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How to Avoid Flipping Your Kayak

In this video, Ken Whiting of PaddleTV shares some tips on how to NOT flip your kayak. Whether you are new to kayaking or you're an intermediate paddler taking on rougher conditions, you'll benefit from his advice on staying steady on the water.

How to Avoid Flipping Your Kayak

Get a Kayak that is Designed not to Flip

  • Recreational kayaks are designed to be the most stable. Most recreational kayaks are typically designed to be between 28 inches to 40 inches wide.

Don't Lose Your Balance

  • Always keep your head centered over the kayak.
  • Stay loose in the hips and really allow your lower body and your upper body to work independently but cooperatively with each other.

Recovering Your Balance Using Braces

  • A brace simply involves stopping the flipping momentum by slapping the water with the paddle, as soon as you lose your balance. That momentary support you get from the paddle will allow you to roll the kayak upright again and bring your body over top.
  • It is important to note that the bracing technique works much better when you're in a kayak that has hips support and thigh hooks.
  • There are two types of braces that you can use. There's a low brace and a high brace. The big difference between the two is the position of your paddle relative to your elbows. For a low brace, the paddle is lower than your elbows , while for a high brace, the paddle is higher than your elbows.

Learn the Kayak Roll

  • When kayaking in rougher conditions where flipping is a real possibility, the best way to develop your braces is learning the kayak roll.
  • This will improve your confidence knowing that you have a backup plan if you flip - you can roll back upright.

Ultimately, it is time practicing on the water that will help you develop these skills.

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