Rower's seat vs sitting on padded dry box - Page 4 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #31
 
GeoRon's Avatar
 
Golden, Colorado
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EM,

I looked at the last run over and over. He was going to go left(not on purpose) from the very top (I think) and never could make much effort to change that path. He couldn't establish river left to right momentum.

Even from a quarter of a mile away the biggest problem seems obvious(to me). His oars are lily dipping. The seat is too low and the towers are relatively too tall which results in an inability to dig deep and hard. When he strokes he is only lily deep. If the seating is that problemed then maybe other critical geometries are improper also (yes, his strokes seem chopped short which would result from too tight a cockpit).

If you improperly set up your cockpit no matter your seat you are going to have stroking and power issues. Granted, it is easier to make up for towers to near the seat, oar handles to inward or overlapping, towers too tall, seat too low etc when unconstrained by a high back seat. Hence, setting up your cockpit properly is more critical when using a high back seat.

Best to go see an expert when setting up your boat and even then don't trust them to do it right the first time. (BTW, not all boat store employees are experts. Few are at some stores.) Step one is to set up your boat according to prescribed formulas and then refine, refine, refine. Refinement is best done on a lake and then an easy river, not on the Grand or Class IV river. When refining, I suggest having a mentor along who knows what an unhindered, power stroke feels like.

On the Grand I have many times FIXED disheartened oarsman's frustrations by hack-sawing lower towers, "righting" un-righted oars with a cam-strap, making a seat back with duffle bags, etc. I suggest you be prepared to evaluate and do the same when situations such as this arise.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #32
 
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Hampden, Massachusetts
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Well said.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #33
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoRon View Post
EM,

I looked at the last run over and over. He was going to go left(not on purpose) from the very top (I think) and never could make much effort to change that path. He couldn't establish river left to right momentum.

Even from a quarter of a mile away the biggest problem seems obvious(to me). His oars are lily dipping. The seat is too low and the towers are relatively too tall which results in an inability to dig deep and hard. When he strokes he is only lily deep. If the seating is that problemed then maybe other critical geometries are improper also (yes, his strokes seem chopped short which would result from too tight a cockpit).

If you improperly set up your cockpit no matter your seat you are going to have stroking and power issues. Granted, it is easier to make up for towers to near the seat, oar handles to inward or overlapping, towers too tall, seat too low etc when unconstrained by a high back seat. Hence, setting up your cockpit properly is more critical when using a high back seat.

Best to go see an expert when setting up your boat and even then don't trust them to do it right the first time. (BTW, not all boat store employees are experts. Few are at some stores.) Step one is to set up your boat according to prescribed formulas and then refine, refine, refine. Refinement is best done on a lake and then an easy river, not on the Grand or Class IV river. When refining, I suggest having a mentor along who knows what an unhindered, power stroke feels like.

On the Grand I have many times FIXED disheartened oarsman's frustrations by hack-sawing lower towers, "righting" un-righted oars with a cam-strap, making a seat back with duffle bags, etc. I suggest you be prepared to evaluate and do the same when situations such as this arise.
That could all be true...the guy rowing was basically a novice and had to make up for another supposedly experienced but crazy dude who we actually ended up having evacuated for psychological reasons. His "newb" status certainly contributed. The boat was provided by another guy on the trip who rowed his own 18 foot boat and both boats were set up by Cascade (the other guy is kind of a gear slut and owns 6 rafts or something...basically one of every size from Maravia). Having rowed that rapid a handful of times, I think momentum is important, but less so then getting the timing right and getting good clean strokes. He set up in basically the same spot as the white Aire Cat that went right before he did and had no problem...so it seemed to me that his lack of experience and how the boat setup contributed to that flip.

All that said, I rowed the boat for a few hours because the "newb" guy wanted to try my boat and see how a different setup felt. The only glaring issue I saw on it was the seat. The oar towers seemed to be spaced right and at a reasonable height, the kick bar was in about the right place and overall was pretty well set up. It was pretty loaded down with a big cooler and the worlds largest kitchen box plus a bunch of other stuff but other then the big counterbalanced oars that were making me serious miss my Squaretops... it was set up fairly decently...except that stupid high back chair.

DEFINITELY not a fan. It may work for ya'll, but I'll stick with my cooler pad that allows free movement and to make full body strokes (giggity?). I'm kinda weird though...I like tall oar towers, longer then normal oars, and probably some other stuff that is less then typical.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #34
 
Calgary, Alberta
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^^^ do you think your love of longer oars and higher towers has anything to do with using square tops and the fact that they seem to weigh less? I guess I don't know if you use them for all your boats but I know you like them.

FWIW, that video of the bedrock flip, those oar strokes looked poor to me. I'll trust your judgement if you say the seat was a contributing factor but from what I saw I'd put more on the oarsman on that incident.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #35
 
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Originally Posted by cupido76 View Post
^^^ do you think your love of longer oars and higher towers has anything to do with using square tops and the fact that they seem to weigh less? I guess I don't know if you use them for all your boats but I know you like them.
I am rather a fan of the Squaretops, yes. The icing on the cake when I bought my Avon Pro setup was that it came with a set of 11' Squaretop XD's and I haven't wanted to row with anything else since. I have a set of 9 foot and 10 foot Sqauretops now to use with my various boats and setups (I have a Aire 146DD and a Hyside Mini-Max that get used more then the Avon now).

