Rough Water

Rough water is defined as anytime the water is not calm. The degree of rough water varies from small ripples to totally chaotic seas. Rough is a relative term based upon your skill level and experience. Wind is the number one cause of rough seas. Currents are another cause of rough water conditions. Even though water in a surf zone can be very rough, we will treat the surf zone as a special topic. The wake of passing boats can cause temporary rough conditions.

Concerns facing a paddler in rough water are:

Being Seaworthy
Remaining upright
Being hidden from view when in the troughs of pitching waves
Not seeing obstacles due to the same pitching waves
Being tossed into an obstacle
Maintaining a straight course
Helping others in rough seas

Before venturing into rough conditions a paddler should practice in conditions that are rough in a controlled setting with qualified supervision. See USK article "Learning In Chaos" as an example of developing your rough water skills.


Skills for rough water:


Extended Paddle Forward Sweep Stroke

Extended Paddle Sulling Brace

Hip Snap

Low Brace Moving Turn

Paddling A Flooded Kayak


Supportive Forward Sweep Stroke

Supportive Reverse Sweep Stroke






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