Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 06-26-2008, 11:41 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manchester, PA
Posts: 2,476
Tell me about Kayaking and fat chicks

I have a date on Saturday afternoon with a new guy I met. (Thank you to the plentyoffish dopers.) We're to go kayaking. It's something I've always wanted to try, but with my weight being what it is, I'm a bit concerned. Is there a weight limit for kayaks? Anything special I should know before I get out on a lake in a kayak?
#2
Old 06-26-2008, 12:03 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Obama Fe, NM
Posts: 7,292
I can tell you a whole lot more about fat chicks than I can tell you about kayaks, but from a cursory Google search:

From this page: http://downtownboathouse.org/faq.html

Q. What is the weight limit?
A.There is no weight limit, we have successfully accommodated people of 400 Lbs.

And from this one:


Otter (9' 6") (sit in) - (225lb. weight limit)
One person Kayak

Loon (13' 8") (sit in) - (300 lb. weight limit)
One person Kayak

Tandem (13' 8") (sit in) - (400 lb. weight limit)

Hula (8' 7") (single) - (225 lb. weight limit)
One person Kayak

Moku (11' 7") (single)(310 lb. weight limit)
One person Kayak

Festiva (12' 7") (Tandem)-(450 lb. weight limit) Rates are Per Person
#3
Old 06-26-2008, 12:07 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: The Middle of Nowhere, WI
Posts: 10,702
Last summer we were hanging out at a friend's place on a lake, and there were kayaks to borrow. I'm under all the weight limits that Santo listed, but I've got a lot of junk in the trunk. I found one of the kayaks a lot easier to get my butt into than the other, and the one that was tight was uncomfortable to sit in. SO the size of the opening is something else to consider.

(The kayaking was fun! Mr. S and I would definitely like to get a couple of kayaks someday.)
#4
Old 06-26-2008, 12:11 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: I don't......know.
Posts: 2,807
My 9.5' Perception single person kayak has a limit of 350 lbs.

One thing to keep in mind, is to slightly bend your legs so that your knees are touching either side of the kayak. This distributes your weight a little more evenly and helps you keep balance. (I don't know if this is standard protocol but it works for me especially when I'm on the river which is fairly turbulent)

Wear a life vest and have fun!
#5
Old 06-26-2008, 12:12 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 57,466
Santo Rugger mentions 'sit in'. Basically, you have 'sit inside' kayaks and 'sit on top' kayaks. Sit-insides are what most people think of when they think of a kayak -- there's a hole, and you sit inside. A sit-on-top is open. From what I've seen sit-on-tops are very popular rentals, especially the Ocean Kayak 'Scrambler' or 'Frenzy'. Sit-on-tops have scupper holes and are self draining. But that means you might be sitting in a puddle of water.

My kayak is an Ocean Kayak 'Drifter' (a sit-on-top). This is like twelve and a half feet long and very wide. (First one, so I wanted something stable.) For such a big boat it's very easy to paddle and quite fast.

Don't worry too much about wearing yourself out. Kayaks move very easily in the water. Once you get into the rhythm you can go for hours. And there's no rule that says you can't drift, have lunch, dive off for a swim (if you're on a sit-on-top).
#6
Old 06-26-2008, 01:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 16,534
I don't have much to add, but if this is your first time in a kayak and you have a choice, the sit-on-top type described by Johnny L.A. is definitely easier to get in and out of and feels (and is) more stable than a traditional kayak. (The downside--and the reason I don't like them--is that you sit higher and basically have no ability to lean, but that also makes them much easier for beginners to use.) It is also somewhat safer; should you roll over (unlikely on a lake, unless someone strafes past you with a ski boat) you're not going to have to extract yourself from the cockpit; you'll just fall off and bob in the water. (You're going to be wearing a PFD, right? Make sure it is adjusted to be very snug, so you can't slip out of it in the water.)

As far as effort, it's basically an issue of being as much work as you care to make it. Here is a summary with short videos of strokes and braces, but for casual kayaking in protected waters (i.e. not out in surf, >4' waves, or strong current) you only need the first five, if that. The basic trick of forward and reverse strokes is to keep your hand spacing even and correct (if you hold the paddle up above your head, making the top of a "T", your forearms should be vertical), and that you are using your torso to paddle rather than your arms; that is, your arms should remain slightly bent in front of you and you shouldn't be pulling in with the arms; you should just dip one arm down and the other up and turn at the torso to get the stroke, and then bring high arm down and the low arm up and reverse your torso twist. The center of the paddle should be more or less in line with your torso midline during the whole movement. It sounds harder than it really is, but it does take a bit of attention to develop the psychomotor skill to do this automatically, but if you do this your arms shouldn't get (too) tired.

