Is it me or the paddle?

Capefear don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming the equipment at all. The store I bought the equipment from is a paddle sport store and the owner is a avid paddler. He also came very highly recommended so I feel he set me up properly. It’s all me causing me to hit the boat. When using the longer paddle I didn’t have the same issues until trying to do a u turn in a cove. Other than that I couldn’t tell a difference except for maybe a little top speed but I don’t care about that. I have only been on the water so I still have a lot to learn. That’s why I asked the question here for people to help guide me and fix my mistakes. Even picked up a paddle holder to keep the other one the boat to try both to make sure it’s just me causing my issues.

Rstevens15 I didn’t think the length of the paddle was causing my issues. Open water i felt like it made little difference but for the better. I was just more curious about if the paddle shape made a big difference in turning in a cove. I am fine in open water but I will definitely try to remember the thing about leaning into the turn. Didn’t think of that but it makes perfect sense. When I’m in the cove I will definitely try that to see if it helps. Just one more thing I learned today.

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I actually lean the boat away from the direction I am turning in my kayaks to allow the curvature of the hull to help turn the boat. Leaning is called edging the kayak. You should do this with your hips not by leaning your upper body which will move your center of gravity away from the center of the boat making it more tippy. Both ways of edging will help to release the ends of the boat and make it easier to turn.

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I am pretty sure the OP’s problem is with turning at standstill, since he mentions coves.

At standstill, most paddlers will (and should, unless they have specific reasons for doing otherwise) edge towards the blade side. So when doing a reverse sweep stroke, they will edge towards the turn direction, and when doing a forward sweep stroke, they will edge away from the turn direction. Do you edge differently from this?

By the way, I prefer to discern between leaning and edging. I do both in a kayak. When I lean, I move my body in the direction I edge the boat, so the blade will have to carry a part of my weight. When I edge, I keep my body centered over the boat.

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Do you know how to do a sweep stroke?

Good points. I wasn’t thinking stopped. I do what you indicate, and lean also with a blade in the water. Just being cautious about leaning for someone I don’t know the skill level.

Either will help in turning the boat. I probably use a combination of both. To edge I use my hips and lift one knee on the thigh pads. If I’m also leaning to get more of tilt of the kayak I make sure that I’m also using the paddle in the sweep to brace as well. Failure to brace while leaning is an invitation to take a swim.

Tilting the kayak on it’s side near the point of secondary stability works to make turning the boat easier whether it is moving or standing still. My 18’ Arluk 1.9 has a straight keel and is like trying to turn an oil tanker if not edged.

Yes, but tilting or not in those two situations was not the point. The point was: Which direction do you tilt to in those two situations?

When you are moving, you will usually tilt away from the side you want to turn towards, except if you are doing a low brace turn.

When you are at stand still, you will usually tilt towards the side where you have the blade in the water, no matter which side you want to turn towards.

Edging AND leaning to turn on a dime.

I have never been on a Tarpoon, but I hope it works.

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Thanks for that info about edging, leaning and sweep strokes. Will definitely practice that next time I’m out

Okay, if we are going to post leaning videos, I have to post my favourite, the Haghighi:

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Very cool!

That’s cool but if I try that I’m taking a dunk lol

Yes. It takes quite a lot of blade awareness to lean on a fully submerged paddle moving back and forth under the surface. It is very easy to make small errors, which will drag you down instead of pushing you up.

I posted the link anyway, because it has another take-away:
You can actually put a lot of trust in the support from your blade when you do kayak maneuvering. It will carry a lot of your weight you if you do it right. And this is something you can get used to gradually.

Oh, and another important thing about this video:
It gives something to dream about. Which can create motivation for a lot of training.

The Haghighi is fun to practice - especially the first few times… Get proficient on both sides. It really improves your blade awareness and willingness to trust your scull. Then using it in conditions to catch a wave is worth learning the maneuver.

I was inspired to work on that style blade angle control watching some freestyle canoeing clips. The more well-practiced, the more I find myself actually using it without thinking about it. Really fun stuff!

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Learn how to bow rudder and combine that with some edging. That of course only applies if you have some forward movement. When I say “bow rudder”, I’m not referring to the classic vertical paddle next to the cockpit. The blade in the water is inverted and slanted forward of the cockpit. Generally the turn will be more efficient if you edge the boat to the outside of the turn. The paddle blade is slightly rotated to pull the bow toward the paddle. Play with that until you find the best angle to get the turn you are looking for without scrubbing off too much momentum. Learn this method of turning the boat and the stern rudder is only for surfing.

For tight turns from a dead stop, it might work best to take a reverse stroke on the side of the boat in the direction you want to turn and then a couple of quick bow sweeps on the side away from the turn.

Although Dr. Haghighi was my dentist for many years, I was never honored to have peddled with him. His sculling turn is neat stuff but, the quickest way to spin a boat was demoed to me by a fellow who worked at a kayak store. We were paddling along together and he said “Hey, have you ever seen this done?” I cannot explain exactly how he did it, but he violently spun the boat 180 degrees in about one second, My answer was “NO.” I’ve really never been tempted to replicate that turn.

Add torso rotation and edging. The 240 should be enough length, time to look at how you are using,it.