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Need some pointers please.

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Need some pointers please.

Post by dman on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 9:59 pm

So the kayak bug has bit hard and I have jumped in with vigor. Left the open air show yesterday at Jordanelle with five new boats and a hole in the wallet. I have a few questions about gear though that may seems rudimentary to most of you but I need to know.

Paddle blade offset. Why? It seems counter intuitive and feels even worse.

What do I want from a paddle and why should they cost as much as a cheap boat? I have a few a LL Duce Coupe and Coupe for light river and lake play and a LL Remix XP10 for heavier WW and multi day trips. Do I need different paddles for each location and boat?

Spray Skirt. I'm a good 200 pounds and athletic, what do I want for comfort, performance and value? I hate nothing more than buying gear and realizing I didn't get what I needed.

These are the areas of gear that I can't relate with from the other hobbies I have experience in to make a solid decision about.

Happy Paddling. Dustin

dman

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 11:20 pm

First... I'm no pro, so keep an ear out for more advice, but....

1. offset... different for everybody... if you start with a normal offset (25-45).. you will be fine till you learn what you like.
2. Paddle size... again, different for everybody, but in general... the smaller you are, the smaller the paddle, and the more playboating, the shorter the paddle.... and again.... it won't make a ton of difference till you learn what you like.
3. Paddle cost... for a beginner boater... you don't need anything fancy. There's carbon fiber bent shaft playboating paddles out there that can run you upwards of $400. I spent $20 for my first paddle, and I used it for two seasons before I bought my first bent shaft. Still have it as a back-up in case I break or loose one.
4. The right gear - the most underestimated piece of gear by noobs is a dry top. Yeah, a good one will cost 250, a great one > 350, but there's something to be said about the ability to focus upside down under water without that shock of cold water down your back. And with dry tops... one size too big is always better than too small.
5. Your future questions.... You will have many of them... yet, there is no way to cover all your bases from the start. To kayak, all you REALLY NEED is what I like to call the SUPER SIX. These are the 6 things you CAN NOT FLOAT THE RIVER WITHOUT... EVER!!!...... kayak, skirt, PFD, paddle, helmet and a kayak partner. The rest are debatable luxuries. Once you have your Super Six.... just grab 'em... and go get wet!!!

Also... there's kayak classes... I suggest you take one. Some of them truely are worth the money (about $150-200).

Lastly... Be smart out there.... there's plenty of ways to die... if your not sure.. just go home, crack open a cold one, and..... LIVE TO BOAT ANOTHER DAY.

Anyway Friend, Welcome to the boating community... AND HAVE FUN!!!

-DAVE

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by wasatchbill on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 2:00 am

I sent you a PM. You can try any of my paddles if you want. Mostly AT, 30 degree offset.
197, 200 cm river glass ATs, I could part with one or the other.
An older 202 straight shaft with high offset (possibly a decent touring paddle; would sell for cheeap; but you probably won't like the 60 degree offset).

Paddle offset is good for sea or touring kayaking into a headwind.
http://www.touringkayaks.com/paddle_feather.htm
Here is the case for more expensive touring paddles, for sea kayaking...
http://www.touringkayaks.com/choosing_a_paddle.htm

If you're going to have beginners out in the sit on tops, they may have an easier time with 0 degree offset paddles.
I think theres a chat on here:
http://www.backcountry.com/recreational-paddles
and here:
http://www.coloradokayak.com/Shop-Now/Recreational-Touring-Paddles/

Skirts; hmm; another big topic. I have a cheap Snapdragon I'd part with. Large deck, large tunnel. You will want a better one eventually.
Cheers-
Bill
801 6O8 1357

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by brianteats on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 10:57 am

Five new boats?! Must have been some screamin' deals...

Here's what I know about paddle offset- Remember one hand, say the right, will always be gripping and twisting the paddle while the left hand is lose for allowing the paddle to freely twist then engage the paddle during the left paddle stroke. The offset is for allowing the blade to come out of the water as smooth (perpandicular to water surface) as possible while the other end is at the 'water pull' angle, in one motion. This may sound overly complex and pointless until your on a very long paddle or need an intense burst of speed to avoid a hole and the design helps you maximize paddle stroke power instead of water friction. Throw in a bent shaft design, to aleviate wrist stress by placing the hands in a more natural position, and you have the pinnacle of paddle design and efficiency.

You could try paddling in some flat water with this concept in the back of your head. Remember 'Foot to Butt' for stroke 'begin and end', slightly turn your torso for more power, twist the paddle with your right hand and let it turn freely in your left. It becomes second nature and if you go back to a zero, you'll see the value of the offset. I have a 2 year $150 AT bent shaft/offset that I love to death and would try to replace it with the same thing if it ever breaks.

