Switch rudder pedals...

Just curious, as the paddler of an Impex Mystic with a drop skeg, I recently bought an old plastic Dagger touring kayak with a rudder… Never having used a ruddered kayak before, I’ve noticed that the right pedal turns the kayak to the right, and vice versa… Is there a good way to switch this? Seems counterintuitive to me when using edging techniques to be pushing on the right pedal when turning right… Seems like it would be easier to have the opposite pedal control the turn… Obviously, you can’t cross the cables in the cockpit area or else it may adversely affect a wet exit…

Just curious, I don’t expect to need the rudder than much that often…


You got it Jay,
you can switch them in the back. Though.

Seems an obvious thing to do in terms of edging the boat etc. but must be a brain control type thing. If using the rudder for course correction/hold and fitness type paddling the push right go right way feels better and more natural IMO… Switching them always seems to be more confusing.

Push right to turn Left
The cables in rudder boats are lined to make for the cleanest appearance but you are right, using rudder pedals counter acts what you are taught in a skeg boat. I would strongly recommend crossing the cables in the stern hatch if you do not mind the intrusion to your storage. It makes edging more effective.

As far as storage goes, as an ultralight backpacker and a person who has hiked for much longer than I have kayaked, I already found my Impex spacious and pretty big, storage wise, the Dagger is downright cavernous, being 1.5’ longer and no skegbox.

Seems to have a really flatbottom to it but that would be good for the shallow rivers I plan to use it on where the rudder/skeg would not be used anyway.

It’s pretty tough to deploy/retract I’ve seen, have to really yank on the cable…


I thought it was just me,
I’ve always thought the pedals on kayaks were connected backwards. After all, if you’re turning right, you should be lifting up on the right foot and knee to help with edging, not pushing your right foot forward to turn the rudder. I’d change mine, but I’m trying to be a big boy and paddle without a rudder nowadays.

Good show
Take the damn thing off and paddle-paddle-paddle.

I like your spirit. “Death before Rudders”

me too
i crossed my wires so my ruddered and unruddered boats can be paddled the same way- turned with edging

I’m glad I’m not the only one!

I bet I could sharpen it and it would make a very nice coconut slicer if I ever get stranded on some tropical island…

Really, I’m thinking of removing it completely, but this is also going to be a guest kayak for friends who don’t paddle but would like to go…


don’t use the rudder for yourself
and leave it alone for friends. If your friends are inexperienced they won’t know the difference and it is much easier to say and remember ‘push right to go right, left to go left’.

I am not sure crossing the cables and using the rudder combined with edging would be any more effective just using the rudder or just edging. In my mind if I edge to one side the rudder would not be in the water enough to be very effective. Also the force of the water on the rudder would be trying to turn the kayak ‘up’ into the air more than turning it right or left. But I could very well be wrong.