This was an exploration of a whimsical sort of flight mechanic. With a gamepad, you hold the left and right triggers to make forward paddle strokes on the left and right of the boat respectively. You simultaneously hold the A button to perform a reverse stroke, handy for using the paddle like a rudder when moving quickly. The left stick handles pitch and roll.

There are stabilizing forces that make the kayak easy to keep level and give it much the feel of a wobbly boat on water. Air resistance is greater against the sides of the kayak with greater surface area, so tilting the kayak allows some interesting maneuvers, like turning sharply, or slipping sideways through the air. The paddles feel weighty, as though they're submerged in water, and this begins to feel natural despite the appearance of paddles moving through air. For repeated strokes on the same side of the kayak, I found that instantly re-orienting the paddle at the start of a stroke felt more responsive than animating the paddle as it is brought into position -- teleporting the paddle in this way didn't feel jarring as one might expect, although of course proper character animation might influence how this feels.

I'd love to take this in new directions -- I'm thinking slalom racing, kayak jousting, or a more relaxed botanical garden experience. There are a gazillion types of paddle strokes to potentially implement. It would also be neat to experiment with turbulence and air currents, paddle stroke visual and sound effects, and multiplayer (how about sharing a canoe and having one paddle each!).

Or how about something involving a frisbee? Tilting the kayak to control the launch angle and curve of the frisbee is rather fun.