Keeping a Clear Skeg
Any sea kayaker will attest to the importance of a good skeg system that is clear and easy to operate in testing conditions. Maintaining a steady track in a strong side wind is difficult at the best of times, the last thing you need is a jammed up skeg box after launching off a shingle beach. So, some tips on maintaining that skeg in good operational readiness;
1. Ensure any kayak you purchase has a good skeg system, that is a skeg that deploys easily and smoothly and a skeg that is large enough to actually counter the forces of strong wind.
2. A simple wire system that doesn't kink is always the simplest and best option.
3. Keep your slider operating smoothly with a small application of silicone spray oil after every few washes.
4. Drill a small hole in the bottom of your skeg and attach a short lanyard, just long enough to grab a hold of. This is used by your paddle buddy to free your skeg when it's jammed up on the water after launching.
Prevention is always better than cure so make a habit of clearing your skeg before each time you launch and consider launching backwards which minimises any blockages. It doesn't always work but gives you a fair chance of avoiding a jammed skeg, particularly when you are paddling alone.