Originally Posted by Electric-Mayhem
Don't really feel like doing much more explaining of this theory (maybe one more try). I do think it holds up (may or may not at 170 feet), but I seem to be the only one.
There is more to it then the fall and landing, as there is a reaction upon landing. Fall straight down, the reaction will be to go straight back up. Fall and move forward, and the kayak will move with the path of least resistance with the forces applied. Since the boat is moving both sideways and downwards, not all the of the reacting force is applied back into the boat. The kayak will go the way that is least resistant, that being sideways rather then up this time.
Do this, get a block of wood or something that floats and is relatively kayak shaped and find a water source (sink with a few inches of water will do). Now, drop it straight down and watch what happens. Then give it some sideways velocity so that it lands going a bit forward at the same time. I think you'll notice that it will take some of the downward force and apply it horizontally into movement, instead of just stopping the kayak dead and transferring it into the the kayak. Yes, some of the upward force is still applied, but not nearly as much as if you fell straight down and landed flat.
I don't really feel like doing much more explaining either. Listen I have a degree in physics and work as an engineer. I have a pretty good understanding of freshman physics, which is what this is.
Your ideas are ideas that most intelligent people, without formal training in physics or engineering probably hold. Without the formal physics or engineering, or math training, it is very hard to get over the intuitive ideas that are many times wrong. I am not calling you, or Shaun Baker stupid, and you are probably a much better kayaker than me, but I have a much better grasp of the mechanics of falling from large heights.
Your wakeboarding example is a good one. Why do you think wakeboarders try to land on the slope of the opposite wake, instead of in the flatwater? If they landed in the flatwater, they would still hit hard, not matter how fast they are going.
Another good example is when Evil Knievel jumped the Grand Canyon. He was going really fast when he reached the other side, but they still had a ramp for him to land on, if he had landed on flat ground on the other side he would have been screwed (I think he broke a ton of bones anyway).
When you take a wooden block and throw it into the water with some horizontal speed, of course it is going to keep moving in that direction. However, that does not mean that the force in the vertical direction is any less.
If you don't believe me, go ask some other engineer or physicist.