Comfort in the Boat

It is almost impossible to have a good kayak workout and/or racing result if you are not comfortable sitting in your boat. And, it is important to determine your comfort level for the distance/time you anticipate paddling in your event. While your boat may be comfortable for one hour of paddling, it may not be comfortable for three hours–or more.

The goal for yesterday’s tandem paddle was to get in some slightly longer, steady miles, but to also start to look at increasing our comfort level in the fast, Motion Tech tandem.  While I’ve paddled the boat hundreds of miles myself, it has been over a year since I spent a significant amount of time in the cockpit. For Aaron, he’s never spent that much time  in that boat. So, while I’m still making minor tweaks to my seat pad, Aaron is still trying to figure out which shoes work, the appropriate distance between his seat and the foot plate and a cushion that is comfortable.

Yesterday was a step in the right direction. We eliminated some possibilities for Aaron–the Five Finger shoes aren’t going to cut it (back to the old paddling shoes) and we need to look for a new pad for him. Bottom line–one leg was falling asleep. This is not good when you are generating power for your stroke from your legs/hips as well as your upper body. The nice thing is that we have started our training early enough to play with different shoe/padding options and work it out so as to have plenty of time training with our “final” configurations.

For me, I was trying a slightly different seat pad and was happy with the result. It “locked” me into the shallow seat a bit better and will allow me to apply more power to my stroke. I was happy with that.

So, while we shortened our paddle a little (we did a little over two and a half hours instead of three), we did get in a good workout (about 18 miles) and identified some needed changes to our in-the-boat set-ups. The take-home lesson–for long-distance paddling, do not compromise comfort in the boat.

~ by kipwkoelsch on May 31, 2010.

One Response to “Comfort in the Boat”

  1. Kip,

    I’ve always struggled with comfort in my boat. Maybe you can write a post on how to fix some the most common problems people have during long distance paddling. List all the common problem areas and how they might be fixed.


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