How To Row a Canoe

Now that summer has arrived, many people are hitting the great outdoors. Some might even be trying new things, like canoeing. Canoeing can be a great sport for both amateurs and experts. The only problem is that it can be tricky to row a canoe - here's how to start.

First, choose a paddle. The size of the paddle depends on who's rowing. The recommended size of a paddle is approximately the same height as one’s shoulder when standing up alongside the paddle.  Also, remember that you will need to be able to row the paddle repeatedly, so it should feel comfortable when gripped and not too big for your hand.

To row a canoe, you should be positioned in the center of the canoe.  You can sit kneel, whichever is most comfortable. Remember that you will most likely maintain this position for a while, so choose whatever suits you best. When you row, your position should be toward the rear of the canoe.

The proper way to hold your paddle, if paddling on the right, is with your left hand on the handle toward the top of the paddle, with your right hand holding the paddle about a foot above the blade. When paddling on the left, the positions are reversed.

Now put the blade in the water at a 90 degree angle from the canoe,; this means that the width of the paddle should face the water. Pull the blade backwards .  Move the oar smoothly, feeling the resistance of the water. At the end of this movement, you will turn the blade so that the width of it is now facing the canoe and pull it up from the water.

In order to keep the canoe moving straight, this motion will need to be repeated on the other side, rotating sides after every stroke.

If you're riding in a two-person canoe, the motions are the same, but how you row the canoe is slightly different. One person will sit in front and one in back. The person in back gets in first and steadies the canoe while the person in front gets in. When paddling, strokes should be made at the same time but on opposite sides of the canoe. Here, sides will only be changed occasionally to keep your arm from getting tired, not after every stroke, and the rear paddler is the one that steers.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: