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Paddle refers to the movement of a canoe with a paddlers means paddle ( double paddle or blade paddle ) and comes from the freely in the hand moving paddle ( engl. Paddle "stir"). The individual strokes of the paddle are used to propel the boat forward, to brake it, to steer it or to give the boat additional stability due to its unstable equilibrium on the water.

Paddling differs from rowing in several ways . You just use a paddle that moves freely and you move forward in the direction you are facing. Due to the lack of leverage, a paddle boat is generally significantly slower than a rowboat , but there are fewer restrictions on the choice of waters due to the smaller span and greater maneuverability.

In addition to mastering the individual strokes, planning is important. The distance to be paddled must be taken into account as well as the weather and the water level.

Use of a paddle in the Canadian

In addition to getting in and out of the vehicle, it is essential to master the appropriate rescue techniques.


In the kayak to sit and uses a double paddle. The most important paddle strokes are:

  • Basic strike
  • Bow stroke
  • Pull stroke
  • Canoe loft (canoe slalom)

In addition to moving forward, these blows are also available as backward blows. Combined strokes are also executed.

There are special movements for certain paddles such as the wing paddle or the Greenland paddle.


In the Canadian you sit or kneel and use a paddle. The kneeling posture has advantages as the paddler is more flexible in the upper body. However, the center of gravity is higher in the Canadian compared to the kayak. In the leisure area, a Canadian is mostly paddled in pairs, but there are also boats that are specially designed for solo paddling.

The most important paddle strokes are:

  • Forward stroke (just straight ahead without corrections)
  • Bow stroke (for slight course corrections to the side facing away from the paddle)
  • J-beat (for course corrections to the paddle side)
  • Tail lever (powerful course correction to the paddle side)
  • Duffek (cornering towards the paddle side)
  • Cross Duffek (cornering to the side facing away from the paddle)
  • Bow pull stroke (turning the canoe to the paddle side while standing - over the bow)
  • Extended bow pull (turning the canoe while standing to the side facing away from the paddle - over the bow)

Basically, the paddling technique is more demanding in a Canadian than in a kayak.

More types

A whitewater paddling course
Paddling competition in washing barrels

For white water paddling or sea ​​kayaking , special knowledge is required in addition to paddling techniques. There are very different types of canoeing that involve paddling. In addition to the classic distinction between canoes and kayaks and Canadians, there are other paddled boats such as the folding and inflatable boat or the dugout canoe , the dragon boats of Asia, the outrigger canoes and pirogues of the South Seas, the baidarkas and umiaks of the Arctic. For some years now, stand up paddling has become more and more popular.

Learn to paddle

Paddling is taught by associations of the German Canoe Association , but also in commercial canoe schools , for example the Association of German Canoe Training.

In the DACH area there is also the Austrian Canoe Association and the Swiss Canoe Association .

Connection paddling

In some German student associations, it is also a tradition to “paddle through” new applicants and foxes to the inauguration. The older liaison members form an alley that the paddling person usually has to cross in a stooped position or on all fours - the arrangement in a circle is also a popular variant. The connecting paddling is in the tradition of running the gauntlet, although its punitive character takes a back seat to the symbolism of paddling as a ritual of acceptance and - at least to a certain extent - the submission of the individual to the community. Depending on the nature of the fraternity house and the number of members, the length of the alley varies considerably, although the Fux is usually allowed to give up after a certain distance. Continuing is therefore voluntary, but is generally expected.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: paddling  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. accessed June 5, 2017