Tippy,,Tippy Kayak For Me

Ok So got a Used Eddyline Nighthawk 16. I Have Paddling River Before With Other Kayaks But I Am Certainly A Beginner.
Dumped Three Times In Water.

Is This Maybe Too Advanced For Me. What Other Kayaks Should I Be Looking At .
Need At Least A 14 Ft Sit In Touring

You may want some in person instruction on sea kayaking technique. Also, the kayak may not be a good fit for your body size. A kayak instructor or knowledgeable kayaker could provide advice. The folks here can help with a bit more info. I will be offline for a while, but you’ll get feedback from others here.

Stick with it.
When I first got my Chatham17 I learned a LOT about self rescues, but now it feels as solid to me as any other kayak I have paddled. Learn to use the paddle for bracing. Once you learn the high and low brace and also sculling for stability the 22" wide Nighthawk will be a delight. Don’t give up. Like the 1st time we learn to ride a bike it seems very unstable at first but inside a week or so it will feel just fine


Castoff is right. Having someone with experience “show you the roaps” is very helpful.
Where are you?

What’s your weight and height? What type of water do you paddle?

You might try looking for reviews about that kayak, like this thread:

Thoughts on Eddyline Nighthawk 16 - Advice - Paddling.com

They can give you insight into how others find that kayak to be.

It might help us if you tell us what the situation was when you capsized. where you simply paddling forward? Under what water conditions? Were you sitting still? Trying to turn?

I used to teach at a shop that had Eddylines and found the V hull of many of their models was a problem for novices at first. If the Nighthawk also a keel line that makes a V, that might be part of it.

Newer paddlers think that a boat must be straight upright/flat on the water. But a boat with a V hull doesn’t like to be exactly flat.

What I would do is put the boat on a flat and firm surface on shore and have the paddler sit in the boat. Have them then try to keep the boat perfectly flat (balancing on the V) which is almost impossible.

I then tell them to drop one hip or the other over a few degrees so that the boat catches on the flat part of the hull and locks into place. I have them compare how this feels to how it felt when they tried to balance on the V.

You do the same thing in the water. Don’t try to balance the boat perfectly flat on the V but let it settle a few degrees left or right so it locks. Once I started doing this, I stopped getting early capsizes in the class.


What Peter said above^^^.

Most Vee hulled kayaks have better secondary stability than primary. Eddylines typically have vee hulls and hard chines. meaning that there are distinct “steps” in the hull cross section between the center keep and the gunwales (the outer edges of the deck). That means if you expect a boat like that to sit flat on the water when you aren’t moving along it will seem loose and wobbly to you.

As Peter suggests, try to test the secondary stability, when it is leaning so it is resting on the angle on one side of the center keel. You can do that sitting in the boat on shore (in soft grass or a wooden dock so as not to scratch the hull) or in shallow calm water right after you launch. Keep yourself relaxed, especially your hips, and keep your core centered, like you would on a bicycle leaning into a turn or turning on downhill skis. A good exercise is to just sit in a new kayak in shallow calm water and gently rock from side to side by holding your paddle straight out in front of your chest and trying to keep it and your upper body level with the horizon while wagging from butt cheek to butt cheek in the seat to feel how the boat can rock onto the chines without rolling over.

I’ve coached a lot of beginning paddlers too, in my own boats (that are all pretty narrow with that kind of hull) and found the usual cause of capsizes is that as soon as they feel the boat start to lean to one side or another they have an abrupt panic reaction and throw their weight to the opposite side, thinking that the boat is getting ready to roll over. Unfortunately, that sort of quick movement is what usually results in the kayak being pitched upside down. But if I can get them to practice relaxation and “trust” that the boat will come to rest on the chine, we can usually get past that “instability” issue. That helps in the progression of learning to brace and using leaning to aid turning the boat.


I found this picture of a Nighthawk online, and it does look like a typical Eddyline vee hull. I have one of those too (mine is a Falcon 18). I found that’s it’s quite sensitive to how high you are sitting and it feels more stable the lower you can sit. So, if you’ve added an extra seat pad, remove it and see if that helps. Even a half inch of extra height can change the feeling from stable to tippy. And, if the original seat pad is removable, try removing that and sitting on the bare, hard seat. You might get used to the stability and then be able to add seat padding back in a little at a time.

But, the Eddyline hull is going to feel more tippy under any conditions compared with a flat-bottomed hull. But once you get used to the more responsive hull shape, the flat bottomed hull will feel like a barge.


Agree with @Peter-CA and @szihn (“Stick with it.”) at least until you’re sure it just isn’t a good fit for you.

Sometimes it’s the paddler that’s tippy, not the boat.

A fun exercise on a hot day is to play in the cockpit of your boat in somewhat shallow water. Hang your legs over the coaming, like you’re riding sidesaddle. Do the same on the other side. Sit on the back deck with your feet in the cockpit and paddle. Do a 360 in the cockpit. You might fall out and you might not. But you will learn good balance with your boat.

An ACA coach had us do some of these exercises during a class. It was a good learning experience.

Do take a few lessons and enjoy your Eddyline.


Hang in there, you’ll get used to it. I had a Night Hawk and thought it was very stable and a fun boat to play in. I think you’ll be rewarded if you learn to relax.

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Time. Take a deep breathe and relax. Get next to a floating dock with a hand on it and get use to the movements of the boat. Go in shallow water 12-16" so you don’t have to worry about going over and can relax. Practice a slap bracing.

Kayaks are often more stable moving forward. Also move deck bag, pump, etc from deck to hatch or cockpit floor.

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If you want take 10 lb of sand in a bag behind the seat. It will feel like a different animal. The every few trips take some out and you’ll most likely feel fine.

Paddling parallel or broadside to waves time you strokes so water is high on stroke side as wave passes under.

Wow a 22" beam is not much. I like more like 25 inches or a little more for a touring kayak.
Most of the plastic shorties are 28-30 inches. No wonder it feels tender. The V shaped hull gives the boat speed and better secondary stability, but adds to the lack of primary stability.

Learn to brace. Use the blade of your paddle to lean on the water to create stability. Practice high and low braces and different positions from the cockpits on both sides. That is how people stay upright in kayaks like yours even in white caps and rough seas. Learn to brace before you give up on your boat. You may be happier with a boat with more beam. Good luck.

The smallest width that I fit is 23 to 24 inches. The 180 is a good fit at 23" wide, because the hull has sufficient foot width due to the hull shape and deck height. The same is true of the 175 Tsunami at 24" wide with a 15 inch deck. It has more room than the 145 Tsunami at 24.5" wide with a 16 inch deck, because the hull remains full for an additional 18 inches forward. The 170 Tempest is too narrow in hips and foot room.