A Humbling experience indeed!

I just received my new QCC600 this week…

After bragging to all my friends on what an outstanding kayak I purchased, and telling them of my experience as a paddler, I was completely humbled the first day out with my the new 600.

I have been kayaking for a few years now… and 99% of it has been in a huge tandem. Sea Kayaking off the coast of Kodiak Island, Yukon River Quest Race, and misc trips.

I decided I wanted to try the Yukon River Quest race next year, but this time solo. So, I picked the 600 for my boat.

Wow… this boat is humbling… Being its Kevlar, its very lightweight, and nothing like what I am used to in a large heavy tandem.

My first trip out, I dumped it. And with each stroke I felt I was just about to lose it. I couldnt believe the difference in the feel of the boat to what I was used to. I had no idea that the difference would be so drastic!

I like the boat… I just figure I need to go back to step one, and learn to kayak all over again nearly.

Have any of you ever gone through something like this?

I am also paddling with a paddle that feels too long. I am wondering if this might have a bit to do with the awkwardness I am feeling as I take another stroke of the paddle.

I put my daughter in the back hatch for a quick ride, and the boat settled right down for me and felt quite a bit more stable. But with no weight in it, I was surprised how light and unpredictable it felt on water with just a little bit of small chop.

So, I guess I would just like to hear from some of you whom have had experience going from a wide kayak to a narrow one, and how you overcame the difference.

Any advice?

Don’t worry…
…a duck wake would flip me when i first started paddling surfski. The only remedy i can think of is TIME IN THE BOAT. Practice, practice, practice.

A couple in-boat balance exercises…

  1. While paddling, turn your head to the left/right as if you’re talking to someone.

  2. Hold the paddle above your head and twirl it like a hellicopter.

  3. Lay back as far as you can, look at the clouds. If you can stay upright, good job!

Been there, done that.
First with my Eddyline Falcon and then in a minor way in my new QCC700. TRUST THE BOAT. It will bounce around, rotate back and forth, and all such and still be quite stable. Ignore the motion, keep relaxed, and let your hips move with the boat. Before long you will wonder why you were concerned.

First day in a Nordkapp in a small
craft advisory through a really bumpy stretch of water. I was quite humbled. It got better, but took awhile. Relax, don’t micromanage your hips. You have a cool boat and it will serve you well.


I have had my 700 carbon/kevlar on the water twice now and was a little surprised my first time also. It was just so responsive. It isn’t much tippier than my other boat but the first time I stepped on the rudder I almost went over. In chop it is a little active also. I guess being so light it just jumps around a little more.

I think what I need to do is take it out and explore the secondary stability. In my other boats that is what it took for me to know how close I was to flipping.

It sure is a fun boat!

You’ll be fine
Ditto to what pineclone said… spend time in the boat and keep your hips loose, really loose. Let the boat do it’s thing and keep your nose over your belly button. Every boat has a different “feel” and you’ve made a big change so it’s no surprise that it feels VERY different.

Have fun!

new boat
First of all, does it fit well? If you’re sliding around you’ll have less control.

Are you afraid of capsizing? Developing good braces and self-rescue skills make it easier to relax on the water.

I suspect that from paddling tandems you’re just not used to using your lower body and weight to help control the boat. It’ll come with more time on the water.

Here’s one flatwater exercise: Sit holding the paddle horizontally just in front of your shoulders. Slowly start to rock the boat using your legs and hips while keeping the paddle horizontal. Keep a loose grip, relax your shoulders, and think about how the boat feels as it moves under you. As you get comfortable slowly increase the side-to-side motion.

I still do this as a warmup whenever I go paddling.

If you really feel spooked, a bit of ballast behind the seat may help until you get more comfortable. A drybag full of water works well.

I capsized a CD Sirroco on a demo
day. It was the first time I paddled a one seater after a few times in a tandem. It was pretty embarrassing, but now that I’ve had some butt in boat time with my Necky Elaho I feel pretty comfortable. I also learned what a T rescue and wet exit were pretty quick. It sounds like you’ll be having a lot of fun in no time given your experience level with tandems. Solo kayaking is a lot more fun in my opinion.

Boats don’t tip over. People tip …
them over !

I went through a similar experience when I went from a 9’5" rec kayak to a longer poly one, but in my case I didn’t buy the first one I demoed which was a Looksha which I know I would have tipped, so I settled on a Perception Eclipse, and then from that to a QCC, so the transition was a lot different than your case.

I always tell a new paddler if you feel like you are going to tip to just paddle instead of sitting there, shaking and tipping the boat over.

That boat is a heck of a lot more stable than you think it is, and if you paddle it instead of fearing it you will find it will respect you and behave just the way you want it to.

Try it, and good luck !



Know what you’re talking about …
… Also went from a tandum to a sea kayak.

As others have noted, it takes some seat time to gain your balance and most important confidence. Also as noted how well the boat fits you is a key to control and balance. If you have any questions on that it might be worth going back to your dealer and asking for some advice and help “fitting” out the boat.

One thing that helped me was to imagine what the boat would do if no one was in it. How would it ride the waves, or if tilted on it’s side what would it do. It wouldn’t roll over, right? So when you feel twitchy, keep you hips loose and let the boat do its thing.

One more thing: a sea kayak can be more “at rest” slightly tilted to one side because it has more secondary stability. Rec boats have more primary or “at rest” stability, so a level deck feels right. Trying to keep a sea kayak deck perfectly level at all times can lead to that “twitchy” feel… kinda like balancing the keel on a 2 x 4.

Butt Time…
went from long boat to surf kayak and felt it was unmanageable. Now, surfkayaks feel like a moving platform. Went from surf kayak to waveski and felt it was unmanageable. Now waveskis are my favorite crafts, with three of them of the quiver, one is still challenging in bigger, sloppier waves.

Give yourself time in the seat.


Try a race kayak
I went a couple times in a 14’ 24" kayak then bought a QCC 700 and got it around new years and it’s cold here mostly frozen water but I had to try it, talk about learning how to kayak or die. THen I went up to West side boats a month ago and tried a T-bolt X. I made it 6 miles on a canal with boatm wakes and didn’t swim so I consided that a success. So I now have one comming so that’ll be another learning curve to survive. The weather will be nicer this time though.

I Have…

– Last Updated: Jul-19-07 10:15 AM EST –

a flatwater racer. Very TOUGH. Glad that I am not into the thrill of victory with racing but rather stoke and rush of riding waves. :)

In comparison to some of the specialty crafts, the majority of tour boats (provided "right" sizing) are easily adapted to over a short period of time.


Racing can take the fun out on it fast.
Once bitten by the race bug all I care about is how fast can I go. I really takes the fun out of it unless your winning a race. Then it’s all worth it.

Please do not ever do this extremely dangerous practice again! When kids are in the hatches, the hatches aren’t watertight. If you flip, the hatch fills and that end goes straight down. (It’s called Cleopatra’s Needle). If your child should somehow get stuck, she is now underwater in a very heavy boat and trapped. You are dealing with a boat that won’t float and your child is dying.

I’m being harsh, because it’s dangerous. Pure and simple!

Seat time
cures most ills.

My first touring boat was a Perception Corona (now called the Eclipse 14 I believe). Swam three time on my first outing.

Yet with time it began to feel better. Sort of a “dynamic” stability. After a copuple of seasons I didn’t even remember the way it felt when I first sat in it.

And I felt pretty good when a Perception rep described the Corona as a “Tippy boat”. (He was young and in good shape).