Guide on How to Hold a Kayak Paddle

Kayaking is one of the best water rides, in my opinion, and I think many of you will agree to it. It is easy to get involved in water boats, and you will be able to do what you wish because you will be in charge of handling the kayak boat. You have to learn and follow some rules before you start your kayak adventures, but this article is a simple guide on holding a kayak paddle.

how to ride a kayak

The holding of the kayak involves the rowing of the kayak. It affects how much of your energy you put on the kayak depending on the main instrument, the paddle. Below I explain some aspects of holding and rowing the paddle.


Guide on Holding A Kayak Paddle

Trust me, holding a kayak is just a piece of cake, not so hard-breaking. What are you waiting for? Let’s start riding.


Paddles Structure

paddles structure

The paddles structure is, in fact, the most crucial part of kayaking. The design is dependent on the water flow and row of your kayak boat. The shaft attached to the paddle is also essential. The shaft will be oval-shaped. Generally, you will find round-shaped paddles. But the oval-shaped paddles are perfect in regards to strength and dive in the water. The paddle blades have to be crafted well. You need to take care of the paddle as it will be the only thing that controls the kayak.


Holding A Kayak Paddle

how to hold a kayak paddle

It would be best to learn how to hold the paddle as that should have some distance from you. Space lets you control your paddle. The paddle should be 40 cm apart. Position and hold it to be that way.


The Proper Direction of Your Paddle

direction of holding a kayak

Beginners need to learn how to hold their paddle and kayak paddle blade direction. Most beginners hold their paddle backward. That is why you have to learn about the right direction of your paddle to use it properly. It will help when you stroke your paddle in the water if you hold the paddle in the right direction. Remember this when you try to hold the paddle, the side that has the plain side or concave side of the blade, that should face towards you. This part helps you in kayaking to move forward. You will naturally get it after you practice a few times.


Paddles Right Side

right side of the paddle

It is essential to learn about the kayak paddle setup. At first, it might be hard to find the bottom or upside of your paddle. You will have to find out the design of the paddles. It will help you to understand the bottom and up the side of your paddle. The horizontal part is the top, and the other part is the bottom.


Hand Position

holding kayak paddle in right hand

It would be best if you also found the right-hand position with your paddle’s blade. You have to keep the knuckle or finger joints in line with the blade of your paddle. That way, you will hold your paddle better. 



hand position of a kayak paddle

You can keep your right and left hands slightly in different positions, but they need to be in the correct direction according to your hands’ work because that helps to get an additional grip. For right-handers, you will grip with the right hand. For left-handers, the grip will be on the left hand. When you rotate, let your paddle rotate and relax while rotating. Keep your hands loose. You want your paddles to enter the water as smoothly as possible. Learn to control your grip and have a balanced grip.


Body Strength

save your energy

It is also essential to consider your strength. When you paddle, you will not have to put a lot of force, but the paddle does not always have all of the power. You will have to push with your strength to go through on the other side of the water. The most strength will come from your arms. Most of the pressure will be on your arm when you paddle.



pushing through water

You will need your paddle to go as deep into the water as possible, which creates force and motion where you are paddling. It helps you in going forward while kayaking.


The Water

handling paddle in rough water

The kayak and paddle are pretty much in your control. But the thing which is not in your control is the water of the place where you will kayak. The water will not sit still. With the movement of the water current, you will struggle harder. Where the current is active, you will need a different paddle. That is why it requires a lot of practice to be on that level.



That was pretty all the basics you need to know about before you get into kayaking from a simple guide on holding a kayak paddle. Get used to these basics, and you will enjoy kayaking more, and it will be safe too. After you are comfortable with the basics, you can be more adventurous and learn about the advanced kayak paddling technique. I wish you all the best on your kayaking adventures. Be safe out in the wild.


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