Canoe Techniques: MITH

MITH describes the technique used to carve your canoe smoothly through eddy turns, S turns and peel outs. Carving maximizes the benefits of hull features to control the arcing path of the canoe and maintain its stability.


Momentum is necessary to move the canoe in an arcing path toward, and across, the eddy line.The skill of a carving taps into two types of momentum; forward and turning momentum.Momentum comes from either forward strokes or from gaining speed from descending the gradient of the river.ᅠ Regardless of where you get your Mo, youメll need momentum to cross the friction of the eddy line.


Initiating a turn can be as straight forward as using a turning stroke (ex. stern pry), or as subtle as carving an inside circle and allowing it to tighten into a carving arc.The critical product of this step is that the canoe should be traveling a curving path toward the eddy pool.


Only canoes that are tilted on edge will carve turns. Canoes that are paddled into a turn flat will spin out! A tilted hull presents the bottom of the canoe partly on its side so its digs into the water. This ムedgingメ effect grips the water and helps push the canoe around a carving arc.


Traveling form point A to point B takes time. So, during an eddy turn you must hold your tilt throughout the duration of the maneouver.The moment the hull is allowed to flatten out, your carve will be lost and you will spin out. If you spin out you will lose your momentum and your eddy turn will stall.Holding the tilt is your key to success.Practice gripping your canoe’s outfitting with your legs for long periods of time. In whitewater, holding your boat is as vital as holding your paddle! Only when the turn is complete can you relax your tilt and allow the canoe to level out.

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.