Category Archives: Accessories

Padding your surfski

Some surfski buckets are agressive others built like a bathtub. Just like butts come in different configurations too.

I´ve had many skis but only one backside, so I started looking into the art of padding. As always new doors opened to an uknown world. Add padding technique to paddling technique.

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Work of art by Kayaker Greg

In my naive beginning I was merely looking for a sort of padding that could stick while not compromising rotation which is of course key to success.

First stop was a Norwegian home depot where foam, tape, glue scissors were bought.

After a few hours of do it yourself I had a very ill-smelling sort of sticky pad that wouldn´t hold up in the water for long. Not half a functional as my Skwoosh x-treme cushion. But just as ugly as most duct-tape pads I see in other in expensive skis.

skwoosh

Skwoosh X-treme Pad

The skwoosh doesn´t stick though, and who needs more floating objects when doing remounts.

Considered EPICs seat pads:seat_pad_set_320

But they´re meant for increasing your stability and not for padding anatomy to  buckets. Smooth for sure, but alto stiff. Got a pair though and kept looking.

Went to Mocke Paddling Online Store. If you´ve ever met a Mocke you know that they only use stuff that works perfectly in even crazy conditions and over a long period of time.

Got myself 5 of those seat pads, handy if I should want to start a surfski store, but they were really cheap.

Butt-PadsButt-pad from Mocke online store

This butt-pad sticks. Forever. And it´s got cut-outs for those lucky enough to have bony butts. It´ll lift your coccyx from the bucket so steep buckets wont give you a raw bony protusion anymore. Also they will pad your backside, and can be cut to pad any other surface. They´re smooth, quite so.

But what was is the perfect customized solution?

More research brought up the name Kayaker Greg. An entire world of padding I never knew existed.

Gregs pimped out Swordfish, impressive:

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I asked Greg for a bit of advice and was allowed to share a bit from his wealth of information. And  here goes:

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Hi Sune, you need to go to a fabric shop and look for a two way stretchable fabric, much like lycra, most materials only stretch one way, ask and I’m sure they will point you in the right direction. I also run a plastic bag on my seat for a bit more slip, also different shorts work better than others, the neoprenes shorts don’t always slip so good so I wear surfer kind of beach baggies on top, you need to just sit in your ski and try different combinations of shorts.

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The foam needs to be quite firm to work. For glue I use an aerosol spray glue, its called Bostic Super Tac, you should be able to find something similar at a home and depo outlet or hardware store. This I use to fix the material to the foam.

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You can also glue the seat in with this although you might want to just tape it in to start until you are sure it is right for you, sometimes you need to play with it for awhile. I just fold the tap over down the middle and use that to hold the seat in, this works well for removal and making changes, used this for over six months without any problems and still haven’t glued my last seat I made in yet. Good luck, Greg.

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And enjoy a few other rides of Greg’s

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If this has gotten you interested I sugget you visit Kayaker Greg on Facebook

And yes, four months after all my padding research I´m still paddling padless in many different skis without many issues. But as always it´s a great inspiration stumbling across this sort of talent and commitment to perfect paddling style. Thanks Greg!

Radar Reflex – expensive stickers but cheap safety

On the Oslo Fiord thousands of boats are racing all summer long. Big, fast powerboats. When it´s windy some like to play in the waves like surfskiers do. On an overcast, low contrast and windy day this gets pretty dicey. What the faster boats going too close by see or don´t see nobody knows. I always assume they´ve seen nothing and very often I´m afraid this is true.

radar

After a few close shaves recently I decided that chasing rogue boaters to the mooring and telling them a few things were pretty unproductive. Rather I wanted to focus on becoming more visible and paint my paddle orange. But then I stumbled upon the most expensive stickers you´ll ever see – 111 $US pr paddle. But they show. Very much so. In the waves I couldn’t tell if they´re interfering with the hydrodynamics of the paddle, but it really wasn´t my impression. On a quiet day I´ll test them against my no-sticker paddle and compare, if any change, I´ll post again.

