Paddle Pulling or Pushing

Let me preface this by letting you know that I am a newbie, so please pardon me if I don’t use the correct terminology here.

I have noticed that some of you will refer to “pulling” the blade that is in the water when you paddle. The way that I was shown is that the majority of your force should come from the hand that is opposite the blade that is in the water by pushing forward like a lever. Something like 70% pushing forward and 30% pulling back. The logic being that it is easier to push than to pull, though when I do this it feels more like 90% push/10%pull.

My questions are: Was I told wrong? Is there something that I’m not getting?

I know you can’t really critique my technique without seeing it, though I’m sure that it looks something like a retarded monkey slinging his fecies. Just wondering if there is something else to this whole push/pull thing.

this technique generally gets you an ‘all arms’ stroke with a very short effecient zone. the paddle tends to scoop down then scoop up.

the idea is to use more rotation and less push/pull.

check the archives for ‘tons’ of info.


proper mechanics
the most efficient and powerful stroke is developed through torso rotation. done correctly, there is little if any push or pull.

there IS a whole lot more too it . Butfor right now you are on the right track . Go to the guidelines area an read up on foreward stroke , but again you are startin out alright , arms below your heart , head , push foreward from the shoulder liken to pushin open a door , lower arm guiding the blade in the water and pulling 10%-30% , 10 sounds good to me , blade placement being important , don’t dive it down deep , you are just clearing the surface of the water w/the blade , more surface area that way , no flutter , alot more stable as well . Torso rotation -way important if’n ya wanna go someplace an not get all beat up . NO death grip on the shaft , I instruct beginers to open their air arm hand (arm furthest away from water) to disengage the executive board meeting goin on in their brains that tells em to pull to them . So great yer pushin the shaft away from ya ! The whole torso thing is using your body weight and force to propel that foreward like a blocker on a line in football or a person walkin down the runway to show themselves to the photographers or audience , shoulder and hip foreward to your bow or center line . You have the general idea ! And to answer the question , no you were not told wrong , just more to learn —alot like LIFE-MArK

no prob
your hands are as good a place to start as any but it’s just a starting point. Push/pull isn’t as important as ensuring that the shaft doesn’t collapse into your chest and that your torso is wound up before the blade hits the water.