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  1. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    We've discussed boat stability to death, and many feel that the main deterrent to tipping over is the paddler. Can you describe some bracing strokes you use to keep upright and not tip over? Include what type of paddle (single blade, double blade, bent or straight shaft, crank shaft, feathered or straight blade, etc.) you use for this.

    We may learn some new techniques from each other.
  2. jdupre'

    jdupre' Well-Known Member

    I am probably tempting fate, but I haven't learned or used bracing strokes so far in the kayak. I'm kinda relying on my balance to keep me from getting into a situation where I would need a brace. I do practice heeling over until the water climbs up a quarter inch on the decks. "Bout as far as I can go with the present 2 1/2" seat height. Probably something I should learn though.

    Now I've gone and done it. Next time I go out I'll probably be doing half rolls ---- you know the kind where you go over but just don't quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite come back up on the other side. :mrgreen:


    Observation of the day: A liberal is the kind of person you call when you want to have a knock-down-drag-out party. A conservative is the kind of person you call to get you out of jail after the aforementioned party.
  3. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    I use a double ended paddle, straight shaft, not feathered. Being in a state of uncontrolled panic at the time, I'm not sure what stroke I use, but as I recall, it's a slap onto the water, then sustained press down. This is usually preceded by generous expletives and followed by a short prayer. Neither seems to work well.
  4. Jimmy W

    Jimmy W Well-Known Member

    In my whitewater days, I would often use what I guess would be a sweeping high brace where the paddle is sculled back and forth with the blade almost flat to the water but raised on the edge moving forward at the time. That was with a single blade paddle. I'm not sure if I have ever used it with a double paddle. Very useful when side surfing a wave. I found more info here: http://canoekayak.com/features/techniques-tips/brace/
  5. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Jimmy. Getting to a sculling stroke is why I don't use a bent shaft single blade, or a feathered double blade paddle. You never know where the blade is angled with them. With a straight shaft or unfeathered paddle, blade angle is always the same in relation to your hands. Much more predictable.

    Other paddlers have other preferences.
  6. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Paddling with a feathered kayak paddle is not my cup of tea , give me an unfeathered one any day. I can understand where a feathered one has it's advantages especially if you are paddling against a really strong head wind and want the one paddle ( blade ) to cut threw the wind and not push against it as you paddle along.
    Personally if the wind is blowing that hard it is either time to set up camp and sit it out ( we call it getting weathered in ) or line the boat.

    Just another reason I like a single paddle , I can do anything with it and there is not another blade in the air while one is in the water. Yes, you can even do a side brace with it just like the double paddle , after all the double paddle when bracing only needs to brace one side at a time. Something I have never seen .....If you have to brace both sides at the same time then you are in a heap of trouble.
  7. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    I think I did that once, but I was already underwater at the time.
  8. jdupre'

    jdupre' Well-Known Member

    For the life of me, I can not see much real advantage in a feathered paddle. I've heard the "less wind resistance paddling into a headwind" thing, but that is a double edged sword. In the kind of wind that would make that an advantage, the blades would also catch any side winds and tend to blow you off course. Unfeathered blades have no disadvantage in side winds but will help forward motion with a tail wind which the feathered blades do not. Look to the inventors of the kayak and the double paddle.......no feathered paddles there.

    A single paddle in a boat tender enough to worry much about tipping would seem to be a big disadvantage. If you start to tip to the opposite side of the paddle, there's not much you can do in the way of bracing.

    For my method of paddling, I don't like the feeling of lost momentum due to corrective strokes with a single paddle. Virtually all power used with a double paddle is put into forward motion.

