How to do Sweep Strokes in Canoeing

One of the most commonly used strokes in the solar white water canoe is the forward sweep and the reverse sweep. The forward sweep is a way to turn your boat away from your paddle side towards off side, as well as move it forward at the same time.

There’s 3 basic principals of the forward sweep. The first one is you want to have a nice low shaft angle. Your shaft should be fairly horizontal. The second is that you’re going to sweep all the way from the bow all the way out to the stern and just sweep a wide arch away from the boat.

The third principle is that you’re going to use your torso muscles to do the work, so you’re really going to do the whole stroke with torso rotation. Your arms remain in almost the same position relative to your torso throughout the whole stroke so it looks like this.

I plant the paddle up toward the bow, I sweep all the way to the stern. A reverse sweep is really just opposite of the forward sweep; all the same principles apply. I’m going to start all the way at the stern, sweep a wide arch out to the side and then at the bow and I’m going to use my torso rotation again to get the power into the stroke. It looks like this. That’s the forward and reverse sweep.