• Kelvin Horner

Boating tip - Creating wide turns

In my last article 'Why are wide turns important?' I covered the concept of how a wide turn can be tightened. I also mentioned that wide turns can be more challenging than tight turns. In this article I'll share some tips on how to create a wide turn into the flow. The concept is the same for a kayak.


Take a look at the image below. As I travel up the eddy I am positioning my boat so that it has an upstream angle (blue arrow) in relation to the flow (red arrow) It's really important to do this, otherwise you'll present too much hull to the flow and risk been turned too quickly.


A strong stroke on the downstream side pushes the boat into the flow and helps to create a wide arc. It's worth mentioning that I often add a little sweep to the back of this stroke to help bring the stern inline, this helps me maintain my upstream angle.


Now take a look at my bow in the image below. At this point many boaters over-edge the hull, this can cause the turn to tighten too early. Keeping the hull as flat as you dare allows you to 'slide' out into the flow. The more upstream angle you have, the flatter you can go!


In the image below I'm dropping my weight back a little to lighten the bow, this has a similar effect to keeping the hull fairly flat. It softens the interaction with the flow and limits the chance of my bow getting taken downstream prematurely.


All of the above will help you to create a wider turn into the flow, just one more stroke here and I'm heading towards the eddy on river right. If my choice had been to head downstream, I could have pulled the boat round at any moment with the blade.


I hope you find this article useful. Of course if you have any question, just get in touch.


All the best,


Kelvin.

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