Ones a beginner sit in a whitewater kayak and start to paddle, the boat will allways turn to one direction, but normally never there, where you would like to go! The first problem will be how to turn the kayak. The forward sweep stoke is used for turning the kayak.
If you do the stroke on the left side of the kayak, your kayak will turn right.
The forward sweep stroke we use in many situation on the water, so to learn the stroke perfectly will the fundament of your whitewater kayaking.
Ok, let's turn the kayak right, how to do it?
When you start the sweep stroke, you have to present your left blade as close as you can to the kayak, by your foot.
From there you have to start the stroke with a big arc, the blade have to stay on the surface out from the kayak. You have to finish the sweep at the stern.
The stroke will be effective only, if you use your torso. You can use your torso only, if you have rotation. As kayaking is like driving, we would like to see our way, you have to look to the direction where you turn your kayak, so now, you have to rotate with your torso right, when you present the left blade by the foot. Push the footbrace with the left feet, so your balley and trunk musscles will tight. If you do it correctly, you can feel, that you are pulling your kayak with your knees as well.
If you do not use torso rotation, you will do the stroke only with the power of your arms, and you can not handle your kayak in any situation.
When you make the stroke, you have to leed the blade out from the kayak. If your upper arm is infront of your chest, the blade can go more out from the kayak, and you will have a big support.
When you make the sweep stroke properly, you will be able to turn your kayak, you will keep your forward momentum, and you will have support.
When you practis in your kayak, practis in calm water, do not use lot of power, focus on technic instead!