Breaking Down the C-1 Crossbow Draw (with Video!)


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So you’re already a cartilage-missing miscreant who enjoys paddling a single blade more than a double. We won’t hold that against you. Half the paddle, twice the skill. We get it.

But let us help you out with a few tips for learning how to do a crossbow draw, safely. Here are the steps to learning it and not killing yourself — or your shoulder — out there.

By Nick Hinds/Photos By AJ Frank

C1 Crossbow

  1. Practice your crossbow forward stroke in flatwater and mild whitewater before attempting to crush a crossbow boof anywhere with consequence. (That’s how I learned, anyway, and avoided shoulder injury, which is a real potential with this stroke.) Done wrong, this stroke exposes your shoulders, which can lead to dislocation, rotator tears or even an AC separation.
  2. Keep it tight and make sure when you throw a big forward crossbow that the water is deep enough so you don’t smash the tip of the paddle and pop your shoulder right out of socket.
  3. Keep your blade close to your boat. I’ve seen folks (Jordan Poffenburger ) do a sick crossbow leaner, but I wouldn’tt try this unless you’re Dane or Jordan. (It puts extreme force on your sockets.)
  4. Start as far forward as you can scoop the water with your blade, doing a crunch and reaching toward the front of your kayak.
  5. Pull for everything you have, releasing your crunch and throwing your hips forward (like a giant pelvic thrust).
  6. Be ready to brace as you land and skip out of the feature you’re trying to clear. Sometimes I’ll even reload a forward stroke on my on-side immediately to pull me though the feature as I am landing.

Staff Post
Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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