• Bow paddlers are unfairly maligned—referred to as bow meat, deadweight and worse. In an effective flatwater tandem team, the bow paddler is the engine, setting cadence and providing power. To aid steering, bow paddlers should know pry, sweep, draw and cross-bow draw strokes. Learn the techniques here.
  • More than 100 hours of research and testing at UC Berkeley proves there’s a right way to tie your shoelaces. Most kids learn to tie their laces in a weak bow. To find out if you’ve tied the strong or weak version of this knot, sharply pull at the laces at the base of the knot. A weak knot will orient the bow so it’s parallel to the shoe’s tongue, while a strong knot will orient the bow perpendicular to the tongue. If you’ve tied the weak version, you can tie a strong knot by wrapping the shoelace around in the opposite direction when creating the bow’s loop.
  • Sharp and narrow bow lines improve a canoe’s speed and efficiency but make it slice through waves rather than ride up and over them. A canoe with a blunt, wider bow will handle waves and rapids more efficiently. The former is popular in racing designs; the later is popular with whitewater boaters. There’s a whole spectrum in between.
  • A bowtie manufacturer in California made the world’s largest bowtie. It used 250 yards of black and white polka-dot fabric and stands seven feet tall and 15 feet wide—roughly the size of a great white shark.
  • Traditional tandem hull designs have a symmetrical bow and stern and can be easily paddled solo by a paddler sitting reverse in the bow. Modern asymmetrical hulls pair a fine-entry bow with fuller stern and widest point of the hull aft of center. The fine entry lines on the bow aid efficiency while a fuller stern keeps the stern from sinking lower in the water as speed increases.
  • Bow sales surged in popularity following the success of the $1.45 billion Hunger Games franchise, thanks to bow-and-arrow-wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen. The Archery Trade Association estimates 9.9 percent of Americans participated in archery sports in 2015, the year the final Hunger Games film was released.
  • Q: What goes tick-tock, bow-wow, tick-tock, bow-wow?
    A: A watch dog.

You’re doing it wrong. | Photo: istockphoto.com/m-gucci


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