The first thing you learn when paddling a kayak is extra strokes on the left turn the boat right, and extra strokes on the right make it turn left. For a sharper turn, drag the paddle blade on the side you want to turn. That’s it, right? Wrong.
The stern rudder may seem simple, but properly performing this move will make your turn more efficient without sacrificing forward momentum. Start by rotating your upper body until both hands are on the same side of the kayak. Then, slice the rear blade into the water parallel to the kayak behind your hip. Untwist your upper body to push out slightly with the backside of the rear blade.
To make a slight adjustment in direction while underway or to turn in a confined space, use a bow rudder. Start by slicing the blade into the water at your foot with the power face towards the kayak. Your paddle shaft will be close to vertical with one arm crossing your face at about eye level. Slowly roll your lower wrist back to twist the blade open and catch the water. Brace the paddle by your foot to hold its position while the kayak is turning.
Tilting the kayak or edging is a powerful steering tool. To tilt the kayak, start by shifting your weight away from the direction you want to turn. Keep your head and shoulders centered while transferring more weight to one of your butt cheeks and pressing down on the same-side foot pedal while lifting the opposite thigh. Combine this edge with the forward stroke or forward sweep to turn without losing speed.
Always practice these new techniques under controlled conditions in calm, shallow water.
Sometime it’s fun to bring passengers along with you on your fishing kayak when paddling. Paddling in tandem in combination with fishing, camping or bird watching can augment the fun, although obviously paddling your fishing kayak in tandem can complicate some activities.
The spacious JAM 2+1 kayak virtually eliminate the problem of lack of storage space, and attaching additional gear on top of its hulls is a breeze, even when accommodating two passengers. When going on a tandem trip, canoe-style paddling is often advantageous over paddling in the kayaking style.
When paddling in tandem, it is important to explicitly assign rules to those on-board in order to track smoothly. The paddler at the stern should be in charge of steering and tracking, since they have a clear line of sight of the two others, as well as using long J strokes (canoeing style) that facilitate both steering and tracking. In case an extra blade is needed on the other side of the kayak, the paddler in the front can more easily switch sides than the two others.
It is important that the front paddler set the pace when using kayak (dual blade) paddles, and the other paddlers to mimic his/her strokes in parallel to avoid hitting each other’s paddles. Paddling in tandem has a significant learning curve, but practice makes perfect.
Once you master the skills needed to successfully paddle in tandem, you can fully enjoy the fun of paddling with a partner, or even two if you’re up for it.
We’ve received great feedback from another JAM kayak customer:
““I haven’t been in a canoe for forty years, so I was a bit apprehensive about taking the JAM fishing kayak out. No worries, it’s such a stable platform I was away as if I’d been doing it for years. When the electric motor came into play it was easy paddling into a headwind, with up to 4hrs run time depending on your choice of setup and usage. Would highly recommend to all ages and abilities.”
We had a great time using our fishing kayaks at Oxwich Bay recently. This beautiful beach in the Gower, Swansea. It’s not far from our base and it’s an excellent place to enjoy kayaking and other water sports.
If you would like to try one of our kayaks before purchase please let us know. We’re based in South Wales with lakes and the sea in close proximity.
We are pleased to announce that our new website is now live in time for the Summer season!
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