Little boat, big boat?

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #6503 by Rightarmbad
Interesting comments in regards to weight in other threads.

Having now got over my year long+ recovery for my back injury, my weight is starting to tumble back towards it's previous level.
Having gone up to around 97-100kg when I purchased my V10, now over the last month I have dropped down to 86kg and I am paddling less as I am now back on my bike and doing other stuff and generally being more active.

Funnily enough, if anything, I now find the boat easier to handle in choppy stuff, there is a reserve stability that it never had when I was heavy.

So I am wondering, what is the magical weight when a full length ski feels to become too much for the paddler?

Is it a weight thing? Person or boat? A ratio?
Is it possibly a balance thing or maybe strength plays a fair role?

As a pure runner I have been as light as 74kg, as a triathlete my most competitive weight was 84kg.
When I was finished competing and just paddling my TK boats for general fitness, but watching my weight as it is a major benefit to be as light as possible for rock climbing, I was 76kg and as lean as I had ever been racing.

I had a go at rowing and the guy teaching me was keen to put me in the 75kg class and compete.
Being 192cm, this was pretty lean.

So as I said before, when does the weight thing start to kick in, because I have never felt more comfortable in crap conditions as I am now.

This may well just be due to the fact that my back has recovered and I am now more flexible and relaxed, as well as having done a lot of core work to help my back.

Am I going to want a smaller boat as my fitness improves?

What are your thoughts, I especially want to hear from those that are really considering a smaller boat.

Is it really a small person thing or is it really just a handling skills thing that is exasperated by a big boat?

If you could include your experience, your weight and height as well as a general strength assessment, it would be nice.

As an aside, as I get lighter, I find my paddle length shortening.
Again this may be because of an improvement in flexibility allowing a longer stroke with a shorter paddle, or simply me learning to rev higher.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #6505 by AR_convert
First of all congrats on getting over your back injury and stripping off the weight. I'm just starting to get back to fitness after having the plate out of my shoulder and have to strip another 7 kg to get back to a competitive weight. (86-87kg during training and 84-85 racing)

The only person I know who was affected by being too light in a V10 was another adventure racing training parter I had. He is an elite level runner and while being around the same height as us (190cm give or take) weighs around 76kg. He bought the V10 (performance) a few years ago not really knowing too much about ski's (I guess like most of us when we start) and about a year later realised the boat sat up at the front in flat water,(photo's taken at an event showed this) so a V10L would have got him further forward and had the boat more level for his weight.

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by AR_convert.

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11 years 10 months ago #6506 by fredrik
Replied by fredrik on topic Re:Little boat, big boat?
In this boat size context: how does the nelo boats compare to the carbonology atom (or vault)?

I haven's tried any of them, but both seem to qualify as low(er) volume boats.

I'm 78-80 kgs (180 cm) an given the discussions here maybe a medium (up to 75 kgs) nelo should be considered as an alternative to the large model (75+kgs) if I get the opportunity to test drive a nelo.

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11 years 10 months ago #6513 by Downwind Rules
Hi Frerick

Nelo has certainly brought their understanding of the need for different size boats for different paddler physiques from their kayak range to their skis.

The Carbonology boats though have a completely different approach. While the Nelo has stayed with the length of their competitors (6.4m), the Carbonology boats are 5.95m. This makes them truly low volume boats.
carbonology.com.au/distributors/ might help you find where to try one.

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11 years 10 months ago #6514 by fredrik
Replied by fredrik on topic Re:Little boat, big boat?
Yep, I'm looking forward to the test rides. It's going to be interesting to get a first hand feel of the reduced length and volume.

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11 years 10 months ago #6519 by yankee
Replied by yankee on topic Re:Little boat, big boat?
Ok, I'll bite and chime in on this one, as I am, unfortunately- a light weight (the grass is always greener- I wish I was bigger, but take what you're dealt)... ;)
So, the facts (background): I'm about 177cm/5'10" and 64Kg/140lbs, & have been this exact ht/wt for the past 20~odd years.
To answer your "general strength" Q, Rightarm, I can probably do more chin-ups/push-ups than most: So, Power:Weight I'm pretty good. But, this "feeble overall Power", isn't enough to overcome a 30kt side-wind hitting my exposed bow! :angry: I end up using a lot of rudder (full, most times!) and go very slowly to the point I'm trying to reach, but then DW...!!!

