Feeling of falling back in V8

3 years 4 months ago - 3 years 4 months ago #32563 by BumpHound
Hi surfskiers,

I am new to surfski and have an Epic V8. I am 6'2 170 lbs and I am digging the boat and paddling. I love the speed over OC1 and SUP! The boat feels stable and manageable enough.

But...I am feel like i am fighting to keep my upper body from falling back. It is almost like the boat is doing a very subtle wheelie and I am fighting (think sit-ups) to keep my shoulders over my ass. I have adjusted my foot brace in small increments from very little knee bend to two fists under my knees (I settled in the middle for the moment) and have added a 1 cm pad under my bum to see if that would help. Still struggling with this.

Any thoughts?

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3 years 4 months ago #32565 by leolinha
I paddle a V8 since 2014 and I never experienced this. On the contrary, I have to fight my natural tendency to leaning forward too much... So I guess this is a personal thing, nothing to do with the boat.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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3 years 4 months ago #32566 by zachhandler
The surfski body position takes a lot more hamstring flexibility than sup or OC. It also requires more strenght in the hip flexors to hold that position. It takes some time for your body to adapt. I live where water is frozen half the year. Every spring it takes me about a month in the ski before I can get my body position forward and over the stroke where it needs to be. In that first month I struggle with that tipped back feeling. Canoing by comparison i can do right after ice out with no difficulty.

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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3 years 4 months ago #32567 by zachhandler
If your balance is up to it add one or two more seat pads and see what that is like.

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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3 years 4 months ago #32568 by LakeMan
I find keeping my foot straps snug keeps me sitting up straight. If they are loose I'll slouch back. I try to wear the ski, not sit in it.
I tend to lean back even in an office chair so I wear a nada chair a lot at work. Now if I could only find a job where I could lay down life would be perfect (no jokes please).

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

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3 years 4 months ago #32570 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Felling of falling back in V8
When you are paddling properly, ie, with a bit of effort your heels should be pushing hard against the footplate. This has the effect of keeping you sitting upright and ensuring you have proper rotation etc. I find when I'm cruising and I'm not using my heels I slide forward in the seat. I suspect the heel pressure actually uses all your muscles through to your stomach which helps you sit up.
Your pedals should be set up so you are only pushing the footplate as you alternate your heel pressure. You don't want pressure on the pedals cos this is slow and you will wander all over the ocean.

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3 years 4 months ago #32573 by BumpHound
Hi Guys,
Thanks so much for those responses. Dicko, this sounds like what I am feeling. I am pushing on my heels to keep forward enough and that requires a constant ab crunch as well. That is the only way I can paddle. When i am fresh this is minor but after 10 minutes or so I fell some ab fatigue setting in. I grab my foot strap to take a break :). It sounds like this might be the design of the boat (maybe all boats?) and that this lean is in some way beneficial.

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3 years 4 months ago #32575 by DrA5
Replied by DrA5 on topic Felling of falling back in V8
I have this same feeling in my V8. I don't recall this issue with my prior V10 Sport. It worsens when wearing a Farmer John or a single piece wetsuit, to the point I am going to try NRS shoulder strap extenders for my Farmer John this fall. I used some bolstering behind the lower back to promote forward lean, but with the torso rotation, I just rubbed the skin raw, so I discontinued that. But BumpHound, I feel your pain. I put it down to deconditioned abs, but I find myself having to stop and "shuffle" myself back upright with a very strong double leg push on the footboard to get back and forward lean in the bucket.

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3 years 4 months ago #32577 by zachhandler

I find myself having to stop and "shuffle" myself back upright with a very strong double leg push on the footboard to get back and forward lean in the bucket.


I know that move. I found myself doing that a lot in the V12 G2 bucket. Always felt I was sitting on the uphill of the hump in a way that made it harder to rotate and harder to get over the stroke. Most people love that bucket. I suspect my tight hamstrings were part of the problem.

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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3 years 4 months ago #32581 by Sinkme
Perhaps your legs are too straight. Can you just fit fists under both your knees at one time? If so move the foot rest back.

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3 years 4 months ago #32582 by Sinkme
"if not", I mean.

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3 years 4 months ago #32583 by BrettD
Welcome bumphound. I too had the same feeling when I started in skis a few years ago. In hindsight it was primarily lack of core/ab strength and flexibility which developed fairly quickly with paddling. Any clothing which restricts your ability to flex forward ( such as a long John wetsuit) definitely doesn’t help so you might look at that.

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3 years 4 months ago #32590 by SpaceSputnik
Yep, had that in my V7 at first. It was pretty bad, my legs where constantly tense and it was quite hard to be fluent in anything I was doing. Not to mention no power.
It took some time and effort to get over that. On non-paddling days I had the ski in my garage on chairs and just sat in it making subtle adjustment to leg length and getting used to the posture.
It worked out. Now I spend hours on end.on water. Way more comfortable that the sea kayak I had before.
I think it's about having a balanced upper body position with a bit of a forward lean. During my daily garage sittings I managed to find that balance point.
I also started off with long legs but in time came to realize that it was not great. Having knees higher is way better (not to mention better leg drive). That and bucket time on water and on land.

It is pretty individual though. A friend of mine borrows my boat sometime. He took to it as duck to water and skipped the postural troubles altogether.

I do also suggest working on your stroke. When your catch angle is good the paddle becomes structural and and helps to keep your upper body where its supposed to be. Although in time you will adjust and it will become more natural.

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