So why are the stickers so expensive compared to other reflecting bright stickers? According to Radar Reflex the stickers enhance how visible you are on a radar especially when mounted in a correct pattern explained in the pack. If true this is really cool and would be worth paying the very high price for. So naturally I asked how this radar enhancement has been achieved or is explained but Radar Reflex tell they chose to keep this piece of information as a trade secret. Since the product is put forward as having special radar effects and carries a price tag that needs to be justified accordingly I don’t understand why Radar Reflex chooses not to explain or quantify the effect in any way. So basically you´ll have to make your own decision whether you’ll take their word for it and hand over cash that would get you many times more ordinary reflective stickers.

In conclusion all I can justify to say is that the stickers are indeed very bright and visible even in hazy overcast midday conditions. Way brighter than the yellow stickers on an Epic paddle. I saw the stickers being noticed by a few other paddlers. I do feel safer. So in general some kind of reflective stickers are a great idea when paddling.

Stickers don´t change rogue boaters, but the vast majority of boaters aren´t rogue, but just simply can´t see a white surfski against white horses when doing downwind. Now they can see me a lot better

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Check it out for yourself. www.radarreflex.com
Norwegian but self-explanatory.
“Kjøp” to buy.

Review of MOCKE Deluxe Paddle Bag

Background for getting the bag

Travelling with your paddle can be a risky way to treat a +500$ purchase. But travelling without your own paddle can challenge your trip even more. Your paddle is a primary source of stability, speed and comfort and therefore it’s one thing you’ll want to bring when travelling.

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My 7yo finds the bag cool and would like to trade his school bag for one

In April I went to Fish Hoek to join the Mocke Paddling School. The conditions in Fish Hoek in April tend to be either very placid or very wild. I was lucky. It was wild, and got wilder every day and by far much wilder than ever back home in Oslo.

The first day there I had to train surf entry and exit. Something that doesn’t exist where I normally paddle. I sat in different boats like Bluefin, Swordfish and V8s, all quite or very stable boats. But I borrowed a paddle that felt and was a bit different from my normal tool which is an Epic Mid Wing. Not much different and that’s the point, because although nearly similar it moved a bit differently  in the water. So the subconscious body/paddle language that normally works to keep me upright and above the water didn’t work like normal or at least spoke with a very weird dialect. Learning new stuff was really fun and challenging, but unnecessarily included re-learning how best to shift from power to brace with this paddle etc. This is no excuse for the photo below though…

surf training

 Give me my own paddle!
Paddling in Fish Hoek    surf training 1

In new waters there are many variables to take into account and removing the paddle from the variables and adding it to the constants will make your paddling much more enjoyable. I promised myself that I’d bring my paddle on my next trip at the risk of breaking it in the process. Luckily it didn’t have to be that way.

Returning from South Africa I checked out some of the MOCKE paddling gear on their web pages and saw a paddle bag. I ordered the paddle bag and took hold of it before my next trip. I didn’t want to check in two bags and was pleased to see that my life jacket and most clothes for the new trip could easily fit in the  generous compartments.

Real world test

I was going for a few days of paddling at a relatively new surfski venue – Surfski Malta (more about this in a weeks time) – and decided to check in my MOCKE bag and nothing else.

The bag has two compartments besides the paddle compartment. Called wet and dry which makes sense. The bag seems durable and well made. It’s not cowhide or Vuitton, it’s durable and water resistant. The flights were three different airlines Oslo-Barcelona-Malta-Zürich-Oslo so the bag would be manhandled plenty. Thunderstorms had cut out normal baggage handling upon return to Oslo and loads of summer holiday bags were piled wide and high at Oslo Airport putting them all through a tough test.

St Julian

The paddle bag and everything in it survived all the transfers and handling nicely. Many many years ago I worked night shifts in an airport handling cargo, and although I expect things to have improved a lot I’m still not to keen on putting expensive fragile stuff in the checked baggage.

It has got padding, and a  bit of extra padding would be my wish for the next generation. But to be honest the bag is good enough that I just ordered a second for my other paddle. The bag has no unnecessary features but lots of nice details like hidden shoulder straps, right amount of pockets, durable and cool design. A functional product.

 

Wet compartment

Wet compartment – room for travel essentials

Like the rest of the MOCKE gear many thoughts were built into the product. Dawid Mocke has a fine video of this and the different details.