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Forward paddling seems easy, but there is room for improvement.
Forward paddling is probably the most under-appreciated and under-practiced kayaking move. However, as you might imagine, this is the most important move that you can learn. Depending on where you're going to be kayaking, and how long of a kayak tour you intend to go on, good forward paddling may end up saving you a lot of time, effort, and muscle strain.
The most important thing to remember about your forward paddling, however is that you should only work on improving it if you feel that you can't do everything that you want to be able to do while you're in your kayak.
First, you should make sure that you have good posture in your kayak. It's important that you sit up in your kayak instead of leaning back. This way, you'll be able to make all of your paddling strokes as powerful as possible. You should also make sure that your feet are right up against the footrest inside of your kayak. That way you'll have a more powerful stroke than you would otherwise.
Next, you should pay attention to where the paddle goes into the water. It should enter near where your feet are in the kayak. You don't have to be completely precise, however, as it is sometimes hard to figure out exactly where you want the paddle to enter the water - and you will lose power if you spend too much time second-guessing your strokes.
You should work on relaxing your grip on the kayak paddle, as well, as this will make it easier for you to sustain your paddling pace - and can prevent injuries.
It is also important to make sure that you are paddling close to the kayak, and that your strokes are going deep. That way, you'll be making the most efficient paddling strokes that you can.
If you follow this advice, and work on strengthening the parts of your body that get tired fastest, then you'll find that your forward paddling improves.
Copyright © 2005 Jakob Jelling
About Jakob: Jakob Jelling is the founder of www.kayakhelp.com. Please visit his complete kayaking guide for all skills and ages.