Sculling draw

Edge also might help
You might also have a boat with a strong keel that resists sideways movement. Sometimes it helps to put the boat on edge, lifting one knee, to minimize the effect of the keel. Try both knees and see which edge feels better.

reach over
a wave crest with a sculling draw ?

When practiced, the scull draw moves faster than a few inches.

Single canoe sculling draw thru river turns gives a good sense of water flow, time for scenery. Very good for position setup, instead of darting about.

Thanks for such good collective advice.
Printed all the good tips given here, highlighted the important stuff, slipped it into Ziplock bag that went on my deck, then spent two hours on the water experimenting.

#1 was rotation. Being fully rotated makes a big difference (duh). Tried SP’s suggestion to have my shoulders parallel with the boat. When I did that, my stroke didn’t wander towards the bow as much as it did without rotation. Started with slow, short strokes and very little blade angle, using my right (stronger) arm to control the paddle and my left at the top. Rotating when moving the paddle back and forth on just one side of the boat is new to me, so had to focus on doing it. Kept working at it and experimenting. Keeping the paddle as vertical as possible helps, as does keeping the stroke center-rear, as suggested. Wasn’t completely satisfied because am still getting some forward motion. Nothing at all like before, but it’s there.

Did try edging, but eyeballing the waterline just under the coaming made me a bit wary since I don’t have a skirt and didn’t really want to get dunked today. Started wondering if it was possible to do a brace from my vertical paddle position, then decided to save the edging for November, when my kayak goes to its winter home in our sportsplex where it has pool privileges.

Then I paddled out a bit and came back to the sheltered area so I could try it using my left (weaker) arm to control the paddle and my right arm at the top. Did the same things I had done earlier but this time the boat moved perfectly sideways with not an inch of forward motion. I was stunned, so I tried it again. It was textbook. But I couldn’t get the same result in the opposite direction. Grabbed my crib sheet and decided that Al’s comment about the differences in pull and push strength might apply on my right side. I’m a righty; I carry my kayak with my right hand and my right side is stronger than my left. Will have to try some adjustments.

ALL of your suggestions have helped a great deal and I thank you for them. Makes things easier when I can try out of good ideas, one by one, then toss them all together and get a better result.

DK, that was an awesome video. Actually, they’re all good and I’ve bookmarked the site. Thanks.

Never been on a river. Live about 50 miles from the Straits of Mackinac, on an inland lake. Can only explore other lakes and Lake Michigan bays on weekends, so I like to practice different strokes at my home base. I might need to do one of them well someday.

That’s one of the things I love about kayaking: you have to think - versus turning a key on a motor and aiming.

Reach over
might work in itty bitty wave conditions - where I paddle, the waves are steep and the opposite side of the wave is generally a long way down :).

Not always true, but even then, in wide open water, I just don’t see occasions where the stroke is necessary. In caves, I could see the use, but rolling upside down so the bottom of the boat hits the cave and not me seems rather excessive, though I know folks that do such things.

I scull all the time - to complete a recover from a less than perfect roll, for example - but the need to actually move the boat laterally just doesn’t seem to happen.


moose ?

Only Elk
Lots of them. Not a WW paddler, otherwise I’d venture out on the Pigeon River.