× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

new surf ski

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16 years 11 months ago #154 by rypaddles
new surf ski was created by rypaddles
just bought my first surf ski...been paddling about 5 years now, but always on
plastic sit on tops...my question is..i have fairly long legs which has never been a problem on my other kayaks as they had ample leg room...my ski, does not have as much leg room and my knees are a little closer to my chest than i am use to..do surf skis come in differnent styles for different size people or is this just something that i will have to adjust to...its a 20 ft boat so its not exactly small and it has rudders peddles that i have adjusted all the way out..i havent got a chance to paddle it yet so i will see how it is, but i think i will have to adjust my paddling technique a little to compensate for the difference, anyone else experience this?

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16 years 11 months ago #155 by rypaddles
Replied by rypaddles on topic Re: new surf ski
Well i think its safe to assume that i am either the only person with long legs or no one has had this issue before.

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16 years 11 months ago #156 by Pistol
Replied by Pistol on topic Re: new surf ski
I'm surprised no one has replied yet! It just depends on what sort of ski you have. The normal run-of-the-mill ski that is used over here in Australia (apparently called a hammerhead in Sth Africa and known as a spec ski over here) generally has a fixed leg length.ie. you need to get a ski that is suitable for your leg length. The ocean racing skis and the newer plastic skis allow adjustments for leg length, but the fibreglass spec skis do not (there may be some out there but I haven't seen them). I recently did a bit a ski training for a race and started with a ski that was way too long in the leg for me, even after padding out the rear of the seat. I then got one that was just a bit too short and had all sorts of stability problems. if you have bought a ski that is too short and it cannot be adjusted then you will have to get rid of it and get one the right size. Sorry about that!

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16 years 11 months ago #157 by jtresfon
Replied by jtresfon on topic Re: new surf ski
Hi Rypaddles

I really understand your problem, I'm 6ft7 and have not yet found an off the shelf ski to fit. I have gone the route of having a Fenn custom made to fit and it makes all the difference. From having my knees up near my chest to down where they should be, the difference in stability is literally unbelievable. Before making a purchase decision I borrowed many ski's, all of which were too short. I just could not stay upright and thought that paddling was not my game. With the right length ski, no problem. You must get a ski that fits!

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16 years 11 months ago #158 by [email protected]
Replied by [email protected] on topic Re: new surf ski
I agree with jtresfon & Pistol - comfort and fit is SO important in a ski.

How do you know if the rudder pedals are at the right length?

You should be able to fit a fist (flat, not upright) under your knee, but no more than that. This is to allow your knee room to travel up and down as you rotate in the seat.

Apart from length, your seat must be snug enough that you don't slide around in the bottom of it - although you can get around this problem with a bum pad.

Discomfort and wrong leg length are terrible handicaps when you really need to be focusing on your stroke.

Good luck!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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16 years 11 months ago #159 by rypaddles
Replied by rypaddles on topic Re: new surf ski
thanks fror all the input....the tip about the fist under the knee was esspecially helpfull...

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16 years 11 months ago #160 by AlanC
Replied by AlanC on topic Re: new surf ski
I'll echo all the feedback stressing fit.

In Canadian paddle sports coaching education, we emphasize balance as being the first key element of the stroke that needs to be mastered.

Basic balance is directly influenced by your equipment; your choice of ski, t on to he fit of the ski, your choice of paddle and the fit of your paddle. If any of these equipment related choices are not ideal, your balance will be challenged.

Both of these are affected by your ability to apply controlled pressure to the foot board / footwell(s) as well as the seat AND the connect those to the paddle. If you're curious, my coaching blog has a recent posts on this subject.

Base of support: Paddle fit:
Once the equipment side of balance is addressed, you can then learn how the phases of the kayak stroke affect balance;
  • set up
  • entry
  • catch
  • draw (a recent terminology change for "pull" that emphasizes boat movement over paddle movement)
  • exit
  • recovery
  • transition
  • and back to set up on the other side

From there we move to the next key elements propulsion and then boat control & steering. The equipment and phases of the stroke affect each of these two elements as they do balance.

As it happens, this is still fresh in my mind from having taught a three day entry level competitive coaching course this past weekend :)

Alan

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