Kayak Sculling Brace

Let's take a look at one of the strokes in the bracing family at the entry level. We have done High Braces and Low Braces and those are done quickly to avoid a capsize.


The other stroke is called a Sculling Brace and, again, this is an entry level at the sculling brace. It would be used if you were to have a wind squall that was trying to blow you sideways, very hard, maybe to the extent that you would capsize. Your way to protect against that is to lean into the wind and use the paddle to support you from falling over until that wind squall passes, which normally wouldn't be more than a few minutes.


This would be an example of a sculling brace:
You are lifting... climbing angle on the blade... going forward, climbing angle on the blade going back, climbing angle going forward, climbing angle going back. This is very similar to the motion used with your hands when you are treading water.

A Sculling Brace is used to stop the boat from capsizing. It's different from the high brace and the low brace in that it's a continuous movement, so that you can actually lean the boat over towards the water and hold an angle without capsizing. Generally, this would be in the event that you have a thing called a wind squall where you've got a fairly high wind blowing for a fairly short duration and that wind would be strong enough to blow the kayak over if you don't lean into that wind. As you lean into that wind, you're going to want to do a sculling brace.

A Sculling Brace is going to have the paddle in front of your torso at a right angle to the kayak with the power face of the blade against the water, so your top hand on the on-water blade, the blade that's on the water, is going to be somewhere around shoulder height and the other hand, the one not on the water, is going to be as low as you can keep it, so that the paddle shaft is as horizontal as you can have it.

The blade of the paddle is going to be in the water, barely below the surface and you are going to move the paddle back and forth from towards the bow towards the stern and vice versa. As you do that, you are going to be elevating the leading edge of the paddle. The leading edge of the paddle is the edge of the blade in the direction that the paddle is moving. You will elevate the blade one way, sweep it to the side, sweep it forward, elevate the blade the other way and that will provide the support to keep the kayak from capsizing.

This has been Mike Aronoff with Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company (CKAPCO). I hope we'll be seeing you on the water.

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