realistic expectations

Posted by LeeG on Mar 17, 2005

As to what a skeg can do for waves off the stern quarter compared to correction for weathercocking. Not anything specific to the A.Hawk. The paddling skills required to manage with stern waves is a couple quantum levels above what is needed to move a skeg control in flat water with a beam wind. It's one level above being able to adjust a forward stroke to compensate for a beam wind with a lean on flat water. By the time a person figures out how to have a variable forward stroke (in blade placement, not varying effort on one side) with a sweep component to manage on flat water in an unruddered kayak,,and THEN learns how to lean on one portion of the stroke or maintain a lean,,AND THEN learns how to do all of THAT in stern waves combined with a larger component of changing lean and quickly changing stern strokes,,whew,,,you'll see that the skeg isn't what makes a kayak manageable in waves,,it's the hull and paddler. I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that if a person is having problems with waves off the stern a skeg will get you some help but not as much as improved paddling technique or a different boat, whereas for weathercocking everyone can utilize the benefit of a skeg. I haven't paddled an A.Hawk a lot but my recollection from paddling a glass one (Wilderness Systems) is that like another glass four panel hull (CD Caribou) derived from a plywood hull it can benefit from a skeg to control weathercocking when extremes of wind or distance are encountered, it's not meant as a criticism of the A.Hawk.

In Response to: Re: wind, waves, skegs by Vike on Mar 17, 2005