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Becky Mason on the Indian Stroke aka Silent Stroke aka Rolling J Stroke

Glenn MacGrady

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"The Indian Stroke, also called a Rolling J and Silent Stroke, is ancient. It’s ideal for traveling quietly, without splashing and the sound of droplets falling from the blade. This is the stealth version of a J-stroke. It’s great when there is wildlife nearby that you don’t want to disturb, and also for traveling quietly in a relaxed and unhurried manner."

 
it is a very naturally flowing stroke, very pleasant to peform especially in calmer water. I tend to morph into it when not needing to go anywhere at speed, almost as often as doing the Canadian, which, except for the palm roll and blade remaining underwater for the entire stroke, they are almost the same feeling.
 
It's particularly easy and enjoyable to do with a narrow animal tail paddle.

The key is to practice the palm roll. The palm roll is usually done at the end of the power stroke and before the in-water return. But you can also do a palm roll after the in-water return just before you begin the next power stroke. I've seen this latter version called the Florida Stroke.
 
The palm roll is usually done at the end of the power stroke and before the in-water return. But you can also do a palm roll after the in-water return just before you begin the next power stroke.
Keeping your thumb down (or up) on the grip while doing the in-water recovery is awkward to me. I use kind of a hybrid stroke I guess. I usually reposition the paddle shaft hand before the in-water recovery and palm roll during the return. Seems to flow better and I have plenty of control of the blade with light pressure on the grip as I roll. That's in calm water.
 
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You can also use it in a strong wind. With your paddle in the water at all times you minimize the chance that you will lose control of your bow. You will want a quick underwater recovery for best results.
 
As the wind begins to define your stroke, in water recovery tends more toward sculling and draw strokes to continue travel on a more or less straight forward progress track.
 
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