This short video may seem a bit basic as it teaches the proper kayak forward stroke, but the information learned here is invaluable to both paddlers and kayak fishermen. If you want to be a better kayak fisherman, become a better paddler – this video provides a good start as the forward stroke is the one you will be using the most. I think most guys getting into the sport are fishermen first, without a paddling background, so instead of knowing proper technique, they go out and buy a kayak, get it out on the water, and figure it out on their own. There is nothing wrong with this, it is exactly how I got into the sport, but after awhile it becomes apparent that you aren’t paddling as effectively or efficiently as you should be. The good news is that it really isn’t all that hard to break bad paddling habits. Try to remember what Mike points out in the video every time you are out on the water and with practice you will become a better paddler.
1. The catch is at your toes.
2. The exit is at the hip.
3. The power comes from torso rotation.
4. Your hands should pass in front of your nose during recovery.
After logging the mileage I did this past weekend I was glad that I watched this video prior to the trip. I made a few changes to my forward stroke and I felt faster in the kayak(being in a Cuda 14 rather than the 12 helps too) and the soreness that normally comes post-paddle was minimal. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the water in a kayak it is probably a good idea to learn how to do it right.