I always used to think I was hot stuff piloting a tandem or cruising around on a SOT. I didn't anticipate the contrast to a solo canoe to be night and day. I bought a brand new Mad River freedom solo and it's maiden voyage was a little bit of an adventure to me. I was blown away by how responsive it was, keeping it in a straight line without looking like the newb I was took some serious finessing! Anyways, I look forward to putting it on the lake soon to practice all of the intricate strokes and actually get to know my boat.
I say all that to say this: I felt really uncomfortable kneeling to increase my leverage and lower my center of gravity. More specifically, I felt uncomfortable with my feet under the seat. Maybe I have an unfounded fear of capsizing while my stuck feet keep me under the water.
Has anybody else had that concern? or have an alternative seating method? Thanks in advance for helpful replies!
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An unsolicited, crass, commercial plug|
Posted by: mornstein on Oct-01-12 7:09 PM (EST)
Come to the Florida Canoe Symposium in March. 1st class solo canoe (as well as tandem)at all levels. A new class, beginning this year, will be "Canoeing for Kayakers", building upon the double blade skills already attained.
Posted by: yatipope on Oct-01-12 7:53 PM (EST)
I think all you need is time in the SOLO and learn how predictable and responsive it is with your increasing experience. If you have large feet then your fear MAY be valid but otherwise if you capsized, feet entanglement with a standard cane seat is pretty invalid. NOW on the other hand I had a serious concern with my Wenonah Argosy solo canoe with the adjustable cane seat because it tended to easily unlatch and fall to a low level where my feet were then virtually trapped. It is interesting that you say you felt UNCOMFORTABLE kneeling to lower your center of gravity! Normally this creates a reassurring feeling of control and better handling! I honestly think you will develop a better feel for soloing as you have more time! Happy paddling
Sure I was scared that that first dump|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-01-12 8:07 PM (EST)
would kill me by drowning. It did not take long to take the first dive. My feet twisted sideways and I came out way too easy. In fact the canoe kind of dumped me and stayed upright on its merry way. But that is another story.
Saddle is way to go|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-01-12 8:23 PM (EST)
Posted by: paddler098 on Oct-01-12 8:45 PM (EST)
a sliding bucket seat
You recommend kneeling with a ...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-01-12 9:08 PM (EST)
... sliding bucket seat???
It works in my Advantage with kevlar|
Posted by: Yanoer on Oct-02-12 1:28 PM (EST)
bucket seat. The kevlar racing seat is smaller than the regular Wenonah sliding bucket.
What about comfort?|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-02-12 2:22 PM (EST)
I envision placing one's butt against that forward, upward-curving part of the seat to be sort of like sitting on a pipe! Racers love those seats - for sitting - but I've never heard of them recommended for all-day kneeling comfort.
Depends on the situation|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-01-12 8:51 PM (EST)
He is doing much better than I|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-01-12 9:10 PM (EST)
I teach capsizes. In my 20th year of solo, I have capsized hundreds of times.
Have the same boat. I also advise |
Posted by: g2d on Oct-01-12 10:49 PM (EST)
installing a saddle, stuffed up under the center thwart, so that your thighs can be partly controlled by the thwart. You want the boat to be trimmed neutral without your having to shove weight up in the bow to balance it. Part of the reason is that you can reach well forward of the center with a "cab forward" style, so that you can (mostly) dispense with the J correction. Firm catch, short stroke, ending by your hip. Magically, the boat will come back toward your paddle side during recovery.
My first solo adventure|
Posted by: timburris on Oct-02-12 9:01 AM (EST)
was similar. But I promptly went into the drink. I was astounded how squirrely the boat was. I eventually raised the seat an inch and that made getting my feet in and out much easier.
Good Advice So Far|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Oct-02-12 9:03 AM (EST)
Solos and kneeling|
Posted by: Celia on Oct-02-12 9:38 AM (EST)
Posted by: TommyC1 on Oct-02-12 10:50 AM (EST)
Posted by: PlacidPaddler on Oct-02-12 11:20 AM (EST)
What are you wearing on your feet?
Learning to paddle straight is #1|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-02-12 1:41 PM (EST)
You don't say whether you are trying to use a single or double paddle -- or if single blading, whether you are trying to learn single-sided correction or bilateral sit & switching.
Posted by: elw0611 on Oct-02-12 2:21 PM (EST)
Thanks all for the great advice!
Here's a classic video|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-02-12 2:34 PM (EST)
There are many paddling videos you can buy, but I think this free Mason video is still the best for showing the different varieties of solo single-sided correction strokes and all the key turning strokes.
No Straight Lines|
Posted by: TommyC1 on Oct-03-12 6:59 AM (EST)
Posted by: rblturtle on Oct-03-12 7:19 AM (EST)
As you get more time in your boat you will feel more secure and then you can raise the seat which will help the entrapment concerns. I have done this with all my solos. Flexable thin footwear or barefoot works best for me which also helps entrapment concerns.This also allowes you to either extend your toes or curl them up when kneeling-I do both. On my "winter boat",which I paddle with neoprene boots on,I have raised the seat even more for clearance. I have had the same experience as others mentioned with a Mad River and other shallow V boats. They have very little initial stability when perfectly level.Healing a little firms them up.Transisioning from a shallow arch hull to a V always took some adjustment. I eventually sold my V hulls.
I Love That Statement|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Oct-03-12 10:10 AM (EST)
"It's an absolute waste of such a fine hull to attempt to paddle it straight." Amen, brother! When paddling a fine boat like my Starfire I find myself playing, paddling backwards, doing eddy turns everywhere, etc.