Right- now that I've been paddling for ~2years (1st boat a V10L- did my research & it seemed like a good choice-and it was, but then I had the opportunity to "side-grade" to a lighter/newer Think Legend- the higher volume is not suited to me, but I'm not an Olympic athlete, so I'm happy with all the other features of this ski atm)

So, what were we talking about? Oh yes...
Well, I just think there are a million variables out there for each person to consider, if you're trying to pin-point an ultimate paddler weight/physique to a boat! But, for me, 64Kg doesn't get the best return on "time-put-in", in a full size H.P.S.- if you're only concerned with outright numbers on your GPS! I'd like to think that I'd be faster in a lower volume boat, but my V10L was effected by the wind as well- so maybe one of these newer/shorter makes? That has even less windage for us feather weights? Less waterline to overcome? Who knows- One day I'll get to try one...until then, I just like getting on the water B)

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11 years 10 months ago #6522 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re:Little boat, big boat?
Here are the factors that occur to me:

1.A lighter person/boat unit displaces less water. Theoretically that makes them faster but it also makes them less stable. The lighter the person, the more difference, percentagewise, a lighter layup will make for the same hull.

2.Greater core strength will mean more of the body mass will be able to be applied to balance the lever forces acting on the end of the bow. The longer the bow, the more strength you need.

3.Core flexibility allows the paddler to absorb more rocking without instability.

4. Better fit in the bucket will also aids connectedness as above.

5. Lighter boats are also stiffer, meaning the hull reacts more to any water movement.

Mr RAB, I can't quantify any of this. I suppose I could start wearing a weightbelt to supplement my 58kg. That's as long as I don't fall off, as I'll go staight to the bottom.Alternatively, I will just have to work furiously on my core strength. Or get a smaller boat.

What I do know is that my plastic Spirit PRS at 5.7m and 20kg has less stability than my V10S Performance (6.1m,14.5kg) on the flat, but when it gets windy I have much more control over the Spirit's bow. If only it didn't have that tiny trailing rudder..

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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11 years 10 months ago #6524 by Rightarmbad
'Lighter boats are also stiffer'

Not necessarily true.
As seen here on these forums, it was discussed a little while ago.

'Better fit in the bucket will also aids connectedness as above'

I think that this one may be underestimated.
The first thing I thought when I sat in a V8 was that it was less stable then my V10, due to the wide bucket.
The first thing I thought when I sat in a Vajder was that it was more stable than my V10, even though it is a very similar hull, but an inch narrower, due to the very tight bucket.

I took a surf lifesaving double ski this afternoon.
I don't think that it's massive weight contributed anything positive to the experience in the wind and the waves.
I much prefer my lighter much tipier V10 in the same conditions.
I found the weight just cumbersome.

If you do happen to venture out with a weight belt on, I'd be interested to hear the conclusions drawn......

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #6525 by outriggerbev
dont understand why low volume boats still have high fronts\tops when it is privvy to windage -can someone please explain-

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11 years 10 months ago #6526 by outriggerbev
better stability when I padded this bucket out for perfect fit

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11 years 10 months ago #6528 by Rightarmbad
"dont understand why low volume boats still have high fronts\tops when it is privvy to windage -can someone please explain-"

I'll hazard a guess.

You have to have enough volume in the front to stop you submerging, the only way to get it is to go higher, as going wider, even if it is above the normal waterline would see a big increase in stress as you slap down off a wave as well as be harder to punch through an oncoming wave/ back of a wave.
It is also stronger in it's own right to have that much vertical real estate to take on the stresses involved.

Could be wrong though.

There are a lot of spec skis out there that are nowhere near as high.
A lot of higher ones too.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #6529 by Tom_D
Replied by Tom_D on topic Re:Little boat, big boat?
To reply to your original question about why are some us moving to smaller boats... I moved from an V10S to a Stellar SES. I am 170 cm and 72Kg (lighter during mid season). I bought the V10S as my first boat and with the notion that I could share it with my wife (her girly hips are wider than mine). BTW - fitting the smaller female paddler who is light weight but has wide hips seems to be a problem not addressed by ski manufacturers.

The V10S is a fine boat but it is WAY too big for me. I padded it and that helped a lot but still it is a big boat. I tried the SES and the very narrow bucket and the lower volume seemed like a better fit. Seemed like a road bike verses a mountain bike. The narrow catch and the general reaction of the SES seemed better for me.

My initial reactions to the change are that while the SES is less stable than the V10S this is mostly a function of the SES's deeper bucket that makes it harder to mount and remount. In bumpy conditions getting in the SES is dodgy. As a smaller guy it is hard for me to get both feet out while I get settled. My first paddle in the SES I paddled it in big wind driven lake chop and I fell out a couple of time before I finally got in. Once in the boat seemed as stable as the V10S.

I in the SES also can tell the difference in stability when I change from the small weedless rudder to the bigger surf rudder more so than in the V10S. This probably is a function of the lower volume of the SES causing lower initial stability and quicker reaction.

There are other low volume boats available but I bought what I could test drive first.

Tom

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