Side Slip / Hanging Draw???

This is the one stroke that I need work on. I have been practicing but I have yet to master it.

One question…is it best to edge a little toward the paddle…a little away from the paddle, or to keep the boat flat?

Any other pointers or advice would be appreciated.



Can somewhat depend on the hull shape,
but the usually you want the onside rail up, or heeled away from the paddle side. I am sure there will be posts saying it does not matter,and it is possible to execute a hanging draw sideslip with the boat hull in any of the positions you mentioned. The heeled away is just most efficient.

It can be done either way…
…but the boat is going to slip sideways easier if the paddle side is down as the ‘sharp’ bow and stern will be ‘skidding’ over the water. Same as for sculling draw. If edged the other way, the bow and stern are cutting into the water in the direction you want to move and water is piling up onto that side of the boat’s bow/stern rather than the bow/stern ‘skidding’ across the water.

That’s what you do to get the stern to skid around/move in the direction you want it to in a skidded turn vs. carving a turn. The skid is nearly always a faster turn if you know how to use the bow/stern low/high pressure in forward/reverse movements. And a similar (I say similar because with a hanging draw and having the whole boat move sidways, the hi/lo pressure theory is not as primary as in other manuevers. It still comes into play in the placement and subsequent small movement of the blade throughout the sideslip to keep the boat heading the same and keep it from turning as you’re doing the sideslip–another topic.) idea applies to the hanging draw but you’re ‘skidding’ the whole boat, not just the bow or stern.

It’s a somewhat similar concept to edging/lowering the side of the boat that is beam on to the wind. You do this to ‘lock’ the boat in place against the wind in lieu of using skeg/rudder. The boat is locked because with the windward side edged down and the wind trying to push that side of the boat downwind, water on the far side of the boat is piling up on that side of the sharp bow and stern and keeping the boat from moving that direction.

onside drawing sideslip
a couple things.

Initiate sideslips with a little draw when drawing, a little push away when prying. The boat likes to know what you want it to do.

Keep the paddleshaft dead nuts vertical. Angling it introduces additional forces that confuse the issue.

For most canoes the drawing sideslip paddle position is just aft of your body. Prying sideslip shaft is pretty much at your knee. This is boat situational - figure out what works for you in your boat.

Start with the paddle blade at less than 45dg opening angle of attack, increase the opening until a line perpindicular to the paddle blade extend through your body. Open the angle a little more as momentum drops; - may also need to move the paddleshaft aft a bit when drawing and forward a bit when prying.

Boat heel - lifting the side of opposition, ie the onside when drawing, offside when prying usually helps - again boat situational - but be consistent for consistent results. Heel can alter paddle placement.

In a sea kayak I think
a flat hull is best.

As usual, Charlie has equisitely
explained how to properly execute the manuever; I only managed to address your initial question. I perfected my sideslip hanging draw from Charlie.


Canoes/Kayaks different?
Far as I’ve been able to tell the OP is talking about sea kayaks, given his history. I wonder if the typically sharper bow/stern of the sea kayak might make this manuever different or more efficient with a different boat position than in a canoe?

My personal experience in a sea kayak tells me this manuever works better with the paddle side edged and the intial placement of the blade at or just behind the hips. As the boat slows throughout the manuever, the blade is typically brought forward to about the mid-thigh to keep the sea kayak tracking straight. This is also how I’ve seen it demonstrated by Nigel Foster.

It can certainly be done that way,…
…but it appears to me that the kayaker slightly edges toward his blade. This can actually be quite stable as the blade moving through the water gives you some stablility.

This argument comes up…
frequently in instructor training.

Much of this depends on your boat. Edging into the stroke does “unlock” the boat and stern, but for some paddlers (especially those who are large or paddle very low volume boat), this can actually result in water building up over the deck, slowing down the stroke.

Experiment with both and decide which works best for you.

