Wiggling My Butt

I’m somewhat of a new kayaker. We have an old Aquaterra Prism and a new Liquid Logic Manta Ray. Both are 14 foot boats. Neither have rudders or skegs.

I’ve gotten pretty good at maintaining a course and compensating when needed. The other day I was playing around with NOT keeping my hips straight and parallel to the water while paddling and it seemed to me that if I tilted towards the right I started moving to the left. It’s not a big factor but I think it’s happening. In other words if I raise my left hip and dip my right hip it will make a turn to the left easier. Is this just my imagination? Should I just stop wiggling my butt and pay more attention to my stroke placement?

Hoping someone will tell me I’m not crazy.



– Last Updated: May-29-07 12:05 PM EST –

That's how sea kayaks (most kayaks, actually) work. (White water kayaks work the opposite, basically.)

This technique is called "edging".

It's one way of getting straight-line tracking and manueverability in the same boat.

In a narrower boat, keeping your hips loose is important for stability. You'll become a more verstatile paddler if you keep your hips loose.

Edging the boat lets you adjust direction without needing to change your paddling stroke.

No you are noty crazy !
that is the way it works.

Keep playing with it, and you’ll get proficient at it.



Kinda right
Putting the kayak on edge is unlikely to start a turn but will exagerate even the smallest turn already happening. In most touring kayaks/canoes outside edging (leaning away from the centre of the turn) exagerates and makes a more positive turn than inside edging (leaning in to the turn).

You almost certainly stroked on the side you leant to, for stability as you leant, this started the turn and the edge continued it. Once started the turn will continue until a.) you take the kayak off edge b.) a powerful enough stroke/wind/wave stops the turn c.) you loose speed.

An outside edge turn can be the easiest and most powerful way to turn a kayak. Key points; initiate the turn before you put the kayak on edge (even if this takes several strokes), more edge is good but wobble is bad (find a position you can maintain with no wobble), keep the speed up (speed is needed to keep the kayak turning, you should be able to paddle efficiently both sides without stopping the turn).

Outside edge while going backwards is even more exagerated/positive in many kayaks. Usefull for tight maneuvers.

tilt to right-go left
Thanks for the replies. I’ve been toying with it. Making a turn to the left and using an arc sweep with my paddle on the right I lower my right hip and raise my left hip. Seemed to help in making that left turn.

My brain seemed to think that no no it should be the other way around …ie tilt to the left to go left. But wanted clarification I wasn’t imagining it.

Thanks for the feedback