Proper Paddling Technique in Kayaking

Watch this video with kayak expert and ProStaffer, Ken Whiting, as he brings us through a couple important basics of paddling technique:

Paddle Feathering

The feather of your kayak paddle refers to the angle your blades are offset from one another. Feathering your blades is especially helpful in windy conditions. When one blade is in the water, the one in the air can slice through the wind rather than be a drag in the wind.

An unfeathered paddle is more intuitive to use, so using a feathered paddle takes some practice. And whether you feather at all is completely up to you.

Two Types of Paddle Ferrules Gives Two Feathering Options

All Aqua Bound’s kayak paddles come in 2 pieces (some in 4). Where they join together in the middle is called the ferrule. This is what controls the feather of your paddle.

A Snap-Button Ferrule is the basic model. It allows for either unfeathered or a 60º feather angle.

The patented Posi-Lok Ferrule System we use isn’t just a better connection, it allows for almost unlimited feathering angles. Our highest-end paddles offer the Telescoping Posi-Lok that also allows you to lengthen or shorten your paddle up to 15 cm.

How to Use a Feathered Paddle

Your control hand is the hand nearest to the blade entering the water. It should be 6-12 inches up the shaft from the blade, with your big knuckles lined-up with the edge of the blade. Your other hand will hold the shaft an equal distance from the off-blade.

(A good way to check the right grip distance for you is to hold the paddle up so the ferrule is resting on your head. Bend your elbows at a 90º angle. Where your hands are on the shaft is where they should be when you paddle.)

At the end of each stroke with your control hand, your off-hand will rotate the shaft so that blade is ready to enter the water for the next stroke. Loosening your hand and rotating the shaft happens between every stroke.

Of course if you decide not to feather your paddle, you won’t need to rotate your shaft between strokes.

Be sure to hold your paddle without a tight grip. Keep your hold firm, but relaxed. You’ll experience less fatigue as well as help prevent blisters and over-use injuries.

Sit in Your Kayak Properly

As you sit in your kayak, you should be sitting upright—not leaning back. Your feet should rest securely on the foot pedals, your knees slightly bent and a little apart.

You’ll find one of the most important difference between basic kayaks and higher-end ones is the quality and comfort of the seat and back support.

Happy paddling!

Do you have questions for us? Contact our Wisconsin-based customer service team today: [email protected] • 715-755-3405

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