× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Is there any seat hight information on surfskis?

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11 years 3 months ago #6551 by [email protected]
One thing you notice when going from a K1 to a surfski is the hight difference between your bum and feet. My last K1 had a seat hight of around 6 cm which felt fine to me. My question is, are there any information regarding seat hight on surfskis out there ?

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11 years 3 months ago #6554 by Rightarmbad
A quick and dirty measure of my V10 shows the seat at 2cm from the bottom of the boat and the footwell where I place my feet right near the front of the footwell to be 1cm from the bottom of the boat. Give or take a few mm in measurement error.

The seat was measured from the lowest part, ie: the two small depressions for the sit bones.

So all up, the seat is a centimeter higher than the feet.

Funny thing is that my TK boats both have the seat at least 50mm off the floor, but I feel to be paddling uphill in them compared to the ski.

So I think that the best thing you can do is sit in the boats you are interested in and see if you like them.
There is more it seems to ergonomics then merely the height.

As an aside, I can remember reading a test somewhere on an erg researching this very issue, the conclusion was that it made no difference to paddling power in the normal range of usage.

So go for comfort and just find a ski that fits ya bum and feels right.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 3 months ago #6559 by outriggerbev
now that I have dialled the ses in I'm putting a 30mm seat pad in for two reasons-so I can get over my feat and mainly so my back is not resting in the seat as much which will allow for more hip rotation.

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11 years 3 months ago #6572 by [email protected]
Knowing the seat height of the boats are not going to help, but that was all I could think of. I had kinda hoped someone would jump in and tell me what really to look for. I had some time to think about it. What most of us are going for is a upright position, but for instance in a Fenn Xt your feet are placed so that you need to strain yourself to keep a upright position. So in my case I would need to change the angle, so I can go into neutral. The only thing I can do something about is the seat, making two holes in the boat for my feet's are out of the question :). But increasing the height is only part of it, I would also need to change the angle of the seat, to tilt forward. You need just the right seat height for the pressure from your legs to back off and then there is the tilt to figure out. The back of the bucket curves, so one could place the padding against that curve and get the tilt that way. I know the manufacturers keep the seat low because of stability and I know that in my case I have to mess around with padding to get it right. So I was thinking if there was someone out there had neat way of getting it right, maybe I could skip a lot of trial and error. I have seen the video where you could tell if you where sitting correctly by pressing your thumb and pinkie together. But I can't see the logic in that, so I was looking for something more like a spreadsheet or a model. The people who designed the boat's must have given it a thought, so the information must be out there somewhere. So real question is what where they thinking and who got it right.

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11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #6573 by Rightarmbad
The new Fenn XT now has a single footwell, so maybe worth another look.
The old one I sat in felt to tip me back as well.

A lot of the old spec ski's do this as well, their seats and footwells can be pretty bloody crude. I haven't tried any newer ones to know if this is improving.

I think that most of the 'recent' ski's are getting the seat pretty right though.
Nothing will kill a sale quicker than not feeling comfortable.
Every new boat I have tried have felt pretty bloody good.

There really is no better way than to sit in them and paddle to know.
If I bump into another ski, I always ask to have a go, nobody says no, and I have never said no to anybody wanting to take mine for a burl.
I think that the surf ski crowd are pretty friendly overall, so just go try em all and find the one that fits you best.

I'm wondering if you may have flexibility issues that exacerbate the problem?
Is it possible that maybe you are trying to keep your knees too low?
My back is still lacking in flexibility from injury and if I put my legs long and low, then it tends to restrict my movement and makes me feel as though it is hard to sit up straight.
Tends to try and make me slouch a bit to compensate.
May be worth investigating.
I think that the narrower my feet/legs are, the better I feel in this regard.
Spec skis and the older XT's with their wide feet are definitely not as good as a modern single footwell for me.

Maybe some of the technique gurus that lurk around here may have some answers for you.
Hopefully somebody with a lot of real world experience will chime in with an better answer.
It might be worth a good session with a seasoned coach.

Have you tried many other boats? Especially the newer ones.

P.S. What's the thumb and pinkie video?
A link maybe? Sounds weird.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by Rightarmbad. Reason: pinkie edit

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11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #6574 by Rightarmbad
So after a quick google, I believe that you mean the 'fit your fist under your knee thing?

Funnily enough, I scoffed at this too.
But it works!
It is such a vague measure that it has to!

Being able to put my fist under my knees is just about right, and I suspect because of the vagueness of the measurement, it is probably right for most as well.
The human body is such a pliable thing that this measurement has centimeters of variance

I find that I personally need about that much space under my knees, measured when sitting straight, to allow me to get as much rotation as I like to use.
Anything less and my leg runs into the hump.

But it all depends on the boat, in particular the shape of the hump in relation to where you sit, as to how high your knees actually are in relation to your torso.

So if the manufacturer got it right, it works.
If not, then yes the measurement will allow enough leg movement, but not necessarily a comfortable torso to leg angle.
Not to even mention the shape of the seat and whether it wants to tilt your particular bum shape backward or forward.

