2013 Dagger Mamba 8.1 set-up - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-01-2013   #1
 
Hayesville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
2013 Dagger Mamba 8.1 set-up

Guys I'm new to whitewater kayaking and I need some advice on correct seat position placement and just general rule of thumb whitewater kayak set-up is. I know people say it's an individual thing but if you don't know what your looking for how do you know when you've hit the sweet spot. I'm 5'10" and weight 170 so I figure the Mamba 8.1 is the correct size boat. I live about 40 minutes from Nantahala river in WNC so that's where I'll be doing 90% of my kayaking. Currently my mamba is set with every adjustment in the middle....the bolt in front of the seat is in the middle of the slot and the 2 ea. side seat bolts are set to where the hull molded drops are flush with the slotted seat adjustment. My problem is I'm getting upside down a lot more than I should be. My kayak buddies are also newbie's and have boats fairly similar to mine except maybe for a few more gallons in volume, but when we hit some of the bigger holes like Patton's run my boat wants to stand straight up and usually dumps me and theirs don't seem to do that. The 3 buddies have a Jackson super hero, Jackson Zen, and a Jackson Villain....did I buy the wrong boat? probably not. Do I need to adjust the seat position maybe? I just need to know what to look for in boat response if the seat is to for forward of center or what happens while paddling if the seat is to far back? I just don't have enough WW paddling experience to know these things. Any paddlers out there that has experience with the new 2013 dagger mamba 8.1 seat position it would help me get started dialing my boat in to me if you would let me know what seat position you found works best for you. I would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 09-02-2013   #2
 
Skillkilla's Avatar
 
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 298
I have a 2013 recon 83 which has similar outfitting, and I also have a 2011 nomad 8.1 . 1 st thing have a paddle buddy look at you in the water from the side- is the water line even ? the middle should be fine. your problem I think is that your back band isn't pulled in tight enough. you should be sitting upright most of the time. I had the same problem with my recon when I first got it. I was leaning too far back at the wrong times. never had a problem with my nomad, jumped back in it and realized what was happening with the recon. try that.
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Old 09-03-2013   #3
 
Hayesville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Thanks I'll try that....there is a bunch of stuff on the web showing Mamba's running whitewater but I can't find nothing saying "ok if your seat position is to far forward your kayak will probably do this or if your to far back it's going to do this". I know something isn't right because I see my buddies going through those holes and then I go through and they say it looks like your boat was completely vertical. Thanks again
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Old 09-03-2013   #4
 
Worcestershire, Midlands, UK
Paddling Since: 2010
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Posts: 55
Quote:
I know something isn't right because I see my buddies going through those holes and then I go through and they say it looks like your boat was completely vertical. Thanks again
You can't read too much into that. In a boat with as much distributed volume as the new Mamba, your seat position isn't really going to have so much effect that your boat will tail squirt etc. In a short playboat this would be an issue, but I doubt it would be so in a Mamba.

You stated that you are new to kayaking, and so I would start by looking at your posture. I would make a fair wager that as you go over the drops into a hole that you are allowing yourself to lean back, thus causing instability, and in some cases causing your boat to go vertical.

Further more it may be because your stroke timing isn't there you don't have enough speed/momentum to punch the hole, which again can cause you go vertical depending on the power of the hole.

How heavy are your friends? If they are a lot bigger than you it may explain some why they can get away with punching through stuff more.

I would recommend leaving the seat position alone, keep it in the middle, especially as you are at the low end of the weight range for that boat. Instead focus on your posture, and the timing and quality of your strokes. It is all too easy to blame a boat setting when it is most often actual technique that is at fault.

This isn't meant as a criticism, just something to possibly refocus on. Any video of you doing a run?
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Old 09-03-2013   #5
 
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Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Posts: 20
I'm 6' & 160 lbs with a Mamba 8.1 as well and love it. I've watched others go through the experience of getting a boat & then commenting that it's not behaving the way they want etc. I would say the main issue is getting more river time & trying out different configurations and techniques.
In my experience new paddlers don't lean forward and/or have an active paddle when punching through waves. Remember to stab the wave and lean forward
When on flat water see what happens when you lean back or forward and paddle. Does the boat want to twist more, track better, no difference? That should give you an idea of how you want to sit. Also, try moving your seat forward/backward a notch. You would be amazed how much difference one notch makes in tracking.
If a friend of yours has a GoPro (or similar product) get them to take video of you going through rapids. These cameras are an amazing teaching tool. On Monday morning my friends & I just watch the weekend footage and comment on good lines / bad form.
And the main way to figure out what to do is to get more river time. Practice, practice, practice.
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Old 09-03-2013   #6
 
Hayesville, North Carolina
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Guy I'm not taking any of these comments as criticism it's the reason I asked some experienced boaters...I'd say it is my bad paddling posture that is causing me to flip over, I have noticed at the start of a trip I'm usually sitting up forward more and as I get tired I'm leaning back more. Do ya'll adjust your backband so it keeps you leaning forward at all times? Thanks
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Old 09-03-2013   #7
 
Worcestershire, Midlands, UK
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 55
The backband is only there to remind you to sit forward, it shouldn't be tight. Remember, whitewater slalom kayakers don't have any back band. Posture is something you need to train.

The best investment you can make with kayaking is by getting some professional coaching/instruction. Find someone reputable (afraid I don't know much about US based coaches) and book in a few days with them.
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Old 09-04-2013   #8
 
Hayesville, North Carolina
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
to manelson... what seat position seems to work good for you? is your seat forward of center or back of center?
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Old 09-05-2013   #9
 
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Los Alamos, New Mexico
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On my Mamba I'm smack-dab in the middle. However on my Villain-S I'm one notch forward. My paddling has changed a bit too so I need to go back & play around with the settings on my Mamba though.
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