With a 19’ Glider, (22" beam), I am finding it a bear to turn, even though I start the movement with a rudder kick, and move it up on its edge.

Anyone have any special techniques they use? I know I will have problems in the wind, and waves, but in flat water, which is the best?

edging the kayak
is the first step. You really have to learn to tilt the kayak so that you can bring the longest part of the boat out of the water. Edging longer kayaks with a combination of rudder or sweep strokes is the most effecient way of doing this.

Edging is where you drop one knee to the hull inside the kayak, and raise the other to tilt it. However unlike leaning you curve your torso to keep it over the hull instead of out over your paddle.

I am doing that, and I assume you sweep on the opposite side of the tilt, (i.e. raise the right knee, and sweep on the right side). Would setting up the turn (a left one, for example,)by using a little paddle pressure on the left side, like a canoe, help?

glider is hard to turn
I’ve never been in one but that’s what i’ve heard,what you are describing sounds somewhat backwards: raise right knee(lean left)= turn right with sweep on left.

Edged Turn

Nope. Edge and sweep to the same side, turning the opposite direction. Also, I’ve found that I can initiate a much stronger sweep and turn using the paddle in the extended position. Then, I maintain that edge and follow the sweep with a bow rudder on the side I’m turning to.


NO Wonder
I was doing it wrong. Thanks for the tips. With a difficult boat to turn , it would help if I did it right to begin with!

Thats how I get my Falcon 18 to turn fastest-(tightest radius) without losing too much speed. Hold the same edge throughout the sweep/bow rudder as described above and then transition the bow rudder into a forward stroke to keep the boat moving.

bow rudder
Can you explain the bow rudder technique? I am not sure if I am familiar with it.



– Last Updated: Apr-19-04 9:48 AM EST –

Might be apples to oranges, but my QCC-700 18'x23 doesnt turn when you edge it, it stays right on the previous course, however i find with a power sweep I can effect the turn. or use the rudder, but i hardly ever use mine for that. I bascally move the paddle over in my hands so i have more leverage on the side i am sweeping.

Don’t forget bow ruddering
Try this. Change the pivot point from the center (sweep strokes) or stern (stern rudder) to around your ankles with a bow rudder. Just like all the input above, start with a good powerful sweep to break the line of travel and allow the pressure wave to build up against the sweep side part of the bow but then as the edge begins to bite maintain the edging and plant a bow rudder on the non-sweep side in the area of your ankles with a bit of forward torso lean to help free up the stern more. Only open the powerface a smidge for the leverage of the moving water against the powerface is appreciable and you want to maintain momentum, not come to a screeching halt. Also, do not! angle the leading edge of the blade toward the hull or you will very likely do a very speedy barrel roll, and the Hudson at this time of year is still chilly. :wink:

See you on the water,



bow ruddering

– Last Updated: Apr-19-04 10:47 AM EST –

is certainly a good turning stroke, but for someone who is new to the concept of edging, perhaps a stroke where you are presenting a diving blade angle on the inside of a turning edge is not the best advice.

I think practicing edging or leaning in combination with sweep strokes is a good first step towards directional mobility.

The bow rudder, stern draw, hanging draw and side scull, are all excellent ways to direct a long kayak, but the basis of all of these is edging the kayak, torso rotation for positioning and a vertical blade.

My Q700 doesn’t exactly carve turns when it edges (edging by it self won’t turn) as it’s not a hard chined hull - but it certainly make it easier to turn. A good sweep ro two brings it right around when edged. It even works edging to either side - but leaning to the outside assists with the sweep on the outside. I find it quite manuverable for a long waterline.

PS - It’s 21", not 23" (and really only 17’ 10")

Yeah what grayack said, what i meant is edging alone wont do much.

Great discussion
Nice posts guys. As one who does not have a rudder, I will try to learn the “bow rudder” this year. Good advice.

Flatpick’s Tip
What helped me a lot in turning was beginning the correction stroke way up at my feet. Plant the blade up near your toes and push it out to the side.

depends on which way the wind
and current are coming, and how much edge you apply. if you are moving downwind edging alone depending on forward hull speed and the degree of edge should start a fairly decent turn. As long as you are not locking the stern in the water, ie edging into the wind, you should get some turning action. To come up wind if you are comfortable edging away from the wind, this should bring you about too. Sweep strokes will speed this along, bow ruddering will speed this along, but edging the kayak is the first step.

get the rudder up
You are adding extra length and not allowing the stern to skid; the rudder will “dig in” and prevent the most effective turn.

Edge away from the turn.

Initiate the turn with either a stern draw or more commonly a sweep (usually the aft half of the arc is more efficient) .

Finish with bow draw on the side that you are turning to. This draw can be static. After you have started the turn with the sweep, bring your other blade parallel to the boat just in front of your feet and angle the leading edge away just a little bit.

The boat leans in the turn, not you. Your torso remains upright, your knees and hips apply the leaning pressure. This is a j-lean and the boat is said to be heeling.

You can get a similar though slower turn by doing a reverse sweeping low brace then slicing the same blade forward to a bow draw with the boat heeled toward the turn.

Glider turning

– Last Updated: Apr-22-04 1:02 PM EST –

This is what I did. Got the boat wet first time this AM. Still floating and it turns nicely and can offset any wind conditions. Four pics.


Bow rudder
As he said; Sweep on the outside of the turn, lean forward, put the blade in on the inside near your toes at a neutral angle of attack, and slowly rotate the leading edge away from the hull. It doesn’t take much angle to carve a nice turn. The paddle will want to pull away from the hull, so counter that with your upper hand using your lower hand as a fulcrum.

Try it first with just the tip of your paddle, gradually using more of the blade as you get a feel for the angles and forces.

Reverse Strokes
I have paddled Tsunami Chuck’s Glider, and my Shearwater is over 18’ Niether has a rudder.

Long boats are just harder to turn.

Sometimes where space is limited, it is better to use some reverse strokes to get the boat pointed in the right direction before going forward.

You lose momentum, but then you have a shorter distance because you are taking a more direct line.