Turning a ski into the wind.

Im guessing that the wind was 10 mph.The ski is a Stellar 18S. Turning 180 from downwind to up was a bit of a chore even with the rudder.

Any advice?

How Good Are You At Leaning
That puppy? I had a look. It looked interesting. Not for me though.

there are 3
fundamental methods:

  1. paddle backwards

  2. pivot hull on wave crest. Run thru this in your mind or try Utube.

  3. paddle forward at 5 mph, lean over with your ear in the water n try a reverse sweeping draw as a floating/save brace. Use thighs and knees, grunt.

to turn the front quikly

– Last Updated: Jun-12-15 11:12 AM EST –

I would gain some speed then do a sweep on the downwind side raise the edge a bit on the upwind side and do a bow rudder stroke on the upwind side followed by another downwind side sweep if needed.

I find many kayakers

– Last Updated: Jun-12-15 11:11 AM EST –

Never think about turning the bow with a forward static draw(bow rudder stroke). However, a solo canoe or front station tandem paddler often uses this to quickly turn the bow. You need forward speed for it to work. This stroke pulls the front around.

you could get a bigger rudder.

bigger rudder?
Sometimes a bigger rudder makes turning upwind even harder because it anchors the stern allowing the wind to blow the bow down. With some boats it can help to retract the rudder before the upwind turn. This is not possible with the ski of the OP.

edge + speed + power
-put more power to the outside of the turn while edging on the outside edge. Edge as far as you can.

-Edging is not the same as leaning.edging, your weight stays centered. leaning, your body is over the water.

-get up some speed before turning, the faster the boat is moving the better the turning.

-if there is a bigger rudder available, get it.

In significant chop, zig-zagging upwind over waves to avoid hobby-horsing the boat and bow slap can be a bit faster and less annoying than straight in. Whether it’s faster depends on the wave size, boat, and paddler.

Unfortunately, IMO this a real weak point in the stellar design, that, and too much cockpit volume. one paddling partner with an 18s put a giant block of minicell to fill up the foot well.

I was doing short laps in significant wind on Kauai’s north shore and battled to keep the stellar I had rented into the wind. As soon as I switched to a Fenn, problem solved.

That high pointy bow is not doing you any favors.

I tried to search to see, “What Would Oscar Do?”

But I only found, “I try to avoid paddling into the wind as much as possible” or something like that.

shorten your paddle helps a bit
Assuming you are using an adjustable wing paddle, a couple cm’s shorter will help your keep your cadence higher going into the wind. in short period chop it helps to time your stroke with the chop to get your blade into the meaty part of each wave.

Check Epic’s “paddle wizard” on their site to make sure your length is about right. Seems like lots of people use too long a paddle when they start.

I was mostly kidding.

ski’s I
doahn no but in a Solstice Titan, an egregiously fat hull, turning onto the rising wave moves bow downslope with wind against stern hen on wave top stern is free in wind then downslope.

schedule practice.

Thanks everyone.
I am a ski beginner so seat time will probably teach me a lot. As for cockpit size, I fill it.If I were an inch wider my butt would not go in the seat and the foot braces are at max.

You purists won’t like this , but I use an old ‘wind’ paddle made by Sawyer that I cut down to 225 cm.I had a wing but my beat up shoulder couldn’t take the stress.

I use a kick-up rudder which is much narrower than the original because I think I would damage the understern in our rocky lakes.

I’m thinking it will be worth it to go down to Sea Kayak Carolina and get some lessons.

PS: The Stellar paddles like a spirited
sea kayak except it can blow the doors off the ones my paddling partners have. It resonds well to a lean and turns fairly easily with the paddle.

You need speed
Because the rudder “anchors” your stern and the tall flat bow acts as a sail in the front, unless you get up to speed where the turning forces from the rudder are more than the turning forces from the bow, you won’t make an upwind turn… Make sure your rudder pedals are setup so that you can take advantage of the full range of motion on the rudder (but not more than where it will “stall”, because if you stall it, then it does not work well at all - hard to tell where the sweet spot is without some practice).

10 mph is not that much though. If that’s giving you trouble, my bet is you are stalling the rudder trying to turn too hard or you are not moving fast enough. On a non-retractable rudder you need speed to turn upwind.

Thanks Kocho. I did not have much
speed and had the rudder cranked all the way over. Something to try next time.

pull up the rudder completely
Since you have an overstern rudder, I’d pull the rudder up completely. I think that and edging will help a lot.

In an extreme case there will be wind waves. Pull up the rudder catch a small wave and it will help wash you side ways, brace into the wave and tur off the back of it.

A sea kayak turns a lot differently than an ski and I think the methods are different.

I also like paddling backwards to get some momentum and then turning on top of a wave.

The folks at SKC are very good and mayy be a lot of help, lessons are always a good thing.

225 cm??
That is way too long for a ski.

215 is about as long as you should be for general paddling. I’m 6’7 and use a 214-16 depending on conditions.

Try a small bladed wing. Most people who say a wing paddle beats up their shoulder are using it wrong.

Once the wing blade goes in the water, the shoulder doesn’t move relative to the body until the exit and then there is no pressure on the blade. The pull comes from body rotation not shoulder movement.

Its very helpful to get someone to video you from shore while doing your best stroke or mount a gopro on the stern and/or bow at shoulder height. compare your stroke to Barton’s video or youtube videos of the pros.

Practice Doing Circle Strokes First
On both sides of a Scupper Pro for about two weeks using a conventional kayak paddle in flat water. Then, when you’re proficient, go try it on your ski, using the same paddle in flat water. Once you think you got it, test yourself out in the wind. Don’t try the circle stroke using a wing. Later you can do it with a wing using its backside, but that takes quite a bit of skill and practice. Better to work on the oomph part of the stroke instead. I like to start the turn first by drawing the bow to the blade and then following it up on the opposite side with a sweep that simultaneously pushes the bow away from the blade and draws the stern to the blade. Repeating this sequence a few times will complete your 180 turn.

String Try Just Sitting In Your Yak
And doing nothing. Get comfortable with being in the wind and waves. It could be it’s not the wind. You might be a bit uncomfortable being in the wind with your new toy. Thus it could seem that it’s taking longer than usual to turn.

Quite frankly, with your rudder in the water the wind should be pushing the bow around.