How Do You Canoe?


Quick Answer

To canoe, get into the boat safely with your paddle, helmet and life jacket, and cooperate with your partner to steer the canoe in your desired direction. Paddle with your inside hand on top of the paddle and your water-side hand down the shaft.

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Full Answer

  1. Enter the canoe safely

    Secure your life jacket and helmet, making sure that you can fit two fingers between your helmet strap and chin. Have your partner steady the canoe, or secure it to a riverbank or dock at the front and rear. Crouch down, and hold on to the near side of the canoe with both hands. Put one leg in the middle of the canoe while facing the front of the boat. Grasp the far side of the canoe with your outside hand. Gently move to the front or rear seat.

  2. Take hold of the paddle

    Put your inside hand on top of the paddle, and put the water-side hand 2 or 3 feet down the shaft with your knuckles facing away from you. Make sure that your inside hand goes over the top of the paddle.

  3. Use the paddle to move

    Slide the paddle blade into the water no less than 2 feet in front of you. Push the upper hand ahead, pull the lower hand back, and bring the paddle blade through the water. Turn your shoulder to pull the blade straight back toward your hip. Pull the blade up out of the water, turn it parallel to the water, and move it back to the starting position.

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