I bought a 10' kayak and I can immediately see that the boat is all over the place compared to a 12' and a 14'. (even though it got 5 stars on the L.L.Bean website)
Is it possible to get used to tracking with the shorter boat? And eventually be more efficient / have more control over it?
I ask because the 10' boat is more convenient for me to pop inside my suv and go on the lake.
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Yes, with a proper sized paddle|
Posted by: Yanoer on Aug-17-13 11:35 PM (EST)
and practice, a short kayak can be paddled pretty straight.
Posted by: CEWilson on Aug-17-13 11:38 PM (EST)
The designer I've worked with across six canoe companies claims not; a hull needs be about 12 feet long to track, turn and have any forward speed. Sorry, LL Bean is relatively incompetent concerning paddlecraft. [Look at the hulls they offer!]
Posted by: Peter-CA on Aug-18-13 12:31 AM (EST)
Yes. With time working on it, you will learn t paddle such that the boat goes straighter. People can paddle short 6' white water boats straight, so a 10' rec boat is possible also.
In addition to the above...|
Posted by: atkinsr on Aug-18-13 1:12 AM (EST)
Use your body against the braces to counteract the steering tendency. Where you insert and remove the paddle makes a difference as well.
Just takes practice |
Posted by: seadart on Aug-18-13 2:28 AM (EST)
All of my surf craft are less than 9', I usually paddle an 8' waveski. As stated above, if you use a short paddle with a high angle stroke it's really pretty easy to paddle straight. You need to learn how to push on the foot pegs and edge the boat from side to side a bit sometimes. I've Paddled 6' 8 inch playboats straight. So just hang in there and get a paddle that you can do a high angle stroke and practice.
I have a 9.5' Perception Swifty|
Posted by: yakfisher on Aug-18-13 3:45 AM (EST)
that I keep around for the same reason and it tracks pretty straight. The bow does move from side to side a little with each stroke but you get used to it. The Swifty actually gives me a much better workout than my longer kayaks because you have to constantly paddle to keep it moving.
Posted by: sissy103 on Aug-18-13 6:03 AM (EST)
Be sure you're ending your paddle stroke at your hip, and not continuing it toward the stern of the boat, which will make it yaw.
You can get used to it, but ...|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-18-13 6:30 AM (EST)
it will never track as well as a longer kayak
More effort to go straight than a longer|
Posted by: kayamedic on Aug-18-13 9:37 AM (EST)
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-18-13 1:59 PM (EST)
You should always take buyer review stars on vendor sites with a grain of salt, especially with "entry level" gear like recreational kayaks. Most of the people who post their impressions of their new "toy" have no experience of any other boat and are just pleased to have it out on the water (as well they should be). But their personal enthusiasm should be interpreted with that limited awareness in mind.
Posted by: WaterBird on Aug-19-13 12:16 PM (EST)
I notice that among kayak users there seems to be a strong impulse to rate one's kayak very highly, no matter what the kayak is. Pnet is full of 9 and 10 ratings.
Posted by: angstrom on Aug-18-13 2:26 PM (EST)
I used to help teach a beginning whitewater class. At the start of the first day nobody could get th boat to go straigt for more than a couple of strokes. We saw dramatic improvement in a few hours of paddling.
"In at the toes, out at the hips"|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-19-13 4:22 PM (EST)
this is the key. As a beginner it's often best to exaggerate at first to get it right. So try really reaching far but keep the stroke short by pulling out of the water even before your hips. Any stroke behind your hips contributes little to speed but tend to turn the kayak. A key point on the higher angle of the paddle is to NOT accidentally be sweeping the blade wide which will turn the kayak. Periodically practice this with exaggeration then go back to just having fun. Be patient... eventually you'll just notice you're going much straighter than you used to.
Very good point. That's how I get ww|
Posted by: ezwater on Aug-20-13 4:24 PM (EST)
kayaks to run straight, and it's how I paddle ww canoes without having to J stroke.
