All About Canoeing

If you’re here to learn how to canoe, you’re smarter than most people you’ve seen canoeing! The fact is that most people who canoe regularly, don’t actually know how to canoe. Therefore, you’ve taken a major step in the right direction. After you’re through this tutorial, you’ll be able to observe to some extent what we’re talking about. Let’s get the expectations straight though. It may take you a few months, depending on your fitness level (and other factors) to properly learn how to canoe. This guide will serve to be a starting point, and should not be your only guide before you jump into the water.
How to Pack a Canoe: Canoe camping is a great way to experience any waterway. These packing and planning tips will ensure your next outing is a smooth and memorable one.
Loading a Canoe: Sometimes less is more. Check this brief piece of information on how to load a canoe to potentially save you a lot of trouble.
How to Transport Your Canoe or Kayak: Unless you're lucky enough to live next to the shore, you'll need to transport your kayak to the water. This page describes the various options available to transport your kayak on your car.
Canoeing Courses: National Outdoor Leadership School offers courses for you to master the sport of canoeing. Click through to find out more about this exciting program.
Minnesota Canoe Association: The MN Canoe Association is comprised of adults and kids who love paddling in all forms. From canoeing to kayaking, racing to ambling, flat-water to whitewater, if you paddle in or around Minnesota, you've found your home.

Canoeing Guide

Get Your PFD Right

Most people are sick of hearing this, but their Personal Floating Devices (PFDs) are absolutely vital. PFDs are mostly complex due to the numerous straps and buckles they have and therefore most people put them on incorrectly, putting themselves in danger. Learning how to put on your PFD in the right manner is essential before you step into the water for canoeing.
Canoe Safety Tips: Canoeing is a lot of fun, but if you don't know the dangers, you could get into trouble on the water. Here are some tips for keeping dry and steering clear of danger
Top 10 Safety Tips: Canoeing can be a lot of fun, but also very dangerous if you don’t take care of yourself and follow the necessary procedures. Go through this checklist to make sure you’re taking appropriate precautions while canoeing.

Get Your Grip Right

Even though this sounds simple, most people never learn to hold a canoe paddle properly, thereby, making inefficient use of their energy, and getting tired too soon. Therefore it is an absolute must to learn to hold the paddle correctly in order to fully exploit your strength and enjoy the experience of canoeing.
Making a Canoe Paddle: Rob Stevens discusses his passion for canoe paddles and how one can go about constructing one
Canoeing Safety: A few simple rulesâ€"along with a lot of respect for the forces out there in the natural worldâ€"will help you avoid the kinds of situations that otherwise might cause discomfort, injury, or even death.

Get to Know the Canoe Strokes

Canoeing has a number of different types of strokes for different situations. But what they all have in common is their anatomy. They’re all made of the same phases, namely:

  1. Catch phase
  2. Power phase
  3. Recovery phase

Once you’re familiar with each stroke style and their purpose, you’ll be able to learn each one of them much faster.
Different Strokes for Canoeing Folks: Once you've mastered these five basic canoeing maneuvers, you'll be able to navigate flat-water lakes and gently flowing rivers.
Canoe Strokes: Some of the basic strokes in paddling are the forward stroke, the J-Stroke, and various forms of cross strokes, including cross forward, cross draw and cross back.

The Forward Stroke:

The basic canoe stroke is the forward stroke that provides the basis for all the other strokes. This stroke is also the basic stroke that will be used by the canoeist seated in the bow of the canoe. The requirements for this stroke are a steady, upright stance and effective torso rotation.
The Forward Stroke: A focused discussion on the forward stroke.
Effect of self-selected and induced slow and fast paddling on stroke kinematics during 1000 m outrigger canoeing ergometry: This study aimed to identify the effect of different stroke rates on various kinematic parameters during 1000 m outrigger canoeing.

The J-Stroke:

You should move on to this stroke only when you’ve learned the previous strokes described above. The j-stroke would help you track properly, and to correct the canoe direction as needed. With the canoe turning sideways with each stroke, the j-stroke serves to counter that effect and straightens the boat to keep it on course.
Canoe Strokes: The primary objective of this section is to show the relationship of one paddle stroke to another and the net effect in turning the boat. Additional information can be found in several technique manuals. However, proper paddling technique is best acquired under the supervision of a competent instructor.
J-Stroke Videos: Go beyond reading. Find out what exactly does a j-stroke look like.

The Draw Stroke:

In addition to the j-stroke, you also have the draw stroke to correct the direction of the canoe and keep the canoe on course. Effective when put to use by the paddler in the bow, the draw stroke keeps the canoe’s direction in check.
Paddling Basics: Here’s an article on canoeing with a focus on paddling. Learn what strokes you’ve missed out on and which strokes do you need to master.
A Dictionary of Paddling Terms: A comprehensive dictionary of paddling terms for you to explore. There are no more excuses left for not knowing fancy canoeing words.

Paddling like a Team:

Paddling in tandem is perhaps one of the toughest challenges when it comes to Canoeing. Getting the team work and chemistry right with your partner takes immense time and effort. The canoe’s direction is controlled by the paddler in the stern. This is why the experienced canoeist should be in the stern, taking charge of the situation. For effective canoeing, the bow and stern paddlers should paddle on opposite sides of the canoe. Efficient use of the strokes detailed above will eliminate the requirement to change sides too often.
Canoe Race Teaches Teamwork and Skills: An article covering the stories of canoeing teams who have learned to work together during the course of canoeing together.
American Canoe Association: The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a member based, national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling
Scottish Canoe Association: Established in 1939, the Scottish Canoe Association is the recognized governing body of canoe sport and recreation in Scotland. The SCA works to improve access to waterways, has a comprehensive canoe coaching scheme and uses lottery funding to support Scottish Olympic Medalists â€" current and future

Canoeing Equipment Retailers


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