Encyclopedia > Paddle

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A paddle is a tool for mixing or pushing against liquids, typically in order to propel a boat. Paddles for use in canoes consist of a wooden or metal rod (the shaft) with a handle on one end and a rigid sheet (the blade) on the other end. Paddles for use in kayaks are longer, with a blade on each end, and usually no handles.

The paddle is held with two hands, some distance apart from each other. For normal use, it is drawn through the water in a backwards direction. The two blades of a kayak paddle are dipped alternately on either side of the kayak.

A paddle is distinquished from an oar in that the paddle is held in the user's hands and completely supported by the paddler, whereas an oar is primarily supported by the boat.

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