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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Start as far forward as you can scoop the water with your blade, doing a crunch and reaching toward the front of your kayak.
- Pull for everything you have, releasing your crunch and throwing your hips forward (like a giant pelvic thrust).
- 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.