WW boats for learning to paddle straight

I was helping out at the first night of a beginning whitewater class this week – held on a pond – and it was fun to see some of the “experienced kayakers” laughing because they couldn’t go more than a few boat lengths without spinning around. It got me thinking that a couple of hours in a whitewater boat on flatwater would improve many people’s forward stroke. You get instant feedback if you’re doing anything that makes the boat turn.

Good suggestion. But maybe they
would just buy a ww boat and then install a rudder.

I always laugh
I always laugh when I am with someone in a WW boat for the first time and they say “I don’t like this one. It keeps turning” :-)) You always have to explain to them that this is what you want them to do.

A simple high angled bow draw from the toe to the hip and any WW boat will go straight. Minor lean may be needed to make corrections.


I recently…
I recently jumped into an older style white water boat (flat bottom, about 10 feet long) to paddle along with a guy who was testing a sea kayak of mine (the WW belonged to him). Took me a short while before I was able to get that baby to go straight.

I started in ww boats.
And originally just assumed all seayaks

would require the same high angle forward

stroke I’d used to keep the little boats

going straight in flatwater or between

rapid sets!

I was happily track-ignorant.

I’m a little better now (I think).

How right you are.
many moons ago, I had a Blue Hole, and I am sure that is where I learned to hone my canoe skills.

Also I have often said that the best and quickest way to hone a noobies kayak or canoe handling skills is to put them in a shallow, class one river with a lot of boulder gardens and fun little rapids.