Trouble maneuvering river runner

Today I tried out my Dagger Redline (similar to RPM, but with playboating capabilities) on the local river, and was not very impressed with the results.

The boat was very difficult to maneuver, and had a tendency to start to spin out in the current, especially when trying to make turns. My old Perception Swifty (just a standard rec boat) handled the river better.

One factor is that the river was very calm (rarely above class 1, if ever). Is this sort of boat just not designed for the slower moving water?

The paddle could be another issue. I was using the paddle that came with the swifty. Is there any special kind of paddle that I am supposed to use with this kind of boat?


Operator error
WW kayaks are not made to track and are not very forgiving of your paddling imperfections. Don’t know what kind of paddle you are using but ww paddles are generally less than 200cm.

I had a Redline, used it in lots of
class 3. I gotta agree wth Tsunami man. Sounds like a course might be an idea for you. See you downstream.

Paddlingnet Diplomacy Awards
Chuck and Kanaka : You guys deserve medals.

LOL ;>)

Most Rec Boats

– Last Updated: Apr-09-07 6:43 AM EST –

are designed to track better, with little or no rocker, and sometimes with a very defined keel line. This helps with getting to point A to B, on flat water. However, on moving water where you need to maneuver around midstream rocks and other obstacles, that tracking can become a handicap.

Your paddle also may be too long. Thus your blade is entering/exiting the water Way Out There, promoting the yawing (zig zagging) of the boat. Combined with the ww boats' high rocker (think of the lowest point in the rocker, somewhere near your sitting position, as a pivot point), you'll have a tendency to "spin out." Go to a shorter white water paddle. Keep your strokes short and right next to boat. Blade enters somewhere between your knee and foot, pull and exit just before, but never beyond the hip. You should feel like you are "pulling" the boat along. If your stroke goes beyond your hip, you will introducing a sweep component that will begin the turning (or spinning of the boat if the stroke is really long and powerful).

Get a shorter paddle and practice on flat water. Pick a point on the shore and thinking of using the shorter stroke, pulling yourself to it. Once you get that down, play with lengthening you stroke to begin to get the feel of the sweep stroke and what it takes to turn or two spin the boat out.


ww stuff
Most WW paddles are now 190-200cm long. The trend is towards shorter paddles and less feather.(0-45 degrees) A paddle that’s too long will make it harder to paddle straight because every stroke becomes a sweep.

WW boats are designed to turn, not track, and will “spin out” without constant small corrections. This becomes automatic after a while.

To paddle straight you need to sit up straight and take short strokes as far forward a possible, with the blade close to the boat.

Operator and boat diff’s

– Last Updated: Apr-09-07 3:59 PM EST –

We started out in Swifty's, for a few years before finally deciding we had to get serious because of where we wanted to go and got sea kayaks. And we started some local moving water work last fall in WW boats, have both old-school displacement and a planing hull under the porch for each of us. So we've been thru enough boat switches to have a pretty good idea of what to blame for problems.

As stated so diplomatically above, it ain't the boat or the paddle. The Redline is doing exactly what it is supposed to. It's supposed to be more about manuvering in current than being useful in slow water.

Given our experience, I'd agree with what has been said above. You likely have some less than good paddling habits from the Swifty, since it is so wide, which the Redline is simply revealing to you. And you also probably have a longer than necessary paddle, which is compounding these paddling habits.

As to the idea of which boat in your other post, the Redline may be in the group where, if in strong enough current and features it'll play, but in flat water it lacks the "sinkability" to make it work as a playboat. If you want to go that way, you'll be best served by going to a WW center and taking some lessons.

Already got a few
But not for my diplomatic skills.

Your definition of maneuverability?
“The boat was very difficult to maneuver, and had a tendency to start to spin out in the current, especially when trying to make turns”

This sounds like a maneuverable boat, not a difficult to maneuver one.

WW boats, especially round hulled ones like the redline will respond to currents and eddies very differently than something like a Swifty that has a distinct keel and V-shape bown and stern.

Its different, not broken, you just need to get used to it. Once you learn how to take advantage of the design you will probably like it.