A few other notes: since you haven't had training and practice, you shouldn't be using a sea skirt or going in conditions where a sea skirt is necessary. (A sea skirt seals a cockpit boat against waves, or water intrusion when doing surf entries or intentional rolls; they're not used on a sit-on-top boat at all.) Don't bother feathering the paddle (i.e. adjusting the blades so they're not parallel); this is only done in performance kayaking and is of questionable value even there. If you're not comfortable in the water, or with the idea of trying to heave yourself back up on the kayak, stay close enough to shore that you can get to water shallow enough to stand in. (A kayak will only draft about 3-6" depending on design, so you can get very, very shallow.) Wear sandals or shoes that drain easily--you're probably going to get your feet wet when launching even if you don't tilt--and clothes that protect you from the Sun, preferably synthetics that don't absorb water. A hat or cap is a good idea, as is a fleece outer layer just in case the wind picks up; even on a warm day you can get surprisingly cold in a strong breeze, because there is nothing to break up the wind. I'd also stop by a sporting goods store like REI and pick up a storm whistle (very loud plastic whistle) and a small dryback (vinyl or sealed ripstop bag with a watertight rolling seal) for anything you want to keep dry). Make sure all hatches (in a sit-inside kayak) are properly sealed or float bags are in place for positive flotation (yet another reason to go with a sit-on-top if possible). If there is a rudder, leave it in the flipped-up direction; you won't need it for what you're doing, and it's just something to get snagged or break.

You don't say how long you plan to be out, so the above might be a bit of overkill; if it's just tooling about for half an hour, you can show up in shorts and a t-shirt and be fine, I guess; I just tend toward being overprepared.

As far as the weight issue, except for high performance kayaks it shouldn't be a limit; most kayaks will accept >250lbs. The bigger problem with sit-inside kayaks as Scarlett67 is actually fitting inside them; the fit can be tight (in fact, it should be as tight as reasonably possible), and you then have to be able to reach in and adjust the foot braces. This generally isn't a problem with sit-on-tops.

Have fun, and good luck.

Stranger
#7
Old 06-26-2008, 04:17 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: In a hole
Posts: 3,436
Uh, Stranger... "not much to add?"
#8
Old 06-26-2008, 04:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 3,563
Why do I have the feeling we'll never hear from phall again?

D&R....
#9
Old 06-26-2008, 04:47 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 57,466
Criminy! That took forever to read! My coworker kept talking to me, and I had to send off a file.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
The basic trick of forward and reverse strokes is to keep your hand spacing even and correct (if you hold the paddle up above your head, making the top of a "T", your forearms should be vertical), and that you are using your torso to paddle rather than your arms; that is, your arms should remain slightly bent in front of you and you shouldn't be pulling in with the arms; you should just dip one arm down and the other up and turn at the torso to get the stroke, and then bring high arm down and the low arm up and reverse your torso twist. The center of the paddle should be more or less in line with your torso midline during the whole movement. It sounds harder than it really is, but it does take a bit of attention to develop the psychomotor skill to do this automatically, but if you do this your arms shouldn't get (too) tired.

<snip>

Don't bother feathering the paddle (i.e. adjusting the blades so they're not parallel); this is only done in performance kayaking and is of questionable value even there.
Excellent description of how to paddle!

I'll disagree about feathering the blades though. When I started baddling about five years ago I started with feathered blades. It just seemed natural at the time.
#10
Old 06-26-2008, 05:30 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 16,534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerowyn
Uh, Stranger... "not much to add?"
Well, it started out that way. But then, doesn't it always?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
Excellent description of how to paddle!

I'll disagree about feathering the blades though. When I started baddling about five years ago I started with feathered blades. It just seemed natural at the time.
I started out feathering the blades, too, and adjusting my grip to accommodate. Later, I realized that it was forcing me to rotate my wrists. When I went to a completely unfeathered paddle (and a corrected stroke) I found that it worked just fine that way. Most paddlers who do use feathered blades then to have a wide variety of rationales for that paddle configuration; that it takes less movement, or you get less wind resistance, or they do it for some kind of advantage in sculling draws or bracing, or something. It all seems pretty specious to me, and I've never noticed any of them showing a real advantage. I'm not dogmatically against feathering the paddle--as long as it isn't hurting you, go with what works--but I just don't find it to be necessary. Greenland style paddles--preferred by a lot of experienced blue water paddlers--are almost never feathered, or when they are, the feathering angle is slight, 15°-20°. Anyway, this is probably not an issue for the o.p.; if the paddle is adjustable, she can play with it if she likes, but it's just as easy to leave it unfeathered and learn forward and rear strokes that way.

