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Women have better shapes for Kayak Stability.Larger Butts & smaller Torsos are the reason.Their center of gravity is lower to the waterline.Weight lifter type bodys are the most unstable in Kayaks because their weight is in the upper body making it more difficult to balance themselves.Taller people with more body above the water also are at a disadvantage in kayak stability.A short heavy person is also at an advantage.My next door neighbor gave me these tips.He's a Kayak Instructor on The Gunpowder River.He'll be giving private or small group lessons next season from his home on the Gunpowder Delta.
 

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Thats about the most bogus info anybody could possibly feed you.
Handling a kayak is definately about body control, physical conditioning, and correct paddling technique. Being able to read the water to anticipate body movements are also on top of the list.

If you are stiff and out of shape, and have a poor sense of balance ......it will not matter what body shape you have.

I'm a first year Yakker, and I'm 6'2" 205 lbs. I have done pretty much everything with my Tarpon 160i except surf. I get bored fishing and play in the shoals just for the fun......or even paddle to the first island on days when i really should not have.

I see some guys with big broad shoulders handle thier yak like they born doing it.
 

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[Q]JLannon originally wrote:
Thats about the most bogus info anybody could possibly feed you.
Handling a kayak is definately about body control, physical conditioning, and correct paddling technique. Being able to read the water to anticipate body movements are also on top of the list.

If you are stiff and out of shape, and have a poor sense of balance ......it will not matter what body shape you have.

I'm a first year Yakker, and I'm 6'2" 205 lbs. I have done pretty much everything with my Tarpon 160i except surf. I get bored fishing and play in the shoals just for the fun......or even paddle to the first island on days when i really should not have.

I see some guys with big broad shoulders handle thier yak like they born doing it.
[/Q]

I also am a first year kayaker and from what I've seen (at least with SOTs, I agree with you. Four of us took a handling and safety class a while back and we had to "dump" opurselves out of the yak into deep water and recover as part of the class. One of the guys is about 6 foot 210 pounds. He STOOD UP in a Tarpon 140 and then decided to go in the water. Talk about raising the center of gravity!! [excited][excited]

The instructor never said a word about pear shaped people versus triangular shaped people.............. But he did say talk about body control, paddling technique, etc.

One thing after having taken that class is that I have come to believe that if anyone goes a kayaking without taking a class, they are at the least inefficient in the use of their yak and at best (especially for SITs) they are taking a big chance without having gone thru survival and rescue training as they coiuld wind up in the water and not be able to get back in!! [sad][sad] Which in certain conditions may be fatal. [sad][sad]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He doesn't use SOT's .I believe that explains it.
 

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I think the big missing piece is that he is a whitewater yaker. All that stuff makes perfect sense in class 3-5 rapids.

I dont think it really applies to sea kayakers as much as level of experience, fitness, proper match w/yak, yada yada.

so everyone is right.[grin]

Note: it may just be that since a short apple shaped person has a lower center of gravity, they are a little less tippable (in a vacuum), but those are generalized observations. A taller person should have a longer stroke. It would be like comparing the size of skiers, and saying one has an advantage. If you were just looking at whitewater course competition, sure, shorter may be better, but sea-kayaking is differant.
 

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Nick

Potential for a world class Yak racer perhaps. But for Sea Yaks and fishing SOT's I would not trade body type for common sense and good seamanship.

I took a rolling class from a good white water guy once. He was real good at that but when we talked about some simple open water things he did not have a clue.

Boats
 

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SOT or SIK, the principles are the same, but Capt Nick is talking stability while JLannon and Sandtiger are talking control. Control is not a function of stability but a reaction to it.
Imagine an axis thru the kayak at the point it pivots side to side. The greater the distance from that axis ( high CG) or the greater the force (weight) the easier it is to capsize.
To compensate for this tendency to capsize one would shift their weight and/or lean to keep the CG directly over the axis (body control). I still haven't figured out what conditioning and paddling techique have to do with stability.
 

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Phil........I agree. But the theory that was passed to CaptNick would only pertain to a single type boat being used by a hundred different body types. If you had a pear shaped person sit (static) in some very rough water..........sure they might not tip as quickly as a tall person or a person with big broad upper body.

There are too many variables to consider when we talk about kayaks and kayaking. The kayak's ride height, initial stability, secondary stability, and a persons coordination all have to factor in.

Paddling technique is VERY important to stability. I won't let my son leave the Lynnhaven inlet because when he paddles......he looks like Donald Duck the way the kayaks leans badly from side to side when he strokes.

Technically speaking, I agree to the theory that was passed to CaptNick. Real world conditions render the theory to (nice trivia).
 

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JL
The principles of leverage rule out calling it trivial theory or bogus info. It's another factor to consider.
Consider a fishing situation ( no paddling involved). An unseen swell comes in on your aft quarter. The hull tips and you shift your weight in response. Now put my 6' 275# self in the same situation with the same response time. In the brief period it takes to respond, I'll have more weight (leverage) off balance than you will. Increase the swell height and/or speed and eventually you reach the point where you can still recover and I'm swimming. Factor in slower response time or less co-ordination and it starts taking on more importance to some individuals.
To make a blanket statement that body type is bogus or trivial is misleading, in my opinion anyway.
I can't really comment on your son's paddling but it sound like the yak is to big, put him in something his size and show him some technique and he'll probably wear you out trying to catch him.
 

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Bottom line is fat, stupid, lazy, out of shape, land lubbin', goofy, clumsy, or otherwise 'disadvantaged' people are going to have a harder time kayaking! If you are any of the above, quit your *****in' or get off the water! I've got a gut but consider myself to be in decent shape. If you are out of shape, start exercising. Can't swim? Take a class.

There is no substitute for sharp wit, experience, and strength/stamina.

Tom
 

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[Q]Capt.Nick originally wrote:
Women have better shapes for Kayak Stability.Larger Butts & smaller Torsos are the reason.Their center of gravity is lower to the waterline.Weight lifter type bodys are the most unstable in Kayaks because their weight is in the upper body making it more difficult to balance themselves.Taller people with more body above the water also are at a disadvantage in kayak stability.A short heavy person is also at an advantage.My next door neighbor gave me these tips.He's a Kayak Instructor on The Gunpowder River.He'll be giving private or small group lessons next season from his home on the Gunpowder Delta.
[/Q]

Capt Nick;

It appears I spoke too soon in agreeing with a post above and owe you an apology. After reading some of the answers after mine I e-mailed our instructor and quoted you. Here's what our instructor (Certified ACA) said in reply;

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Definately! The info you forwarded is the reason women usually are easier to teach rolling, their center of gravity is usually lower, with less mass in the shoulder area. In a class full of men I usually don't bring it up! Women usually like knowing (worded tactfully) that they typically have a stability "edge" in kayaking.

********************************************************************

Next time I'll check then speak - I hope! [wink] And ours was a class full of men. [tongue]
 
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