How to Make a Kayak More Stable

Kayaking, Kayak Guides

Written by David Myers

June 5, 2020
kayaking with doggo

Photo of the week!

Are you finding it difficult to stay stable in your kayak? Don’t worry. Everybody gets a little bit unstable in their boat on occasion. However, if a lack of stability seems to be happening more often than not, then you will need to do something about it.

On this page, we are going to give you a brief overview of the things you can do to ensure your kayak is a little bit more stable. Don’t worry. It is actually far simpler than you may think.

Just as a note; before we dive into ways to make a kayak more stable, we do want to point out that if you are a beginner to kayaking, it is more-likely that you are the reason as to the instability as opposed to the boat. As you become a little bit more versed on the waters, you will find that things will level out a little bit. If you are really struggling, then you may even want to invest in some kayaking courses. They will help set you straight (quite literally!)

Purchase the correct kayak

A wide kayak with a flat hull is the best route to go down if you want a bit of stability on the water. In fact, these types of kayaks are highly recommended for beginners. They do not perform all that well when you are doing a bit of whitewater kayaking, but for lakes and mildly flowing rivers, they are just the ticket. Finding the best kayak for you is really important.

Improve weight distribution

If weight is unevenly distributed across the kayak, then this could result in instability. There are a few things that you can do to correct this.

Obviously, the first thing you can do is just move about a little bit. If most of your weight is focused on a specific part of the kayak, then move up or down. This will greatly improve your stability issues.

If moving isn’t an option, or your kayak has been designed for multiple people but you are a solo rider, then you may want to get some weighted objects you can add into the kayak. It doesn’t need to be anything too crazy. A bag filled with a few rocks can go a long way here. Of course, you will need to ensure that you are placing the bags in the correct location. It is somewhat of a ‘trial and error’ approach.

Alternatively, you could lower your seat. This will change your center of gravity in the kayak. This will help to correct very minor stability issues.

Widen the kayak

Obviously, you won’t be able to physically widen the kayak. However, you can purchase stabilizers that can be attached to the kayak. This will, essentially, widen the surface area of the kayak so it doesn’t rock around quite so much.

Remember; the weight distribution on your kayak stabilizers is incredibly important. It is vital that you choose a quality brand, otherwise you won’t really see any difference on the water.
You may need to experiment with a few of these options, but we promise you that if you have the right boat and practice a little bit, stabilizing your kayak isn’t going to be that difficult.

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