Kayaking is a great way to spend your time in the water. It may look quite simple, but you need to understand the personality of water and paddle accordingly. Kayaking is all about controlling the boat, and just by learning a few strokes you will be able to go anywhere efficiently.
The following are some of the types of strokes you will need to know to manoeuvre in the water:
Forward stroke is one of the most fundamental strokes in kayaking. You will be using forward stoke most of the time, and this stroke requires a lot of arm power. As the name implies, this stroke will make you move forward. You also need to involve your core and back muscles to do most of the work in the forward stroke. You need to pull the blade in the water in a counter-clockwise manner, and you need to make sure that your elbows are close to your body. In the forward stroke, you need to keep an upright body position so that you will be able to maintain balance and gain efficiency.
When you want to apply brakes on a moving kayak, you can use the reverse stroke. You need to know this stroke in case of an emergency. You need to follow the same steps as the forward stroke but reversely. First, you need to immerse your blade into the water on the side of your hip. Now try to rotate your torso as the blade in the water moves in front of you and then pull the blade slowly out of the water.
Sweep stroke is needed when you want to turn the boat in a particular direction. You will have to do continuous forward stroke on the same side of the boat to make it turn in a particular direction. To perform the sweep stroke, you need to extend your arm forward and put the blade in the water near your feet. You need to do this one the opposite side of the direction you want to turn.
These strokes are used to move the boat on the sideways, and it is quite useful when you need to pull yourself closer to another kayak. To perform a draw stroke, you need to rotate the blade in a horizontal position and with the tip of the blade should touch the water. Now using your hand pull the blade towards you while keeps the tip of the blade still in the water. You need to do several draw strokes to move sideways.
A kayak spin is used when you want to go in circles on stationary water. You need to do this by altering between the forward step on one of your side and the reverse side on the other side. When you complete the forward stroke, your body immediately needs to turn the other side and do the reverse stroke.