Steer & Paddle a Canoe -- online videos

These seem like good videos to learn basic strokes from – anyone else seen or used these?

how to paddle vids ?
Before anyone out there gets their panties all in a wad… the following is only my opinion.

I’ve looked at many of these videos and the link you sent is a fairly good one. It concentrates on stroke technique. Having said that, there are some that are downright poor and even dangerous which are broader in scope. Some of these give advice on river reading. One for instance, says when canoeing on a river, always head for the “V”. This in some cases is very wrong advice.

Some concerning technique repeat outdated ideas about strokes that are just kind of urban legends. They’ve been repeated as truth so many times they are accepted as fact.

Best scenerio, find a competent instructor. One thing the videos lack is “assessment and correction” of your particular effort. There’s no better way that that.

Have fun.

In a WW canoe, do you strap
yourself to the pedestal?It looks like that guy is.

“expert” village
I am an amature percusioist and have seen the EV vidios on Djembe and Bongo drums and based on the “expert” instruction on those vidios I would never, ever do what their “experts” told me in any kind of dangerous situation.

Strapped to pedastal
Yes, the paddler is strapped to the pedastal with thigh and knee straps that have quick release buckles. The thigh straps are for support while rolling the canoe and the knee straps help the knees to transmit body language to the canoe. Both straps help keep the body tight to the canoe for better control, especially in rough water and when slamming into rocks. is a fount of information regarding whitewater canoe outfitting.

Learning from videos IMHO is a valid way to improve paddling skills IF you keep an open mind and combine the video training with your own common sense and better judgement and when possible with one on one instruction from a capable person. Many of us can’t afford or don’t have access to a personal canoe trainer so instructional videos are invaluable in helping us enjoy the sport more.

My particular favorite video instructors are Bob Foote, Karen Knight and Kent Ford in the Drilltime videos available from

Concerning this EV video series please note that Zoar Outdoor Sports and Bruce Lessels have been leaders in canoeing and kayaking ever since they started 20 years ago and have earned a great deal of respect in the paddling community.

The quick lessons given by Bruce in the Expert Village in the OP are consistent with training given by other well known instructors both on video and in person.

About the Expert

Bruce Lessels is president and co-founder of Zoar Outdoor, a full-service outdoor center in western Massachusetts offering whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, biking, fly fishing, camping and lodging. Bruce has been pursuing his interests in the outdoors for over 30 years and was a member of the US Whitewater Team in the 1980s. Zoar Outdoor was established in 1989 as the first outdoor center on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts. Since 1989, Zoar Outdoor has offered rafting trips, kayaking clinics, canoeing instruction, rock climbing classes, fly fishing and bike rentals for adventurers of all abilities, from beginners to experts.

…a few…
Bill Mason, Tom Foster, Eric Jackson, Kent Ford…all have produced pretty good stuff. …And yes…to the live stuff–> Bruce Lessels @Zoar or any other well respected operations.


Bruce Lessels
Bruce taught me to roll my C1.

One of the best teachers I ever had.