Even though my stroke is still mediocre after 30 years of paddling, I think I have arrived at four key elements (not in order of importance) of a good stroke:
- Erect posture. The lower back should only make light contact with the seat back.
- No splash at the catch; full immersion before power application.
- Maintain the arm ‘box’, with both arms almost straigt. No change in the elbow angle during power application.
4)Rotation from the hips and lower torso, not just shoulder, i.e., power from the lower torso. My boats have tight thigh pads so it is difficult to get power from the legs.
These are equally important with my wing, GP, and low angle Euro paddles. (I don’t have any high angle Euros and don’t know about them.)
Variations due to paddle type:
- Deeper initial burying of the blade with the GP.
- Pulling hand stays at chin level with the wing; goes a bit lower with GP or low angle Euros.
- Wing blade more vertical at the catch, and throughout so the wing’s leading edge can actually lead and develop lift. Very important.