Stranger
#11
Old 06-26-2008, 05:47 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,833
Hi, my company sells kayaks.

Just confirming what others have said:

*Sit-on-tops are easier to get in and out of, and safer if you fall off as you can't get stuck in the cockpit. The only drawback is the extra few inches you have to dip the paddle, since you're higher off the water. If they're an option, ask for thigh straps as they'll help stabilise your centre of gravity on a sit on top. Thigh straps hook on along the side of the deck and give your legs something to lean against.

*Always wear a PFD.

*Weight will not be an issue.

With a lake, tides and currents won't be a problem, good choice for a first timer. Try to keep out of the wind, as it can push the kayak (espcially a sit on top) about a bit.

Have a great date!
#12
Old 06-26-2008, 08:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 6,728
I'm a fat chick, and I've been kayaking once before, at one of the Channel Islands. Everything they've said is completely true. I'll only add a couple of notes:

- wear a hat and the damn sunscreen.

- bring ibuprofen. (Yes, your muscles will get a bit sore.)
__________________
I am kanga! Fear me. Or not.

See also: Harvey, PhoukaPants, Pooh, and Rhoo.
#13
Old 06-27-2008, 01:13 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 40
I don't know from kayaking, but I've been on athletic-type first dates and, as a formerly fat chick, I'm somewhat athletic but nothing like some of these men. Make sure you're comfortable asking him to slow down or take a break if you need it! There's nothing like injuring yourself b/c you're too proud or self-conscious to request a time-out.
#14
Old 06-27-2008, 02:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: state of confusion
Posts: 3,652
I did some river kayaking in an inflatable kayak as a fat chick awfully close to one of those upper weight limits, and had the greatest time--plus half the super-fit athletes were afraid to to try so I got the kayak to myself a bunch while those weenies stayed in the raft.

I successfully navigated a couple baby-rapids that seemed enormous and I felt like a champ when I finally climbed out. It was one of the first really cool athletic-type things I'd ever gotten to try, in a small way changed my life.

Have fun!
#15
Old 06-27-2008, 08:35 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manchester, PA
Posts: 2,476
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
I don't have much to add,
<snip>
Have fun, and good luck.

Stranger
Jeez, louise. I was hoping not to tip the thing over and dump myself in the lake...

Feathering? Great, now I'll get in the kayak, forget everything I've read, but remember something about feathering and be looking for birds.

I did have a phone call last night from the gentleman (he's calling me nightly now ) and he stated that he wasn't aware of a weight limit on his kayaks (but wisely didn't ask what my weight was), and confirmed that he had a PFD for me. Now...if I can only get the PFD to fit over my boobs, and my ass to fit into the kayak, this should work.

And, no, there will not be pics to follow.

Last edited by phall0106; 06-27-2008 at 08:35 AM.
#16
Old 06-27-2008, 08:41 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Beyond Thunderdome
Posts: 2,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by phall0106
Tell me about Kayaking and fat chicks
They are both fun to ride and you shouldn't care what your friends say about either one?
#17
Old 06-28-2008, 05:46 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Liberal South
Posts: 14,266
bump
#18
Old 06-28-2008, 06:41 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Delectable City of Gotham
Posts: 4,893
I'm sure you'll be fine.

The one thing I'll add is that kayak paddling is all about rotating your torso, not moving your arms. You should try as much as possible to use a full body twist to paddle, not just flail your arms.

Trust me, your arms will thank me tomorrow.
#19
Old 06-28-2008, 09:36 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,185
A somewhat related question--are there any hints you can give to "the overly endowed" on finding comfortable PFDs? I'll even settle for uncomfortable as long as I can actually get it on.
#20
Old 06-28-2008, 10:08 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by as_u_wish
A somewhat related question--are there any hints you can give to "the overly endowed" on finding comfortable PFDs? I'll even settle for uncomfortable as long as I can actually get it on.
Keep tryin' 'em on until you find one. I know, it's almost worse than buying jeans.

There are women specific PFDs; I'm really partial to this one, but it's pretty expensive. I can't say if it'll fit you, but it fits me better than anything else I've tried (40I bra size). It's got lots of places to adjust it for a pretty custom fit. If you're a strong swimmer and/or have a lot of natural buoyancy, look for a "low profile" cut, it'll take some bulk off the top (but they also tend to be in the less buoyant range).

This one looks great, and the reviews mention "cups", but I haven't tried it on.