I've tried counterbalanced oars on other peoples boats when they wanted to try my setup and it always feels like they carry too much momentum and you have to stop them before you do the return stroke and thats just not the case with Squaretops. They also feel loose and flexy but not in a good way... I think its all the joints between the blades, handles and such.

I do admit that not being able to remove blades is a pain and will suck if I ever manage to break one, but the trade offs are worth it IMHO. Oh, and I really like that they taper since it makes it super easy to just drop the oar back in to the oar lock at the end of the rope wrap instead of having to feed it all the way from the blade. The Squaretops have definitely ruined me for other oars.

I find that I just like having the extra power that a longer oar provides. I do try to finesse my way down the river, but its nice to just lay into the oars and get a ton of power out of them. I've actually been using my 11's with the 146DD lately (Grand trip and a Middle Fork trip this year) and like it. Might try the 10's again next trip just to compare.

I know switching from the 9's to the 10's made a huge difference for me when making moves in a 13-14' sized boat. I'm a big guy though...so maybe I have more weight to throw behind them. I'm 6'1 but only have a 30" inseam, so I have a tall torso for my height and that might contribute to it. I like to sit so that my feet are flat on the floor, so the geometry of the frame and seat setup has to start with that.

I do the tall towers because I hate banging oars on my knees and like to stand and row (I have a suspended MDO plywood floor on my multi-day boats to stand on) and the tall towers help with that. I think a lot of these preferences come from rowing the Avon a lot though. It came with a floor, VERY tall oar towers (like 14-16" or something) and sitting on the cooler to row. That setup had been down the Grand 10 or 11 times (and a bunch of other trips) before I bought it and the previous owner is a well respected member of the Arkansas river community so I like to think he knows what he's doing. Whether or not that is true, the setup works for me. Others results may vary and I know people have tried my boat and not dug it so to each their own.

I'm not new to river running(started whitewater kayaking when I was 12), but relatively new to rowing rafts since I bought my first setup in late 2015. I have at least 300 to 400 days on the river behind the oars since then though...so making up for lost time.

Sorry(not sorry) for the novel...I get on a roll sometimes.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #36
 
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Golden, Colorado
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EM,

Thanks for the rest of the story. (I hope your friend is better after the evac.) It was not fair to point out the flip and say it was caused by a high back seat and then later as an after thought mention he was a complete "newb". I hope the guy was a good sport about being set up to flip in Bedrock("here take this boat and go down that river, and btw, miss the big rock"). But I'm sure there is even much more to that story(how did he do in Dubendorf?).

It sounds like you like to do your setup a little different than "normal". Eleven foot oars on a 14' boat is not normal. Perhaps only one in five(more likely one in fifty) can make that work to their advantage(?). If not for the square top that setup would be a killer for most people(unless you are Hulk). Extra tall towers so you can row standing up is not "normal" either. Tall towers mean you almost have to stand up to row. Tall towers mean you almost have to use 11' oars to even reach the water when seated. BTW, do your oars tend to hit you in the face when seated. I'd be interested in sitting in you boat just to get the feel of "abnormal". To each their own I guess.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #37
 
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Golden, Colorado
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EM,

Let me jump to conclusions and assume without basis the following. You don't like high back seats because in every case so far you feel confined because the boat was set up for a smaller person, or not set up properly at all. Hence, perhaps, you've never had a cockpit with a high back properly set up for your dimensions. You got something from your respected predecessor and "stuck" with it.

To be redundant, from your description of 6.1, large(barrel chested?), 30" inseam that you also likely have long arms and legs. You ain't gonna feel comfortable or capable in a cockpit(e.g. hitting your knees with oars) set up for someone 5.8 with short arms and legs. Your instant response will be, this sucks.

I think you need a good boat fitting, or perhaps not if you are happy with the boat the way you bought it without any experimentation. To each their own.

Anyway, like I said earlier, it is easier to do contortions and acrobatics on top of a cooler necessary to make a bad cockpit work as opposed to being fixed in place in a seat in a cockpit of unsuitable geometries.

To each their own.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #38
 
Calgary, Alberta
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30" inseam = short legs for 6'1".

I'm 5'7" and have 29" inseam.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #39
 
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Golden, Colorado
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Sorry, I short circuited confusing inseam with waist. Let me re-calibrate(slap to side of head). Re-calibration completed.

Anyway, hitting your knees with oars is indicative of something not right.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #40
 
Denver, Colorado
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Anyone Row from a Swivel Seat?

I currently use a DRE seat and definitely am a fan but wondering if anyone uses a swivel seat to row? Obviously I'm not talking about big water, but for Pumphouse to State Bridge or State Bridge to Catamount where you really are just relaxing 90+% of the time I thought it might be pretty convenient and comfortable.
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