Kayak Handling

Kayaks are paddled about like free-style swimmers swim—left-right-left-right. This keeps you going straight as long as there's no wind or current to push you sideways, and as long as you put the same force and depth into strokes on each side.

When the boat starts to veer off to one side, you simply paddle a few extra strokes or harder strokes on that side to bring it back to dead ahead.

The kayak paddle can also be used as a rudder to turn or straighten the boat once it's underway. This is done by dipping the paddle deep into the water on the side toward which you want to turn, and then levering it outward slightly. Keep the pressure on as long as you want to continue the turn, and then go back to the standard alternating strokes.

If you want to make a sharp turn, it's better to use power strokes—starting all the way forward, sweeping the paddle fully submerged but out as far from the hull

Boat Bytes f-> Its possibl e to pull most kayaks sideways (tougher with the longer sea-touring models). You do this by leaning to one side, tilting the paddle overhead to that side, and reaching out with the bottom blade as far as possible to draw the boat in that direction. It's handy for getting close to a dock or getting away from an overhanging bank.

as you can reach and bringing it all the way to the hull behind you, followed by a second stroke on the opposite side that reverses the stroke direction, starting aft and sweeping forward. This pushes on one side and pulls on the other and causes the boat to spin in its own length, much like putting one motor in forward and the other in reverse on a twin-engined powerboat.

The boat can be stopped by simply reversing with the alternating strokes, pushing forward instead of pulling backward.

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