How to Do a High Brace in a Kayak

How to Do a High Brace in a Kayak
Good bracing technique while kayaking can mean the difference between staying upright in your boat or ending up upside down, requiring a roll or, even worse, a swim. If you're new to kayaking, the high-brace technique forms the foundation for the rolling technique and is often the first step taught in learning to roll. The terms "high brace" and "low brace" refer to the position of your arm and paddle, but both moves accomplish the same goal of keeping your boat upright when it's about to flip. In a high brace, the power face of your paddle blade faces the water, which has your arm generally in a higher position and your wrist rolled back.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Roll your wrist back so that the power face of your paddle blade is facing the water on the side toward which you're flipping. The power face is the side of the blade that's normally facing back (the side that pushes against the water as you're paddling). This motion will, in most cases, naturally lift your arm a bit as well. The face of your blade will squarely impact the water's surface.
Step 2
Slap the power face of the blade against the surface of the water. This provides the brace, the force against the water's surface allowing you to snap the boat back into its upright position.
Step 3
Snap your hips away from the paddle blade to right the boat. Allow the boat to move first, bringing your body up as the boat rights, and your head last.
Step 4
Twist the paddle blade to a vertical position to pull it back out of the water. Pulling it back up with the blade still flat will put pressure in the opposite direction and can flip you right back over.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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