Friday, October 10, 2008

Fit For a King

We all fit out our cockpits and sometimes use all sorts of things to stuff in there to make us feel snug. We do it to feel comfy and to make it easier to edge, roll and do other control stuff. But something different occurred to me the other day.

I was using one of Doug's Impex boats, and we went out into some 3+ footer beam waves. Normally, this is not a big deal for me, but I felt uncomfortable that day. It felt like the boat was going nuts around me and that my reactions were always a second or two late. I felt uncomfortable in the same way I had as a beginner going out into "big stuff" for the first time. I didn't like it.

(thigh pad in my Pygmy Arctic Tern)

Well, yesterday Doug tricked out the boat with slabs of closed cell foam and metal duct tape. He had me wedged in their like a breach delivery...and it was a different boat. Nothing bothered me out there, and it felt a lot like my Romany. Padding out the cockpit actually made it feel as if the boat was behaving differently. The direct contact let me feel every subtle move of the hull which, in turn, allowed me to relax and just paddle.

Now I wonder how many times I've test paddled a boat and thought it to be "twitchy" and how it would have felt if the cockpit had been Padded a bit to fit me in there. I need to go back and try those boats again.

Paddle safe...


1 comment:

JohnB said...


or, here we go again. . .

At least the price of gas is down now.