The real thrill of flatwater kayaking is experienced when the kayaker has total control over their craft. Therefore, to ensure non-fatiguing and swift strokes, you need to learn how to hold your paddle correctly when kayaking.
If you’re wondering how to do that, EZ Dock Texas has got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the four factors that establish whether you’re holding your paddle flawlessly on your kayaking trips!
1- Knowing the Type of Paddle Blades You Have
It’s easier to learn kayaking with matched (parallel) blades. That’s why the first thing you need to check is that if your paddle has matched blades or feathered (at an angle to each other) blades. If it’s the latter, you can change that quite easily. Just look for the push-button located at the center of the shaft and keep pressing it to rotate the two shaft halves until both blades are parallel.
Moreover, take notice that the paddle blades are slightly concave (curved) in shape. It is best to make sure you’re gripping the shaft correctly, as the paddle is designed to grab more water with powerful strokes.
2- Orienting the Blades Correctly
To hold your paddle the right way, you must know how to orient the blades correctly. To do that, pick up your paddle and keep it in front of you. Once you’re in position, check these three things:
- Your thumb should be pointing upwards when you’re holding the paddle, and the blades themselves should remain perpendicular to the surface of the water.
- The shorter side of your blades should be facing downward.
- The concave side of each blade should be facing towards you.
If you aren’t gripping your paddle precisely this way, simply make the right flips to re-orient them adequately.
3- Adjusting Your Grip
The next step is to readjust your grip on the shaft. Follow these two steps to make the right changes:
- Rest the paddle’s center-point on your head.
- Readjust your hold such that your elbows are at a ninety-degree angle.
Now, when you move the paddle in front of you again, your body will be making the ‘paddler’s box.’ The name refers to the rectangular position created by your upper body, arms, and the paddle shaft. This paddling position ensures that you only rotate your torso to adjust your paddle’s angles while remaining in the given hypothetical box.
4- Relaxing Your Hands
Lastly, it would be best to relax your grip to prevent your hands, arms, or wrists from exhausting. It also reminds you to rely on your torso movements instead of powering your paddle. To relax your hands, follow these two steps:
- Make an ‘O’ with your index finger and thumb around the shaft.
- Now, rest the other three fingers lightly on the shaft.
You’ll soon be able to hold your paddle exactly the right way once you make a habit of playing by these four rules on all your kayaking trips! EZ Dock Texas provides advice and tips to waterfront property owners and offers dock installation services in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Call today at 800-654-8168 for your quote.