Draw Stroke

A side draw stroke is used to move the kayak sideways from a stationary position. It is useful when rafting up, when pulling in to a landing spot such as a wharf, approaching a capsized kayak, or to pick up something floating in the water. 

There are two main side draw strokes, a feathered draw (also called a ‘T’ side draw) and a sculling draw. A sculling draw can be sustained longer and provides more support than a feathered draw. The feathered draw is the more powerful of the two, particularly when applied with grunt.

Feathered Draw Sculling draw Tips Mistakes Practice 


  • An upright posture will improve the precision of the stroke.
  • Use your legs to help you rotate your body.
  • Keep the top hand in a constant position in both draws.
  • Drawing down-wind is easy. Drawing against a strong wind can be futile! Position yourself to take advantage of the conditions. 
  • Try edging your kayak slightly to decrease hull resistance.
  • Edging your kayak may improve the effectiveness of your stroke. Not all kayaks are the same so experiment to find out what works best for you. This applies to both the feathered draw and sculling draw.

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