Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: Wake wave paranoia
In Response To: Wake wave paranoia ()

Bruce, A couple things in order of priority. Have you done rescues in these conditions? If you haven't it would be good to have some kind of previous experience so that you aren't learning in a trafficky area that big powerboats will complicate your self-rescue with "assistance".

Now for the fun, easy part. Dealing with waves and manuevering is totally dependant on your ability to brace and lean your kayak. Doing effective sweep strokes for fast turns requires a well fitted cockpit. Not necessarily tight, but a seat that doesn't slide around, hip braces that help hold the boat to you as you allow or control the attitude of the kayak on a rapidly changing surface, COMFORTABLE thigh braces so that forceful movements levered from YOU to the kayak are easy. Start practicing with braces in shallow water so that you can play with the edge without resorting to tiring rescues. If you have the time or inclination learning to roll is the best thing you can do for dealing with the waves you mention from all aspects, boat control, preventing capsize, recovering from capsize.

Specific to dealing with the waves I like what was mentioned, don't give up control by stopping paddling. Keeping your paddle in the water is always a good idea. You'll have to be careful about strong sweep turns and leaning techniques as your blade will be on the down hill side of the wave if you are turning too late as the wave approaches. Be willing to play with the top of the wave as you can turn very quickly on the tops. It's also one of the places to tip over if you are stiff in you boat and get surprised by sudden changes in balance or support.

The Coho is an excellent boat for these conditions but the cockpit needs to be outfitted correctly to enjoy the boats potential.