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Question for the paddlers
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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5788
Location: Maine

7/17/17 1:59 PM

eyewear

Limited experience here but I just wore my sunglasses with a lanyard adjusted snug. In the rescue drills I dumped the boat twice and wet exited underneath it - the shades stayed in place and shed the H2O so I could see fine. My baseball hat stayed on too.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6113
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/17/17 2:39 PM

I've gone through a few iterations:

1) Initially, I kept my eyes open.

2) But after losing lenses twice, I decided there's nothing to see underwater anyway. It's surprisingly easy to "train" my body to instinctively close my eyes whenever I'm submerged.

3) In between, I tried goggles. But didn't like water droplets on the goggle. I would imagine the same is true if you use glasses, old croakies or not.

More over, my left contact stays on even when I open my eyes under water. No problem there. My right contact occasionally float out, if I open my eyes. But my right eye can see "ok" without contact. So that's not the end of the world.

Here're my strategies:

1) I always carry a spare pair of lenses (or two, these days of disposables) with me.

2) In river (white water) kayaking, I keep my eyes close while under water. Part of the reason being, the water are typically so agitated I can't see much anyway. So why risk losing my contact lens?

3) For sea kayaking, my WW habit would have my eyes closed during the initial capsize. But if I were to stay down there for a while, I do open my eyes. Because the water weren't moving so much, my lenses had so far stayed put.

For sea kayaking, glasses really don't work all that well. The salt stick to the lenses and you can't see much after a while. Unlike WW, I don't fall into the water that often except during skill practice session when I'm purposely falling over and over again.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3779
Location: Nashua, NH

7/17/17 3:11 PM

Dealing with glasses on the ocean

My sunglasses constantly get covered with salt when I paddle and it's pretty much unavoidable. There are several ways to deal with it, but it's easiest to just slosh them in the water and sling off as much as you can. However, my preferred method in most cases is "lick, spit and rinse", which is what it sounds like; you lick the salt off the lenses, spit it out, then rinse your mouth with fresh water (I always wear a hydration pack on the water, so it's convenient to do this). Obviously, don't want to do this near a marina or any other area with potentially dubious water quality. I would never do this on fresh water, as the risk of water-borne pathogens is way too high.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6113
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/17/17 3:37 PM

"lick, spit and rinse"

Wouldn't it be just as easy to spit water on the glasses?

I have the same problem when I NEED to wear sunglasses. Salt got on the lenses and I can't see shit. So I dip it in the water to get rid of the dry salt. Then rinse with fresh water from the water bottle.

My boat rides "wet". So if I'm running against the wind, there's enough salt spray from the bow and from the top paddle blade that I had to wash my sunglasses every 5 minutes!

I really wouldn't want to subject my regular prescription glasses to that amount of salt.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3779
Location: Nashua, NH

7/18/17 5:05 AM

It depends on the situation

If it's rough and I need to get my vision back quickly, it's easiest to just lick the lenses and stick the glasses back on, then rinse my mouth when I have a chance. As I imagine you've experienced, salt issues tend to happen when you're least likely to be able to stop paddling for any length of time, such as when you're paddling into the wind and waves. All of my boats are low volume and my hands are in the water on every paddle stroke (long arms), so it's always a wet ride for me and I like it that way.

As for the amount of salt and its effect on glasses, if a little doesn't hurt them, a lot probably won't either. However, that's from a guy who uses cheap, non-prescription glasses on the water. If I had expensive prescription glasses, I'd be protective, too.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5788
Location: Maine

7/19/17 5:04 PM

Step forward

I took my first yoga class today, and the instructor asked why I was coming, I mentioned the sea kayak problem, and she immmediately knew what I was talking about, making an upright sign with her hand. She attributed it to tight hamstrings rather than core weakness, and said once I was straightened out sitting upright will be no problem.

She emphasized he importance of regular hamstring stretching, but also that the yoga classes emphasize the interconnectedness of the whole body which is important to a full solution.

So I will continue with both, and am encouraged.

I think the instructor is quite good, both my impression plus I went there on a strong recommendation.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5788
Location: Maine

7/27/17 4:59 PM

Well you never know

Today I took a private kayak lesson at Bean, which I booked to get input on my problem sitting in the boat comfortably. The instructor put me in a different boat (Current Designs Solstice), set up the pedals and I was instantly comfortable. I sat upright, no urge to lean back, and remained so for nearly 2 hours. Plus the instructor was really good and I got a much better understanding of stroke mechanics. The session was really fun.

I would love to think my stretching and two Yoga classes made the difference, but somehow I don't think my progress was that fast. The instructor said maybe the other boat's cockpit was too big and I was floating around in it.

Anyway, this was really fun and now I can't wait to get back out! And I will continue with stretching and Yoga.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6113
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/27/17 11:23 PM

Yep! That's why I thought the boat might be the issue.

Us skinny cyclist tend to prefer smaller tighter fit cockpits. Narrower kayaks too. Don't ask me why.

The Solstice is considered a "speed boat". I bet you had a fun time paddling it!

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3779
Location: Nashua, NH

7/28/17 12:16 PM

Keep in mind...

...that the tandem you'll be paddling will likely have a cavernous cockpit with limited thigh bracing. At least now you know how to set up the foot pegs properly, which makes a huge difference.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5788
Location: Maine

7/29/17 3:58 AM

Tandem I'll be paddling

Well FWIW I think this is the boat I'll be paddling (with subtitles!):

https://vimeo.com/207772985

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3779
Location: Nashua, NH

7/29/17 6:16 AM

Interesting...

...I didn't realize that Prijon was a German company.

Here's the actual specs for the boat:

Technical Data
Material: HTP Plastic
Length: 17'
Width 27.5"
Weight: 83.7
Volume: 136 gallons
Capacity: 550 lbs
Cockpit Style: 4 (37")
Recommended Paddler Weight: 150-250 lbs
Storage: 60 liter front, 120 liter rear

For a tandem, it's quite short and wide, and rather hefty, too. There are thigh braces in it, but I don't know if they're adjustable or not. BTW, the "knickspant" in the description translates to "chine".

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