Last edited by WhyNot; 06-28-2008 at 10:09 AM.
#21
Old 06-28-2008, 10:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,185
Thanks WhyNot. (44HH here...I shudder.) Your second link looks great--I'm close to but not at the upper limit of their sizes. Next week I'll check out their order and return policies so I can do a try on.
#22
Old 06-28-2008, 11:11 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Great White North
Posts: 19,886
Have fun, and don’t worry about your size.

The better one’s overall physical fitness, the better one’s performance in kayaking, but at the entry level, as long as you have fun, it does not matter whether you are beating a four minute mile, or hucking waterfalls, or mysterying in the depths.

Lack of aerobic capacity and lack of muscle strength will limit how far and how fast you can paddle. Listen what Billdo has to say about using trunk rotation to power your boat, rather than using your arms. When the blade is in the water, rotate at the hips, waist and trunk to pull your body up to the blade while keeping your arms relatively straight. Imagine that you are scything wheat. If you are pulling with your arms (if you are bending at the elbow when the blade is in the water, then you are pulling with your arm), you will wear out your arms. The simple solution is to paddle at your own speed. Don’t try to keep up – if your paddling companion is a safe paddler, he will escort you at your speed, rather than play macho.

A large tummy will limit your ability to rotate at the waist, which in turn will reduce the effectiveness of your forward stroke. It will also be more difficult to roll up, for the easiest rolls (extended and screw) start with you tucking forward onto the front deck. Neither of these are considerations for novice paddlers, and in fact most paddlers never develop a good forward stroke and never learn to roll, but still enjoy many years of happy paddling.

Boats are made for a wide variety of body sizes, so finding an appropriate one for you should not be a problem. If your companion does not have one, just rent one from an outfitter. The same can be said for personal flotation devices (PFDs).

Always wear your PFD while in the boat, and keep it done up. Wearing one that is not done up will just make things worse if you swim. Same goes for a helmet if you are paddling in moving water or surf (and don’t go in either your first few times in a kayak).

Wear sun screen and bring sunglasses and a sun hat – water reflects light.

Bring a variety of clothing, so that you can keep warm even when wet.

As far as getting stuck in the boat goes, don’t worry about it. If you go over, (1) relax, (2) pull the rip cord if you are wearing a skirt (3) wiggle your bum out, (4) either slide backwards until your legs are out or somersault forward until your legs are out, and (5) come up for air. Folks only run into difficulty when they come up for air too soon, for that makes it a little more awkward to get out of the boat.

To avoid dumping, keep your weight centered in the boat – try not to grab the sides of the boat. Use the flat of your paddle to help balance you – spread the flat of it back and forth across the surface, the way you would spread peanut butter on toast, or in a pinch, smack the flat of it down on the water the way a beaver slaps its tail. Think of the boat and your paddle making a three legged stool, with the front of the boat one leg, the back of the boat the second leg, and the flat blade of your paddle pressing on the water the third leg – as long as you have three legs you won’t tip over. Try to be relaxed, and separate your upper body from your lower body. If you are tense, when the boat rocks your upper body will rock, and possibly lever over the boat. If you keep loose, and separate your upper from lower body, when the boat rocks, your upper body will still stay centered, and you will not lever yourself over into the drink. If you are feeling tense and worried about tipping, just think of yourself as a mermaid already swimming, with the boat being an extension of your body, rather than legs. Mermaids like swimming – there is nothing to be nervous about.

Stay on shore unless the water is calm, until you are more experienced. Practiced portaging make for perfect paddling. I assume that your companion is the sort that will keep you from getting into any trouble. Just in case he is not, I strongly recommend that until you start feeling comfortable in a kayak, you should stay very close to shore (particularly if the water is cold -- hypothermia kills swimmers), and not paddle in moving water or in surf. If you do end up in a current, keep well clear of any rocks, logs, or other obstructions until you can take off the river. If you are going sideways, lean downstream to avoid flipping. If you are about to pin sideways on something, throw your self onto it so that your head will be above water until someone un-pins you. If you are being swept out by the surf by a rip-tide or a river current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, and only then start swimming back to the shore. At all times have a plan for what to do if things go wrong.

Finally, as pointed out in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, be sure to bring a towel and a sense of humor. Bring a really big towel, for paddlers strip down to change into dry clothes at the end of a day’s paddle. Bring a sense of humor, for a stripped down paddler at the end of the day resembles a white shivering prune.

Get wet. Have fun. When come back bring tales of delight and adventure.


