Essentially the J-Stroke is the Forward Stroke with a curve at the end. This will correct the natural curving motion of the canoe that is created by the stern person’s paddling.

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. Reaching forward (without lifting from your seat or leaning too far), put the blade of the paddle in the water, keeping the paddle almost vertical.
  2. Using your core muscles, shoulders and arms, pull the blade back through the water in a straight line.
  3. As the paddle passes your hip, rotate your top hand so that the thumb side is facing the water.
  4. Using your lower hand, push the paddle away from the canoe. This is the “J” part of the stroke.
  5. Pull the blade out of the water.
  6. Return to position 1 and begin using Forward Stroke.