Turning Your Kayak Quickly
|Produced with Jackson Kayak,
featuring the Journey Kayak
That, in conjunction with your edging, should give you a 90 degree turn, with just that one stroke. When we use the term "edging," in kayaking, we're referring to tilting our kayak onto its edge. So, right now, I am edged to the right, and I'm doing that by shifting my weight through the right side of my butt. And I am then tuning or balancing with a little pressure on my knee or thigh. I have my head over my tailbone, so I'm counter-balanced to be stable and steady. You want to be able to hold a steady edge, and that'll enhance your ability to make the kayak turn. These sorts of boats turn best when they're edged to the outside of the turn. So when I'm edged to the right, I am setting myself up to do a turn to the left. When you want your kayak to turn effectively, you'll want to use your brain, body, and boat, not just your paddle [blade].
With touring-type kayaks, including most rec and sea kayaks, they will turn most effectively when edged to the outside of the turn, using a short, efficient sweep stroke to initiate the turn. Once the kayak is turning, you want to hold a steady edge for as long as you want to continue turning.
We like to say, "The sequence is: Brain, Body, Boat, Blade."
This has been Mike Aronoff with Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company (CKAPCO). I hope we'll be seeing you on the water!
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