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Technique – The rudder

This is the first technique article which aims at showing you what I do to have the best results in class V whitewater or extreme races. What I’m presenting now is one of the first strokes to control turns with creekers and freestyle boats.

The rudder is the most efficient stroke to control the direction while keeping speed during a turn. This stroke prevents the kayak to move sideways and thus to lose energy.


To make a rudder you have to begin with forward speed and suddenly leave the kayak slightly turning to one side. At this point the rudder stroke can help you control the direction and avoid to lose speed as normally happens if you leave the kayak turning without any stroke in the water. To execute the rudder you have to turn your torso towards the inside of the curve. In this way your shaft should be parallel both to your shoulder axis and to the boat and at 45° with the water surface. The blade has to face the stern like in figure.

We can call “stern rudder” when we have the blade in the back area. Otherwise when we verticalize the shaft and we have the blade facing your body, we can call it “central rudder”.

The stroke is static and you have to keep the position modifying slightly the angle between the kayak and the paddle or moving the blade from the stern to the center to control the boat curve.

The stern rudder tend to stop the rotation while the center rudder let the kayak rotate a bit more. The stern rudder can be really useful in catching eddies and get into the current to control the boat direction.

Tags: how to · michele ramazza · rudder · technique

Rubrik: Teamblog  Poster: Michele Ramazza

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