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 

Practice drills

Here are some practice drills for the two types of draw strokes.

Feathered draw

  • Before you get in your kayak, close your eyes and simulate a draw stroke. Which hand are you using to control the working blade? 
  • The working hand should be the bottom hand.
  • Practice drawing up to a fixed object in the water.
  • Practice the stroke in varying conditions.
  • Practice on both sides.
  • Establish which side works best to edge your kayak by experimenting on both sides.

Sculling draw

  • Try to perform the stroke using only your bottom hand to hold the paddle. Stabilise the paddle with one finger of your top hand if necessary.
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