Kayaking 101

YPRC paddles are fairly expensive, so please do not scrape them on the ground and handle them with care. The same is true ofYPRC kayaks so please avoid dragging them over the ground.

When paddling grasp your paddle so that the writing on the paddle is right side up and facing you. Any other position will not be efficient. Your fingers should grasp the shaft of the paddle so that you can see the back of your hand.

Moving Forward (Forward Stroke): Bring your paddle, in a sweeping motion and pushing the water backwards, from where your ankle is to where you are sitting. Do this from side to side. Keep the paddle close to the side of the kayak.

Moving Backwards (Reverse Stroke): Do the opposite of the above by sweeping the water forward, starting from where you are sitting. This technique is useful when you want to avoid a rock or other obstruction.

Turning Right: Paddle forward only on your left side, but have the paddle further away from the side of the boat than when you are simply moving forward. You can figure out how to turn left!

Quick Turn: For turning right, do as above but follow with a reverse stroke on the right also keeping the paddle further away from the side of the boat. Do the opposite for a quick turn to the left.

Rudder Stroke: Sometimes wind and currents will make your boat drift to one side despite all you efforts. If your kayak drifts to the right, correct the motion by dipping your paddle on the left side and holding it wide from the side of the boat. Your paddle then acts as a rudder directing the kayak away from its rightward drift. Do the opposite for a leftward drift.

Practice: Once in the water, practice going forward, backwards and making turns. Once you feel comfortable doing these maneuvers or if you are already experienced, help someone who is having difficulties. If you are an adult with a young child, help him/her understand the above instructions.