5 Strokes That Will Improve Your Kayaking | Adventure Kayak Magazine | Rapid Media
The sculling brace for kayak stability. Photo: Virginia Marshall

Learn these five useful strokes and become a more skilled, efficient and confident kayaker

1. The Bow Rudder

The bow rudder is an extremely effective tool to use when you need to change direction while travelling at speed. It is a simple stationary stroke that allows you to make smooth and fast turns or subtle directional changes. It will make you more confident in your ability to make quick decisions to avoid collisions with rocks, other paddlers and obstacles. Learn more about the bow rudder here.


2. The Low Brace Turn

Mastering the low brace turn is beneficial to your overall kayaking skills because it gives you more versatility and support in choppy water, and also makes you faster and more graceful while edging in flat water. Learn more about the low brace turn here.

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3. The Balance Brace

This stroke was used by the first sea kayakers as a technique for stretching their lower bodies while remaining in the boat. It is performed by maintaining the kayak at the capsize point without actually tipping by using upper body flotation and the Greenland paddle. This stroke will improve your kayaking because it is a great rough-water survival position and is also a foundation for certain Greenland-style rolls. Explore the balance brace here.

The Balance Brace kayak stroke technique

4. Forward Sweep Kayak Technique

The forward sweep is an essential stroke to have in your kayaking skill set because it allows you to turn while still moving forward. For beginner kayakers the instinct can sometimes be to brake with the paddle to turn, but this decreases any speed the boat previously had. Make sure the power for your sweep stroke comes from torso rotation instead of arm strength. This stroke will make you a better kayaker because you will have more control over your direction while being able to keep up with your paddling partners. Learn more about the forward sweep here.

forward sweep

5. The Sculling Brace

The sculling brace is a key skill to have out on the water because it enhances your stability, especially in choppy or windy conditions. The main function of the sculling brace is that it acts as a second point of stability for your kayak, and it can be useful when you feel unstable on the water, to salvage a sloppy roll or for getting your legs back into the kayak during rodeo re-entry. Learn pro tips for the sculling brace here. 

sculling brace 


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