from albany to newyork city.after we reach albany from syracuse we will trying to take up 200 people down the hudson river. and as you can tell canoes will be a problem for us to supply for every one. we would like ask if you can possibly donate the use of a few of you fine canoes. i can be reached at or called at anytime at 315-775-7548 and for more info on this trip please visit hope to hear for you soon sincerely hickory edwards