Turning a solo racing canoe ?

I asked this question a few years ago and I’ll ask it again.

How do you C-1 racers do a bouy “U” turn?

I got in the J-190 yesterday for the first time in a couple of years to basically try and learn to turn it.

No problem in a 100 foot diameter circle, but I want a tight turn.

I tried cross bow rudder combined with sweeps.

I tried posts combined with sweeps.

I tried rear ruddering combined with sweeps.

Please don’t tell me to “Lean and pray”

I did that and discovered that the lake water is still frigid!

Or is it just time in the boat?

any help would be greatly appreciated!


go wide and lean
i’m still working on it, big-time. but you have to lean like hell, to the point where your half-sweep, half-power stroke is a moving brace. the wide midsection is more buoyant and lifts the skinny bow and stern out of the water. going wide early seems to help as well. many racers start 30 feet or off center and start the turn well before they get to the buoy. a friend told me to start doing figure 8s under bridge pilings. now i’m trying to find a good bridge.

I lean to the paddle side and sweep and power stroke as stated above. Lean from the hips, torso remains upright. Now I only paddle a J200 for fitness and don’t race anymore (yet) so it’s just me out there screwing around, wait till you have to make a buoy turn in a pack you may want to reconsider the prayer part.