How to Operate a Kayak Rudder

How to Operate a Kayak Rudder
A kayak rudder is a type of accessory you can install on your kayak to help you navigate in the water. A rudder works by increasing the drag on one side of the kayak, slowing it down while the other side maintains its speed and turns the kayak by overpowering the other side. A kayak rudder negates some of the paddling work you do, but it can make the turning process easier than it would be otherwise. It is easy to learn to use a rudder for your kayak.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Kayak paddle
Step 1
Launch your kayak, climbing into it as you do so. Position your feet on the foot pegs located in the leg cavity of your kayak.
Step 2
Begin paddling straight by making sure the pedals are aligned with each other. This means the rudder behind the kayak is completely straight and not influencing the course of the kayak.
Step 3
Press the pedal on the side you want to turn as you approach the turn. The degree to which you push the pedal will dictate the degree of turn in the rudder, and it will affect the sharpness of your turn. Continue paddling in your normal rhythm as you press in the rudder pedal.
Step 4
Return your pedals to being aligned with each other to proceed straight.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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