A draw stroke is the paddle stroke used to move your boat sideways. The basic concept of a draw stroke is that we can use the paddle, placed out in the water parallel with the side of the boat, to pull our boat sideways.
How to do a draw stroke
1. Sit upright in a neutral paddling position and rotate your torso so your chest and shoulders are facing the direction you would like to go.
2. Reach your paddle out to the side and place it into the water, about a foot or so away from the boat, parallel with your hips with the front ‘face’ of the blade facing towards you.
The paddle shaft should be almost vertical with your hands stacked one above the other.
3. Draw your hip and paddle together by pulling your boat towards the anchor point created by your blade in the water
4. Stop about 2/3 inches away from the boat.
5. Recover the blade. There are two main ways to recover the blade
- Slice the blade backwards towards the back of the boat to take it out of the water
- Roll your wrists forward while keeping the paddle submerged and slice the blade through the water back out to your original position.
6. If needed perform another draw stroke to continue moving sideways.
If your boat turns as you complete your draw stroke you may need to adjust the point where you place your paddle into the water (in relation to your hips) slightly. If your bow keeps turning you’re placing your paddle into the water to far forwards. If you stern turns you’re placing your paddle into the water to far backwards. Try and find the perfect point to place your paddle that allows you to draw your boat perfectly sideways.
If you are feeling off balance during the draw make sure your boat is flat. If you are edging towards the draw stroke on the flat you will find the movement of the boat across the water will try and flip you or make you feel off balance. To prevent this have the boat flat or edge away slightly (1 max).