Archive for December, 2011

Foam Ankle Supports for C-1

Anyone who has spent time in a C-1 knows that a bit of extra comfort can go a long way.   Using minicell foam and a few basic tools, these ankle supports can be created.  The tools used for this are a saw to cut the blocks to size.  A rasp to create a bit of a contour in the foam.  Some sandpaper to clean up the foam.   Contact cement works well for the adhesion.  I like to use a respirator when working with the contact cement.


Once you have the supports made to your liking, place them in the boat and get in it to see where to place them.  Use a pencil to mark the right spot for your body.

Here’s the finished product before the glue-in.


December 29, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Triple Saddle in an Open Canoe

A triple saddle can be very advantageous in the right boat.  It allows you to paddle the canoe solo by sitting in the middle, or tandem by sitting in the bow and stern.  These photos show a Blue Hole Sunburst that is around 14 1/2 feet long.  Anything larger would be a chore to paddle solo and too much smaller would be a squeeze for two people.   All saddles make for a comfortable and high performance seat.  This example shows a system that features a removable front saddle, one that is clipped and strapped in.  You can easily take the front saddle out for the solo setup and then have more room and workspace in front of you.  See the Esquif Blast Triple Saddle Post  HERE  This is nice for bailing water out, as well you will then still have space to lean forward to set up for a roll or just to hang out and breathe underwater!  If you look at the photo closely you can see that the foot pegs for the middle saddle would get in the way of the knees for the stern paddler.  It’s not hard to slide them off towards the stern.  When paddling solo I like to leave the bow saddle in the boat, under the float bags, in case I find a partner who wants to join forces!


December 29, 2011 | 0 Comments More




This is a Dagger Atom C-1.  It is basically a river kayak that has a foam saddle inside of it where you might expect there to be a seat.  So the paddler is actually on his/her knees, not their butt.  As you might have guessed this has advantages and disadvantages.  In a C-1 you are higher up in your boat and have better vision of your surroundings.  Also you have more leverage with your paddle stroke.  The challenge lies in the fact that you are paddling with a canoe paddle and are sacrificing a blade.  Another canoe outfitting concept!







December 20, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Materials, Tools and Techniques

Here are many of the materials you might need to outfit your open canoe for running rivers.  Notice the vinyl D-Ring anchors with Vinyl adhesive, plastic deck eye loops (black) with rivets, and parachute cord.  These items, once installed, will give you a way to secure floatation bags for water displacement and have a means to install thigh straps.


Making your boat comfortable and customized to your body makes you a happier paddler.  If you plan on spending a decent amount of time in your boat then the time put in to outfitting pays off quickly.  Minicell foam is a great way to improve comfort and performance.  This can be glued to boats of many different materials.  Usually contact cement work fine for most materials.  The photo above shows an ideal way to cut it….on a bandsaw.  You can also use a breadknife or saw.


December 20, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Family Fun


This photo was taken of another paddler on the Wolf River in Wisconsin.  He was a friendly Dad taking his kid out for an experience in nature.  The two were a great partnership and simply enjoying the day doing what they love to do!






Last season I had this energetic family of 7 come down to the rental site in Alton Baker Park.  They spent a couple of hours trying out  many different boats.  It was great because they got the feel of paddling a canoe, kayak and SUP.  A lot of learning was going on and a bit of swimming too!   A day spent outside will always lead to unforgettable memories.

Notice the Dad paddling with his daughter on on the front of the Stand Up Paddleboard!!!!







December 17, 2011 | 0 Comments More




Surfing your canoe can be a real challenge.  It’s common to capsize many times before getting comfortable in the swift waters.  Take a look at the concentration this paddler is showing here as she enters the wave.  When you get the hang of this skill your smile will surely grow!  Running hard rapids essentially boils down to surfing from one hydraulic to the next and liking them together.




It’s a good idea to have a spotter watching you while you surf.  This way if you swim out of your boat the spotter can snag your lunch, and maybe help you out too…





Here is a shot of some surf action!  Can you see the green boat?


December 17, 2011 | 0 Comments More


There’s no better way to share in the experience of paddling, then on a catacanoe.  This craft is steady and comfortable, yet easy to maneuver.  The best part is sharing the experience with the rest of your friends.  We have often floated along some nice waterway with a gang of six people on this boat!


December 17, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Willamette River Canoe Camp w/ Blackberries



Paddling the Willamette River below Eugene can be very rewarding.  Especially during the blackberry season, when the banks are full of the sweet and juicy morsels.  On a recent trip from Alton Baker Park to Harrisburg we did some picking, taking care not to get pricked too badly.




Once our bucket was full enough, we continued downstream through the swift current and eventually made it to our camp site, one of many lovely cobble bars.








The next morning we went decided to make some blackberry pancakes.


December 17, 2011 | 0 Comments More