I taught a 1-1 class last weekend, focusing on draws and pries.
A draw pulls the boat to the paddle. A pry pushing the paddle towards the boat. Put another way, the paddle can stay on one side of the boat while turning the boat one direction and then the other.
First a bit of practice on flat water; above it’s a bow rudder, which is effectively a bow draw.
Next, we tried staying in a small race that forms at the railroad bridge, as the Harlem ebbs into the Hudson. In the above, it’s a stern draw – rudder position but with the blade pulling the stern, effectively turning the bow of the boat away from the paddle.
Being able to turn the boat without changing the paddle’s position is a great skill to have in dynamic water, when you might not have time to change sides. Whether in surf, whitewater, or just playful waves, they’re a great addition to your collection of boat handling skills.