February 26, 2010, Newsletter Issue #19: Learn the Anatomy of the Kayak Stroke

Tip of the Week


There are many different kayak strokes that paddlers can employ while kayaking.  Regardless of the kayak stroke that one uses, the anatomy of the stroke are all the same.   Whether you're performing a typical forward stroke, a sweep stroke, or a draw stroke they all have the same three parts.

The Catch Phase of the Kayak Stroke

The first phase of the kayak  is known as "the catch."  The catch phase describes the point at which the kayak paddle enters the water.  When placing the kayak paddle in the water care should be taken to do so with as little disturbance to the surface as possible. 

The Power Phase of the Kayak Stroke

After the catch phase comes the power phase of the kayak stroke.  Once the paddle is in the water, its job is to propel the kayak opposite the direction of pull.  The power phase describes this part of the stroke that pulls the kayak through the water. 

The Recovery Phase of the Kayak Stroke

After the catch phase and the power phase comes the recovery phase of the kayak stroke.   Toward the end of the power phase the kayak paddle needs to be pulled out of the water and setup for the next stroke.  This is known as "the recovery."

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