We move the kayak sideways with draw strokes. The action of the draw stroke is to set the paddle in the water out to the side of the boat, and then to sideslip the boat towards the paddle. Body rotation is critical. For an optimal draw, rotate your body towards your goal, and plant the paddle vertically to the side of the kayak, with the power face toward the kayak. "Hang" the paddle shaft vertically with the upper (offside) hand at roughly forehead level, palm out. The position of the lower arm and blade will depend on the type of draw stroke. Be sure that the blade is fully submerged.
Stationary Draw Strokes
Draw to the Hip
With the body rotated and the upper hand hanging the paddle as described, extend the lower arm out as far as possible and plant the blade with the power face toward you. Then, pull the paddle in toward your hips with the lower arm, keeping the upper arm in place. Lift the knee on the paddle side to keep the edge from getting caught as the boat slips sideways. Take care not to let the paddle get under the boat, or you might "trip over it" and have a swim. The "recovery," or return to the starting position, can be done in one of two ways. The easiest way for most beginners is to lift the paddle out of the water and plant it back in the starting position. To do an in-water recovery, flick your wrist to turn the blade ninety degrees, so the edge of the blade is perpendicular to the boat, and move it back out while still in the water.
"Safety Box:" Notice the height of the top arm in the photos. Matt in the lowest photo has the best arm position. His top arm is low and the elbow is dropped, keeping in the safety box. The paddler in the top photo has her upper arm too high. Moving her lower hand closer to the water and dropping the upper elbow would keep her in the safety box. Staying in the safety box will reduce the risk of injury.
A more efficient sideways stroke is a sculling draw stroke. From the basic draw position, use body rotation (not arms/shoulders) to move the paddle back and forth in an arc. With each sculling stroke, turn the angle of the paddle blade slightly outward by wrist action to pull the boat to the side. Rotation is critical. Turn your body to face your goal, and keep it squarely in front of your (rotated) body until you reach it.
Moving Draw Strokes
These draw strokes are used to move the boat laterally without losing much momentum. For example, you might want to move closer to (or further away from) another paddler while underway. Or, you might use these strokes to avoid objects.
The draw on the move is a version of the draw to the hip. Rotate in the direction of lateral travel and plant the paddle to the side. Immediately draw the boat toward the paddle as you lift the onside knee to be sure that the water will glide under your boat, and not catch your edge and capsize you. You can make this draw a bit more powerful by leaning and planting the paddle further away from the boat, as long as you edge the boat aggressively away from the draw (lifting the onside knee).
This is a graceful, gliding draw stroke that is physically easy to do, but very tricky to learn.
As the kayak moves through the water, the body is rotated toward the draw side, the paddle is "hung" vertically, and the blade is planted near the side of the boat at an outward angle. When the blade is planted at just the right place, the kayak will glide laterally without turning. If the blade is planted forward of that "sweet spot," the bow will turn to the draw side. If it's behind the sweet spot, the stern will be drawn to the paddle and the bow will turn away from the draw. You can adjust the paddle's position accordingly during the glide.
This stroke is awkward, if not impossible, without good body rotation.