People typically think of needing a break down paddle (splits) when someone in the group breaks his or her paddle, but what if somebody just loses a paddle? We have all been on the river and seen someone swim. People are going all different ways chasing the swimmer, the boat, the dry bag that came out, but what about the paddle? The paddle is one of the hardest things to spot floating through a rapid and can be easily lost. Suppose it was you that lost or broke your paddle. “My friend has a break down,” you think to yourself feeling relieved. Then your friend hands you a paddle with a blade twice the size of what you normally use and it’s 10 cm longer with a 60 degree offset. Now what?
From the very first moment you sit in a boat you start to get “a feel for it”, how it fits and possibly even how it may perform. As beginners we start off in boats that may be used by many different size paddlers, which results in cockpits being kept clutter free. Loose, comfortable boats feel good on flat water, but they can make leaning and bracing difficult. Once the boat is padded to provide a close, body-hugging fit that still allows for quick and easy water exits, performance can dramatically improve. This same rule applies to all levels of kayakers, whether they’re paddling easy whitewater, big water runs or creeks. Customised outfitting helps transfer every trace in the river’s current through the kayak’s hull to your body, helping you sense your surroundings, make critical maneuvers and maintain your balance, thus staying upright!
Since paddlers press against their boat’s inner hull with the small of their backs, butts, hips, thighs, knees and feet, it is these key areas that should be customised to match the shape and size of the paddler. To make this as easy as possible I am going to break the cockpit into a handful of sections and tailor each one to help you get the best control possible from your boat. Many boat manufacturers have really stepped up their game and are providing some excellent outfitting as standard in their kayaks. However these systems still need adapting in some way to ensure that they fit YOU correctly.
Over the last two weeks I have welded up a number of boats here at Unsponsored HQ. So I thought I would share some of the work carried out “Welding – A Review” if you like.
The first boat a Dagger Mamba was welded twice. Once on the nose which also included getting a huge dent out and again on the hull under the seat.
Over the course of the last few weeks I have welded up a Dagger Mamba (twice – two different splits). The last split was located in the centre of the kayak right underneath the seat.
To get a good weld both inside and out I removed the seat. Given the size of the unit I thought that it would be a fairly difficult exercise but it turned out to be very easy.
The back band was removed so that access was a little easier, then all bolts were removed. Four were located on the seat posts and the fifth on the central pillar/storage area. The seat was then lifted and twisted straight out.
I took a few images of the Dagger Contour outfitting along the way and thought a close up of the seat out of the boat may be of interest to some. So here they are!
The throwbag/bottle holder within kayaks has become a fairly standard feature. However some are better than others Damon (Chalky723) has modified his Waka Tuna with a throwbag holder modification to create a system similar to that used by Dagger and Wavesport.
Scott Moritz over at SMD Wrapz has completed this great customised kayak vinyl wrap on a Pyranha Molan play boat.
It looks pretty sweet.
The Liquidriot Duo kayak seen in a previous post was photographed a few days ago. In the three days following the original post over 12k people have viewed it, which is quite simply incredible.
The Duo was hand crafted by Newcastle Uni paddlers – Jacob Collings, Matt Rose, Catherine Sanderson, and Angus Mackay. The guys behind the kayak have kindly sent some images of their creation being put together.
Somethings shouldn’t work but they just do. How about creating a Duo kayak from a couple of damaged creek boats that you might have lying around? Sounds pretty good, a nice little weekend project.
The kayak below was spotted at the 2015 National Student Rodeo here in the UK.
Here’s some inspiration from the UK, the home of 19th century industrial dominance – the LiquidRiot Duo kayak.
A great little edit from Kokatat that will be useful to any paddler who owns a dry suit.
Kokatat dry suit care and maintenance. For more information go to kokatat.com/customer-service. Continue reading
How to patch a canoe slalom boat – the video below is a time lapse of how to patch a canoe slalom boat. To help you out I have made a detailed written description of the process I went through of how to patch a canoe slalom boat. I would like to say a special thanks to Easy Composites who provided me with the repairs equipment for this video, if you need any resources to do your repair make sure to head over to their website www.easycomposites.co.uk.
Boat Repair Time Lapse
To complete this repair I only used the equipment and products I have in my canoe slalom repair kit. This step by step guide on how to patch a canoe slalom boat, I hope you are able to repair your boat. Continue reading
Adrian Durrant takes us through a Pyranha Thighbrace Install upgrade.
Lots of people lately have been purchasing Pyranha club spec boats and asking about upgrading the boat with thigh braces, this is a really simple job to do and will take about 10 minutes to complete.
By adding thigh braces will give you much better control of the boat especially in moving water whilst edging the boat, it also allows you to upgrade to a ratchet backrest with the thigh braces pre drilled to take a ratchet.
Here’s a quick step by step guide to fitting Connect thigh braces into a club spec Z-One.
My set of modifications that I worked up for the Fluid Kayaks 2013 outfitting. I highly recommend the 2014 outfitting, but the boats with 2013 outfitting are on sale for super cheap right now, so it might be worth your time to make these changes to get the outfitting super stable and durable. Continue reading