Muffin
(wild water and sprint racing instructor)
#23
Old 06-28-2008, 12:51 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Great White North
Posts: 19,886
For wild water and surf kayaking, the low-cut PFDs that WhyNot has pointed out are your best bet. If the PFD sits much below your rib cage, the kayak's cockpit may get in the way. If the side panels are more than a couple of inches high, you may chafe. If the shoulder straps are more than about an iinch and a half wide, you may chafe. In other words, try on the lowest profile ones you can find, preferably spend some time paddling in them, or at least include lots of movement while sitting down while your try them. Don’t purchase one until you are very happy with the fit.

Once you are certain that you will not chafe, the next thing to be certain of is that the PFD should be snug against your breasts. If it firmly holds them down against your chest, you will be more comfortable as the day goes on. (Some folks may be wondering, "But Muffin is a guy!" Very true, but my 22 person dragon boat crewmates and my 6 person outrigger crewmates are all women, and all but three of them are breast cancer survivors. They have a wide range of body and breast sizes and types, and have gone to great lengths to find the best possible fitting PFDs.)

Another thing to look for in wild water and surf PFDs are shoulder straps that are made of webbing, so that when you are being fished out, the shoulder strap will not break.

If you are not venturing into wild water or surf kayaking, you should consider wearing an inflatable PFD (but check your state’s regulations). They come as belts, or as shoulder harnesses. No more bulkiness, chafing, or overheating problems. The belt ones are about the size of a large wallet. The shoulder harness ones are about the size of a small wrapped up towel draped over your shoulders.

The benefit of the shoulder harness model is that you don’t have to do anything once it is inflated, whereas with the belt model, you have to pull it over your head once it is inflated. The benefit of the belt model is that it is by far the least intrusive PFD, which can be a godsend if you have sensitive or just plain hard to fit breasts, for prior to inflation it is not in contact with your upper torso.

Inflatables come as either automatic inflating (by hydrostatic pressure – they inflate when you are in the drink, but do not inflate if you are splashed), or by you pulling the rip cord. If the system fails, you can inflate them on your own like blowing up a balloon. Note: there are also automatic inflating PFDs that are triggered by salt pills rather than hydrostatic pressure. These are not appropriate for kayaking, for kayaking can be such a wet sport that they may go off prematurely.

These inflatables will float you face-up, so that even if you lose consciousness (which can happen if you are in cold water for any significant period of time), you will still be able to breathe. The vest-type PFDs will not do this. They will keep you floating with a better probability of floating face up rather than face down, but with nowhere near the probability as the inflatables. That, by the way, is why PFD are called PFDs and not life jackets, for life jackets keep you floating face up.

Where inflatables are not appropriate is in wild water and surf kayaking, for they do not offer any impact protection, they may (depending on the model) require you to do something like inflate them or pull them over your head, and they tremendously impinge your ability to swim. Ever wonder why you never see a person on a surf-board wearing a lifejacket or a PFD? Surfers need to be able to swim and dive, but lifejackets and to a lesser degree PFDs make swimming more difficult and diving just about impossible.

A belt type manual inflatable: http://mustangsurvival.com/produ...uct.php?id=197

A shoulder harness type automatic hydrostatic inflatable: http://mustangsurvival.com/produ...uct.php?id=506
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:19 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: dxm vs codeine locked liquor cabinet trim eyelashes raclette cheese taste wool puttees fantasy spiders porno theaters vehicle description pooping movies roller coaster controls inspector hathaway jackfruit canned wedding prank ideas southern genteel cesare borgia pronunciation flies in backyard herbal vicodin yahoo news comics u2 message boards idle pc games males using tampons im 5'7 torpedo missile sas shoes discount smell almonds biggest atom chicago and damen prison anal the twelve commandments funny papers knot under bruise rubber baseboard home depot does pepper spray work on pit bulls it is safe to use your bright headlights if there is a car ahead of you within 300 feet. convert gas fireplace back to wood penalty for filing taxes one day late how to pronounce general tso's chicken what does a barbed wire tattoo mean bar leaks radiator stop leak instructions mustang old vs new left turn yield on green rules words that start with rr in spanish ohio pick 3 rules ofeibea quist-arcton saying dakar how to use on calculator are there mosquitoes in england dehumidifier vs air conditioner blood pressure during stroke chemical smell in nose after exercise sitting on your thumb how to use a pba card what causes hot spots on legs how to ruin a car engine fast women who love dp do american cell phones work in canada purpose of parking lights ace hardware keys made small-caps css what is the background music called parking in front of a mailbox legal term for lying about someone one ton tomato mexican song auto computer memory saver native american indian smoking peace pipe how to store diced onions it grows on you stephen king