I own a Dagger Jitsu. I like it, although like many playboats it has its fans and its detractors. Generally though it is regarded to have a good hull shape, and, frankly, I find it hard to fit into other models simply because I’m one of those awkward people who has long legs for their weight.
Image: Eagles Nest Photography
I’m not going to be world champion any time soon, and if I was to buy a ‘dream’ playboat I’d likely be buying a carbon one. But there’s one thing about the Jitsu that most who know it can agree on. It is a lot heavier than it needs to be. In fact this very same criticism can be levelled at pretty much any modern boat on the market today.
Why they are called thighhooks not kneehooks
The concept is that when rolling, riverrunning, or playboating (cartwheels, stern squirts, etc.) The upper body leads and rotates the lower at the hips.
In some respects the birth of uber flexible outfitting in kayaks has killed off the need for the many hours spent shaping and glueing foam together to get that perfect fit. However if you are not using a bean bag footrest or want some outfitting that is a little bit more bespoke then you do need to rely upon cutting/shaping and glueing foam.
The plastic seat most manufacturers install in their kayaks is molded to generic size even if the kayak is available in several different sizes. To get the most of any kayak design it is important that it fits you well. This means that all contact points – seat base, seat sides, back rest, foot rest and thigh braces should be adjusted/customised to fit your body. In this post I’m going to concentrate on the seat and what you can do to improve fit.