The Bow/Draw Rudder


When it comes to the types of kayak strokes that you need to learn as a newbie, the bow/draw rudder is one of the most complicated. It allows you to turn the kayak while maintaining speed.

It combines the bow rudder and draws a rudder in a single stroke.

As the bow/draw rudder is a difficult move, you need to master the other turning moves first, such as the sculling draw.

Ready to up your kayaking skills? Read on and we’ll teach you a new technique.

How to Do the Bow/Draw Rudder

Whether you are using a recreational kayak, touring kayak, inflatable kayak, or any other types of kayak, the steps are pretty much the same.

  1. The first thing that you have to learn is how to sit on a kayak the right way. Your chest and shoulders must be facing the direction where you will be headed, so you will need to rotate your torso as this is a turning move.
  2. Like the forward stroke, you should position the kayak paddle in the water at an angle of about 45 degrees, which will allow your boat to turn. As for the distance, it should be approximately a foot away from the kayak in the same line where your knee is.
  3. As the paddle enters the water, see to it that the blade faces the kayak. Pull the kayak paddle towards the direction of your shin. Perform the trunk rotation to add more power to the turn that you are about to make.
  4. At this point, the kayak should be slower than its initial speed. Nonetheless, this will not put you into a complete stop since the main goal of the bow/draw rudder is to paddle without losing momentum. Although, it is also used for slowing down.
  5. Once you are done with the bow/draw rudder, you need to recover the blade and proceed to perform the forward paddle stroke, which will keep your kayak moving in the direction where you want to head.

Difference Between the Bow/Draw Rudder and Bow Rudder

The two terms are often used interchangeably by most people, but it is good to know that they are not actually the same. Among others, one of the main differences is that the bow/draw rudder is an active stroke. On the other hand, the bow rudder is static.

When you do the bow/draw rudder, you are essentially drawing the boat to your kayak paddle. On the other hand, while a bow rudder is related to the latter, it is less complicated to perform. It is a stroke that is best performed in whitewater kayaking.

When you are paddling, when the blade hangs on the water, this is bow rudder. To be classified as a bow/draw rudder, you need to pull against the paddle’s blade. In turn, the boat will be moving towards the blade.

Globo Surfer Overview

In sum, the bow/draw rudder is an active kayaking stroke that allows you to turn the boat without losing speed. It is a complicated technique to learn but necessary if you want to know how to paddle a kayak more efficiently. This move should not be confused with the bow rudder, although the two are both critical skills to learn.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!