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.