Kayak Balancing Techniques

Fewer things can spoil your fun on a kayak excursion like ending up in the water. Here are some basic balancing tips to keep in mind next time you’re kayaking.

March 30, 2017

You’ve learned how to launch your kayak, but you’re still trying to control the boat from swaying back and forth. To help become more stable, you must learn how to stay balanced.


Much like proper paddling technique, the best way to stay balanced is to keep your upper body straight and upright. To do so, use your core muscles while allowing your lower back to stay relaxed. Also keep your lower body relaxed and your legs loose. As the water moves your kayak, go with it — let the kayak move freely. Although it might seem logical, avoid the urge to jerk one way or the other.

If you do feel the kayak starting to tip, slap the surface of the water with your paddle blade. This may give you the few moments needed to regain your balance. It may also help to keep your eyes on the horizon to orient yourself.


Avoid looking down at the bow of the boat. If the boat begins to tip, don’t grab onto the boat. Even though it may seem like this would help keep the kayak balanced, you may actually end up in the water.

Keep these fundamentals in mind as you’re preparing for your day on the water.