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Choosing a Racing Rudder

By choosing the rudder you can influence the characteristics of the kayak to a certain extent. In most cases, it is the turning radius, the course stability or the responsiveness (eg when you are wash riding) that you want to improve. Many parameters can work together for one property, but give different results for other properties. Thus, both the length and the surface affect the course stability, but the resistance is most affected by the length and only a small part of the surface. Basically, the stability of the kayak is improved by a larger rudder (length & surface), but the effect is so small that it is ignored here in the overview.

 

Length

  • more length results in more price stability
  • less length results in less resistance
  • less length results in less risk of ground contact

 

Surface

  • more surface results in more course stability
  • more surface results in more responsiveness
  • less surface gives better reactivity

 

Shape

  • straight shape gives faster response
  • slanted shape better protects against ground contact
  • slanted shape takes less grass and leaves on

 

Width

  • a thinner rudder gives less resistance

 

Other Factors

  • paddlers that are heavier need a bigger rudder
  • boats with higher volume demand a larger rudder
  • a more centered rudder pin gives faster response 

  

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