Canoeing can be a really enjoyable activity for many people. It is a great way to enjoy the water, and depending on the canoe and the kind of experience you want, a great way to stay dry while enjoying it. Before heading out on a lake or down a river on a canoe trip, it is important to know the basic strokes to move forward, backward, and turn around. Mastering these strokes with your partner before you get too far from shore is a good idea.
The first thing is to make sure you know how to hold the paddle. The hand away from the water is the hand that grips the top of the paddle. Always keep a hand on it so you do not injure another person. The other hand should go further down the shaft. You want to always have your paddle so the broad side of the paddle makes the most contact with the water to move efficiently.
To move forward, move the paddle above the water in front of you as far as you comfortably can without moving. Then, put your paddle in with the broad part down and pull until the paddle moves as far behind you as comfortable. Your partner should be doing the same stroke at the same pace as you, but on the other side of the canoe. Then, you switch sides and repeat.
To move backwards, you do the same thing but in reverse. Take your paddle above the water, and move it as far back as you comfortably can and move it forward. If you and your partner do this at the same time, it will result in moving backwards.
Turning will take a little more coordination. One of you will need to paddle forward, while the other paddles backwards. It is essential that you are doing this at the same rate and in time with one another. If you are the one paddling backwards, repeat the backwards movement until you have reached the desired direction. If you are the one paddling forward, repeat the forward paddle until you are facing the desired direction.
No matters what direction you want to go, always remember to paddle at the same time. If for some reason you are beginning to turn, when you do not want to, double check the paddles. You should both be paddling at the same rate, on opposite sides of the canoe, and you should both be using your paddle in a way that the broad surface makes the most contact possible with the water. This will result in the most resistance which means the most movement.
If you are looking for a great place to rent a canoe and get all the other gear that you might need on a canoe trip, Outfitters Ely or Spirit of The Wilderness, is the destination you want. They even have guided trips available. Outfitters also has rental for other gear for camping, fishing, and kayaks. You will find everything you need and will be able to get it from knowledge employees with a love of nature.