  9. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    My experience mirrors Joey's comments. A feathered blade may have an advantage in one - and only one - circumstance, paddling into a stiff headwind. They present a distinct disadvantage in every other circumstance, including wrist problems.
  10. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Darn ... Three on here agree about something , this is a new record. :roll:
  11. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    To commemorate it, chisel the date into one of Piper San's bacon explosions.
  12. Phishtech

    Phishtech Active Member

    I've only been kayaking for 3 years now and since I do a lot of solo paddling, I've always strictly adhered to a rule of thumb I came up with: Never lean over the side of the kayak with my nose further than the side of the kayak. You get your nose over that line and you'll go over. I also "became one" with my kayak, I knew her capabilities, and I knew mine, and I never exceed them. I do not take chances while on my kayak. My Prowler 13 was a very stable kayak, but I've sold her and am now building the JEM TV 15-29 which should be even more stable.
  13. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Direction of head tipping can affect that rule some. Actually, as your boat rolls, you shouldn't. The paddler should remain upright and swivel at the waist to let the boat roll, pitch, and yaw under him.

    I assume you have hip pads adjusted so you can just slide your fingers in between you and the pads, foot braces adjusted so your knees are tucked up into the gunnels with feet comfortably setting on the braces, and your seat back is adjusted to support your lower back. Forward stroke is not done by windmilling your arms; keep the paddle shaft parallel to your shoulders, elbows bent slightly for comfort but not flexing, and swivel in your seat to do the stroke. Use your back muscles for power, not your arm muscles.
  14. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    I have found that when you are paddling and some waves are coming towards the side of the boat if you keep your head and upper body straight up and let your butt swing with the boat as it rides ( rocks or rolls ) with the waves there will not be any problems.
    If you let your upper body and head move to the same degree that the boat is moving there is a good chance you will be swimming. Try it in calm water move your upper body to one side and see what happens , that is the same thing that will happen if you move your body to match the angle the boat is at when going over a wave from the side. Only trouble is the boat is already at a angle so you just compound it.

    Your center of gravity is in the center of the boat and up from the bottom of the hull so if it swings ( the same angle as the boat ) with the boat then the center of gravity swings and moves that weight to one side which is not a swift thing to do. The idea is to keep it over what becomes the center of the boat as it rocks and rolls below you.

    Guy's have there center of gravity higher in there body then the ladies do , there center of gravity is a lot lower then ours. That is one reason they have a lot more stability in a narrow kayak then we do. To put it bluntly and in very simple terms.... Ours is in the shoulders and chest region , the ladies are in the hips and keep the wise kracks to yourself , we have ladies reading stuff on here.

    A good way to learn it is to have two good friends get with you and when you are in the boat have them rock it from side to side.... Slow to start with. :lol: You will learn to swivel at the hips and to keep your upper body and head straight up really fast. "O" do it in waist deep water so they are not in the boat but outside of it , near the rear , so when you fall out you don't hit them the 1st time.
    It's good to know , especially if you are paddling where there are trees or stumps under the water you can't see , they will raise one side of the boat if you paddle up on it at an angle.
  15. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Right, Chuck. But - where did you find two friends? :wink:
  16. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    I have a heck of a time just finding two of them since there are so many . I cheated and asked two that lived next door. Well actually in all honesty only needed one since Dad was there to teach me how to stay in a rolling canoe. That let all of us have a turn at it. Darn if more did not show up and after everything was done we took turns water skiing behind Dads Boat and had a good afternoon. Might as well have a party when you can. :D
  17. rpecot

    rpecot Well-Known Member

    Hate to buck the trend here, but I feather my paddle blades. I have noticed the difference in windy conditions. One hand locked, one hand loose, it's just second nature to me now.
  18. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Hey, Russ - if you've made it work for you, good. I see other paddlers and campers do things differently than me. Often, I learn and adopt from them.

    I just didn't see it as worth the effort. There are those who would call me lazy. (Shame on them! They're naughty.)
  19. a Bald Cypress

    a Bald Cypress Well-Known Member

    Hummmm. Evidently, without my knowing it, my chest and shoulders are now at waist level. :? Perhaps I am a medical miracle :mrgreen:
  20. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Being a curiosity does not make it a miracle. Only your individual, personal demeanor and aplomb makes it that. :wink:

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