Rudder Lines Way Too Tight

Recently, and without much warning, the rudder lines on my Current Design Storm kayak are incredibly tight…so tight that I can’t engage the rudder without an extreme amount of pressure…and it makes noises like the rudder and lines are really straining. There is no obvious knot or kink and I have lubed the rudder unit as well as the wires and tubing.

Any ideas on what the problem could be?

Jammed foot peg tracks ?
Maybe it is something jamming the footpegs and not a problem with the lines or rudder. If not too much trouble disconnect the lines from the rudder. If it is easy then problem is in the rudder mechanism. If it is still hard then the problem is in the lines or the tracks. Next pull some slack in the lines in the cockpit. If it is still hard then it is in the tracks. If not then the lines must be binding somewhere.

Good luck.


ropes change length when wet/dry?
I don’t know the Storm and what the rudder actuation system is like. But on a Necky of mine, it has ropes to raise/lower the rudder. These ropes stretch significantly when it gets wet. They are much tighter when dry, and loosen up when wet. Whether the rope is stretched or not doesn’t affect whether I can raise/lower the rudder, so I adjusted the length of the rope so it is tight, but doable, when dry, and let it become loose once the rope gets wet.

Eric hinted at it, but I’ll get to the point. You probably have grit in the rudder cable tubes or in your footpedal tracks. Lube of any kind other than the right kind, is bad. Eric suggest Silicone spray, I prefer waxed based bike lube. Both lube options have a dry finish whereas any petro-based lube will have an oily finish that attracts more grit. Using WD-40 will put you in a world of hurt.

Try using compressed air or a garden hose to flush your rudder cable lines. Use lots of water/air.