Turn Your Kayak Like a Pro | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
Turning a kayak on the stern rudder. Photo: Jeff Herman

Advanced paddling techniques for more efficient control

The first thing you learn when paddling a kayak is extra strokes on the left turn the boat right, and extra strokes on the right make it turn left. For a sharper turn, drag the paddle blade on the side you want to turn. That’s it, right? Wrong.  

STERN RUDDER 

The stern rudder may seem simple, but properly performing this move will make your turn more efficient without sacrificing forward momentum. Start by rotating your upper body until both hands are on the same side of the kayak. Then, slice the rear blade into the water parallel to the kayak behind your hip. Untwist your upper body to push out slightly with the backside of the rear blade. 

Bow Rudder

BOW RUDDER 

To make a slight adjustment in direction while underway or to turn in a confined space, use a bow rudder. Start by slicing the blade into the water at your foot with the power face towards the kayak. Your paddle shaft will be close to vertical with one arm crossing your face at about eye level. Slowly roll your lower wrist back to twist the blade open and catch the water. Brace the paddle by your foot to hold its position while the kayak is turning. 

A kayak angler edging to turn his kayak

EDGING 

Tilting the kayak or edging is a powerful steering tool. To tilt the kayak, start by shifting your weight away from the direction you want to turn. Keep your head and shoulders centered while transferring more weight to one of your butt cheeks and pressing down on the same-side foot pedal while lifting the opposite thigh. Combine this edge with the forward stroke or forward sweep to turn without losing speed. 

Always practice these new techniques under controlled conditions in calm, shallow water. 

Free issue of Kayak Angler

Related items

  • Red Drum On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

    Red Drum On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

    The spring drum run along Virginia’s Eastern Shore is one of the only shots kayak anglers have at sight fishing for fifty-pound redfish. The area is vast and the fish…

    Read more...

  • TRAK 20/20 Team: Pacific Rim Surf Camp

    TRAK 20/20 Team: Pacific Rim Surf Camp

    It began with the need for a vision. The TRAK team had spent the months prior to our Pacific Rim Surf Camp developing improvements to our kayak and creating useful…

    Read more...

  • Kayak Angler Profile: Benny Scoca

    Kayak Angler Profile: Benny Scoca

    This year’s Extreme Kayak Sailfish Smackdown saw 17 Sailfish landed. The Pompano Florida based tournament is held annually over two days in June. Hosted and ran by Joe Hector, it…

    Read more...

  • What If I Flip?

    What If I Flip?

    What If I Flip? | Safer Paddling Series: Episode 7 | Rapid Media In partnership with the U.S. Coastguard and the Water Sports Foundation, instructors Paul and Kate Kuthe of…

    Read more...

  • Understanding Weather-Cocking And Skegs

    Understanding Weather-Cocking And Skegs

    Bill Vonnegut is an ACA Level 5 instructor and teaches for River & Ocean, including regular rock garden classes and ocean rolling. He likes to get out on California’s open coast as much…

    Read more...

  • Fishing Smart For Sheephead

    Fishing Smart For Sheephead

    What is black, white, and red all over? If you tell a West Coast angler that old riddle, he’ll answer, “California sheephead!” Sheephead are a funny looking fish outfitted with…

    Read more...

Popular Articles

FREE NEWSLETTER

Join 30 000+ fellow anglers! Get the latest fishing news and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.  

 

 

Popup text
Popup text