Suwannee Adventures

The Low Brace
The low brace uses the back side of the paddle pushed down into the water to prevent a capsize. Your forearm should remain in line with the paddle's resistance. Again, head motion and opposite rotation of the hips to return the kayak hull to a stable position aids in a successful brace.


The sweeping low brace is a low brace starting from the stern or bow and moving toward the other end of the kayak. The stern sweeping low brace is the most natural and quickest to deploy when the paddle blade on the side toward which you are capsizing is behind you. When the blade is in front of you, most find that the quickest natural brace is the high brace. A stern sweeping brace can be transitioned to a sweeping high brace, and vice versa, if bracing is still required at the end of a sweeping brace.

     Kayaks were developed over hundreds of years. Indigenous cultures spent centuries designing and redesigning, fixing flaws, or altering to changing skill levels. The final outcomes were kayaks with a supreme design for a particular region and People.

     For people new to kayaking, might find the term capsize scary and turn the off. The kayak I use is listed to the left. A 10 ft sit on top and I find it hard to capsize. If you pack to high or get cought looking at the beauty of nature all around, then you will need the instructions below.  


The High Brace

The high brace is the same motion as a draw that is employed while you are in the process of capsizing. As you are going over, extend your paddle out to place the face of the paddle flat on the water surface. Actually smacking the surface of the water will help arrest your capsize motion. Attempt to pull the blade down through the water. Keep your elbow bent at about 90 degrees. Do not reach out too far from the side of the kayak. Doing so will increase the risk of a shoulder separation, particularly in surf. Your arm and elbow should be in line with the paddle. As you pull down on the paddle, toss your head toward the paddle and rotate your hips to rotate the kayak hull back to its stable position. Use the rest of the paddle stroke to return your body to the center line of the kayak. Leaning your body back over the rear deck of the kayak will help this recovery.

A good video is worth a thousand words, so click the play button.

The Sculling High Brace
‚ÄčThe sculling high brace is a combination of the sculling draw and a high brace. The motions are the same as the sculling draw, except with the paddle nearly parallel to the water surface. With a well developed sculling motion, you should be able to hang from this brace for a long time.