Friday 23 July 2021
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Bow Rudder / Bow Draw

The bow draw / bow rudder is an excellent way to turn the boat without losing speed. It is a draw stroke or a hanging draw / rudder stroke performed towards the front (bow) of the boat.

How to do a bow draw / bow rudder

1. Sit upright in a good paddling position and rotate your torso so your chest and shoulders are facing the direction you would like to go.

2. Similar to the draw stroke reach your paddle out to the side and place it into the water, about a foot or so away from the boat. This time though, aim to put it into the water in front of your hips in line with your knee.

For this move you are looking to have the front ‘face’ of the blade facing towards your boat near your knee. The paddle shaft should be almost vertical with your hands stacked one above the other. You should find you are now in a slightly more aggressive forward paddling position.

3. Edge into or away from the turn. Edge to the outside of the run and you should find you carve a slow turn this is commonly used when sea kayak. Edge into the inside of the turn and you should achieve a faster turn.

3. Draw your knee and paddle together by pulling your boat towards the anchor point created by your blade in the water

4. Stop about 2/3 inches away from the boat.

5. Recover the blade for another draw stroke or turn it into a forward paddle stroke and continue paddling.

Top Tips

If you leave the blade hanging in the water so it carries momentum into the turn this is a bow rudder.

If you pull against the blade and move the boat towards the blade this is a bow draw.

Practicing performing bow draws and rudders whilst on the move and combining the bow draw stroke with a forward stroke to accelerate away from the turn is a great way to learn boat control.