The forward sweep is the paddle stroke that is used to initiate a spin or turn and help steer the boat. It is a wide low paddle stroke that can be used to turn the boat whilst stationary or on the move.
How to do a Forward Sweep.
1. Plant the blade in the water just past your feet near the front of the boat with a the paddle horizontal to the water and low.
Optimal reach is achieved by using torso rotating. Wind up your torso, allowing your shoulders and upper body to rotate which will help you extend your front arm out.
Remember as with all moves you still want to stay within the safe ‘paddlers box’.
2. Whilst keeping a relatively relaxed grip on your paddle, initiate the sweep stroke by unwinding from your torso. As you unwind your torso you should find it will turn your shoulders and guide the paddle where you want it to go.
Imagine the center of the paddle is attached to the center of the chest.
3. Allow the paddle stroke to follow a wide arcing path to the side of the boat.
4. As you pull against the power of the water with your blade you will be able to use your core and lower body to guide the boat in the direction you want it to go.
5. Once the paddle passes your hips, you have completed the move. Recover the paddle by slicing the blade out through the water.
6. Then get ready to put it back in the water and perform your next paddle stroke.
The key to a sweep stroke is to have the paddle horizontal and low. Having the paddle horizontal rather than vertical means that the paddle blade travels away from the boat during the main stage of the move generating spin momentum rather than forward acceleration power. The further the blade from your boat the more spin, the closer to the boat the less spin.
During the sweep stroke we use the power generated from the blade connecting with the water and pulling against the water to give us the energy to turn the boat. As you pull on the blade use your lower body to guide the boat in the direction you want it to go.