It's like the old knee over the spindle measure in cycling, or the shouldn't be able to see the front hub if your handle bars are in the right position; the proponents have mixed up correlation with causation.
A lot of people sitting in average positions found that it was so, so then believe that it is the formula for everyone on every bike.
They have no basis other than a lot of people noticed that it was so, so now it is treated as a theory, when really it is just an unchallenged hypothesis.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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11 years 3 months ago #6575 by Moll
One thing to bear in mind with seat height vs feet is that it is usually measured on land and will change compared to how the boat sits in the water. As an example I am much heavier than my brother and the back of the ski tends to drop more than the front once seated. So my feet are higher than his because of the attitude of the ski caused by my weight.
Sorry to throw another variable in there.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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11 years 3 months ago #6576 by owenfromwales
It`s a good point though Moll. I was looking at my mates OC1 the other day and noticed how it has fixed leg-length, but that different paddlers can use customised pads for their arses. It makes swapping boats really easy, but of course the longer your legs are (and with it, quite often the more you weigh) the further back you have to sit, therefore a double whammy altering the angle of the boat in the water. Much better to be able to slide feet forward to fit another boat.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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11 years 3 months ago #6577 by Moll
Yeah I never realised it till I had to take a couple of months off and gained some weight. I find my thighs and abs taking strain and feel like I have to lean forward to paddle. then looked at the depth bow and stern with me on and than with a lighter paddler. My feet are at least 20mm higher.
I have just moved to a tippier ski so now do I risk raising the seat? (UNTIL I HAVE LOST WEIGHT) or do I just persevere, what I currently find is I am only able to spend around 25% of the time in the ski I used to before tiring to the point that I am bracing too often to paddle effectively.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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11 years 3 months ago #6580 by Rightarmbad
20mm at the feet is quite a large angle change in the attitude of the boat!

Extrapolated out over the boat length, that's something like the front raising 40mm and the rear sinking a similar amount.

It is quite strange to see smaller people go past on flat water in full size skis, with the front and rear 200mm not touching the water.

Along with their much lower personal center of gravity and narrower body, I often wonder how different the experience much be between them and us biggies.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 3 months ago #6614 by [email protected]
First of all this is the thumb and pinkie video :


Finally the ice broke and I got some time on the water.

I also thought of the tilt of the boat or should we call it trim. In the boat's I am used to, you can push the seat forward and backwards to trim the boat. That is not the case with a Fenn Xt. To check how much the angel of the boat changed when I sat in it, I mounted inclinometer just under where the steering cables enter the boat. It is not a sophisticated one, so I can only see approximations to 1 degree of tilt. I am weighing around 85 Kg and I could not see any changes when I sat in the boat compared to when I did not and the water was like a mirror that day. Otherwise I thought it was a good idea to build one into a boat. It could have a green zone in the middle and red zones at the outer reaches. That way you could see if the boat you where siting in where a match for you or you would need to do something. Maybe they could build boats that had a weight distribution system built in, so there was another way of trimming the boat. But that would probably be to complicated and of no use to most people.

Today I placed a 30 mm pad in the boat and the feeling of being pushed backwards went away. Getting the pad to stick to the boat is another matter I have yet so solve. I also moved the footrest a notch away for me. I have seen a lot of paddlers that are sitting in the boat with very bent knees. That does not work for me, when I am in the pulling phase my leg to the pull side is completly straight. After 11 Km I finaly got the boat dialed in just right and even though I had planed to call it a day I went for another 7 Km. This is the first time that I can actually say it was a pleasure :)

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11 years 3 months ago #6615 by AR_convert
Whats it the idea of the thumb and pinkie? how does it relate to seat height :blink:

Always looking for the next boat :)

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11 years 3 months ago #6616 by Rightarmbad
That was my question.
After a day at the gym, I cannot find the effect he was talking about, nor did a quick search show anything in the literature.
So a bit more searching to satisfy the whacko alarms that are starting to gear up.

I may be a poor subject due to being a rock climber though.
we tend to have rather strong grip in all sorts of poses.

Maybe Julian can post up here and enlighten us.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 3 months ago #6617 by latman
A mate of mine used to do something like this years ago to see if he should do more efforts (some say pieces) years ago. Hello Tim if you read this ha ha

I agree with Julian you should sit as high as possible, to maximise your bums height above your heels (and therefore allow your strong abdominal muscles to twist more and propel you better rather than use them to get your torso "vertical") but there comes a point in flat water and rougher "surf" that the loss of balance is unworkable and a height limit will be reached.

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11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #6618 by Rightarmbad
But if when you sit in the boat, you feel like you are neither falling forwards or backwards, then your core is at rest.
Are you saying that there is an ergonomic advantage to opening the torso angle?
Or having the paddling action lower in reference to the torso?

And what relationship does the magical pinky have in this?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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11 years 3 months ago #6619 by outriggerbev
thumb and pinky is kenesiology and it works for everyone-idea is if I touch something on my body -or outside my body that I have an intolerance to-my Chiro can pull thumb and pinky appart with ease.

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11 years 3 months ago #6625 by Pete
anyone looking for those seat pads - call stealth surf ski`s Gold Coast.

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11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #6626 by Rightarmbad
I've now got access to an erg.
Time to do some more research.

Is there any difference in my power output with varying seat heights is the question....


But I still think the thumb and pinkie is bunkum.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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