There’s that too…

For kicks and giggles…once you master the sideslip, let’s say to the onside, in mid manuver close your paddle angle to the pry position and begin slipping the other direction. Momentum will be waning quickly, but with practice you can slip left then right without removing your paddle from the water…may not be practical, but sure looks cool.

yeah boat dependent…
It’s too bad that the alphabet organizations tend to emphasize only an edge away hanging draw rather than teaching that it is boat dependent. I guess that’s the drawback to trying to standardize kayaking skills. I’ve been in boats that work best edging away, neutral, as well as edging toward. Go figure.

I am referring to doing this in a kayak…and maybe I should add that I am trying to master this stroke as the last one I need to take a BCU assessment…want to start with this in June.

So maybe I should ask…which way do the BCU coaches want you to do it an assessment?



don’t know
but it’s the stroke that seperates out those who can’t paddle close to others without colliding from those who can.

it depends
The Side Slip is the maneuver, the ‘hanging’ or stationary draw

is the paddling technique to do that maneuver.

The ‘hanging’ or high brace component of the stationary draw

should be optionally – in my opinion.

Which kind of heel is more efficient, depends largely on hull form – in my experience.

What can make a significant difference is the stability factor though. Heeling or edging away from the move (to the left when ging to the right and vice versa) is more stable, and therefore prefered in situations where stability matters.

I always practice sideslips with both kind of heels,

but with more emphasis on heeling away, to (hopefully…) train my reflexes to do that when needed…

my british coach advised us to
’drive that boat’ towards the paddle…

edge and use the outer knee to push the boat under under you and towards where you want it to go…


those who get a bite of the monster bar from those who don’t

For me
It depends on whether I’m starting the draw portion of the stroke halfway through a forward stroke, or completing a forward stroke and returning the blade to the draw position by slicing forward through the water.

In general, I found that edging into the slipping direction helped when starting a forward stroke and then initiating the draw while the blade is in the water. Edging away works better for me when slicing the blade back to the draw position when slicing forward from the rear.

Like I said, this is what works for me and allows me to get the smoothest stroke/maneuver, even though it is likely a way of compensating for truly excellent form. By the way, the amount of edging is very slight for me in the draw – this is definitely a finesse stroke.

Lastly, as for what the BCU coach/assessor is looking for. Ask. You can ask them “what are you looking for in this stroke.” In my experience, you’ll find each of them will often focus on a different aspect of the stroke as the “most important” and there’s nothing wrong with asking what they’re looking for. – maximum slide to the side, maintaining good momentum, paddle entry, etc.

Have fun with it – this is one I try to work on every time I’m on the water, and it varies for me based on boat, and even how I have the boat loaded. The bottom line is it’s not important what someone else thinks is the right way – how does it feel and work for you.

The BCU standard is as follows

– Last Updated: Apr-02-07 9:31 AM EST –

I assume you are going for your 3 star assessment as the hanging draw is a 3 star stroke.

The BCU Coaching Directory discribes the standard for the hanging draw as follows: "The kayak is to be moved sideways over a greater distance than that of a draw stroke on the move. With the kayak moving foward at a good speed, the paddle should be placed out to the side, level with or just behind the hip. The kayak should move sideways without the paddle moving in relation to the boat, or the kayak turning. (It may be necessary for the bow to be held at a slight angle away from the paddle)".

Every boat has a different sweet spot for this stroke, and it takes practice with edging the boat (slightly) on either side and paddle and blade position to nail that sweet spot everytime. The difficutly for most people is to have this stroke work everytime. When you nail the stroke you know it. When you mess it up you know it right away. There are a couple of suggestions I have about having this work everytime that seemed to have helped some students. Rather than blabbing on if you want to hear them shoot me an email. Good luck with your assessment, whenever it is.

BCU Criteria
The coach with whome we did our 3 star work said to experiment with what worked best, in practice it could depend on the boat to see which boat angle produced the best sideslip. But as in all things BCU, it is best to be able to execute it either way. Since the point particularly of the 3 star work is to demonstrate a very high degree of confidence in your edge control along with the torso rotation etc, it is fair game for the coach to ask you to do it on an angle they prefer. Being able to flex that way is a better proof of the underlying confidence they want to see than your arriving with only one option.

Or, you can take a half day tuneup with the coach that you are likley to assess with, and get their take on things ahead of time. :wink: