The influence of paddle orientation on boat velocity in canoeing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The orientation of the paddle during the outrigger canoe stroke is an important factor in maximising propulsive forces. In order to investigate the influence of paddle orientation on boat velocity, a mathematical model of the outrigger canoe paddling stroke was established. The model accounted for the movement of the paddler within the boat, the motions of the paddle blade through the water, generating fluid forces, and the resistive forces acting on the boat and paddler. The model was validated against on water data for an elite female paddler, with a difference of only 1.3% between model output and measured on water data being found. Simulations were carried out to determine the influence of the paddle blade offset angle relative to the shaft. Maximum velocity was achieved in the condition where the paddle's angle of attack was closest to zero when peak paddle velocity occurred. This was found to be at an offset angle of -20 degrees between the shaft and blade of the paddle. For the paddler investigated here, the model outputs suggested that using a normal paddle with no offset angle between the paddle blade and shaft may not be optimal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Science and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of paddle orientation on boat velocity in canoeing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this