Comments and Discussion
Join Moulton Avery at beautiful Lake Merwin and learn how to maneuver your kayak with sweeps, draws, and reverse strokes.
NOTE: More experienced paddlers should skip this class so that novices can participate. Preferred students are those with less than 2 years of experience who have not taken more than 1 class on Sculling or Bow Rudders. We have 5 spaces available. If they aren't filled by July 10th, anyone is welcome to sign up.
Forward and Reverse Sweep strokes are the preferred strokes for turning your kayak 90, 180, and 360 degrees. They're also very useful for quickly making minor course corrections when paddling forward or backwards. They're the only practical way to turn a raft of kayaks, and consequently are an important technique for any raft-up that occurs during a rescue.
Whether your kayak is stationary or moving forward, draw strokes are used to move sideways. We'll focus on drawing to the hip, and practice in-water and out-of-water recovery of the paddle as well as drawing while underway.
Paddling Backwards. (The Reverse Stroke)
When you need to stop your kayak on a dime to avoid spearing another paddler or hitting an obstacle that you can't avoid, the backstroke is your best pal. It's a fundamental technique for holding your position in moving water or backing off a wave that you don't want to surf. It's also an essential component of the back ferry on moving water.
Sprayskirts aren’t required. Either Euro or Stick paddles are fine. There is a parking fee at Vancouver Lake Regional Park. Bathrooms available.
Location: Lake Merwin - Speelyai Park. Cowlitz County, Washington
Coordinates: 45.981881, -122.419391
Directions: From Interstate 5. Take the Woodland Exit and go east on 503 for approximately 20 miles. Take a right at the sign for Speelyai and proceed to the parking lot near the boat ramp.
LAUNCH TIME: Be ready to launch by 10:00 am.
Schedule: 3.5 HOURS
Reverse Stroke 1
Oregon Ocean Paddling SocietyPortland, Oregon