Westwood Outdoors was created by Andrew and Carole Westwood in order to provide a site where people can find information on paddling techniques, tips and ideas all pertaining to kayaking and canoeing. Our River Notes page highlights recent articles, new instructional concepts, and paddling techniques.
The information stated on this site is designed as a general guide and not a substitute for experience. (more…)

CARVING USING THE INSIDE CIRCLE : The 2 X 4 Forward Stroke Technique – Developed by Andrew Westwood

The 2 X 4 refers to the use of the two forward strokes (the onside and the cross forward) and four stroke elements to provide complete control of the solo canoe.

The skill builds on the concept of carving, or paddling an arcing path. Picture the canoe in motion with the bow cradled by bow waves. By using the 2 X 4 technique you can control how these bow waves direct the canoe’s path (much like the reins on a horse). The 2 X 4 makes paddling a solo canoe easier by maximizing forward speed, providing directional control and reducing the reliance on steering with momentum robbing friction strokes.

Summary of the 2 X 4 elements:

Stroke 2 X 4 Elements Tightens Inside Circle Straightens or Switches Inside Circle

Forward stroke and

Cross Forward Stroke
1.Timing Slow or pause your stroke. Increase your stroke rate.

2. Stroke Position
Paddle in front of your knee. Paddle toward your hip.
3.Paddle Angle Hold your paddle vertical. Hold your paddle inclined over the canoe.

4.Boat Tilt
Tilt the hull.

Level the hull.