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.
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.
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
I found this in the archives! I think an updated version is called for.
I have tried to gather together a number of good outfitting examples. They are intended to be a source of ideas or possible options that you may want to consider for your kayak. The best way to look at the information is as a pick & mix. Experiment and take the elements that work best for you and discard the rest.
Getting the outfitting of your boat correct may happen with the first go but more than likely will require both time and patience.
Footrests play an important part in the outfitting of your kayak. They help keep you locked in place and also provide a level of impact protection. It’s therefore important to know about the key types of footrest systems.
Foam is probably the most common form of footrest system for smaller boats. Foam is shaped to fill the void within the kayak and form a stable platform for your feet.
I have had a Peli 1120 case sitting around for a short while. I have been meaning to get it kitted out to hold a small selection of my GoPro kit.