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Learn How to Paddle a Canoe

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Canoeing is a fun affair that most people learn at camp as kids. Some learn during summer at their grandparents’ homes or during family vacations on properties with calm lakes. What if you didn’t get the opportunity to learn then, but you want to visit a canoe rental now for whatever reasons? How do you paddle without any prior knowledge?

Paddling Basics

When paddling a canoe alone, opt for kneeling behind the centre brace for better balance and stability so you don’t capsize the canoe. You can use the one-sided J-stroke to push through the water on only one side without veering to the other side. You can also use the power forward stroke to alternate between sides so you don’t get tired quickly.

If you prefer to have a partner when you go out on the water, try tandem paddling. This involves paddling on alternate sides of your partner. If you are out with someone more experienced, sit at the bow (front) as the paddler in the aft (back) has more craft control.


Canoeing is a great outdoor activity. You can steer a canoe down a lake to take in the beautiful sights and serenity, or even for a picnic in the middle of the water. Avoid falling into the water and splashing about by learning how to paddle a canoe before taking one out. Remember to wear a life jacket just in case.

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