Kneel when looking for more stability
The ideal paddling posture is sitting upright with your back straight. For most paddlers, sitting on the seats is often the most comfortable position. However, kneeling in the boat is the best position if you are looking for more stability. By kneeling, you lower your center of gravity and get more intimate contact with the kayak. As a result, you enjoy more control over your boat.
So when should you kneel inside a kayak?
You should kneel inside your kayak when paddling in windy conditions and are looking for more stability. Kneeling also will ensure a safer and more comfortable experience if you are paddling with pets, children or inexperienced paddlers. But you also can kneel in your boat to change things up after sitting in one position for a long time — that will ensure you aren’t cramped.
How should you kneel inside your kayak?
You still can make good use of your seat when kneeling. You should keep most of your body weight on the front edge of your seat to minimize pressure on your legs and free them to move up and down whenever you need to adjust the kayak tilt. When paddling alone, you can improve your comfort by kneeling against the bow seat and facing the stern of your boat. That will ensure you are positioned closest to the center of your kayak and have more control. You also can combine sitting and kneeling by extending one leg forward and kneeling off your seat. But to ensure kneeling is more comfortable, make sure to install knee pads in your kayak.
What about heeling your kayak?
If you want to make strokes with maximum strength and reach and to maneuver your kayak alone with utmost convenience, then heeling your boat is a great technique you should learn. Heeling means you are kneeling near the center of your kayak with your body offset to your paddling side (one side) and your boat taking a pronounced tilt. As a result, your center of gravity will be very low and you will enjoy amazing stability.
Want to buy or rent a stable, comfortable and safe kayak? Or are you looking for tips on how to plan for and have memorable kayaking adventures? At Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy, we offer a wide range of tested kayaks and offer comprehensive information on how to use those kayaks to achieve great paddling trips. For more information on our kayaks and on safe, incident-free and unforgettable kayaking, visit Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy website.