Why r my hands hitting the side of boat?
Posted by: old_user on Aug-18-13 1:04 AM (EST) Category: Kayaking Technique
I've kayaked in a number of different size boats in different locations and I've never encountered this problem.
I bought a 10' Manatee from L.L. Bean. They gave me a 230 cm paddle. I took it out on the lake and kept hitting my hands on the sides of the boat. Something I have never done even once, so I don't think it could be something I'm doing wrong.
I asked to exchange it with the 240 cm in case that helps but they were adament that it was me and not the size of the paddle, yet if it were me why didn't I ever hit the sides of a boat before?
I checked my hand positioning about 15x on the lake and could not for the life of me figure it out. The boat is 23.5" wide and I've kayaked on this size boat before without hitting the sides.
Gedi Convertible Helmet
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It's the boat width|
Posted by: old_user on Aug-18-13 1:09 AM (EST)
It's unlikely, unless you are a very large person, that going from a 230-240cm will make any difference. The 230cm is wide enough for you to be able to properly position your hands.
The Manatee is 29.5" wide, not 23.5"|
Posted by: Yanoer on Aug-18-13 1:13 AM (EST)
The cockpit is 23.5" wide.
Yes, that's the one|
Posted by: old_user on Aug-18-13 1:34 AM (EST)
but I've paddled in that exact boat -- manatee 10'...
"A few inches" in width...|
Posted by: Bnystrom on Aug-18-13 8:21 AM (EST)
...makes a huge difference in paddle clearance. The paddle length probably won't have any significant effect, since your hands are going to be in the same position on the shaft no matter how long it is. A 10cm (4") difference in length won't affect your paddling angle enough to help the situation significantly.
Its you and 230|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Aug-18-13 7:09 AM (EST)
is way too long. Try a 210 and proper technique
Can't agree with this -|
Posted by: rpg51 on Aug-18-13 7:37 AM (EST)
230 is pretty standard for a boat as wide as the Manatee in my experience.
Posted by: Marshall on Aug-18-13 8:23 AM (EST)
For whatever reason, perhaps your seated position, you are retracting your hand by doing bicep curls. This pulls your hands directly back to the sides of your body and the deck of the kayak is in the way. Try turning from the belly button turning your shoulders forward to reach for the catch rather than extending your arm. Once the paddle is on the water put a bit of pressure on the same side footpeg and you will have no choice but to unwind your body. As this rotation happens your hand/paddle should track away from parallel with the kayak even if you are still contracting biceps on the stroke.
Posted by: LeeG on Aug-18-13 8:29 AM (EST)
Most of the time a bending elbow, contracting bicep is the problem
and you your experience?|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Aug-18-13 9:14 AM (EST)
Wow - |
Posted by: rpg51 on Aug-18-13 8:27 PM (EST)
Calculations are off and the companies|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Aug-19-13 1:22 AM (EST)
have been making paddles for years. 230 used to be standard. Racers and whitewater kayakers use much shorter paddles. Overly long paddles encourage poor technique and although initially easier, leave users prone to wrist and shoulder injuries. I use a 210cm or shorter paddle even in a 33in wide Klepper. Much less fatiguing.
for Lilly dipping ....|
Posted by: seadart on Aug-18-13 10:54 PM (EST)
Very wide and deep kayak|
Posted by: WaterBird on Aug-18-13 8:36 AM (EST)
Higher seat may help|
Posted by: LeeG on Aug-18-13 8:46 PM (EST)
Posted by: WaterBird on Aug-18-13 11:36 PM (EST)
I experimented with a higher seat to solve a similar problem. 1/2" higher made a noticeable improvement to clearing the sides with the paddle, but it also caused noticeable instability in rough conditions.
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-18-13 3:18 PM (EST)
I agree that even the 230 may be too long. The problem with too long of a paddle, especially for a novice, is that it encourages bad paddling technique, which usually consists of sitting with your body locked in the forward position and windmilling the paddle blades into the water with bent elbows at a low angle (and, as you've found, banging your hands on the gunwales). A properly sized paddle (shorter than what you have now) is one that will require you to twist your torso to reach the blades into the water as you draw the paddle towards your hip. Besides being extremely wide (the Manatee is only 3" narrower than the canoe we often use!), it has a fairly deep hull. You don't mention your height but I would guess you are sitting fairly deep inside the boat.
Depth of boat|
Posted by: kayamedic on Aug-18-13 6:13 PM (EST)
I have just finished a 12 day Lake Superior tour in Ontario. I was using a Mad River Monarch. Its a sea canoe with a kayak like (though some five feet long!) cockpit. It looks like a kayak but its fifteen inches deep. It has three seat heights. I never used the high position on Lake Superior but have with a double blade at home. No knuckle banging.
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Aug-18-13 11:03 PM (EST)
that white water boats are wide and white water paddles in use are typically short (194, for example). The difference? High angle stroke and good technique. A long paddle (240) encourages bad technique and risks injury. Get lessons from a competent instructor.
Thank you for your suggestions|
Posted by: old_user on Aug-19-13 12:23 AM (EST)
I thought I was rotating enough but will try to rotate more and change the angle of my paddling.
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-19-13 12:19 PM (EST)
Your arms your boat, well.....|
Posted by: cliffjrs on Aug-19-13 12:36 PM (EST)
If you're hitting the boat, it is not the boat nor the paddle that is doing something wrong. It's probably the water !
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-19-13 1:06 PM (EST)
Shame on them|
Posted by: kayamedic on Aug-19-13 2:14 PM (EST)
It IS you and its not your fault. Return the boat as it was not appropriately sized for you.
My wife solved that problem by....|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-20-13 6:08 PM (EST)
raising the seat.
Maybe a grip change will help|
Posted by: taj on Aug-20-13 6:43 PM (EST)
I used to paddle with my thumbs wrapped around the paddle shaft. I found that gripping the paddle with my thumbs on top beside my fingers relieved the hard grip on the paddle and stopped the "tennis elbow" symptoms as well.
Agree with willow leaf|
Posted by: jmyers on Aug-20-13 7:56 PM (EST)
Do what you must to get into a boat that fits properly and get a short, light paddle. You'll never be happy with what you got from LLB.