The force values are delivered in two data streams; top hand force and bottom hand force.
These values represent the force applied by the top hand (pushing during the stroke) and the bottom hand (pulling during the stroke). For example, during the stroke that occurs on the left side of the boat, the top hand force represents the right hand, and the bottom hand force represents left hand.
The force values are determined by strain gauges which are located on the shaft, and convert the amount of shaft bending they experience to hand-force values. Since the gauges measure shaft bending, hand position is an important factor. Hand positions must be configured correctly during the setup of the a power meter. Hand positions have to be re-entered if the athlete decides to change their hand positions (e.g. opt for a wider grip), or the paddle length (e.g. extend the paddle by a few centimeters). Many kayakers attach tape to the paddle shaft to create a physical marker which they can feel in order to keep their hands at the fixed position on the shaft.