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How To Turn Your Sea Kayak In The Wind

Understanding Turning Techniques

In very windy weather, it is often more comfortable to use turning techniques that only employ edging and power strokes on the upwind side of the kayak. This strategy requires us to edge on both the outside and the inside of the boat at different points in the turn.

Again an effective stern rudder helps make this turn more dynamic. Good body rotation and an immersed paddle blade provide the leverage for a tight, accurate turn.

This technique places the boat across the wind and stationary at the end of the turn. It's therefore important to finish in a balanced position ready to accelerate away at the end of the move. Reversing across the wind can also be combined with a powerful forward sweep on the upwind side of the kayak. This can be an effective way to turn down wind in very windy conditions.

In summary, the turns highlighted in this section combine changing boat speed and boat trim and a variety of paddle strokes according to the boat's angle to wind and waves. Paddling in strong winds requires a flexible proactive approach and a willingness to use different turning techniques in different situations.

Video provided by: Kayak Essentials - offering high quality training courses, events and resources

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