Edging a kayak ... can it be done with a sit-on-top?

I was looking at some informational sites about paddling techniques, and looked into edging, since I didn’t know what it was. Then I got to wondering if anybody does it on SOTs. I’m guessing SOT hulls aren’t designed for it, but thought I’d ask.

The average SOT hull does not allow for it. The hulls are wide and flat or shaped like a trimaran. Edging is best done with hulls that are closer to round. A monohull sailboat can heal far over. a catamaran or trimaran sailboat can only do it by lifting the upwind hull(s) out of the water.

Some, like the Necky Dolphin do have hull shapes that could be edged, but can’t really be edged all that much unless you have thigh straps installed to allow you to be better connected to the boat.

As Peter-CA said, some SOTs can be edged with the aid of thigh straps. A lap strap would also work.

The degree of edging still won’t be as high as with SINKs, in my experience.

My Tarpon 160 responded well to edging and yes I used thigh straps.

My Tarpon edged when I was attempting to surf, just before I fell off.
I had no idea what I was doing except having fun.

Lots of sit on tops can be controlled by using edging techniques. I have two that are good for this; one is an older Cobra Strike sit on top surf kayak, the other is an original Heritage Seadart. The heritage boats in the original design could all be held on edge pretty well, since you sit higher up you have a lot of leverage. Edging in an SOT requires thigh straps. There are some modern narrow SOTs from South Africa that are also designed for control by edging. Your typical Box store floating SOT barge is not going to be easy to get up on a rail but it can be done. The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is pretty wide and you can edge that boat with thigh straps. Of course wave skis get most of their performance by burying the rail in steep wave faces, but I don’t think that is what the original question was aimed at.

You can on a surfski.

If you have one of the more whitewater oriented SOTs, such as the Pyranha Fusion SOT, the Dagger (or Perception) Torrent, or the Liquid Logic Coupe XP fit with decent adjustable foot pegs and thigh straps you will be able to edge the boat. Weight the hip on the side of the boat you want to dip, and lift the opposite hip and thigh against the strap. No, it probably won’t be as easy as in a SINK because of the greater width of most SOTs, but the boats can have enough edge control for wave surfing, ferries, and eddy turns.

Rolling them is tough, but I have seen it done a couple of times.

Thanks for all the responses. I was mostly just curious. My boat is a Perception Tribe 11.5; tri-hull with rather sharp chines, probably the worst shape for that sort of play. I tried thigh straps long ago with my old Ocean Kayak Scrambler, and didn’t like them much, or feel as though they were worth the bother (which likely means I wasn’t on big enough waves).

Absolutely you can edge a SOT just not as affectively as most sit ins. Now seeing your July 1st comment, tunnel hulls and tri-hulls will see much less affect of edging than a mono-hull shape. The reluctance to turn on edge in your kayak has more to do with your tri-hull wanting to go straight than your chine.

You can edge this thing better than any rec sot’s on the market:

@Swell Watercraft said:
You can edge this thing better than any rec sot’s on the market:

Cool. So, you are reviving the Scupper Pro. I was happy when RTM took it over (and renamed as the Tempo) when Ocean Kayak gave up on that design. Apparently, RTM also gave up on Tempo after a number of years (plus, RTM is overseas).

I have hung on to my two OK Scupper Pros while I have sold and gotten rid of a bunch of other kayaks (SINKs and SOTs). Both have thigh straps installed, which allow me to edge and roll these. At the same time, the design is prefect as a “guest boat” for newbies and experienced paddlers.

Every summer, except for the last two, I load the scupper pro with gear, water and food, for a week of Boston Harbor Island camping/fishing trips. That kayak comes close to an “all-rounder” for me (no so great for surfing but neither are the majority of kayaks).

My RTM Disco is more"playful" (controllable with thigh straps) than scupper pro but it lacks the versatility because of its lower volume.


@Swell Watercraft said:
You can edge this thing better than any rec sot’s on the market:

Wow, that looks nice … and incidentally, yet another I’ve never heard about. Too bad I’m all spent out on boats for a while. Maybe in a few years, if I don’t wind up having to replace something pricey, like my truck or my house roof.


Or a hip or shoulder.


@Swell Watercraft said:
You can edge this thing better than any rec sot’s on the market:

Holy cow that’s a pretty boat.

My Epic V6 edges fine. I tried it yesterday.

I rarely paddle this boat - it’s my wife’s.

You can definitely edge a SOT if it isn’t extremely wide. Some respond well to simple leaning, but most are better with thigh straps. My Kakazi Marlin edges very well, and my Cobra Strike is the best I’ve ever tried. As far as the Swell being the all-time champ. I highly doubt it. That boat has lots of issues.

Update: I was out the other day with my Perception Tribe 11.5, and thought I’d play around with leaning it to see what it would do. Tilted it over to the left, and using a couple straight, forward-propulsion strokes, it made a beautiful, easy right turn. It felt like far less effort than using a sweep stroke (and I tried one for comparison). Couldn’t get quite the same result on the other side, but I think it’s my pelvic obliquity (fused)–I was having a hard time getting it to lean over to the right and stay there.

It seemed as if the boat would only easily lean a certain amount, and then find a stable angle. I’ll experiment more next time I’m on the lake.

I noticed in these experiments that my legs were pressing outward against the sides of the footwell, but it was something I did involuntarily. I might look for some thin stick-on padding for that. How should I be doing this to make the technique work?