Another Wake Question

I read & learned about the wake question posted last week, & this weekend I applied some of the good advice posted here.

One thing I learned that is much easier to handle a wake if the other boat is coming in the opposite direction. It is much easier to meet the wake with the bow.

There was a large boat passing me on the left(same direction that I was paddling)& as I let the wake hit me from the side it turned my kayak 90 degrees towards the left & I had a hard time staightening out.

I did not have time to meet the wake head on, nor did I think it was safe if there were another boat behind it.

Would putting my rudder down a good maneuver in that situation?


Robert G

Sure, that would do it
Also, as you gain experience, you will automatically do a stroke on the left side as you feel the stern lift in that situation, keeping the boat on track and forestalling a broach to the left, as you experienced.

There nothing like having lots of time in the saddle…


This all depends on the shape of the bottom of the boat. A flat bottom (rec. boat) will lean with the shape of the surface. A boat that is rounder will heel much better in the water and little will need to be done to brace. Generally if you get a wave that is taller than your elbows do a low brace into the wave. Other than that just keep paddling. If you paddle bow first you will not be pushed right or left.


Love those wakes
I’d rather surf them any day…

In that situation
I would not have turned into the wave.

I would have turned in the same drection the wave was going and enjoyed the ride with it, (surfing)

When I am around a bunch of boat traffic or see a chance of any large wakes coming my way I usually lower the rudder.

That is just my take, (a intermediate paddler)



Paddle to anticipate
That is, if your boat will likely get turned into the wake like that just paddle it as though you are turning the other way as it hits you. The rudder is an additional thing to manage that will take up time and may not work as well as incorporating the response into your regular paddling strokes anyway.

(You may want to reconsider your rating on your profile though. A lot of the folks from whom you are getting advice wouldn’t put themselves at that level.)

I like to keep track of the size and shape of on-comming waves as well as the depth of the water I am in. Most, but not all, boat wakes are gentle enough that they essentially will roll under your boat and you allow the boat to move around your hips. Good paddle strokes will of course provide you with additional stability and directional control.

Some boat wakes are very large and steep, maybe four feet and larger, and steep enough to be breaking, these I pay a bit more attension to. I’d like to pass these with an angle on the bow or stern and Id like to have my paddle in the water as wave and boat meet. These are great fun to surf if you have the room and water. One other thing to note is the water depth which is of concern in my area in a lot of places. I normally will paddle the edge of the boat channel. Many times the edge of the boat channel is a transion from deep to shallow water. If you are in shallow water, less than five feet or so, expect incomming waves to stand up as they begin fo feel the bottom. I have seen many nice rolling 3 and 4 foot boat wakes turn into 5 and 6 foot breaking waves as they get into shallow water.

Bottom line, it is fun once you learn and become comfortable.


hello robert
Best to take a couple of courses and get more familiar with braces and draws. If I have a wake or wave coming from the side and I can’t just let it slide under me, I’ll often plant a draw stroke on the back face of the wave, converting the draw to a forward stroke as the wave passes under me. A good place to learn these boat control strokes and how to blend them is to go to a local sea kayak symposium and take some classes on boat control and blending strokes. They are lots of fun and will make wakes a part of dancing on the water.