A few simple steps to success

The boarding

An old Indian proverb says: "Whoever stands with one foot in the canoe and the other on the bank will fall into the water." This wisdom actually contains everything you should know to do it right. Therefore, always keep your center of gravity low when getting in. It's best to have your partner stabilize the boat on the bank. Use your paddle to support yourself on the bank and the boat at the same time or grab both coamings. Find your relaxed sitting or kneeling position. Get in one at a time. In principle, the exit works with the same sequence of movements.

Steering basic plan

Whether alone or with several people in the boat - the stroke makes course corrections easy. Before the paddle is fully pulled forward with the forward stroke, turn it outwards so that the blade is parallel to the side of the boat. The canoe reacts by pushing away or pulling the paddle, which acts just like a tiller. This stroke is very easy to learn.

The basic stroke

The top hand moves the paddle handle forward at shoulder height, while the bottom hand pulls the paddle shaft backwards. The upper body rotates outwards. The paddle is held close to the boat. The paddle stroke for maximum propulsion. As with any other paddling stroke, the same applies here: primarily I don't pull the paddle through the water, it only makes a small distance in the water depending on the size of the blade and the speed of the boat, but rather I pull myself past the paddle with the canoe or push myself off or pull myself together (e.g. when hitting the steering wheel).

The solo ride

Move a twosome, threesome, foursome forward alone? No problem. The helmsman can easily keep the Canadian on course with normal forward strokes plus steering ground strokes or with the J stroke and without having to constantly change the paddling side.

The J-stroke

More difficult to learn than the basic steering stroke, but better to use if you want to paddle continuously without the brief interruption of the course correction. The paddle blade is turned with the pressure side outwards (from above this movement is J-shaped hence the name) and is pulled out of the water. Dosing the rotation and pressure on the outflowing water creates the same effect as the steering stroke, but enables quick course corrections in fluid motion.

The cornering

The helmsman performs a reverse stroke at the stern, which is essentially the reverse of the forward stroke. The paddle is inserted behind the body and pushed towards the tip of the boat. The paddle sitting in front makes further forward strokes. This causes the boat to turn. Is used, for example, when approaching obstacles or entering an eddy when landing. 

The reverse ride

Basically the reverse movement of the forward stroke. The paddle is inserted behind the body and pushed towards the tip of the boat. Is used, for example, when approaching obstacles and for the so-called cable ferry backwards, which allows the canoe to be moved parallel to the current.

Other useful information 

Tips for safe and environmentally friendly canoeing as well as first steps and tips for newcomers can be found in the following document:

 For beginners and advanced users, we recommend the book "Der Canadier", which, with its countless illustrations and information, has been one of the most important Canadian textbooks for decades.

Driving technique - easy to learn