funny noise when paddling

Hello paddlers

I just took my new Perception Carolina out for its maiden voyage today. I was paddling along in our lovely little lake when I heard a funny noise - sort of like a grinding noise - as if you were running over something. I was in deep water, middle of lake and no debris around so I know I didn’t actually go over anything. It wasn’t a consistent noise either - just intermittent and I am thinking maybe when I perhaps leaned to one side a bit. Has anyone experienced this same kind of noise? I don’t recall hearing it last weekend when I took the Tsunami out so maybe it is particular to the Carolina? Kind of bothered me though so thought I’d see what you all had to say about it. Thanks!


My first thought
would be the seat. An attachment point under the seat cracked or broken. When you shift your weight it could make noise. Next I would look at foot braces and flotation to see if I could duplicate the noise. I hope this is some help.

Rudder Deployed?
sometimes deployed rudder/skeg will give off noise when the kayak is moving.


Ah ha, I knew it… I looked at your…
profile and it solidified what I knew instantly.

You are a female!

If there is the slightest thing out of order, you guys will squawk about it.

I am going to let you paddle with “the bride” and you two can comiserate about all your itty bitty odd noises!



have a Nalgene bottle on the floor?
I’ve had the same sensation a couple times only to realize it was my round water bottle gently rolling side to side.

Seat sounds good
Unless you have big scoop paddle so can cause a huge water gurgle sound?

Check out if it is related to your paddling on one side or turning to one side on your next paddle - that should help ID things a bit.

Just a curiousity question - why did you get thse two boats so close together?

My shoulder does that!

dlsb, pamlico 140s have a gray thing
…in the bow. Don’t know what it is, some say an old man lives in there. But if your Wilderness Systems is anything like that, it might be making the sound you hear.

Squeeze it to find out.

Bad paddle bearing…
check a couple of things…

If your boat has a drop down skeg or rudder sometimes turbulence happens and you’ll hear noise. My Dagger Blackwater does that. Sounds like a quiet top-water fishing lure.

Then, check your seat. Rubbing foam squeaks. Get it wet or slather on some 303 protectant.

2 boats a month?
I see from your profile that you are averaging 1 new kayak purchase a month…you are well on your way to a fine fleet!

Re the noise…

Other than being slightly annoying, I wouldn’t worry about the sound unless it seems to interfere with the performance of the boat. Good luck in getting rid of the grind…

Agree with Celia
Sometimes when paddling hard - your create turbulence along the paddle blade and it makes a noise like one of those ‘rain sticks’ that are hollow.

Feather your paddle or change your stroke a bit.


We guys? :::g:::
I’ve got a Carolina and I’m sitting here thinking, “Geez, I don’t know if mine makes noise or not…”

If it’s a grinding noise, there could be a little bit of sand in the track of the foot braces. You should be able to feel that though.

Have you changed the oil and filter?
I’ll bet you haven’t. Same old story, people paddle all season long and never once check the dipstick. I hope you have a monstrous bill for an overhaul!

You had to look at the profile of someone named Donna to confirm femaleosity?

Anyway, my first thought was waterbottle rolling on the floor.

water bottles
My big brother, who has an IQ level well up in the genius category once went bird watching with me. We are walking the trail and he says…“do you hear that bird? What is it? Is that a woodpecker?”

I didn’t hear anything, so we continue on.

He stops a second and third time. “There it is again! It’s making a ‘shunka-shunka’ sound! Didn’t you hear it? I don’t hear it now because it stops whenever we stop!”

Nope, still hadn’t heard the bird in question.

We start up and I mention to him that his 1/2 full water bottle that is tucked sideways into his fanny pack is making what could possibly be described as “shunka-shunka.” Could that possibly be what he is hearing?

Yep, turns out the “bird” was an East Texas Ozarka Water Bottle. Very common species in these parts.

GaryR , does this mean I’m about to
ruin a critical part of my boat? I’ve never changed the oil.I haven’t found the dipstick either. Or have I?

I had a recent occurance the same. Turned out my life vest zipper was making occassional contact with paddle or boat parts. Took a while to find it. Pretty silly, but it was annoying.

Also, check rivets and screws, especially seat or braces/foam/footrests. Thet dang foam can be a nusance when insufficiently glued in. Good luck

I think Celia has it!
My paddle makes the same noise! Sounds like something chewing on the bottom of the boat

Like speepshead eating barnacles of a hull in the water…

Act fast
you can do it yourself though I usually see people doing it in the parking lot of paddlesports retailers.

Wear some old clothes and bring a towel or something to lay on. You’re going to have to get under that thing and look around for the drain plug. In the warm weather any 10W-30 will work but if you really care about your yak you’ll go with a synthetic. Pricier, but far less friction on the moving parts and many more miles of paddling between oil changes.

Don’t forget to change the filter while you’re under there.