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Paddles & Oars How-To's

Choosing a canoe paddle

Choosing a Canoe Paddle - Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine Top Tip (Video)

Here is a detailed video on what to look for when buying a paddle for your canoe or kayak.... read more

Video Transcript

Alright guys. Well, paddles come in all shapes and sizes. So finding the right paddle for you is essential for being able to move the canoe. You don't want anything too long because you will find you get really achy shoulders at the end of the day. Likewise, you don't want anything too short. Otherwise, you won't get that range of movement you would expect. So getting the right length is really important for your development.

There's loads of different ways you can find the right size, but here's a gritty quick tip. If you sit on a chair with your legs at a right angle like you would sit in a regular chair with a straight back. Put the paddle at your front and then put your hand on the t-piece on the top of the paddle and you should get almost the right angle on the paddle.

This one here is just a little bit tall for me. But as a guideline, you want a nice, clean cut, right angle between your arm and the bottom on the floor.

That’s just a terribly rough guideline but what I suggest is anyone who's keen on selling you a paddle - don’t’ be afraid to ask them and say, "Can I take this on the river?" It's really important that you have a go with the paddle that you're going to be spending money on just like you would when buying a car without test driving it or even testing a boat.

So make sure you go and have a go. And get some friends just to have a look and make sure you have that range of movement but you don't feel that when you’re cross-decking. So just get into the balance on your paddle. You want it long enough to propel you forward. But likewise, you want it nice and light and not too long so you can cross-deck and move that blade around the boat to help you on the water.

See you on the water.

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Beginner Lesson in Stand Up Paddling boarding (SUP)

Beginner Lessons in Stand Up Paddling (SUP) from the Inspirational Bob Purdy

An informational and instructional video on using a SUP paddle. This video features Bob Purdy. Bob is a world-class SUP paddler.... read more

Video Transcript

Hi I am Kayla from Tujawellness and I am here with Bob Purdy, stand -up paddleboard elder in training from Paddle for the Planet. So we started on the shore, a great place for beginners to start. Take me through what we learned there again.

So what we covered on the beach was mainly the paddle. And it is really important to get the right length of paddle so what you want is when you are standing you want the handle of the paddle, the top of the paddle to just come into the crook of your wrist. And that puts the paddle in the right position so that when you are taking a stroke you are not putting excess strain on your body that you do not need.

And then the other part we talked about was, you can see that there is a bit of a bend to the blade there, so what you want to do is you want to put the blade in the water with that bend to the front so you are pulling the blade through the water this way.

A lot of new paddlers in particular will kind of scoop the water with the blade that way. That is actually incorrect. We want to start on the knees like this just to give you a feel for what the board does in the water before you stand. It is a lot easier. And one of the things that you will have to do, you have to paddle on both sides to keep the board going straight. So you will take two or three or four strokes on one side and then you will take two or three, four strokes on the other side.

Let us practice a little turn here so, on your right hand side, what you want to do is you want to backstrokes. So you are going to put the paddle in this way, see how that brings the nose of the board around? Then flip the paddle over to the other side and keep paddling on that side.

The other thing you want to start thinking about a little bit is you want to make sure that the shaft of the blade goes in the water on the vertical. New paddlers especially will have a tendency to kind of sweep it this way and that makes the board turn. So you want to go in straight. So the first thing about standing on the board you will notice there is a little hand-hold right there. That is the center point of the board and that is where you want to try and stand, somewhere close to that area.

And the other thing about standing is speed in this sport is your friend the faster you go the more stable your board is. And once you have got the speed up to where you want it lay the paddle lengthwise across the board and you just going to take a step with one leg, step with the other leg and you are going to stand up, and away you go. Wahooo! You are stand-up paddle surfing.

A little tip for balance, you know that big pad that is behind your big toes and the pad that is behind your little toe and the pad that is on your heel, those three points make a triangle. What you want to focus on is trying to keep even pressure on all three points of those triangles. And if you are able to do that, what happens is the rest of your body from the feet up just aligns itself naturally so you do not have to think about your knees, your hips, your shoulders all the kind of stuff.

What you want to make sure with your stroke is you want to get that blade as far forward as you can comfortably reach and pull your feet up to the blade. And you just want to pull to about your feet.

Alright, I think I am getting the hang of it. Thank you Bob. I am ready to take on Okinagan Lake. I have heard you have done it a few times.

Just once or twice. With Paddle for the Planet that is a project I started, January first 2011. I have paddled every consecutive days since then to change the way we live on the planet. And last June I initiated World Power for the Planet Day around the world. And for my part in that I paddles from Pentincton to Vernon. So I know Okanagan Lake quite well.

Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do.

Vernon is that way. Why don't we see how far we get?



Catch you later.

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Stand Up Paddle 5 Pre-Paddle Stretches

Stand Up Paddle 5 Pre-Paddle Stretches

Here is a great video showing you 5 stretches for getting warmed up before you paddle.... read more

Video Transcript

John Ham here from Today I’m at beautiful Leo Carillo State Beach here in Malibu. And I’m going to teach you 5 stretches that will going to help you get warmed up for your paddle. Whether you’re surfing or racing, doesn’t matter you can do this stretches to help you get your body ready to perform at its best. So here we go.

Stretch #1 Lat Stretch. Since you’re on the beach already and you have your paddle, let’s use it. We’re going to start by stretching our Lats. Grab your paddle through the side and other side. You should feel the stretch right on the armpit all the way on your back.

Stretch #2 Shoulders and Triceps. Next take you paddle, grab from the back and pull up, push down. Switch sides.

Stretch #3 Hamstrings Stretch. Next you can use a leash to help stretch your hamstrings

Stretch #4 IT Band Stretch. (Go across the body}.

Stretch #5 Figure 4 Stretch. Lastly you could use a paddle to do the figure 4 stretch. Use your paddle for balance, take your heal from one leg and put it on your knee from the other one and sort of bend down. And then switch sides.

So hope you guys can use those stretches, they ought to get warmed up and keep your body feeling good while you go paddle or race. For now, thanks don’t forget to download my eBook on stay in a paddle fitness training at and thanks to Wardog for guiding me in the right direction on this new 8.3 inch quick range paddle.

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