Stopping your Kayak

Stopping your kayak suddenly requires practice as well.

When you are kayaking, stopping is one of the more difficult things that you can learn. While it is not always obvious as to why you will need this move, you should keep in mind that situations at sea can change rather rapidly. This is also the case in rivers or lakes. Also, since you are close to the water’s surface, it is not always easy to see obstacles from far away.

Stopping suddenly requires that you know how to reverse paddle, since chances are good that if you need to stop suddenly to avoid some sort of obstacle, you will need to back away from it as well.
The stopping stroke, also known as the emergency stop can keep you from running into obstacles like tree stumps, rocks, and other kayakers. Therefore, you should definitely work on and learn this move before you go on any long kayaking expeditions.

When stopping, you should use the back side of your paddle blade like you would when you reverse paddle. Then, you should paddle forward with quick, short strokes. This will stop the kayak. If you’re worried about the kayak turning from side to side, you can counteract this by using short strokes on either side of your kayak.

If you need extra help learning the emergency stop in your kayak, there are plenty of different kayak classes that will teach stopping as well as several other kayaking techniques. Once you learn the emergency stop, you’ll be that much better prepared to deal with the dangers that will pop up when you’re kayaking.

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