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Canoe Safety Instructions 2 - Steering and Manouvering a Canoe

Steering and Manouvering a Canoe

 Before you go canoeing, even if you’re only going one time, we advise that you study steering.

This document contains diagrams to help explain the basic strokes
The web has sites where you can watch videos on canoe strokes such as:
•    Canoe paddle strokes
•    Forward and backward strokes
•    Draw and pry strokes
•    “J” strokes
•    Sweep strokes

For the technically minded
If I exert pressure here with the paddle,

•    What reaction occurs at the bow end?
•    Where did the pivot or turning motion come from?

The stern paddler is in charge of the canoe

Before you take the role of stern paddler, at the back of the canoe, you should understand canoeing terms and canoe strokes so that you can  give guidance to the bow paddler, at the front of the canoe. You need to be able to direct the bow paddler so your combined efforts are synchronised, working in harmony.

Note also that:

  1. River currents will act against the canoe
  2. Wind may also act against the canoe


Paddling Forwards

paddling forwards



Paddling Backwards

paddling backwards

Forward Sweep Stroke

forward sweep stroke

Backwards Sweep Stroke



backward sweep stroke

The Draw and Pry Strokes

draw and pry strokes

The J Stroke

j stroke