criss crossed rudder cables

does anybody cross their rudder cables or has anyone? i read that some people do and their reasons seem to make sense. are their problems with doing that or is it a waste?

Interesting idea
This might actually be more natural for someone used to edging their boat to facilitate the turn. Edging is usually done in the opposite direction of the turn, and so the opposite leg tends to straighten while the other one lifts to engage the thigh braces. It would seem easier to push on a rudder pedal with the straightened leg than the lifted one.

“their reasons seem to make sense”?
“their reasons seem to make sense”.

What are the reasons? Or are they secret?

An extra minute or two spent composing the post might yield a better discussion.

as dave says
if you are used to edging to turn as i am, which means lifting the inside knee and straightening the outside leg to turn, crossed wires make sense. i added a rudder after i learned edged turns, and pushing the inside foot to turn felt wrong. so i crossed the rudder lines and have wondered ever since why most rudders are set up ‘backwards’

crossed cables
daveshames got it on the nose. braceing. the example is…to turn right, you lean left, push on the left peddle, paddle on the left and the right knee comes up to the thigh brace. if you deploy the rudder, the habit is to do the same. however, your right knee could not come up on uncrossed cables because you would be pushing on that one. some say why lean when using a rudder. well, i dont know. maybe just habit.

I crossed my cables
for the same reasons everyone else has already discussed. Combining the lean and the rudder makes my barge er um kayak, turn much sharper if that is what I need it to do. Normally I don’t engage the rudder at all and just rely on properly edging the boat and using sweep strokes but it is nice to have the option.


mine are crossed also for the same reason. i almost never use it but there were times i was glad it was there. i was curious as to why i have never seen anyone else with them crossed and just started wondering if i was just being crazy.

someone else was paddling and didn’t “lean” the boat he would have to rudder left to turn right? Like to see that work with a steering wheel on a car :slight_smile: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me. I subscribe to the KISS principle.

cables may not feel right to those who use rudders often but it certainly goes with the flow for mostly rudderless people. i use a rudder so infrequently that i would be more confused and awkward not having it crossed. a friend of mine is rudder dependent and doesnt lean or use the paddle for anything but propulsion. Not being crossed works for him. hope his rudder doesnt break.

Mariner take on this

can’t seem to link directly to the rudders page, but they have a good description.

More natural for some
I don’t use a rudder, but crossed cables make more intuitive sense to me, even without considering leaning.

Perhaps I spent too much time as a kid on my “Western Flyer” sled in the foothills of Ohio. To turn right you push the bar forward with your left foot, and vice-versa. I’m also used to turning an outboard motor to the left to go right, lean a kayak left to go right and so on.

Whenever I use a ruddered kayak or fly a plane I have to correct my natural inclination to rudder the “wrong way”.

Greg Stamer

Crossed cables
I have both ruddered and non-ruddered kayaks and have no problems in either. When I’m in a ruddered boat, it’s simple: extend the foot that is in the direction you wish to go. In a non-ruddered boat, I guess I’m just in a different frame of mind, and do the appropriate opposite side lean. If anything, the leaning is counter-intuitive, not the steering with a rudder. It goes against so many other modes of transport: when running, you lean into the turn, as you do when cycling. And on auto race tracks, you don’t lean, but the banking is in the direction of the turn.


its not about the steering so much for me as it is the position im in as in bracing with my knee. crossing them just puts me in that position and pushing the left peddle to help veer right as i lean (or not lean) puts my right knee at the thigh brace and the right peddle is firm. the same but in reverse going to the left. I have tried it both ways and crossed feels better to me and provides a more solid peddle to brace with. maybe its what you get used to.

So you obviously
don’t do aerobatic maneuvers when you fly :slight_smile: Spin recovery would be interesting too :smiley:

mariner link

scroll to the part about rudders.

scroll to the part about crossing cables. sorry. this is where i read about crossing cables in the first place. it seemed good enough to try.