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

Foot pumps or no foot pumps

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9 years 2 months ago #17581 by fryerrobin
I race marathon kayaks in the uk (flat water kayaking). Recently I have been having a lot of trouble with water getting into the boat. While I'm paddling I'm either putting water in the boat myself although I suspect theres a small leak somewhere.

It makes it very difficult to portage, and the last couple of races I lost a fair bit of time not to mention the additional time penalty of carrying the weight in water.

Most of you being surfski I guess you almost always have a manual foot pump. I have tried this but didnt find it particularly effective, maybe It just takes a while to learn to use it properly though?

Are there any other marathon fw kayakers out there with this problem?

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9 years 2 months ago #17584 by Rookie
Hi there,

Most (if not all) surfskis have holes in the bottom of the ski that allow the footwell to drain as long as one is paddling. Stop paddling and the ski starts to fill again.

For those of us that also do river paddling there are basically two types of pumps that fit on to the foot plate.
If one is paddling a double canoe / K2 then the best pump that i have seen is a "whale pump" that fits on to the foot plate of the back paddler - quick/ effective and if fitted correctly gets pumped as part of the back paddlers stroke.
If one is paddling a single/ K1 canoe then the most effective that i have used are little pumps that fit below the peddles.

Both are common particularly for people racing in rough water.
I will try and download photos of them tomorrow.

regards

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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9 years 2 months ago #17587 by coastbouy
Hello there,
regarding the foot pumps or no foot pumps.....if you seem to be getting more water in your boat you might take a moment and check your boat for leaks. As a composite boat gets worn very often a bubble in the layup becomes exposed allowing water to enter the boat. I would check especially the wear spots at the bow and stern...anywhere the boat is getting worn down. Sometimes the coaming around the cockpit can be coming loose, that also would let some water in. In addition check your spray skirt if you use one, it may be getting worn.

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9 years 2 months ago #17588 by coastbouy
P.S.

Check where your heels contact the boat. I've seen composite kayaks (sea kayaks) almost completely worn through from the friction from the person's heels. As well check where the seat touches the bottom of the inside of the boat. Over time these areas can also get worn down. If you have a worn spot on the inside or outside its best to build that spot with cloth (and resin). Often some folks take the short cut and just use some sort of thickened resin or putty. The resin or putty is more brittle and tends to crack when the boat is flexed at that location

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9 years 2 months ago #17589 by fryerrobin
Hi Costbouy,

I would tend to agree that it might be the fault of the boat. Its a Kirton Lancer and is over 30 years old with a few refurbs. As you mentioned there are definite weak spots (at the heels etc). I am getting it looked at by a boat repair guy, though we did fill it with water and it wasn't gushing out or anything.

Do you think its a good idea to cloth over the nose, stern and heel point with a glass fibre repair kit just as a measure of ensuring leaks don't occur?

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9 years 2 months ago #17591 by coastbouy
Hi Fryerrobin,

I think that anywhere the boat is worn down it should be re-enforced to prevent further damage or leaking. Even a small leak can end up with more water than you want. Did you check under the seat? It is kind of a pain to remove the seat depending on how it is installed. Anywhere the seat touches the bottom of the boat can end up over time rubing a hole. I don't know what kind of seat you have, but if is loose that can allow the seat to move. I have seat "hung" seats that typically have a thin foam pad under them to keep the seat from moving around. After a while the pad "goes away" and no longer does its job. When doing repairs you want to get the job done with out to much weight added or mess. On the out side its nice to have a smooth finish. Often I have used plastic wrap for sealing food in dishes ( popular U.S. brand "Saran Wrap". On a convex surface you can stretch the plastic wrap with some painter's tape to get a nice smooth surface. For light weight boats with out gel-coat I like to use a very fine and light weight cloth often referred to as "cheese cloth".

cheers!

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