Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Inuk gets a new seat

For a long time I've been wanting to put a new seat in my Inuk. Reason is that I felt the original seat hanging from the cockpit rim was repressing my body rotation. There simply wasn't enough room for me to move around. On top of that the seat was very low and tilted backwards(!) like in most sea kayaks.

Well a month ago I cut out the seat and made some tests with a seat from the new Coastrunner k1 trainer. The result wasn't good. After 25 km of paddling my butt was hurting a lot. I only managed the 25 km back again as a mate borrowed me a cushion.

I then contacted Nelo, only to be adviced against using their racing seat in the Inuk. It would take a lot of work to fit it I was told.

Luckily the swedish paddler Erik Arnstrøm had recently posted a notice on his (highly recommendable) blog on using a Plastex racing seat in a sea kayak.

Soon I had a Plastex seat and with the help of a handyman in my kayak club, I got the seat installed 8 cm above "ground".

Plastex racing seat in my Inuk

Now for the verdict.

As for the paddling poisture I'm enthusiastic. The forward stroke definitely feels more powerful but I haven't got numbers to back that claim yet.

The center of gravity has moved up quite a bit and I lost even more contact with the boat, so it goes without saying that the boat feels a good deal less stable. That doesn't worry me though - as I consider it a fun challenge to improve my balance. Besides I spend time each week capsizing on purpose anyway.

As for sitting comfort, the Kirton seat was better. I went on a quick 20 km training paddle today and felt a tad sore in the end. Still I only had the seat for a week, so I guess it'll only be better.

Last thing - handrolling has become easier! The Inuk was always easy to handroll but now it's even more so. A couple of the other greenland maneuvers also got easier while I haven't noticed any maneuvers got harder.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Got my Vyneck at last

I have for 7 years been craving for a Vyneck of my own. Ever since I read Nigel Foster's Sea Kayaking and saw the photos I wanted one. Unfortunately it went out of production ages ago and was AFAIK never sold in Denmark.

However last year a used and somewhat beaten Vyneck turned up - brought to Denmark by a dutch paddler and was bought by my club. I've kicked myself ever since that I didn't buy it for myself.

Then last week the impossible happened. The dutch guy struck upon a brand spanking new Vyneck in Netherland - this time with the new deck layout. I couldn't believe my luck.

I brought it home today and took it for a short paddle and rolling session. Foot support is lacking and my knees bumps directly into the hull. But that's an easy fix.

I can't paddle with the legs raised as much as I prefer but the small cockpit still allow me to keep the legs together and pump/rotate in the forward stroke. As for speed I'm pretty sure the Inuk is faster but I'll have to do speed trials with a real paddle.

The Vyneck isn't a rolling machine as the aftdeck is too high. However to my surprise - forward style rolls were effortless. For the first time I even hit the "Throwing stick forward/forward roll" - three times in row.

I've uploaded a small rolling clip.