As far as skirts go, I have two cheapos, still looking for 'the one'.

Cheers!!
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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by Cap'n RedBeard on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 9:39 pm

A thread was started for people with questions like you
Sage advice for newbie or inexperienced kayakers

_________________
You cant fall if you don't let go.
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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by dman on Sun 07 Aug 2011, 11:48 pm

Great advise so far. I tried the offset right hand dominant paddling with an offset this week end at the lake and it seems to make sense. The paddles we had were 120 cm and 130 cm. The 120 felt way more at home in the XP and the longer 130 was bay far more comfortable in the SOT's, especially the 13 ft. deuce.

Looks like I have a lot of reading to do as well as trying out gear to see what works best. I wish we had a larger community down here to share the knowledge with a new guy but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

Thanks again.

dman

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by Guest on Mon 08 Aug 2011, 1:02 am

I know next to nothing about SOT's and what paddles to use for them, but as far as whitewater paddles, they are usually closer to 190-200cm long, so... the "130cm" sounds kinda small, but again... I know little about sot's.

Anyway, don't feel shy to start a thread asking for help learning to actually boat. Yeah there may be some "keep-to-they're-own" boaters out there, but there are some real nice boaters out there that actually get SOME enjoyment out of helping noobs, myself included. After all, we all got help at one time or another.... so, at some point, we all owe it back to our fellow boaters... or else the River Gods will curse us Cool. Also, try to be flexible... we all have schedules... so if someone offers help.... work around their schedule, and be glad to have it... and then... make damn sure you return the favor down the road to another noob someday.

We may not always act like it... but, in one form or another, this is a family, and it's the least we/I can do.

If you ever want to come up to logan, I'm more than happy to help you out. There's 3 dams and a GREAT learner section to boat on 15 minutes from my house. Feel free to PM me anytime. Usually any weekday after 5pm-ish and most Saturdays anytime. There's only 2-3 weeks left on the logan river this season, so if you're gonna get on it.... do it quickly.

Remember, there's usually fairly good boating classes at most universities, and I've heard some pretty good things about them. I personally know of one VERY COMMITTED boater that finished the class about two months ago, and I just took him down a class 3+ and he was grinning ear to ear the whole time. But DO NOT grade yourself off of him... he is a VERY devoted, and also a fairly talented boater. Anyway, give it a try, call the u of u outdoor program or pool. One of them should be able to guide you in the right direction Cool

Best of Luck DMan,

-Dave Cool Cool Cool

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by dman on Mon 08 Aug 2011, 11:45 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm in Southern Utah. I have been hitting the local outdoor shops and such trying to hook up with people who have some experience with kayaks but haven't turned up too muck so far. I keep hearing about this one guy or that dude who used to come in here a lot for climbing gear does it but can't remember his name. Never the less I will figure out a way to get the help I need and press on.

Thanks for the input so far, I'm sure I'll have a few more newb questions to ping off you guys in the near future.

dman

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by wasatchbill on Tue 09 Aug 2011, 12:17 am

220 to 230 cm are touring paddle lengths. 190-200cm are whitewater paddle lengths. If you are doing more touring with the XP10, you could go with a longer paddle if you want. If you get into harder whitewater (Westwater for example; the XP10 would be great for the flatwater in and out) you will have more control with the larger blades of a whitewater paddle.

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster on Tue 09 Aug 2011, 7:27 pm

I would definitely suggest a class. Rapid Progression Kayak School is one of the best around Utah. Great group of guys, and they know there stuff. As far as paddle offsets, and what paddle is best. It is all up to you. I like Werner, and it is hard for me to paddle anything else based on the fact that I started with Werner, and that is what I got used to. I had a 45 degree offset on my first paddle, and went to 30 now a 45 degree feels sloppy. I would try different peoples paddles for a few days then buy the one you want. Skirt depends on what you will be doing, but I am switching over to Skirtworks on all my skirts. They are the driest skirts I have found so far. Don't spend to much on new gear right off the bat. Make sure you like the sport. If you are going to do that anyway call me, and ask what brand, and color I want just in case you realize it is not for you Smile
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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by LarryS on Wed 10 Aug 2011, 4:14 pm

Where in southern Utah are you? Moab has a good kayak shop

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Re: Need some pointers please.

Post by dman on Wed 10 Aug 2011, 5:32 pm

I'm in St George. No shops to speak of.

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Re: Need some pointers please.

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