Bow pry/j stroke question

got out on a 19 miler (eleven point river) yesterday with the wilde ire. being only the 4th time paddling the wildefire i expecting to work on the strokes.

i can do a decent bow pry on my left but i am right handed. and did a better j stroke on my right. is this normal or just part of the learning curve?

What is normal???

Generalizations regarding what is normal for a paddler regarding strokes is useless. If you regularly do both of these strokes they should be as easily done on ones side as the other. But usually, you will find that each person has a preferred side. Usually this is the side you first started paddling on, and often is your strongest, but often has poorer technique, as you learned it wrong the first time, and when you learned to paddle on your off-side you learned after you knew more.


I would say it is part of your
learning curve.

The more you paddle the more you learn, and also the more you paddle the more proficient you become on all of the strokes on both sides.

Just my take.



I prefer the port side, I’m right handed
I try to switch sides occasionally to even it up but I feel most "comfortable? on the left.

i’m right handed
but do most of my paddling on the left side. go figgya. i dribble a basket ball with my left hand but shoot with my right. i deal a deck of cards with my left hand but hold 'em in my right. i toss a frisbee with my left hand and catch it in that hand as well. i bat right handed. i play tennis with my right hand. i think i’m ambi-handrous.

I have one stroke
I call it “whatever it takes”… to dodge the rock, to chase the geese, to get home before dark, to miss the hole… “whatever it takes”.

Right handed = left side stroke

– Last Updated: May-23-06 12:17 PM EST –

As you can see from the many responses here, if you are right handed you will tend to favor the left least in the beginning. The reason for this is, you are more coordinated with your right, so when you paddle on you left side, your right hand is on the top of the paddle and thus your control hand (with the exception of a cross-bow draw stroke). In time, you will become almost "ambidextrous" with your paddle.


How was the river? I’m headed that way
and am trying to decide if I should hit the Eleven Points or Jacks Fork or Current River coming from St. Louis.

I hope to have some novices along so I’m wondering about difficulty vs. scenic beauty.

Thanks for any thoughts.

learning curve?
It’s cool to hear that many right handed people favor the left side…I’m the opposite - I’m right handed but favor the right side - by far and even after many years of paddling the right side is where I have the most perfect control. And I’m reasonably ambidextrous; can bat either way and can write like a 3 year old with my left hand. I try to mix it up and often switch sides just to drive the boat faster and balance the exercise.

Don’t know the Jacks, but the Eleven
Point had enough water (courtesy of Greer Spring) even in a dry August. Very good scenic value, though short of spectacular.