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by Alex Matthews

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Only skim your paddle lightly across the water for support, loading the blade as little as possible – it’s the edging that provides the turning efficiency, not the low brace.

Having completed the forward sweep stroke, roll your knuckles down and raise your elbows, assuming a low brace position on your right side so that the non-power face of the blade lightly contacts the water’s surface. It is essential to maintain a climbing angle on the leading edge of your blade to create lift and prevent the paddle from diving when it lightly skims across the water. Think of walking down a flight of stairs: your descent is achieved with coordination and balance. Running a hand lightly along the handrail is all that is required (support is instantaneously available should your balance falter). Once you have lost your forward speed or achieved the turn required, take the next stroke that best propels you on your way. This edging turn works beautifully on flat water, and rewards paddlers with elegant and efficient turns. In moving

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As your boat slows, level out the kayak and take your next stroke.

water, however, it is better to use turns that provide support on the inside of the turn, like the low brace lean turn (Summer 2008) or high brace lean turn (Winter 2007). n Alex Matthew is Coast&Kayak Magazine’s skills guru and author of Sea Kayaking: Rough Waters (Fox Chapel Publishing).

WINTER 2012

COAST&KAYAK Magazine

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Winter 2012 Coast&Kayak Magazine  

Explore Princess Louisa Inlet, frolic with cougars on D'Arcy Island, paddle the coast of Gwaii Haanas and try Greenland paddles in this issu...