Hi all, a newbie to this forum lookin for help. Just bought a perception whiplash aiming to try. A bit of playboatin but hopin to use on flatwater too. Prob is when I get up any kind of speed the boat digs in and slews around dramatically. Is this normal? Its not weathercock ing, cos it does it regardless of wind direction!

The name of the boat should tell you
It’s a Whiplash.

As you learn how to paddle better you’ll be able to keep it going straight on flat water.

But it’s a whitewater boat. Going straight isn’t what it’s designed to do.

but you can attach a strap-on to help it go straight

You need a second boat

– Last Updated: Mar-21-11 8:24 AM EST –

Yup the used WW boat prices are attractive, but they are specific to WW. They also lack some features that are more practical for the majority flat water environments you list in your profile - flotation fore and aft (unless this boat came with the float bags that are normally a part of WW boats in use) and some other stuff.

As above, you can learn to paddle it straight and it is good practice. But unless you get to be a pretty good paddler it isn't going to keep up easily with flat water boats, and it'll always be more of chore than paddling flat water boat or a sea kayak.

Look around for a used transition or touring boat - for used you could find what you need under either group in a listing.

Thanks celia. As I feared!

Thanks for the advice. May give that a try!

Going straight
The design of WW boats is such that the faster you go the more they turn. Controlling that is a skill that takes some time to master but obviously can be done. Learn some correction strokes like the stern draw for when the boat is way out of line. And learn to modify your forward stroke to add a forward sweep component when needed to keep the boat on line before it turns too far. Also be aware that edging a WW boat causes it to turn toward the low side.

going straight
Maintaining a straight course in a whitewater boat requires you to develop a sense for when the boat is starting to want to turn off line and introducing correction before it has a chance to do so. Correction might be nothing more than taking a somewhat more forceful forward stroke on the side to which the boat is starting to arc.

The design of this type of boat is such that once the stern starts “skidding” laterally across the water, a much stronger corrective stroke is required to arrest the skid and turn the boat back on line. No matter what type of corrective stroke is used in this situation, it will tend to dramatically slow the boat.

…for the advice folks. At least I know its not wrong. Just hav to learn to use it now! Thanx agen!

Well, you got yourself a river runner. I am not familiar with that particular model, but RR are usually planing hull designs, that is they sit in the water much looser that displacement hulls, especially at speed. Of course, any WW displacement hull is much looser than SK displacement hull just due to the length of boat.

So, quite a bit of yaw is design feature, the trick is to provide equal input on both sides to go straight.

Now, one factor not usually taken into account is trim of the boat. For as neutral as possible tracking, generally, the hull should be trimmed equally - or both bow and stern should be submerged/above the water equally. Ask someone to take a few pictures from the side while you are on the move. If bow or stern look out of wack, move the seat.

The Perception Whiplash was a circa 1997 design playboat 8’ 11" in length and 60 gallons in volume. It had a relatively flat bottom for the time but not so much as modern planing hull playboats. It had somewhat hard chines forward and softer chines astern.

It was intended to be a freestyle playboat for the time but many might consider it better suited to river running these days.

Here you go

Don’t go there
Just learn to paddle.

Your difficulty may have partly to do
with trim, and partly with technique. Is it possible that your Whiplash, with you in it, is trimmed a bit bow down? This could cause the bow to dig in while the stern, loaded lighter, would tend to “come around.” Have a knowledgeable observer watch you and take some photos or short videos as you try to paddle straight. If it does look like you are bow heavy, you can try to move the seat back. This can be a thankless task, because the seat screws go through special toothed nuts that are hard to break loose. Also, the seat mates to the front and rear walls, and that bond makes it hard to move the seat. But I’ve done it, and you can too.

The technique issue is that you need to reach forward and pull the boat forward by its nose. If you were to watch Scott Shipley, who won a lot of World Cup slalom races, you would see him sitting upright, even leaning a bit forward, while reaching forward and taking a firm catch up near the bow.

There is a certain narrow zone where a ww kayak, even a playboat, is willing to run straight. With practice, you will learn to keep the boat’s bow yawing from side to side within that zone, and the boat will cheerfully stay straight even when paddled hard. In fact, some speed helps a boat run straight.

thanx g2d
That’s really useful advice, thanks for taking the time. Trim may be a part of it as the backrest is a thick homemade special which pushes me forward. I aim to replace it which might help. I’ll also try applying your. Tips on technique! Thanx agen.