Stability issues

I am a newbie. I just bought a Perception Conduit 13 and have taken it out twice on a calm lake and tipped it twice. Thankfully i had a paddle float to get back in, with much difficulty, as I was not very close to shore. I just feel so unstable in the kayak. It feels like it is always ready to tip. I am 6’ 1" about 255 lbs. The boat is rated to 295 lbs. Not sure if I am doing something wrong and just need to get more time on the water or if this is just the wrong kayak for someone like me (size and experience level). My first time on a kayak was this year when I rented a perception tribe 11.5. I did fall off of it but it was due to me really turning my whole body. Once I got back on though I felt very stable.

Loosen Up
You’re probably just too stiff in the boat and you need to loosen up. Easy to say, I know, but you’ve only been out a few times and things will get better. With that boat you really shouldn’t have stability problems.

Ideally find a place that offers an introductory class, and maybe even an intermediate class to show you how to do a self rescue properly.

Also, looking around YouTube to see how to do a “low brace” probably wouldn’t hurt.

Keep at it!

wrong size boat

– Last Updated: Jul-30-16 3:22 PM EST –

The Conduit 13 is really more scaled to a smaller person, an average sized woman or medium sized guy. You qualify as a big guy. Your center of gravity is high and you're really a bit too heavy for that boat. The "rated capacities" on boats are deceiving and usually overstated. You need something with more displacement, either a wider boat that length (which will be more stable but slower) or something that width but 2 or 3 feet longer. You probably will get more comfortable with it in time -- you need to relax in it and not overcompensate when you feel it is starting to lean on edge. Keep your hips loose and your upper body centered. Do you downhill ski? Similar body mechanics.

But ultimately, you would probably be happier in a larger boat better suited to your height and mass. The Conduit should have good resale value on the used market if you want to upgrade. Or keep it for an "loaner" boat to share with smaller friends or partners.

What she said. I weigh 230 and have
a high center of gravity. I have learned the hard way that boats rated for less than 300 lb are too small for me. Too wide and short and my weight bogs them down.

Too long and narrow and stability can be a challenge


Should be doable .
At 13’ and 26 " wide you should have plenty of stability.

AS mentioned above you need to learn to loosen up and you need to learn how to brace.

Practice getting your hips loose and letting waves roll under the boat.

Get your thighs in contact with the boat … you may need to make some foam thigh braces. The cockpit is huge.

Eric Jackson teaches some really good lessons for bracing. His method may be impossible with a high back seat and high rear deck on a rec boat. But I would try to do the exercises he shows and you will get a really good feel for your boats balance point and increase your confidence for staying upright .

You might also look for videos on doing low braces in rec boats.

not really “huge"
In fairness, his 21 x 38 cockpit opening is not really “huge”. The average touring kayak keyhole cockpit is around 19 x 34, plus or minus an inch or two. Some rec boats cockpits ARE truly huge and run around 48” to 54" long and up to 25" wide.

But having the boat overall width at 26" could make for a sloppy fit within the hull so some foam outfitting could be in order.

new boat
I’m leaning toward getting a different kayak. I just really don’t feel comfortable in the conduit, and am losing the desire to use it. I’m looking in to something with a larger cockpit opening maybe even a SOT and also something wider. Any recommendations?

thanks for sharing

– Last Updated: Jul-31-16 11:39 AM EST –

the video- an updated version of ejs "advanced" video. Lots of folks I paddle with don't like this- but it pretty well sums up how I practice/paddle/brace - an old school ww technique.

even though ej preaches "out to the side" you notice the head position is pretty far back, that's the main objection.

at week of rivers (CCC near the natahala) I took advantage of one of the rolling clinics provided by the folks who work at the charlotte ww course. After spending some time with the instructor from there- well, I pretty much lost my roll.

some of us are destined to "stay old school"- fat old men especially, who cheat by keeping their head on the back deck.

Truth is I don't how to roll, I just know how to brace. It ain't the best way, but it is one way to get up.

I tipped the instructor some cash anyway- "the whole boat/body separation" thing was interesting but if "cleaning up my rolling" equates to losing my roll I'll just go back to bracing up.

sorry for jacking the thread- just found the video interesting

Before you do that,
are you in an area where you can attend a class or arrange for instruction by an ACA certified instructor? You listed no profile information or your geographical location.

A lesson will cost considerably less than another kayak and in addition to learning basic skills, you’d get an expert analysis whether your current kayak is appropriate for your size.

Here’s the ACA link where you can find kayak certified instructors state by state.

depends on your planned usage
What kind of boat you switch to depends a lot on what kind of waters you plan to paddle. Sit inside kayaks with oversized cockpits are not a good choice for deep, wide or rough waters. This is because they don’t support a spray skirt well to keep water out of the cockpit and hull. And they tend to be recreational style boats, in other words. shorter and wider and usually lacking front and rear bulkheads for safety.

A lot of larger guys do like sit on tops, which give you a lot of space for sitting comfort. You don’t have to worry about bulkheads or sprayskirts, and they are easier to climb back aboard if you capsize, but you do always get wet paddling with them so they are not optimal for colder water or windy cool conditions. And longer sit on tops (which somebody your size would need, 14’ or longer) tend to be heavier than similar length sit insides.

Max loading…
Kayaks will get mushy, wobbly and unresponsive near max load. The designers will have a target weight in mine when they design the hull and is usually a lot less than what will sink the boat.

CG is much different between men and women and gives the edge to women in a kayak.

Max load numbers figure paddler plus gear. Gear sits much lower in a boat and improves the CG.

You need a larger boat.