Draw Stroke

A draw stroke is used to propel the canoe sideways to move around objects, to straighten the canoe or to keep control if the wind swings the canoe around.

Holding the paddle:  Hold the grip of the paddle with one hand (palm facing down) and place the other hand on the shaft just above the blade (palm facing in).


  1. Turn the blade of the paddle sideways  so it is parallel to the canoe.
  2. Reach out away from the canoe and put the blade in the water.
  3. Pull the blade through the water towards the canoe.
  4. As the paddle approaches the gunwale (side of the canoe), you must decide if another draw stroke is required.
  5. If so, turn the paddle sideways, slice through the water away from the canoe and restart at step one. If not, pull the blade out of the water.