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MR340 Surfski  race questions? (Read 9725 times)
01/03/12 at 11:29:29

moduks   Offline
MR340 Veteran
SEMO

Posts: 74
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Looking at paddling a surfski this year? There's not much room for storage other than bungees across the top!

where to you store your supplies?
How do you handle hydration?
What do you carry on the river and do you have more support at checkpoints?
How do you race diffently than canoes or Sea kayaks?

Thanks!
 
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Reply #1 - 01/03/12 at 12:24:27

Dark Horse Paddler   Offline
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Lee's Summit Missouri

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What boat are you thinking about taking?

I raced in a Think Evo 2 years ago, and last year in an OC2.  I have also raced in an Epic 18 my first year, a texas unlimited solo in 2008, and an ICF C-2 in 2009.

For Hydration, you can either:  put a bladder in the hatch, wear a camelback, or cut the hatch so that it is large enough for a gallon jug, and then run a tube w/ bit valve to into the jug.

For food, I had a mesh pocket sewn onto the chest of my shirt, and I stored my finger foods in there.  then I had a gallon ziploc with other goodies in my lap that I swapped out at checkpoints.

I wore a belt PFD.

I carried the mandatory things on the list (phone, space blanket, etc.) in a small hatch in a dry bag.
The only other things I carried was what I needed to get to the next checkpoint (food and liquid).
I also had a small continer for meds such as sunscreen, carmex, ibueprofin, tylonel.
 

-Joe Mann, Dark Horse Paddler
www.MidwestPaddleRacing.com
Your #1 Site for Canoe and Kayak Racing In the Midwest!!
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Reply #2 - 01/03/12 at 16:29:22

Joewildlife   Offline
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Jackson MO

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Hey,
A perfect shakedown run for you would be Chester to Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi.  Pack everything like Joe says.  If you have enough supplies, can recover and continue after a capsize, and can deal with the wind and barge wakes of that stretch of that river, then the MO340 should be entirely do-able for you.  Time spent between those spots would be about as long as between the longer checkpoint distances of the 340.

Joe
 

And I ain't too old to hurry
Cause I ain't too old to die
But I sure am hard to beat
Ride on
AC/DC, Ride On
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Reply #3 - 01/03/12 at 17:19:57

climbguru   Offline
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Just buy a brand new huki or epic and cut the top off the front or back!!!

It seems to me that skis will dominate the 340 until some manufacturer makes one better suited for the 340.

Back to my original statement. Of course you cant just cut the top off and go. You will have to add reinforcement to the "gunwales" and install tharts. If you only did a small section big enough for a couple jugs and a small dry bag you would have the ultimate 340 boat. hatches are a pain in the arse, bladders can be inferior in the summer and keeping stuff on your lap can really suck if its important and you dump over unexpectantly. I wonder how i figured that one out? For me the perfect 340 hull does not exisist but im currently working on it! My prototype should hit the water by the end of the week. Its a perfect mix bt a texas long, sea kayak, and a ski. Best of both worlds; industructible, light, fast, stable, comfortable (the boys arent squeezed together the entire 340 miles, ie the foot bar is more than 8'' wide, and seat is not on the bottom of the boat), lots of easy access for gear storage, and most importantly is looks cool. I working two major designs as of now one with a little rocker and one with zero. When i get on the water i will post pics.

Going in a standard ski is my recommendation for any first time 340 goer. Its my opinion is that skis are the safest boats to be in period. All of Joe"s suggestions are spot on. One thing to remember, after you have been one the water for days its harder access many of the areas on your boat. After 24hrs i dont want to get anything in front of the pedals. It takes to much energy and its a risk of dumping. one thing works really good one some ski( worked great on my S2X) is to build a cockpit type deal that clips, snaps, or velcros over your lap and/or legs. I mounted my phone, gps, simple foods, and a few other things onto this foam block and had instant access to all of it. Worked perfect.

One great thing about skis is that they dont allow you to bring a bunch of junk that you dont need.

Hope this helps.




Green






 

"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly ... it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."  -- Thomas Paine.
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Reply #4 - 01/03/12 at 20:23:07

moduks   Offline
MR340 Veteran
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Posts: 74
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Thanks for the info! I'm looking at the Epic,huki, think.... Dont see much storage other than bungeeing a bag on back. Any other ideas or experiences?
 
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Reply #5 - 01/03/12 at 22:22:18

SkiBumJoe   Offline
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Ballwin, MO

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I paddle a Huki S1-X. I had Jude install 6" screw-on hatches behind the seat, under the knees and front of the pedals. I replaced the rear hatch with an 8" pry-off type and in the process of replacing the remaining 2 with 6" pry-offs. Plenty of storage space for all kinds of gear, especially when going unsupported. I have bungees over the hatch covers and along the rear deck area. I can strap a camelback water bladder on the bungees under the knees and behind the seat or setup a hydration tube from the hatch in front of the bucket seat.

