quesion wt returning to hardshells - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-29-2018   #1
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 393
quesion wt returning to hardshells

Hello all, for the last 4 yrs I have been exclusively paddling IKs in ww upto 3+. I recently got a hardshell, a classic 4 Fun which is almost identical to my previous boat. I am finding that if I go into anything over easy cl 2s, I start feeling very unstable and tippy. This was never the case before. Ferrying is OK, but any downstream turn or a a 2+ rapid causes tippinss

Is this just because I have got used to big stable IKs and with time I will paddle the kayak as in the old days, or something else?

Thanks for helping with this.

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Old 06-29-2018   #2
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Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 312
To gain stability in a hardshell (I doubt it's different in an IK, just less needed), you need to be very relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the more stable the boat is. This is because your lower body must freely move with the boat, while your upper body stays centered over your kayak. As soon as you tighten up, the boat will not flow with the water, and every ripple will will try and tip you. This can be troublesome to overcome, as the more difficulty you have, the tighter you become. Just stay focused on letting your lower body freely move with your kayak.

One other important thing that is also critical is that you need to always lean down stream, and avoid dropping your up stream edge. If you are sideways to the current, you must apply a bit of upward pressure to your upstream edge.

IK's are super forgiving, and you likely just stopped doing these things.

Edit: Oh yeah, keep paddling, or at least keep the paddle in the water. That paddle adds an amazing amount of stability.
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Old 06-29-2018   #3
Fort Collins
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 239
I'd second what bystander said, but add that you are now paddling a boat that is half as wide as your ik, so your primary stability has greatly reduced, which feels tippy. You have also gained more secondary stability, but that takes some getting used to. Also, your ik had nice big round edges that are forgiving and don't catch water nearly like your fun will. So, the feeling of less stability is inherent in the design of the different boats. Spend some time getting the hard boat on edges, and paddling it that way, swith edges, you may prefer to do this in the lake. Getting used to the edges, and how far you can lean without tipping will help build that confidence. Then do it on eddy lines.

Lastly, I think the stability of an ik gives you the comfort and ability to paddle rapids 1 class higher than you can in a hard boat...at least while you are learning. At some point, that switches, as you can keep progressing in a hard boat. Forgive my over generalization if someone feels otherwise. Anyway, based on that, if you are comfortable paddling an ik in class 3, then class 2 sounds about right for a hardshell.

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Old 07-02-2018   #4
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
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Paddle that stuff

The biggest things you can do to keep your boat more stable are to remember to keep you head centered over the kayak and to keep an active paddle. When your head is over the edge of the boat you will tip over and when your paddle is not in the water you have no control over the kayak. The paddle works as a brace, your brakes, your steering, and your ability to accelerate.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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