Photo: from Adam Van Koeverden video
Below are stroke tips picked up from fellow paddlers, blogs, videos, etc. This is an attempt at detailing the ideal stroke. Given the differences in paddling philosophies, bodies and abilities this is not meant to be how we should all paddle. It's a framework to think about the stroke as we all find what works best for each of us.
There is no substitute for a good coach. But if you don't have a coach, have a friend videotape you. Compare your stroke to videos of paddlers you are trying to emulate. Since the stroke is complex, one strategy that can be helpful is to pick just three elements to work on during a practice. Focus on one element at a time. Rotate among the elements during your practice.
We didn't start to add detailed information about these strokes until year 3 of this wiki, so like many surfskiers we know, we are also guilty of neglecting these vital and very valuable strokes that a surfskier should have command of and which can provide great benefit to their paddling and downwinding.
You can use the sculling stroke to move sideways effectively. (The draw stroke is your other main option) But you can also maintain stability when you are stopped with this stroke. How many paddlers have experienced letting their paddles dive followed subsequently by themselves into the water? You can insure that your paddle remains on the surface and provides active support with a sculling stroke. Your paddle blade needs to be somewhat angled away from your boat to get some upward support. This stroke can feel very awkward at first, but a little regular practice will lead to comfort, competence, and the ability to confidently rely on this stroke.