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When less is more Edging with a low brace


any instructors wouldn’t categorize edging with a low brace as a stroke at all, let alone a turning stroke – likely because it doesn’t rely on active propulsion or breaking from the paddle, and because it generally isn’t formally taught as a turning stroke. The turn in question is really only the product of edging, but edging with the addition of a stand-by brace for security. A sea kayak turns far more effectively when the boat is edged so that the hull is heeled over on an angle (as opposed to being flat on an even keel). To increase turning efficiency and create a tighter turning radius, the boat can either be edged into the direction of the turn or away from the direction of the turn. Edging away from the turn yields the tightest turns, but provides less opportunity for bracing. Two types of turns, the ‘forward sweep with edging’ (Spring 2007) and ‘bow rudder’ (yet to come) place the paddler in a position edging away from the direction of the turn. Both work very well. But neither of these turns offers the maximum possible confidence for nervous edgers. Instead, try aggressively edging your kayak away from a turn while holding a low brace at the ready. This way you can happily crank the kayak way over on edge, safe in the knowledge that your low brace is immediately available for support should you need it. This turn relies on forward momentum (the paddle won’t be generating any drive through the turn) so be sure to start off with plenty of forward speed. Since the kayak will happily turn in either direction once set on edge, be sure to initiate the turn with a powerful forward sweep to help turn in the desired direction. If turning left, you will be rolling your weight onto your right butt cheek and lifting your left knee. A powerful forward sweep on your right side initiates the turn to your left. 40


Initiate the turn with a powerful forward sweep stroke.

Place your paddle into a low brace position and roll the kayak onto its side, edging away from the turn.

Maintain a climbing angle on the leading edge of your paddle blade to keep it from diving. WINTER 2012

photos by Rochelle Relyea


Winter 2012 Coast&Kayak Magazine  

Explore Princess Louisa Inlet, frolic with cougars on D'Arcy Island, paddle the coast of Gwaii Haanas and try Greenland paddles in this issu...