Pungos and Rudder Systems
The Pungo can not accept a rudder; however, it was designed to not need one as much as some other boats. Contrary to popular belief, kayak rudders are intended to help kayaks go straight, not turn. A crosswind will naturally cause our kayaks to turn into the wind like a weathervane. The bow “knows” where it’s going but the stern is blown downwind. A rudder on the stern compensates for this and keeps you on track without paddling harder on one side of the boat.
The Pungo has a very defined skeg (stern) which stays planted very well, even in a crosswind. The Pungo is less prone to wind cocking and therefore rarely would benefit from a rudder. Generally speaking, the Pungo was not intended to be used in areas where conditions would necessitate a rudder.
Turning the Pungo and even compensating for a minor crosswind is easy in the Pungo by leaning it slightly. Although you can lean into a turn (lean to the right and turn the boat to the right), it is even more effective to lean out of a turn (lean to the right and turn the boat to the left). It takes some getting used to but is very effective. Being able to lean the boat to turn is one of the features of a touring boat that is present on the Pungo but not flat-bottomed recreational boats.