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By Laurie Gullion

Contains guideline in simple abilities, selecting the right apparatus, protection instructions, and conditioning exercises.

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Example text

Abandoning the outdated concept that you push or pull the paddle through the water toward you will make you a stronger paddler.  A series of strokes or combinations of different strokes create the different canoeing maneuvers.  For instance, a draw stroke (which you'll learn shortly) in a solo canoe happens near the midsection and moves the boat sideways, while draw strokes done by both paddlers in a tandem canoe will produce a tight circle because the strokes are done near the ends of the boat on opposite sides.

End the stroke just before the paddle strikes the bow.  Feather the blade low to the water back to the catch, powerface facing the sky.  Use the same dynamics as a solo paddler, except stop the stroke earlier.  Begin the stroke near the bow, carve a 90­degree are toward the stern, and stop the stroke opposite your hip.  Begin the stroke opposite your hip.  Paddle a 90­degree are until you reach the stern.  Use the same dynamics as a solo paddler, except stop the stroke earlier.  Begin the stroke near the stern, carve a 90­degree are toward the bow, and stop the stroke opposite your hip.

Later in your development you can continue to improve your paddling by exploring the many variations of the common strokes you'll learn here.  Every canoeist must take responsibility for his or her actions on water, because you can't rely on other people coming to your assistance.  If necessary, use four or even six people, distributed evenly around the canoe to make the load lighter.  Even easier, carry them to the water with your accessory gear.  Lift with your legs!  Again, only one person should move at a time to enhance stability.

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