How To Build A Rudder For A Kayak

Learning how to make a rudder for a kayak requires you to have a basic understanding of how to use tools. Only a few materials are necessary to make a nive rudder from wood, which can be used to help maneuver the craft in the water. Following is how to build a rudder for a kayak.


  • Hardwood board, at least two feet by one foot, and one half to one inch in thickness
  • Sandpaper
  • Rudder Mount
  • Saw
  • Varnish
  1. First, purchase all of the materials needed to make the rudder itself. These can all be bought from building supply companies.
  2. Cut a section of the wood board that is trapezoidal in shape, about eighteen inches in length, and eight inches thick at the top, tapering to three inches at the bottom. This will be the rudder which will be used to steer the craft.
  3. Sand the rudder very well so that it is perfectly smooth. Sand a little bit more on what will be the back side of the rudder, which will help the device remain hydrodynamic.
  4. Brush clear varnish onto the rudder, and allow it to dry. Once it has dried, brush a second layer on, and allow it to dry again. Do this several times, until the finished rudder is perfectly smooth and pretty.
  5. Purchase a stern rudder mount, available at most outdoor outfitters, and attach the rudder to it. It may be necessary for you to attach the rudder to a shaft of metal or a wooden rod to insert it into the mount, but this is not a difficult process. You can use clips, or screws to attach it in to a rod which may be mounted.
  6. Once in place, you can manually steer the rudder or, use strings or cables to make it so that you can turn it without reaching back.

Learning how to make a rudder for a kayak means that you will have to cut, sand, and finish it yourself, so a basic understanding of craftsmanship is necessary. Once built, there are several ways to mount the wooden rudder onto the craft.

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