I use a Mocke PFD which has a large mesh pouch in the rear for a Camelback water bladder and a medium size mesh pocket in the front for a waterproof bag for my cell phone, ID, .... 

I usually keep a 2 liter drybag full of snacks at my feet or on my lap for easy access. Like everything on the boat, this drybag is attached to a line in case of an unexpected swim.

I had my mother-in-law help fabricate a canopy to cover the foot-well, made of rip-stop nylon with aluminum strips to hold its shape. The canopy is attached by velcro along the outer edge of the foot-well.  I have a mesh bag velcroed to the canopy for more snacks and for trash. My GPS is tethered to the canopy.

So there are plenty of possibilities to rig a surfski to accommodate your gear.
 
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Reply #6 - 01/04/12 at 09:53:00

WAIMANU   Offline
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Following is the blog of a bloke who is preparing for the W/T Eveglades Challenge and a similar thread to this one on the W/T 'site that may be of interest:

http://watertribe.org/forums/topic/surf-ski-expedition-racing
http://watertribe.org/maddog/

Read the blog postings: "Crazy but not stupid" and "This is your surf ski on steriods".

Bill / Waimanu
 
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Reply #7 - 01/04/12 at 10:11:11

Ladsurfski   Offline
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If you have a good support crew you don't need to pack much on a surfski...deck bag and extra paddle both fit on back deck, gu's and power gel fit in PFD pockets, hydration in front of foot pedals...switch out every checkpoint.

If you are going unsupported then you would need to modify your ski. Huki installs hatches on their new ski's as per customers request, Epic Kayaks and others manufacturers do not. Aftermarket hatches can be added fairly easy. Here is a link provided from Ryan Slebos who installs these hatches and does "boat collission repair"

http://www.murrays.com/archive/42.pdf

As for me, I hate cutting into boats, so this is my setup...

(Give me a shout if you want to demo some Epic surfskis...I have V12, V10, V10 Sport and V8 for demo)
 
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Reply #8 - 01/04/12 at 12:47:19

Dark Horse Paddler   Offline
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Lee's Summit Missouri

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climbguru wrote on 01/03/12 at 17:19:57:
Back to my original statement. Of course you cant just cut the top off and go. You will have to add reinforcement to the "gunwales" and install tharts. If you only did a small section big enough for a couple jugs and a small dry bag you would have the ultimate 340 boat.



Thats basically been done.  It's called a Spencer Eagle - the fastest unlimited boat ever.  And it's for rent for this year's MR340.

http://rivermiles.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1298300395
 

-Joe Mann, Dark Horse Paddler
www.MidwestPaddleRacing.com
Your #1 Site for Canoe and Kayak Racing In the Midwest!!
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Reply #9 - 01/04/12 at 13:05:48

climbguru   Offline
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yep thats it! thats basically what i have built in my basement. except i used drinking straws, shoe laces and Elmers glue.

hopefully my new design will be comparable to Jacks Eagle.

Green
 

"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly ... it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."  -- Thomas Paine.
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Reply #10 - 01/07/12 at 09:27:38

chuck and di   Offline
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I am a kayakker and do all right in them. My T-boltx has the same hull dimensions as many surfskis, which is pretty much what it's all about- Length/width/ with a few design factors thrown in. Di and I are reluctant to buy a surf ski for just one race. We use our kayaks for multiday trips- Lake Powell, Rio Grande, current river, etc. to store camping gear, so they have multiple functions in our world.
Our tandem is a kayak (adventure duet) and I rate it the perfect 340 boat. I think speedwise it is equal to or faster than a huki with gull wings (I have been told that by owners). Gear storage is not an issue- and we use the epic breakdown paddles with the rifle holster to store kayak paddles when single blading, on the deck rigging.
Before QCC sold out I finally harrangued steve(?) the owner to sell me a carbon hull. Filled with styrofoam (removeable) with even a velcroed section than removes and forms a back rest if I want to lounge. Storage is not an issue. It is as fast as a QCC, maybe faster due to reduced weight (F=MA).
It is hard for me to overcome the prejudiced/concern of the low gunwales- they just look like they would splash over- but I notice when I'm in my standard Qcc water never splashes above it.
There are kayaks made with 14" waterlines that would be totally useless to me as I don't sprint race.

So no matter what the current fad is, it all boils down to what you see when the boat is upside down- ie specs, and your needs.

Winning the 340 is cool. If that is a possibility- then get the fastest, slickest boat you can survive in. Otherwise 2nd down to last to finish is quickly forgotten, and your lifestyle may be more important.
 

If you find yourself suddenly smack dab in the middle of hell, stopping is not an option.
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