Kayak customization

Last night I did some work to customize the fit of my kayak. The foot pegs are too close, and the bulkhead is too far away to get my thighs pushed into the thigh braces. I took out the foot pegs (but left the rails there, because I wasn’t sure if I wouldn’t be leaving screw holes if I took it out. Then I trimmed a piece of 1 3/4 inch foam that I’d bought from Bay Creek Paddle Center so that it was an extremely tight fit, and wedged it into the end of the boat. That gives me something I can rest my feet against when I don’t want to push into the thigh braces, or if I extend my feet a bit it does push me against the thigh braces. Later, I’m going to try to shape the remaining chunks of foam into a couple of triangular blocks that I can put down in the bottom end and glue them to the foam so that I can rest my heels on them when I want the stability of the thigh braces without having to hold a foot extension the whole time. I’m also wondering if I dare put something under my knees, or if that would make it too hard to exit.

One little problem – when I was pushing the foam down into the bottom of the boat, I put all my weight on the top of the back-band, which tore out the two top straps which keep the back-band from twisting. Now I have to be careful when I get in that the back-bank doesn’t end up underneath me or twisted. I think I can do that just by putting a finger or thumb on it, but I might end up having to put a strap of duct tape or something there.

The cockpit is so tight (even before I did this) that I have to move one leg into the centerline of the cockpit to exit. I think I’m going to have to wait for the water to warm up a bit and practice doing wet exits so that this move becomes second nature.

First kayaking of the season

kayaking/DSCN1853I went kayaking for the first time this year. Actually, except for the day of the sale, this is my first time kayaking in my own Skerray RMX. And it’s a great boat. In the narrow twisting sections and while trying to photograph the numerous kayaking/DSCN1856geese and kayaking/DSCN1874swans, I could put the skeg up and make it maneuverable, and when I went out on the lake to visit kayaking/DSCN1879Mike’s plane, I could put the skeg down part way and get a lot more stability.

kayaking/DSCN1861I probably went a little too far. My elbows are complaining a bit. I’m going to take some more ibuprohen and ice them down a bit. But man, it felt good. I went up to the weir, which was running pretty strong and I got splashed quite a bit when I side-ferryed into the tounge of the water coming through from the eddy beside, and suddenly I had to paddle like crazy just to stand still.

kayaking/DSCN1871There was almost nobody on the creek today. I saw two people setting off just as I was arriving, and they returned just ahead of me too. There were two people milling around looking for somebody who worked there, and I saw them later on the water so they did manage to find somebody to rent them kayaks. But otherwise it was just me, a few turtles, geese, swans, redwinged blackbirds, and one great blue heron. It was glorious.

Pimp my …. KAYAK?

I’m working on a decoration for my kayak. Preliminary sketches here and here.

It’s supposed to be a loon, but it looks more like a merganser to me. Actually, that design is too similar to the one I copied – I’m going to be changing the interior of the body some as soon as I figure out how to make smoothly curving lines in Photoshop.

I miss my kayak

I went out today to the back yard for a little while and sat in my kayak. And cried.

I think that in spite of the pain, I’ve got to get out for a few minutes in it. Not for long – I don’t want to get too painful. But I’ve got to feel my own kayak beneath me on the water.