????Racing Question????

-- Last Updated: Sep-14-05 5:55 PM EST --

Anyone have info (or links) on making the turn at the buoys?

Raced a "three miler" in the touring division and I feel rounding the mark I lost speed and momentum. What is the fastest way to round a mark?

Started training hard for a 4 mile and 6 mile coming up in Oct. Anyone have any good "racing" links?

Depends on the buoy
Some bigger ones you can just lean over and grab, pull yourself and kayak up, swing around it, drop and go! L

Option 2, get inside someone who turns better and let them shove your bow around! (Definitely NOT recommended!).

Or just do what I don’t do - practice!

with current?
or going against the current?

…curent usual isn’t an issue (protected bay)…

BTW - I was behind (OK, waaay behind) a very experienced racer (carbon boat/wing paddle) who took an incredibly wide turn… Don’t know if he did for speed or that he was so far ahead he didn’t care!!

The racer entered very close to the mark but his exit ( it was a 180 degree mark) took him 50-75 yards off to the side. Didn’t matter a bit though!!!lol

heel the boat away
from the turn. I have heard of some J-boaters who will drag a foot to make the turn tighter( if you are a double blader not needed) then practice!

A rudder is a must !!
My method:

Come into the turn from about a half a yaks length from the bouy, and try to kiss the bouy as you round it.

Get your rudder hard to the side you want to turn to and concentrate on paddling even and hard.

If you find that you screwed up and are swinging wide take an extra stroke or two on the outside.

If you are bunched in a group always take the inside. This will guarantee you a tight turn.

If you don’t have a rudder a equal engine with one will leave you in his wake on every turn.

You will always drop down in speed on the turns.

I like to practice bouy turns around rafts and floats



lean to outside of turn. This will free up stern to slide and sharpen turn.

find turning radius of your boat by practice. You want the arc of your turn to be such that you kiss bouy. You are halfway down with your turn when you are at the bouy. You will need to find the best spot to start your turn in terms of how far laterally from the bouy and also downstream(for lack of a better term).

You can also do sweep strokes on outside but will loose some power. Can also do stern rudder but again loose speed. There is also the bow rudder but this kills your speed.

good luck


Today I’m going to drop a mark in my practice area.

Regarding the rudder; I feel if I turn too hard the rudder seems to “brake”. I can hear a lot of water turbulence also.

Thanks for the opinions all!


You are exactly right, and that is why…
I said above “paddle Hard”.

If you want to make a tight turn you will have to paddle harder while you are in it, then get back into your racing cadence after you come out of it.

The other option is not an option and that is to just go wide and watch the others go on the inside of you.

That is my take!



Start your turn
away from the mark so you can finish on the inside. This will prevent you from getting surfed way out by the other boats wakes. This also lets you hold onto your speed for a longer period of time and allows you to accelerate off the turn with the boat pointing straight and the rudder centered. Think NASCAR and practice with a partner.

I was thinking of you today…
While I was practicing a 5 miler in prep. for a race a week from Saturday.

At my turn around point I went into it at exactly 6 MPH, and before I was out of it, I was down to almost 4MPH.



from a sailing background
are there any rules about contact, inside overlap, rights, penalties etc? what if you hit the mark? if you are in a pack of boats going around a mark, can you just stick yourself between them and the mark and let them steer you around? can you grab the boat next to you ? i can envision a lot of wacky ways to get around a mark in the absence of rules.

Eulink is right. Lean outside and do not use the rudder to much. It takes some practise to get it right.

Prior to the start…

– Last Updated: Sep-16-05 6:58 PM EST –

they always announce "Rules of Fare Play are in effect"
Grabbing another persons yak would not be fair play.
You can kiss the bouy and grab it if you so desire.
I have been at turns where I have hugged the inside in a group just as you described and yes, the other yaks will help get you around.
I would never want to be in the middle of a pack in a situation like that.
A week from Saturday I will be in one that has two 90 degree turns and one 180 degree one.
There are monitors at each turn.
I have never seen any one cheat, but that is because we paddlers are so upstanding, and honest citizens, (Hmmmmmm) !
The starts are always a lot of fun
Wake riding is permitted and if you can trade off with an equal paddler it can conserve a bit for that final push at the end.

There is a good one coming up in Charlotte, NC a week from tomorrow - The Mountain Island Challange.


my turn
First make sure you know if required to turn clockwise or countercc. The idea is to havebig speed when you finish the turn so tend to hug the right bank if it is a right to left turn. Lean your head unto your left shoulder as you slam your left knee way up into thigh brace and slide paddle as least 6 in to right so you are gripping different. The more you J-lean the opposite of a bike the faster you turn. In warm water reaaly practice LEANING until water would be coming in. Do not lean forward after each stroke. If tight creek then You might need to drag left blade to start brining boat around then grab blade way out by tip as you lean. Be polite. Races are sometimes in cold water and yes I have lost a lot of time waiting for slow, new people to turn but have never crashed them.

Another method is to
extend the paddle, plant a brace, put your weight on it, and spin the boat around in one giant sweep, leaning toward the paddle. You’ll restart from a dead stop if you do this, but you’ve wasted no distance in making a wide turn. Doesn’t work in a surf ski, though a less extreme brace does.


2 turns
You will need to see which one in the end is faster for you by doing time trials. Conditions may dictate which turn is better also. for me the fastest is when I turn with as little rudder movement as possible and lean towards the outside of the turn. It is a wider arc, but one that should be able to maintain the same speed as going into the turn as coming out. If you are inside another paddler on the turn, then my understanding is similar to sailing, you have right of way. In any case, the other paddler has no choice and tactically forcing him to paddle a further distance arc is in your advantage. I remember one twisty river race, where I was leading and every time the behind paddler tried to make a move, I took my corner long and forced him to paddle closer to the shallows in order to pass. In the end I beat him by 1 second as we made the final sprint to the finish an exciting end.

the other type of a turn, is one where the boat is going to come to a halt almost and should be the type of boat that can spin turn on a dime. In heavy current I used this in a race and the turn was around a boat. the boat had actually created an eddy and I turned a 18’ boat in the eddy on a dime and then paddled hard out of the eddy. The race committee couldn’t believe how quickly I turned the boat, but it was really his boat that made it possible. Had I taken the wider arc as others did, I would have fought an oncoming current and lost time.