January 15, 2010, Newsletter Issue #14: The Main Purpose of Kayak Rudders

Tip of the Week

Most people think kayak rudders are used to make turns with the kayak.  While using a kayak rudder will drastically improve a sea kayak's maneuverability, turning a kayak is not the rudder's main function.  Rather, the main purpose of a kayak rudder is to help the kayak "track" straight.

Under calm conditions, it is fairly easy to keep a kayak moving in a straight trajectory without the aid of a rudder.  When it is windy, even slightly, or when there is current in the water, it can be brutal to keep the kayak tracking straight.  It is under these conditions that a kayak rudder comes in handy and will eleviate you having to paddle on one side more than another.

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