Rudders and skegs are not necessary but can improve the control you have over your kayak.
Rudders and skegs are not absolutely essential for any kayak, though they may improve your ability to control your boat while you are kayaking. Some people may prefer to use kayaks that do not have either rudders or skegs, but in the end, this equipment may make kayaking just a little bit easier in rough conditions.
If you are planning on going sea kayaking, then rudders and skegs are recommended unless you have enough kayaking experience to know that you do not need them. This is due to the ability of both objects to improve the stability of your kayak. Not only that, but the rudder will make it far easier for you to steer. Granted, you can also steer without the kayak, but the addition of the rudder means that you’ll be able to make sharper and more precise turns than you would be able to make ordinarily.
Rudders are designed so that they can be activated with your feet. This generally happens because you push with one foot and let up with the other. The result is that the difference in foot pedals will pull on the lines that are attached to the rudder, resulting in the rudder and the rest of the boat turning in the desired direction.
Skegs, on the other hand will allow you to increase stability and will also help you turn by adding what is in effect a keel to the back of your kayak. While you should still learn how to turn your kayak without the help of rudders and skegs before you venture out on the open water, these two items can make sure that you have a fun, safe trip.
If you’re thinking about getting a kayak that has rudders and skegs, there are two options available to you. The first is that you can look to purchase a kayak that already has both installed. This is the ideal choice if you don’t want to have to do any installation on your own – and if you’re looking for your first kayak, or you’re already looking for a replacement kayak to begin with.
However, if you already own your own kayak and you’d like to equip it with rudders and skegs, you can do this as well. The important thing to note about installing your own is that you should be very careful to make sure that you install the rudders and skegs correctly, otherwise you may find yourself with an unusable rudder – or even a damaged kayak.
If you’re worried about not being able to install your own rudders and skegs, then you should find somebody else to install them for you – or buy a kayak that comes with them pre-installed.