In my opinion this is the most important stroke. Its is the stroke I use when solo paddling and when in tandem. It is one of many strokes to use maintain a straight course, as well as taking gradual turns. It includes the power of a forward stroke with a turning rudder to counteract the turn produced when you paddle solely on one side.
How to J:
Start by stretching forward as far as is comfortable. Then place in the paddle and pull the paddle back to your waist. After passing the waist the forward stroke loses its efficiency. From here twist the paddle, from the blade being perpendicular to the canoe to parallel. To do this as the paddle passes your waist twist your top hand so that your thumb points down. At this point your paddle should trial behind your canoe, with the blade still submerged. Now you can push with your bottom hand against the water to push the canoe in your intended direction, almost like a rudder. The twisting motion combined with the ‘ruddering ‘ produce a very effective steering stroke.