Paddle Orientation

I’ve asked paddle manufactures, retailers, etc. this question; what does feather orientation “right” mean…in other words, if I’m holding the paddle and the blade on my left side is straight up and down, which way would the blade on my right side be, forward or backward.

No one has been able to give me an answer, so I figured someone on this forum who has paddling experience can!


It would be still facing…
the same direction, but angled with the bottom edge forward and the top edge back.



what it means
it means that the right hand is used to control paddle angle. ie right side stroke rotate paddle for correct orientaion, stroke left side, right rotates back to original angle then right stroke…

as opposed to left side control where left hand controls paddle angle… I had a two peice paddle that had three positions on ferrule for 0,-45,+45. I paddle feathered and had very hard time if I accidentaly had it left controlled.

I have no idea which way the blade would face as I am spacially challenged.


Jack is correct, but it may still be …
confusing. Start with no feather. Holding the paddle straight across your body the left and right blades are vertical to the water surface. Now feather it to the right (for right hand control). Generally, this means turning the right shaft counterclockwise or the left shaft clockwise. Now hold the left blade in the vertical position as before and the bottom edge of the right blade will be angled towards the bow of the boat and away from your body. The top of the right blade will be angled closer to your body and toward the stern of the boat. Hope this helps.


Paddle Orientation
Very good answers above so I’ll just post what came through my mind when I saw “Paddle Orientation” as a topic.

I immediately thought that some paddles are “straight” and some are “bent”. I like straight ones for water with current or pushy waves. For flat water or mild but orderly chop I like the bent ones.