I've found you need to experiment and find the one spot that is best for you in your boat to climb up. As said further back is less effort but more balance so you need to find the happy medium for you. The higher the deck the further back you may need to go, but further back is both more tippy and requires a longer journey to the cock pit. Personally I like to come up as far back as possible and yet still just being able to reach the cockpit with my hand. This way once on the deck my hand on the cockpit helps me start working forward. The other key is to get the hang of getting your belly button over the deck in one move then turn and keep moving to the cockpit -- this require practice to make that first push is just big enough without throwing yourself over the far side (a bit more rare). Experiment and learn where on the boat and how big a lunge to first make. For many I would also suggest using the paddle float but try to put less and less pressure on the paddle. Eventually many paddlers don't even bother bringing the paddle float.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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