Learning to paddle

I just picked up a Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 Solo. It’s a kayak in profile and seating. But it’s open, as in no decks. My question is how do I paddle it, what strokes should I focus on? I know I can use some kayak strokes like, but some strokes such as bracing, which require lower body, are probably out. Should I focus more on using it as a canoe?

It is a deckless kayak
Just because it is open does not mean you cannot low and high brace…both are essential in a canoe too.

use it like a kayak

– Last Updated: Sep-17-12 10:30 PM EST –

You can still use braces and strokes as kayamedic says, but they may not be as effective. You can still work on your forward and backward stroke, even a draw stroke and side scull should be effective. I still had a relatively wide, sort of "open deck" kayak when I got my sea kayak and could use the strokes in both.

I never tried to high brace or roll but I think I could do it now if I still had the boat.

Yep taking a beginners class this
Weekend to go along with the miscellaneous crap I’m picking up on the tier webs.

can you add/use thigh straps
Depending on what you want to do and the conditions you may find thigh straps a good alternative to a deck. Then you definitely could do most of what a kayak can do. I guess you also have to be careful not to take on too much water if there are any waves.

Get some thigh straps …
It’s a sit on top kayak. You can use thigh straps to edge the boat and increase control for bracing.