Outdoors blog


What does it mean for a kayak to track well?

If a kayak is tracking well that means it is going straight. Tracking a kayak refers to the directions of kayak that how well a kayak moves straight into a lazy river. So, handling a kayak well to the path ahead of you depends on the kayak as well as kayaker’s ability to go straight.

What Affects a Kayak to Track Well in the River?

The tendency of a kayak to move in the river depends on its design, length of the hull, and skeg or a rudder to hold its course underway. A kayak without the right equipment and an inexperienced kayaker is a frustrating thing to keep on course. Here are the things which keep a kayak on course even when the wind blows very fast:

  1. Understanding Kayak’s Weather Vane

Before kayaking, one must understand the kayak’s weather-vane to check the direction of the wind around the river. Paddling a kayak forward forces the water to flow around the kayak. When you paddle, the water layers are relatively parallel to each other which gets separated from the hull and causes an eddy. This causes the kayak’s bow to appear to turn into wind pressure.

  1. Length of the Hull

Several kayaks are designed with a longer hull to improve their tracking ability in the river. Even an inexperienced kayaker can find it much easier to track a kayak very well with a longer hull. As it has advantages, a number of its disadvantages are also counted for the kayakers. A longer hull can create a hindrance when you want to turn the kayak.

  1. The Rudder

A rudder plays a huge role in how well a kayak can move straight. A rudder is defined as “a device for steering.” It is a movable fin on kayak’s stern and back to aid it in steering. A good rudder can keep a kayak on course as long as a kayaker wants to use it for maneuvering the kayak in a straight direction.

  1. A Skeg

A skeg is on the back or stern to anchor the kayak in the water. Many of the kayaks are not designed with the skeg, but if you want to maneuver your kayak’s track you can purchase and stick it on your kayak’s back. A disadvantage is that it does not move and just helps to keep a kayak on track rather than directing it.

  1. The current of the Water

Wind pushes a kayak’s bow more into the water and lifts the stern. On the contrary, water does the opposite of the wind. It affects the bow more than the stern while kayaking. Sometimes, this can cause a kayak to go off-track and disturbs the kayak’s route. Water currents make it difficult sometimes for the kayak to counteract strong tracking.

If you’re a newbie to kayaking, many things will be surely a bit confusing to you. You need nothing to worry about in terms of tracking your kayak into the water. Heed these technical informative things for an incredible kayaking experience.

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