I now have a Tsunami 125 which I like and enjoy using. I do have a balance problem. Looking to buy larger kayak either Tsunami 165 or Tempest 170. I will be using it in bays, large rivers, never in the seas. I am worried about the balance the Tsunami is 24in. wide vs Tempest 22in
I made that transition
Several years ago and got over the difference in beam in about 20 minutes of paddling. You’ll get used to it.
I guess I should add
it depends on how serious your balance problem is. Is it medical or “psychological”? If the latter, you can definitely overcome it.
What is the source of balance issue?
If you are a large person and pushing the envelope in the 125, going to a Tempest 170 might alter the equation in your favor. If it is something else and medical, might be helpful to know what it is.
If it is nerves, as above you will likely get used to it. But is there any way you could pay a few bucks to spend some time in the 170, as a rental or on a tour, to try it out in a well protected situation?
even fear and anxiety - is based on biochemical reactions.
And matching design of one’s body to the type of equipment one is using really helps to inspire confidence to be able to keep the anxiety under the panic levels…
It is not the width of the kayak that matters ‘that’ much, per se, as how one’s torso height, arm length, and center of gravity when sitting in it works with the other features.
Width does matter
A person who is nervous about stability will feel more so as the width of the boat narrows. Unless there are other factors at play such as the smaller wider boat simply not being up to handling the weight of the paddler. Then the paddler will sink it below the desired waterline, at which point it will get pretty unstable.
Both the 165 and the 170 are full out sea kayaks, which means they are supposed to rock side to side easily. It is what they would have to do to maintain balance in waves. The 125 is a transition boat and likely to have less of that motion.
Yes, anxiety does produce biochemical responses. But getting control of that is still mostly a matter of a decision on the paddler's part.
in the beginning …
fix gallon water jugs onto the hull bottom lowering the hull down into water for more stability try weighting the stern down more NOT the bow.
Done best in fairly calm conditions where capsizing with loose jugs is not a problem so they say…
try a trailing brace when stroking…leave off the stroke pulling hull forward with a flat blade on water…
and if traveling over a rough spot with wind or current with you try he same…
what you really need is brace practice. look at Utube bracing videos. Wayne Horodowitch has an excellent bracing clinic video at USK.
Brace practice is in shallow water where you do what ?
brace ! this is accomplished by brace practice not paddling around looking cool.