Roof Rack redo the best Kayak Roof Rack

OK, I've been running it like this for a while and I wanted to share it.  

These are 48 inch Yakima Bars connected to my curved roof with curved tracks from Proline Racks. The stacker is actually a set of Yakima cradles like this:

This J cradle it mounted far over on the driver side as possible and then three boats can stack on the passenger side.  Additional accessories are pads on the passenger side of the bars and the all important bath mat for loading from the front, the side or the back.

Love LL Bean and Thule, but.......

Sometimes I wonder why they make an expensive problem that can be solved with an inexpensive everyday item.  In this case the Thule Water Slide is $39.95 which seems really expensive when a bath mat works better and the rubber grippy bottom side of a bath mat means you don't need to fiddle with any loops.

I've decided to offer a training class for kayak and canoe loading for $39.95 or $5.00 if you bring your own bath mat.

The Mothership

The plan is to modify the boat and add a top to carry kayaks and canoes just like our car carries them on a rack.  This will allow us to get to the coast on Friday night without the need for a hotel or a night paddle to a campsite to set up a tent.  Then on Saturday morning we are already where we want to paddle and we have a nice bed, kitchen, and shower nearby.

It will often be a mother ship for our kayaks and we are also naming it after our mothers.

Other than the hardtop we have a  lot of work to do to get this 40 year old boat in good shape.  But like our 54 year old house it has good bones and is worth fixing up.

Kayak's for fat Paddlers Update

Best Kayaks for Fat paddlers

I often see big heavy tall or fat paddlers looking for advice on their first kayak so I thought I'd start a list. Feel free to comment if you think something should be added to the list.

Here it is:

Wilderness Systems Pungo 140

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 175

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160

Wilderness Systems Freedom (Discontinued)

Wilderness Systems Ride

Ocean Kayak Scrambler

Ocean Kayak Prowler 15

RTM Midway

RTM Tempo

Valley Aquanaut HV

Epic V7 and V8

Romany Excel

With the exception of the Ride and the Scrambler, the above boats have a very good reputation for keeping up in group paddles with Sea Kayakers.

I'd be very interested to learn what others think about this list.

More on Stretching can be bad for you.

NYT Stretching the Truth

It turns out there is more evidence that stretching is harmful.  The article above from the New York Times discusses this in more detail and it boils down to static stretching is bad and dynamic stretching while warming up is good.  A very interesting read that helps me understand why Tai Chi works better for me than Yoga or regular stretching.

Epic modifications for my Epic V7

Perhaps i should have named this Hurricane Modifications for my Epic V7 as I installed a front hatch and a back hatch cover from Hurricane Kayaks.

The back hatch cover never seemed very good to me except for day trips with an empty boat.  It is very watertight but the soft cover takes some time to put on if you want it to stay on.  Also hard or sharp things bouncing around in the hatch might cut the fabric, so I heated up a Hurricane oval cover with a hair dryer and greased it with 303 and made it fit my Epic.  It is hard, water tight, and quick on and off.  I still feel like it needs a strap or top to really keep it in place for times when I get washing machined at the inlet.

The V7 has no day hatch and no good place for your keys and your snacks, so I popped in a small hatch from Hurricane Kayaks.  It is very handy and if I want I could but my tent and a bunch of other long skinny things up here for a camping trip.

I'm thinking about putting a bungee over this cover to hold a GPS pocket where I can see it.

These hatches have made the boat a lot easier to use and it is still air/water tight.

I'm thinking about adding some deck lines like sea kayaks have but they would cause trouble with low hanging  branches on river days.  So for the lake I'm looking for a better leash that does not tangle.  So far I like my old paddle leash best, but you must not let go of the paddle.

Best shoes yet for kayaking

The Surf to Summit Ultra Flex Water booties Is recently purchased are excellent paddling shoes!

They are so thin that they fit under the strap in my surfski and let me use my toes to control the rudder peddles.  And yet the bottom protects me well from the rocks.

This is not a very supportive shoe for long walks but it great for getting in and out of the boat to the car.

At last I can also fit my size 12 feet in many sit inside (SINK) kayaks as well.  It is better to wear shoes when paddling to protect your feet as you cannot always be certain there are no sharp rocks, glass, or oysters where you take out.

This is the second time I've recommended something great from Surf to Summit.  Seems like a trend is starting.