Kayak like sitting on a Ball

My 14 ft Clearwater Design Algonquin is so unstable it’s like sitting on a ball how can I make it more stable I’m tired of getting dumped.

I looked at it online, and it doesn’t appear to have any stability issues by the design.

The best thing to try, IMO is to just paddle it more, and relax. Let the boat do the work of staying upright. That’s the best thing to do. You’ll get used to it faster if you just relax and stay loose.

If that doesn’t work, you can try ballasting it with 2 liter water bottles stuffed in the ends of the boat, and maybe one in the cockpit. Make sure all three are secured so they won’t move, and put less and less water in them, and gradually get your balance.

I also don’t see any issues…
How much do you weigh?

How experienced a paddler are you?

What kind of water are you paddling in?

Relaxing is the way to go.

Let your blade be your natural outrigger.

Bracing is great, but just having a paddle in the water is better for keeping stability.


where you’re coming from.

what happens with other hulls ?

better stability ? buy one.

are you a stationary person ? drive up and down mtns altitudes ? The otoliths may be locked down for disuse.

No commercially available lake/river canoe is ‘unstable’ otherwise the design would not be

commercially available.

I have the altitude driving problem. If spending time driving up n down then hiking with a layoff from sea kayaking in a long distance touring hull referred to within this forum as a ‘pig’( too stable) then getting the otoliths tuned in requires several lake miles of tentative paddling and rolling.

You can have your ears checked. Search for balance exercises online.

Loose hips save ships.
Let your hips pivot with the side to side motion of the boat and keep your head over the center of the boat.

Keep those hips loose and it should help. If you stay rigid and the tips to one side, your head and shoulders will be over the other side and you’ll have an out of boat experience.

You relax, let the boat do its thing
The boat is sitting on water. The surface of the water moves. The boat is doing what it has to in order to accommodate the surface of the water. You are stiffening up and helping to take the boat over. It is possible you are too big for the boat and it is easier to dump, but you are still aiding in the capsize.

You can either learn to relax and let the boat move under you, or you can invent a way to make the surface of water utterly immobile in the face of wind and current.

The first choice is probably more doable.

What Yanoer and Celia said
Not trying to be critical, but encourage you. A 25" wide yak is plenty stable. Really. Torso stays vertical while hips rock & roll. Relax & trust the boat. Learn to dance with it. It won’t take long & you’ll wonder what the fuss was.

I feel your pain
I tried an “ocean kayak” for the first time and felt the same way. The initial stability was way lower than what I normally paddle- which were canoes and ww kayaks. The paddle blade also seemed ridiculously small.

I did manage to relax a bit and felt much more stable when the boat was up to speed after a few hours of paddling.

Hang with it and embrace the challenge. Even a few hours probably isn’t enough to to find out if that boat is not for you.

Paddle a high performance waveski
then go back to your kayak, she’ll feel like an aircraft carrier.

much more detail needed
How big are you?

How much do you weigh?

What conditions are you paddling?

How much experience do you have?

Here’s a guy confidently paddling an Algonquin:


He doesn’t look liliputian. OTOH, if you’re very light, the boat may not be as submerged which could lead to a sensation of less stability.

If you’re very light and small, you may want to reconsider, because that’s not a msall person boat. Otherwise - practice, develop a good stroke and braces and confidence in them (not hard), and relax.

Super video !
paddler flinches resting paddle !!!

video was cut there before he flipped over n drowned.

When you ask a question like that…
if you want constructive answers, you need to give your statistics and paddling experience if you want good answers.

Otherwise people can only guess and that won’t help you one bit.

jack L

spoiler alert!