Adding a skeg to a kayak can enhance your experience in the water.
Just think about it – how would you feel about being able to paddle straight even with a crosswind and other rough conditions?
This is exactly what a skeg does for you. It enables you to solve this concern of not being able to turn your boat with the wind.
Many people find it intimidating to add a skeg to their kayak. For those who have never done this before, I understand how it can get confusing and overwhelming.
But by simply following these steps I’ll share with you today, you can get this task done in no time! Check out these clear and easy tips on how to hook up a skeg to your kayak for a smooth and flawless running condition.
Why Adding a Skeg to a Kayak Matters
First, let’s define what a skeg is.
Basically, a skeg is some kind of a tracking tool.
What it does is to keep your boat in a straight direction as you paddle. You put the skeg toward the boat’s stern, right underneath the hull.
You also have an option to install it permanently or temporarily. The latter allows you to pull up the skeg in case you do not find the need to use it.
Either way, a skeg will make your life easier when paddling. There are kayaks that pre-installed skegs while others have a provision for adding one.
And today, you’ll be able to get one added to your kayak for an enhanced paddling experience!
So, what is great about adding a skeg to a kayak?
When you are in your tandem kayak and paddling in rough water or wind conditions, the whole task can be quite crucial.
It is tougher, to say the least.
But with a skeg, your stern can be anchored easily. Thus, it helps you to gain better control of your boat.
Paddling straight should be easy-peasy no matter how tricky the conditions are.
If you are doing long-distance paddling, a skeg is a valuable piece of tool for you. Since your kayak will always turn facing the wind when there is a crosswind, you want to go the other way.
So, you can benefit from having a skeg that lets you go where you want to go – and not where the wind wants to take you.
However, do keep in mind that a skeg is not always ideal or necessary. If you are kayaking for recreation purposes, you would not want to add a skeg. Why?
Because if you are paddling in shallow or rocky waters, the skeg may only end up incurring damages due to these conditions. So, if you are creek paddling or whitewater paddling, you definitely do not need to install a skeg to your boat.
Simple Steps for Adding a Skeg to a Kayak
Now that you know why you need a skeg (or why you don’t need one), let us proceed to the steps on how to add a skeg to your kayak.
1. Get your supplies ready.
There are a few important tools necessary when adding a skeg to a kayak. This includes your fin or skeg, marine glue, sandpaper, heat torch, paddle leash, and drill. The last 3 are optional items to use but will make the whole experience much easier and more efficient for you.
2. Decide on where you will mount the skeg.
Turn your boat upside down. Check for the most suitable location to install the skeg on the keel.
This is a personalized choice since the location depends on the shape of your kayak’s hull or the type of kayak you have. But no matter where you put it, it needs to be at the stern, specifically in the center of the keel.
3. Prepare the surface for better adhesion.
You want to make sure that the skeg sticks perfectly to your kayak.
To do this, it is important that the surface has the right texture. Sanding allows you to install the fin well since the glue works best this way.
After sanding, make sure that you remove all the dust by wiping it with a piece of dry cloth.
Experts sometimes apply heat to the sanded area, which helps improve the glue’s bonding ability. This an extra step, and it may be worth doing so to make sure that the skeg stays in place.
4. Start gluing and installing.
Now that you did your preparation for the surface, you can begin applying the glue. Then, you can mount the bases using a weighted item to firmly set it in place with some pressure.
With greater pressure, this secures the bond and will keep the skeg in place.
After you get the base installed, you can now place the fin. This applies to skeg models where the fin and base are two separate pieces.
For increased security and to make sure your skeg really stays in place, I would include a leash or a paddle leash. Just drill a small hole on the back portion of the fin and hook up the paddle leash.
The best thing about it is that you will never lose the fin even if it accidentally hits a rock.
Check out this video on adding a skeg to a kayak for a visual idea on how to carry out this simple DIY project
Adding a skeg to a kayak offers so many benefits in allowing you to control your boat in rough conditions.
By simply performing this extra step, you can remain in the right direction and ensure safety in the water.
I hope you were able to learn from these tips I shared with you, so you can have a better kayaking experience especially when you are in the open sea and deeper waters. Stay safe and have fun!