Posted by: cliffjrs on Aug-19-13 10:28 AM (EST)
It seems as though some are not straight,
I am straight|
Posted by: kayamedic on Aug-19-13 2:17 PM (EST)
and I respect the others opinions. However it IS possible to get a short boat to go straight. Its easier with a long finer tracking boat, but the OP has other issues re transport that seems to null that possibility.
anything can be paddled straight|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Aug-19-13 3:48 PM (EST)
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Aug-19-13 3:57 PM (EST)
In addition to what others have said, the more you paddle the boat the more your brain learns how to make corrections without explicit thought. So small things like changing the blade angle on a stroke a small amount to add a bit of turning force become second nature. Sensing that the boat is about to turn uncontrollably because of how the bow is behaving and correcting before it is too hard. Many boats, especially WW boats, but short rec boats ass well, have a greater tendency to turn the faster you go. So to start out with go slowly. Have a coach or experienced paddler watch you paddle and give you feedback on whether your strokes are symmetric, your paddle angle is high, and whether you are rotating.
Mostly true, but I have a Noah with |
Posted by: ezwater on Aug-20-13 4:28 PM (EST)
hard chines and slab sides that, at full speed, will knife right through an eddy and out the other side. It, and my slalom c-1, have to be managed actively to get them to turn up through an eddy and through a gate.
Take it back|
Posted by: mintjulep on Aug-19-13 4:55 PM (EST)
Unfortunately you bought a crappy boat, and as several have pointed out it is especially crappy for you because of your diminutive size.
Posted by: sissy103 on Aug-19-13 5:11 PM (EST)
A much nicer boat, also 10 ft, is the Eddyline Sky 10. Basically a Skylark but two feet shorter.
Unanswerable. Skegs and rudders.|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Aug-20-13 4:47 PM (EST)
No one in the galaxy can answer the question as to whether YOU can "get used" to paddling a short kayak straight.
Yep, ANYTHING STRAIGHT|
Posted by: oc1cajun on Aug-20-13 5:14 PM (EST)
Yes any boat can be paddled straight. I was taught "boats don't go straight, but PEOPLE PADDLE THEM STRAIGHT." I believe that. Some boats (shorter and/or more rocker for example) will take more time and effort and focus to learn on, but learning it is worth it!!
Kinda funny when a 10 foot kayak is |
Posted by: ezwater on Aug-20-13 6:29 PM (EST)
not regarded as "short". Example. An old school Dagger Animas is 10 feet 5 inches. My old Perception Corsica is about the same length. Both track pretty well, for ww boats.
Posted by: rrose on Aug-20-13 7:53 PM (EST)
This is an opportunity to learn how to effectively paddle a kayak. With the strokes, paddle a little harder on the countersteer side and if necessary put a little dip on the side of the kayak to help steer as you paddle. Keep paddling both left and right sides at the same reps/speed., With some trial and error, it'll come to you and you'll be a better than average paddler for it, inasmuch as you will be able to paddle most anything with ease and without a rudder. Trust me, this is good stuff and you will be amazed at how quickly it will come to you. Note: The tilting/putting your boat on a slight edge, is more effective during the cadence of a paddle stroke. However, to get an idea of how the boat handles with a lean, just tilt the kayak while it is moving... best wishes.
sounds more like weather-cocking fix|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-20-13 8:05 PM (EST)
OP is talking about the tendency of short boats to vary roughly equally both sides of going straight (or so it sounded). With weathercocking you can use a combo of different power (or leverage by varying paddle length on one side) while edging; but that's a different problem.
probably not possible|
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-20-13 11:56 PM (EST)
Based on the dimensions of that boat (the Manatee is a deep, wide and gaping barge with no thigh hooks) and the diminutive size of the OP, I seriously doubt she could put the thing on edge. The kayak model is just far too sloppy of a fit for her. She might as well be trying to paddle a livestock water tank.
I think I am going to bed now|
Posted by: kayamedic on Aug-21-13 12:06 AM (EST)
That's a good analogy!
I think it would be fun...|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-21-13 4:30 PM (EST)
to have a class in a kayak race just for Keowees and equal 9 footers.