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Do Kayaks Flip Over Easily?

Let's explore some of the science behind why kayaks are difficult to flip (excluding whitewater), and what you should do to prevent a flip.

Do Kayaks Flip Over Easily?

Flipping a kayak is no easy thing to do. Unless of course you are kayaking in whitewater (rapid water), in this instance, yeah… you probably will flip.

So, with that in mind, let’s explore some of the science behind why kayaks are difficult to flip (excluding whitewater), and what you should do to prevent a flip.

Why are Kayaks Difficult to Flip?

Most touring kayaks are designed specifically with stability in mind. Kayaks that are built for speed however are narrower and therefore have less surface space to adhere to. They are more likely to flip.

How Do I Prevent Flipping?

If you follow the rules, flipping is an unlikely occurrence. By rules, I mean the below –

  • The Right Conditions – When it comes to paddling, you will need to consider your level of experience vs the conditions you wish to adventure out in. The weather is ultimately what determines how safe you will be.
  • Balance – Most kayaking guides will inform you of the importance of even distribution of weight across your kayak. Do not for example, throw your gear, your dog and your mum at the very front of the kayak. By evenly disturbing your items you are allowing for better balance and better balance.
  • Naughty Water (Low & High Brace) – If you feel as though you are losing balance on your kayak, feel free to reach to the side of your kayak with your paddle blade and give the water a firm slap on its blue behind.

How you may ask? By using the Low Brace, baby! Keep your paddle low with your arms in a push-up position. As you begin to tip over you will reach out at 90 degrees to the kayak and smack the water with the back side of your paddle blade to brace yourself. You cannot lean on this brace or else the paddle will sink, so while you are bracing, make sure you drop your head and body towards the water to lower your center of gravity as you flatten out your kayak.

High Brace is similar to the Low Brace – The only difference is that you will want to smack the water using the power face of your blade.

If you’re paddling a kayak with eyehooks, you will pull up with your lower knees at the same time.

Basically, you will want to mimic the action of one of those Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guys who have been knocked to the side by a gust of wind.

Ready to get yourself a sturdy kayak? Click here to explore our full kayaking range.

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