Friday, June 18, 2010

Getting Edgy

So, I continue to paddle the Cetus and work on the things that have concerned me. One has been speed, which the boat does have. I do believe that the wide beam behind the cockpit increases the boat's footprint so that I am pushing more water than a shorter boat with, say, a 21" beam. I still don't like the effort needed to keep up.

My other problem has been tracking, and this has been reported by others. I have been surprised at the amount of correcting strokes I've needed to keep on track. Lowering the skeg a tad has solved the vast majority of this misbehavior. What else to do? Edge.
Seems simple and all too obvious. One edges as part of steering a sea kayak, and yesterday I realized that, all this time, I have been doing very little of it. I also discovered why: I need to pad the thigh brace area as my leg has to move a full 1-2 inches before engaging the brace in a meaningful way. When I made the extra effort, the boat responded like a charm.

I am about to leave town for a retreat and plan to make the padding out of the braces my first priority when I return. I won't be adding hip pads as I love the freedom to rotate on the seat, and I can do that now even in a dry suit with all the layer beneath. Things are getting better.

Paddle safe...


Brian Day said...

Whoa, there Silbs. Don't go padding those thigh braces. Ask Ben Lawry.

Keep that fit loose. High knee position is WAAAAY more comfortable and gives you a lot more rotation in the boat. And the Cetus is a hull that is easily edged by shifting your weight in the seat rather than lifting a knee.

We all learned to edge by lifting a knee, but breaking that habit is one of my big goals for this season. Edging with the butt is more stable, less strenuous and ultimately results in better paddling technique all around.

For now I'm concentrating on shifting my weight in the seat without touching the thigh braces. And if I need a little more edge, I lift the opposite buttock out of the seat. Works like a charm.

Besides, huffing all that glue is bad for you!

Silbs said...

But, Brian, I like the glue and the bright colors....... :)

I do the f**t on the bar stool method of edging...mostly. The boat is just a tad big in the cockpit (I may be old, but I am trim), and I would not pad the brace to where I am touching at rest. I just want to take out some of the play.

I also like more thigh brace contact for rolling. I won't over do it. In fact, I wouldn't even permanently put anything in until I have tried it on the water. Thanks, as always, for the heads up.

Brian Day said...

Sounds like you are all over it. Let me know what you find out.

paddlingOTAKU said...

I haven't heard what Ben Lawry says about padding the thigh braces - do tell!

How high is high in terms of knee position?

I agree that I like the thigh brace contact for rolling, but from Silbs initial description it sounded like the boat maybe to high volume for him, but without seeing the fit it's hard to say.