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I mainly use my Cuda 14 out at sea and noticed through the winter with a bit of side wind it drifted a bit and took some corrective paddling to keep in a straight line. With previous kayaks I have had the same issue, in some cases side winds were a killer and took a lot of effort to keep in a straight line but with the aid of a rudder this problem was solved, so I placed an order for the rudder kit for the Cuda 14 which arrived soon enough from the USA.
The kit had an instruction booklet which looked like it was going to be difficult to install but after laying out all the bits with the kayak it made sense. So one sunny afternoon I set about installing the rudder system which took a couple of hours, mainly because I took my time making sure it was all correct, measure twice drill once. Once fully installed I checked the operation and sealed around every hole I drilled with some clear silicon and was set for my next trip.

I had to wait a few weeks before I got to test it out due to family and work commitments and the good old British weather, the day I managed to get out to sea was windy and a good bit of swell on too, the conditions were not good for fishing but I loaded my gear into the yak just in case.
On the morning the sea looked fairly angry but still safe to launch so I did just that, as I hopped into the kayak I was greeted with a big wave which washed right over the front end soaking me. Powering through the surf and into the chop I paddled around the bay with the rudder up and again for a bit of corrective action was require, a quick pull on the side rope and the rudder was in, it made a big difference just having to correct with my feet I was off in a straight line with no corrective strokes required. I paddled into the wind, across the wind, every direction with the rudder in and it went where I wanted it too. I thought the foot rest may have been awkward when steering the rudder as I was used to a toe controlled rudder in my previous kayak but it was fine, still able to put weight onto the peddles when steering.
I was then joined by a friend, Jon who has a different make Kayak with no rudder fitted. We set off round the bay together for a paddle and it was noticeable the difference between the two, he was all over the place and I sat smug paddling around with ease waiting for him to catch me up. From there we secured the tackle and went for a play in the surf, rods strapped down in case I did get dunked and the tackle stored in the center hatch. I caught a few waves in and managed to stop upright each time, each time paddling back out the odd wave crashing over the bow giving me a soaking, but at the end of the day inside the kayak was dry, sadly the same could not be said for Jon’s, he had taken on a bit of water and lost some tackle when he got rolled by a wave.
I never wet a line but just had a bit of fun just paddling the Cuda in rough conditions and playing in the surf for a few hours, sadly I never took any photos of the day due to forgetting my case for my camera, must get a go pro.

Thanks for reading, Mike