5. Row Like a Pro
These paddle maneuvers will keep your canoe moving in the right direction.
Why you’ll use it: To keep the boat moving straight without switching sides.
How to do it: Plant the paddle forward in the water and pull it toward you. When it’s at your hip, twist the blade 90 degrees, so that it’s parallel with the boat, then use it as a rudder. The motion should resemble the letter J.
Why you’ll use it: To prevent capsizing.
How to do it: Keeping both hands below your chest, reach out with the paddle horizontal to the water and perpendicular to the canoe. Then smack the blade quickly and forcefully on the water, to counter the leaning canoe and push yourself upright.
Why you’ll use it: To move the canoe sideways.
How to do it: With your shaft hand as high as possible toward the blade, extend the paddle, plant it nearly vertical, and pull it through the water in a short, powerful inward stroke.
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