Kayak Paddling

Every kayak has paddles and there are certain things that will help the new kayaker as well as the experienced kayaker who sometimes needs a reminder as bad habits are easily acquired.

The first thing to decide is if the paddle is the right one, this means that it should fit the person as well as the kayak, if the paddle is to long or short for the height and the arm length of the person it will not paddle the kayak correctly and may also strain muscles or tendons in the person’s arms who is doing the paddling. One of the ways of choosing the proper paddle is by its length and to do this while standing hold the paddle blade at the feet and the grip at the top of the paddle should be at eye level.

Part of choosing the right paddle is also what it is made from, there are wood paddles that are made from Sitkia Spruce, which are light and strong, there are Maple paddles that weight more and Ash paddles that while heavy are also more flexible than other wood paddles. There are also paddles that are made from aluminum, that are lightweight and paddles that are a type of metal on the shaft with blades made of wood.

Kayaking Lessons

Part of choosing the proper paddle should be the weight consideration, a smaller person or child may have better success with a light paddle, while a larger person may feel more comfortable with one that weights more.

When a paddle is used in the water the hand on the top is using a pushing motion, and the lower hand is using a pulling motion, the knuckles of the right hand should be lined up with the top knob of the paddle in order to guide the kayak in the desired direction. This placement on the paddle will also use the torso to aid the arms, thereby keeping the arms from tiring. The person paddling using this hold on the paddles can relax the hand on the top of the paddle after it has done its part of the job, the left hand will be helping the paddle make a sweeping motion toward the end of the kayak.

Kayaking Lessons

One of the mistakes that are made when paddling is to hold the paddle in the middle with both hands, this does not move the kayak in a smooth and easy motion, but it will tire the arms out quickly or if the kayaker were to push through the tiredness there is the possibility of straining the muscles.



There are some key things to understand when paddling correctly the torso is doing the work and not the arms and with a firm hold on the paddle the kayak will move though the water smoothly and with little effort from the arms.

By keeping the hand that is controlling the paddle movement fixed on the paddle shaft will allow the pull on the paddle to be the fullest amount possible.