When you are paddling, numerous external factors make sure your bow does not point towards the direction you are heading to. Fighting the effects of wind and rough water could be quite frustrating, while you try your best to move your kayak in a straight direction. Many expert sailors know how to reduce the impact of these external elements on their kayaks by packing items in a certain way, distributing weight on the kayak, and even bringing a different size and kind of a kayak. But there is no guarantee that all this will result in your kayak going as straight as you want it to.
What you need for your kayak is a skeg. A skeg is a small blade that is fixed underneath the hull, and it helps you track, i.e., reduce the impact of external factors by connecting your kayak to more stable, and deeper water. That is how it keeps your bow in a straight line.
It is best to look for a kayak skeg when you go kayak-shopping. Not all kayaks have built-in skegs. Generally, skegs are required on high performance boats, or the kayaks or boats that need more help or are designed for covering longer distances.
Recommended Kayak Skegs
Best 5 Kayak Skeg
Here are the 5 kayak skegs that we recommend:
SM SunniMix Kayak Skegs
If you are looking for strong yet light in weight kayak skeg, the SM SunniMix may be the one you are looking for. It comes in a pack of two pieces, so you can have a backup skeg in case you need in the future or give one to a friend paddler.
The SM SunniMix Kayak Skeg Kit can be used on boats, kayaks, and canoes to help your floating vehicle sail in the intended direction. They are made from great quality PVC material. You do not need any tools or expertise to install them as these skegs are super easy to attach as well as to remove. The SM SunniMix Skegs are portable and have the dimensions of 21cm x 6.5cm x 6.5cm (8.27” x 2.56” x 2.56 inches). These kayak skegs are available in black.
Toygogo Kayak Skeg
The Toygogo Kayak Skeg provides an integral fin to your kayak, canoe, surfboard, paddleboard, longboard, or boat, etc. It can be easily installed, and detached, and offers great assistance by reducing the resistance of the water, and letting your kayak move straight without getting affected by weather or open water distractions.
It comes in an attractive black color that complements your vessel no matter what color or style your kayak is. The Toygogo Kayak Skeg is made using robust PVC material which is easy to carry. The kayak skeg can fit in almost all kinds of kayaks, giving you the stability that you need on your water adventures.
Ternence Flynn Kayak Skeg Fin for Inflatable Boats and Canoes
If you want your kayak to fight rough waters and winds that affect your paddling, you need a super strong and effective fin that does the work for you. There is nothing better than the Ternence Flynn Kayak Skeg that assists your inflatable canoe or boat in keeping the balance and paddle in the direction you want.
It is made with great quality anti-corrosion plastic that is especially crafted to give you a smooth sailing experience. Easy to attach and take off, the Ternence Flynn Kayak Skeg is available in black and has the approximate dimensions of 24.3cm x 22cm x 11.5cm.
RUZYY Kayak Skeg Tracking Fin (2 Pieces)
The RUZYY Skegs are perfect for your kayak, surfboard, paddleboard, and canoe. They are intelligently designed to keep your board or boat stable on water. They are made from long-lasting PVC material. The dimensions of the RUZYY Kayak Skegs are 21cm x 6.5cm x 6cm (8.28” x 2.56” x 2.36 inches).
These black fins come in a pack of two so you can either have a spare one as backup or use one on your kayak and the other one on your paddleboard/ surfboard. With only $14.93 (plus shipping) per pair, this gorgeous kayak skeg kit is a must-have.
Wbestexercises Kayak Skeg Tracking Fin
Whether you want a skeg for your kayak, boat, or canoe, the Wbestexercises Kayak Skeg Tracking Fin gives you a hassle-free, easy to install and removable fin that would be a blessing for your water vehicle.
These kayak skegs are made with strong and long-lasting plastic that improves your kayak’s tracking and helps it go straight without getting affected by strong winds and waves.
Each kayak skeg kit comes with three black components: one tracking fin and two bases. With a product weight of almost 5 ounces and dimensions of 10” x 4.1” x 0.4 inches, the Wbestexercises Kayak Skeg Tracking Fins are sure to give your kayak an edge.
Skeg or Rudder
A skeg is a blade-structured kayak accessory usually made of rubber, plastic, or PVC. It goes deep inside water to fight off water resistance that prevents your kayak to go straight. The skeg does not swivel, and therefore provides stability to your kayak. As a result, your paddling becomes easy and less affected by extreme weather conditions.
A rudder is a blade that swivels from one side to the other and is attached to the stern of your kayak. You control the rudder through your foot pedals, which are attached to your kayak’s rudder via a super strong cable (which is usually a stainless-steel cord). You can lift the rudder using a cable and fold it when not in used.
If you are deciding between getting your kayak a rudder or a skeg, the first thing to note is that your kayak does not necessarily need to use either of them. Having said that, these kayak elements are there to make your paddling easy and fun. Afterall, that is what you want to achieve from your kayak adventures, isn’t it?
You can control the rudder with your feet with the help of your pedals. If you press the left pedal, your kayak will turn left, and if you press the right pedal, it will turn to the right. Although the rudder helps your kayak move in a certain direction, its main function is to keep your boat on a straight path.
A skeg, on the other hand, is a tool (usually fin-shaped) that helps with tracking and is quite useful when the paddler is expecting to encounter strong winds and waves. It is used to fight the impact of extreme weather conditions on your kayak by keeping your kayak straight and balanced. It is normally found under the hull towards the stern of your kayak.
What is a Kayak Skeg?
A kayak skeg improves your paddling in unfavorable conditions such as strong winds and rough waves. When your kayak moves, the kayak skeg stays under the water. This helps in two ways. Firstly, the beauty of your kayak is not compromised by installing a kayak skeg as it is not visible above the surface. Secondly, since it works from underwater, the skeg has a lower risk of collision as compared to a rudder or other kayak elements. However, when you paddle across shallow water or advance close towards the land, you need to lift the kayak skeg to avoid any damage.
How do Skegs Work?
The skeg anchors the stern of your kayak, helping you to go straight by keeping the bow facing in the direction you want to head towards. They work to prevent weather cocking and are quite helpful in windy weather conditions or open water. They cannot swivel from one side to the other like a rudder, and when used, the skegs greatly decrease the pitch and roll. Many kayak skegs can be pulled up when not in use. However, if your kayak has a fixed skeg, you may not be able to pull it up.
How to Mount a Skeg to a Kayak?
To mount a skeg to your kayak, you may need the following items:
- A skeg (of course!)
- Marine glue
- Optional: heat-torch (a hairdryer will work as well)
To mount the kayak skeg, follow these steps:
- Choose the location where you want to add the skeg. To do this, turn your kayak upside down and look for the best spot. Although the perfect spot may vary depending upon the shape of your kayak and the hull, make sure your chosen spot is in the center of the keel.
- Using the sandpaper, sand the spot where you plan to mount your skeg. Afterwards, do not forget to remove the sanding dust with the help of a cloth.
- Using the hairdryer or heat-torch, heat the spot. This is an optional step, but you may find it helpful in case you have a polyethylene vessel.
- Now that you have prepared the skeg spot, it is time for you to mount the base of your skeg (some skegs may have more than one bases). For this, spread marine glue to the base(s) of the skeg and push it to apply pressure so it nicely sticks to the hull.
- Once the marine glue dries up, attach the fin (in case your kayak skeg kit has the fin separate from the base).
You have successfully mounted the skeg onto your kayak and are ready to hit the waves!