Edging technique...Newbie

If you edge a sea kayak (CD Sirocco) on the right side, the boat turns left; is this what it is supposed to do? I guess if it does it, that is what it is supposed to do.

Yes, it can seem backwards, but
that’s exactly what it is supposed to do. Gentle edging can avoid a lot of foot ruddering.

MOST sea kayaks will turn EITHER way, depending on how the boat is YAWing when edged.

Experiment: paddle boat straight in NO wind or current. take last stroke on RIGHT (boat YAWs LEFT) now edge (your choice R or L) Which way does the boat go?

MOST hulls are relatively balanced and don’t YAW unless coaxed. It’s called initiation.


your post should have been titled
for the uninitiated …

by the way, Yooperblock
nice boat! (check out my profile)

Thanks for the comments. I love my Sirocco. I don’t do multi-day camping trips, only day trips and it is a fun boat for that.

I just want to be sure I am doing the correct things. Edging makes turning so much easier; with a sweep stroke mixed in, it turns on a dime. Some times, though, it seems like when I edge, it turns the opposite way or just keeps a straight line. It confuses me. I suppose it has a lot to do with what my last stroke did to the direction of the boat?

on MOST sea boats a flat hull-form tracks and an edged hull (either edge- inside OR out) turns easier. The more rounded and wider bilge generally has no keel line and the stern is generally free to kick loose and skid. Hard chined boats have a secondary keel line that ‘sometimes’ works as a keel line and actually somewhat resists turning when edged. go figure.

It’s all about the initiation first. a strong bow sweep tells the boat to YAW and a nice edge tells the boat to carve or skid resulting in a faster turn.

If left flat MANY boats will still continue to YAW, some won’t. A GREAT tracking hull will only turn a few degrees and then go back to straight, whilst a good maneuvering boat will continue to turn. Edge just adds to the speed at which she turns.


Stern or bow?

– Last Updated: May-04-07 7:18 PM EST –

I haven't spent time in the Sirocco, but one thing that shows up more so in the more rockered of my boats is that where the stroke is most powerful can make a big diff in how much the boat turns. The Explorer LV can be turned with noticeable diff in impact by how much of the sweep is focused on the bow portion versus the amount (that is wasted) focused on the rear portion of the boat for a forward sweep. May be similar in the Sirocco, and I think this is not inconsistent with what flatpick has said.

Pretty fast way to figure out where you should be stroking tho' - if the boat isn't turning nicely you took out too far back.

fwd driving
I call it ‘forward driving’ and involves pushing the front end (bow) around to gain control. body posture is better, you actually push with your feet in the direction you are ‘turning’ instead of following thru with a bunch of wasted energy fired off aft. while it IS a good techniqe to drag the stern over, at times, I’m more pro-active in getting the bow to point where I wanna go.

bow sweep is about 18" long and is a straight push out from my feet. if I need more turn I do another NOT go back further.


I’m buyin that…

different way to sweep
a lot of people do a sweep stroke in a big arch - like a rainbow. I prefer to do a triangle starting at my feet going straight (more or less) to a point that is infront of my hip and a comfortable distance away from the kayak, and then straight to a point somewhere behind my seat. Not a good description, but there are two directions of force one to ‘push’ the bow, and the other to ‘pull’ the stern. The middle bit of a sweep stroke is for going forwards - if you don’t need it then leave it out.