C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

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Coz Teplitz
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C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Coz Teplitz » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:13 pm

Hi folks:

I'm an open boater who has been increasingly intrigued by the idea of trying C1. Problem is, I have long legs that don't like to bend, so I need to raise the saddle in most boats substantially to be halfway comfortable. For example, I needed to raise the stock saddle in my Ion 1.5" (Jeremy, your saddles are what, 8"? Which would make mine about 9.5".) The yoga I've taken up recently has been helping a little, but I just don't think I'm going to end up squeezing into a boat with a 6" saddle.

With that in mind, does anyone know of any C1s/kayaks amenable for conversion that might be up to the task of a tall saddle? Given the saddle height and my relative lack of paddling skill, I'm guessing that will mean a relatively wide boat. I'm a bigger guy and with aforementioned lack of skill meaning I tend to run into stuff, I'd tend to shy away from a composite boat. Any recommendations on what I should check out? Anyone in New England with a boat you'd be willing to let me sit in to see how it feels?

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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Mike W. » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:37 pm

Shaggy Designs' Sith. It's 'glass, but it's the most comfortable boat I've ever been in. Also the best surfing boat I've ever been in. Oh, it weighs 20lbs. Paddling 'glass will make you a better boater.
http://www.shaggydesigns.com/sith.htm

Image
The photo is of Squeekyknee in his Sith. A previous owner of this boat pretty much broke the bow off by playing an a nasty, shallow hole. Squeekyknee fixed it & it paddles great. I've smacked the stern of mine on rocks a few times with no major damage...yet :lol:

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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Sir Adam » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:47 pm

Depending on the type of paddling / boat you are looking for here are a few to consider:

Shaggy Sith MikeW already mentioned - river running / play
Millbrook Wide Ride - river running
PS Composites Viper (my previous one had an 8" saddle and was very comfortable and stable, at least for me!)
RiverElf Storm Chaser - Creeking / River running

I'm in upstate NY (Lake George / Saratoga Springs), have all of the above boats, and you are welcome to try them any time, though you may or may not be able to get in the Storm Chaser (I have it outfitted for me for creeking...and I'm shorter (5'8").
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Silent Bob » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:19 pm

I haven't paddled one yet, but the Jackson large Karma looks promising. Its wide, flat-hulled, and huge volume. Also available with factory C1 outfitting.

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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by ian123 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:04 pm

You'll almost be sitting above the cockpit rim with a 10" saddle. No C1 I've ever been it would be much fun with a saddle that big.

Your knees will get used to lower saddle. There are a lot of guys paddling around with 4 and 5" saddles. Otherwise (I hate to say it) there are kayaks.
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Roy » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:05 pm

Ian, hold on there...no need to start thinking "kayak."

My recommendation is to really nail down your minimum seat height. There are a number of C-1 options for those in the 7.5" to 8" range...but, start by knowing your "number." I would actually measure your Ion seat, and then be sure you can't snake it down a half inch. Are your knees in the Ion way out, right against the hull? Often knee width interacts with comfortable seat height as well as stability.

FWIW, I use a 7 3/4" seat, and I find I must have a hull which is at least 70 cm wide (not including wings).

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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Yukon » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:50 pm

Also try adding some width to your saddle sometimes that makes a big difference
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Larry Horne » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:23 am

If you paddle oc pushing on footpegs, I bet you"ll find you can get lower in a c1. Mostly because in a c1 your feet and lower leg will be down almost flat and also because, if you really want to paddle a c1, you will need to...

I can't imagine paddling a c1 with even an 8" saddle
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by PAC » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:30 am

I paddle with an 8"+ in all my boats. I like comfort and my knees are older... helps me with my roll too (more practice :-( ) . LOL Carving the saddle and having a low angle slope help.

8 inches is fine. Have to agree that the Sith is the bomb!
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Mike W. » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:02 am

I'm with PAC on this one. I'm at 8" in all of my C-1's including my squirt boat. The only one that's lower is my Sith. It's so wide it lets you go all the way down to 7.5" 8)

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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by cheajack » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:15 pm

I have paddled a variety of C-1 conversions with a 7.5" saddle. I have a slalom boat that is at 6" but is very difficult for me to stay in for any length of time. When Wayne Dickert raced C-2 stern in the '92 Olympics his saddle height was 8". Dennis Huntley, a southern legend in C-1 and OC-1 paddles with a saddle height of 10" or there about. Dennis sits above the cockpit rim in most C-1 conversions that he has paddled. I find that roomy wide creekers (H3, Karnali, Remix ) will allow a tall saddle height and still permit contact with the cockpit rim for control especially if you use some type of hip grabber. I'm not a large person (5'8") just old and stiff. You can do it, but you have to really want to.

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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by cheajack » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:18 pm

Another thought. Try the "telephone book method" to get your seat lower. Stack up some phone books to your current height and kneel on them for 30 minutes. Each day remove 3 or 4 pages from the stack.

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RobertM
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by RobertM » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:53 pm

I suspect you 'll be able to get away with a much lower saddle in a C1 than in your open boat. It's the whole dorsal flexion vs. plantar flexion thing. I'm currently running an 8.5" saddle in my open boat (Composite creations Bulldog) and 7" saddles in both my Redline and my Cascade. I actually find the c-boats more comfortable than the OC, but that's mostly because I can't get used to pressing myself into the rigging with my feet in the open boat. I find that the top-of-foot on the floor, fully relaxed foot of the C1s is much more comfortable for me than the toe-getting-bent position of the open boat.

Relevant to the original question though, I think my knee angle in all the boats is about the same.

If you want to try a C1 that will support a tall saddle, I think the Cascade would work. It's very old school, and very forgiving. They show up for cheap. And, given that I'm getting away with a 7" saddle in the Redline, I know I could go taller in the Cascade.

In any case, when you go C1, play with ankle blocks. I found that my knees got used to the position much faster than my ankles did, and a little bit of ankle block took the pressure off the tops of my toes and let my ankles relax.
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by kaz » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:24 pm

There's always the Hahn.
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Re: C1 for those who need a tall saddle?

Post by Paddle Power » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:56 pm

Lots of good suggestions.

I find a wider saddle helpful with short saddles.

I also find I like a thin sheet of foam under my feet.

I would try out some wide flat hulled boats. Look for boat that allow your knees to spread out.
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