Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Wake wave paranoia

I share my paddling area with a number of large powerboats, including some large 40 - 50' sportfisherman. These beasts throw a heck of a wake wave when on plane. A big set soaked me up to the shoulder this morning.

As a rookie kayaker, what is the best way to handle a set of 4 - 6 breaking 3' waves? Bow on is difficult, since my boat has a tendency to be pushed off center after the first wave or two. What is the proper technique - bow on or sideways, and roll into them?

I also need some advice on how to rapidly turn a relatively long boat (17'6") like my Coho. My old canoeing techniques, like sweep strokes, bow rudders, and stern rudders just seem to stall the boat out without creating a rapid enough turn rate. I'm guessing this is a technique problem - any suggestions?