Blended and/or linked strokes

Some sites I’ve read talk about blended strokes. Others about linked strokes. And some about blended and linked strokes.

Semantics? Is a blended stroke the same thing as a linked stroke? Or is a blended stroke some sort of hybrid?

In a related matter, when practicing a figure of eight, either forward or backward, how in the heck do you control the diameter of each circle so they sort of resemble each other when you have no in-water marker? Or figure where the cross-over point should be?

The Forerunner tracks of my figure of eight attempts look like a chimpanzee’s pencil drawing.


My interpretation of a blended stroke would be something like a forward bow rudder blending into a forward stroke. A linked stroke might be a forward sweep on one side of the boat being combined with a reverse sweep on the other side.

The figure eight thing–not a clue.

I’ve heard of "linked"
as when one transitions from one stroke to another, linking them together in progression. I wonder if “blended” is another way of saying the same thing. Not sure.

I’m not sure of the answer to the figure 8 thing, I have to practice using buoys. But I wouldn’t sweat the GPS tracks because in such a small area they may not be all that accurate.

I think you need to alter your profile
Not a beginner!

Possibly one who looks forward to always learning something new.

In canoeing a blended stroke is something that starts off as one thing and becomes another… Like j stroke to slice . Its one movement

Linked is two strokes that make sense without changing the ending position of the first stroke compared to the start of the second.

Kind of a subtle difference… semantica

Shaken not stirred
or blended.

It helps to figure things out off the water.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

9 W. Market St.

Hyde Park, NY

For practicing figure 8
You can pick up a pair of marker buoys used for fishing at Walmart or other stores. put them out and do the figure 8 around them.

gallon water jugs

gallon water jugs

Yes, water jugs or Clorox bottles make

– Last Updated: Jul-21-16 6:59 PM EST –

acceptable personal buoys for a figure-8 course. Just add the appropriate length of para-cord for your venue and some sort of weights.

If you want something a little fancier and more compact to take on the water Marshall use to sell an item call "Best Buoy" from RITE;HITE Marine products (Two buoys; 75' of self unwinding line and anchors). Works great for figure-8s.

Keep in mind that ANY amount of wind will affect the diameter and shape of your figure-8 loops.

Have fun!

carving arcs
Are you asking how to best control the radius of arcs and circles when carving turns with your hull?

i’d think three fishing buoys would do
if that is the question

However I have made buoys with a weight on the bottom attached to a rope running up a PVC pipe ( small Dia) with pool noodle tubing to keep it upright. Cordlock adjust to the length of line needed.

Its easier to see. We have the same kind of course in canoeing. Asym v shaped stern hulls are more difficult to maneuver backwards.

Yes, because without a maker
I’ll do one circle of the 8 which is relatively circular and the next one will be elongated and skinnier (or worse). I wonder if counting strokes would help.

Re the earlier comments, appreciate the good mentorship. Thanks, kayamedic, but I’ve got a long way to go before moving out of rookieville. I sometimes use a GoPro to check if I’m actually doing what I think I’m doing and always do a headdesk watching the video. Vertical paddle shaft is my current nemesis.

Do like the idea of a compact buoy marker. Might be able to jury rig something from what I have on hand.

controlling circle radius

– Last Updated: Jul-21-16 6:56 PM EST –

Both canoe and kayak hulls can carve so-called inside circles. The radius of the circle can be controlled by modifying one of several different factors.

Whitewater open boaters carve circles all the time because it allows them to avoid momentum-robbing steering strokes and rudders.

The following link applies to carving circles with a single-bladed paddle but can also be applied to use of a double-bladed paddle:

It is quite possible to carve circles in a kayak using only the blade on the inside of the circle and you might try that to get a feel for how paddle shaft angle, degree of boat heel, stroke power and cadence, and the position of the paddle plant and the length of stroke excursion change the radius of the circle you are carving.

Of course, with a double-bladed paddle you can also use the blade on the outside of the circle to tighten the circle (decrease the radius) by taking a more powerful forward stroke on that side, or by adding an element of forward sweep to your stroke.

Here is one idea for making a simple floating buoy for shallow water paddling practice:

similar to mine
but with pvc, not dowel and a cordloc at the top to keep the cord in place once adjusted to length to bottom needed

There is a PITA… winding cord when you pull the assembly out of the water so it does not tangle

30 feet of paracord with its own will is no fun.

Had to watch the Westwood video
to see what a cross forward stroke is. Good canoeists must be very strong paddlers. Thanks…will visualize and play with it tomorrow.

Have lots of pool noodles to make a marker but need to pick up some paracord.

Did go out for an hour to work on a few things. The best and most balanced 8 was the one I did in reverse. That’s goofy.