I think I remember several discussions of this sort years ago on this site. I remember the gist of it being whether it is more efficient to achieve directional control through edging and strokes, or through use of a skeg or rudder.
I personally still don't use my skegs and rudders, but would be surprised if I wasn't more efficient using them than not where directional control attention becomes evident. Keeping the entire waterline of the kayak in it's most efficient position and handling directional control with a strategically placed fin just seems to me to offer greater efficiency potential. Submerging an unbalanced portion of the hull below water seems like it would create more unuseful sources of turbulance and drag not contributing to the desired effect.
The very end of the stern is where the least resistance would be required to prevent directional changes. Any paddle stroke has the end of the lever in the cockpit, the area where the most force is required to create or prevent rotation. So that hardly seems worth considering by itself.
Maybe when it gets into more extreme directional changes, putting the kayak up on edge with the ends released perhaps takes less energy to quickly turn 90+ degrees than leaving the entire waterline engaged and having a rudder force that entire waterline into rotation?
I would guess you found ways to try to mitigate all the extraneous contributors to the best of your ability, and I'm not surprised you found the kayak more efficient using the skeg. I'm full aware of the efficiency benefits of traveling in a Soltice GTS or Sirius on a windy, gusty day vs. a more weathercocking prone hull, so I'm pretty confident that the drag created by constantly edging and regular directional control strokes is significant.
How do you like that Ikkuma in the surf? Do you think you could give these highly rockered Delphins and Romanys a run for the money?
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
Touring Kayak Paddles
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