Basic Techniques


Lower Arm

  • Hold one fist up from the blade.
  • Keep your lower arm straight while you rotate, REACH + PULL until your paddle reaches your mid-thigh.
  • When your paddle reaches your mid-thigh, that’s the only time when you can BEND your lower arm and withdraw your paddle from the water . EXTEND IT STRAIGHT again– get ready for the next stroke.
  • Bending your lower arm at any other time means you are “arm paddling” (ie. you are using more strength than needed which will tire you out more quickly.)
  • Paddle close to the boat.
  • Paddle parallel to the boat.

Upper Arm/ Inner arm

  • The arm that holds the t-grip of your paddle.
  • Your fist/knuckles should be outside the boat as you paddle. If not, you’re in danger of “flaring” (ie. canoeing with a circular motion that goes outwards).
  • Keep your upper arm at the same position when you enter and exit. Do not change the angle.
  • Please see “KINK” (below). Many problems occur because of the improper kink with your upper arm.
  • The right “Kink”
    • (Webmaster measured it) ~ 130 Degrees respective to your arm.
    • Do not drop your elbow while paddling. Lock it.
    • Do the PUMPING motion with your whole arm while having everything locked.
    • SHOW your armpit to your seat buddy. Let him/her smell what you’re born with.

Eyes, where to look?

  • There are 2 versions. We use the first.
    1. Coach Kevin advises us to look at our own side as far up as you can see (ideally, the strokers). When the person in front of you enters, you enter. Lean out to get a better view :p
    2. The other version is to look diagonally across. (FOR THIS TEAM, WE’RE TRYING NOT TO LOOK DIAGONALLY ACROSS. BACKS PLEASE TRY TO CORRECT THIS HABIT.) The downside of this is you can only see the elbow of the people sitting diagonally across from you. You’ll have to guess when their blade goes in. To compensate, it helps to have everyone using a paddle of the same length.
  • Which ever version it is.. KEEP IN TIME~ you and the person in front of you should be entering in at the same time. Help each other out.



Rotate and Reach

  • Rotate so your chest faces your seat buddy and your back faces outside the boat.
  • TIP to prevent from hurting your back: rotate your hip to get that extra reach instead of bobbing.
  • You can have better reach with rotation.
  • Ed has a really, really long reach. We should all watch and learn. His reach is way pass the knee of the person in front of him. Webmaster just had to bring that up. Haha!
  • Reach right after you withdraw your paddle from the water, then WAIT for the next stroke to come.

DO NOT do negative paddling

  • Paddling anywhere pass your mid-thigh is negative paddling.
  • Hold your paddle well with your kink and you will have positive paddling to begin with.
  • Negative paddling drags the boat despite how powerful your stroke is.
  • Remind yourself to reach forward to catch the water. Water before your knee is very heavy, and you wanna pull that heavy water to get the boat flying.


  • Don’t rest your paddle after each stroke. That’s negative paddling (see above).
  • Snap it out when your paddle reaches neutral zone (mid-thigh) and wait for your next hit.
  • SNAP IT OUT … hang/pause! .. hit PULL!!!! SNAP IT OUT!

Pause / Hang / Wait

  • After your reach, you shouldn’t go right into the water immediately. Take a chance to recover from the fast UP’s and maniac battling.
  • How long do you HANG? There’s no definite time. When the person in front of you goes… YOU GO!! They don’t go… YOU DON’T GO!
  • Purpose: You want the boat to glide after each stroke.
  • What if there’s no hang from the people in front of you? Judgment call. Remind your buddies if they go nuts on the strokes. (Listen for hints like “Rotate”, “Timing”, and “Longer”.)


Accelerate through your stroke

  • Enter the blade at x% power, AND PULL THAT WATER at x+60%, x+70% and x+80% power! –> accelerate
  • Does NOT mean SPEED UP your strokes and pauses
  • Accelerate through your strokes TOGETHER

Pivot on the cheeks

  • Reminder: raspberry.. blueberry..whatever berry it is (no offense, Berry). If it hurts, you know you’re doing something right!
  • This has to do with how you reach. To get an extra reach, you need to spin on your cheek (ouch). Use your cheek as a pivot point.
  • (For non-paddlers, when we refer to cheek, we mean butt cheek.)

Leg Drive

  • While pivoting on one side of you cheek as you lean out, your foot (whichever can give you that extra push off your seat) can bend a little and extend as you pull that heavy water!
  • Adds extra power to your stroke.

Top hand drive

  • As you enter the blade in, your top hand adds pressure downwards to make that pumping motion.
  • Aggressive drive .. PUMP IT!
  • Adds extra power to your strokes


Pain! OUCH! What to do?

  • Fight through it together. Fight through the pain.
  • Easier said than done? Not really. Just breath it out – breath in, breath out. Yes, you’ve probably seen this method on TV before, eh?
  • It’s ok to be rowdy… we understand.


  • There’s no technique, but there’s probably a reason why. The boat’s not in time, everyone’s pulling heavy water (working really hard) but not together.
  • Maybe you’re not reaching? You’re working really hard but you’re not pulling where you should be and you’re wasting your energy.
  • The rate
    went crrrrazy! Everyone’s in time but the fast rate makes it very hard to maintain the power.
    Everyone gets exhausted easitly.
  • The
    current may be against your boat. In that case, you just have to work harder to get the boat flying again.
  • Solution?
    TIME IT UP~~ ENCOURAGE your team mates by giving them a little RRREACH
    AND give them a little more POWER!!!!


  • Are you one of those people getting wet? Or worse — getting others wet? If you are getting wet because someone else is splashing, TELL THEM! Here are some common problems:
  • Scooping water? — pull your blade straight up before it goes past mid-thigh (negative paddling). Make quick exits.
  • Splash while entering? — your paddle needs to enter the water at a 45 degree angle. Spear/Place it in.
  • Bubbles? — not a good sign. Make sure your blade is buriedn before you start pulling. You should be pulling heavy water.


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