correct trim for k1 slalom boat

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correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by countvoncount » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:50 pm

I may be acquiring a used slalom (k1) boat and am trying to establish whether I am too heavy for it. In terms of the weight range listed, I am right at the top.
What am I looking for in terms of how it should sit in the water (with me in it): where is the waterline supposed to be, relative to the boat's parting line?
Thanks!

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Jim
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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:37 pm

If it is a relatively modern boat, it should sit with the lowest part of the stern just above the water when stitting still - this may be the tip, but a lot curve upwards so it may be about 2/3 of the way back, and if you turn around to see for yourself you will probably alter the trim so need to get someone else to look at you. When you paddle forward, the stern may well squat and water will come over it - this may not be a problem, I think all my boats do that (but I can't see!)

If you are on the weight limit and it is a bit low in the stern, if you still have room to adjust the footrest, consider moving the seat forward - you will have to peel the kevlar tape from the front edge and a couple of strips at the back, and either drill new holes in the flange or elongate them. A useful thing to do is mark the original position and then make parallel marks at 1cm intervals forward and just tape the seat in as best you can at different positions and try floating and paddling around gently to see how it feels - I did my first race with a new boat with the seat just taped in so I could adjust it (because I collected it on the way to the race, otherwise I would have tested in training first). That way you can get a good feel for which mark works best for you.

Exactly how far you want the stern above the water depends on the boat, some designs need more edge than others to drop the stern, and for most modern boats keeping flat most of the time is best, but you will need to try for yourself to an extent, although it is difficult to drop the stern with confidence if the seat is only taped in!

One thing to remember is that the weight ranges given, tend to be based on paddling at the top level on the big courses with large drops and stoppers and a lot of aerated swirly water. Most people can get away with a size smaller boat up to UK div 1 because the courses don't require making moves in heavy white water, I would say the exception is if you are right at the top end overall (say 85kg+) where a smaller boat on shallow courses can be a disadvantage, if the smaller boat sits deeper in the water (for some designs only the deck height changes and going bigger will not help because you are in the same hull)

if the boater is older style, 4m long built before 2006 or a very early 3.5m boat in a similar style, all the above may be irrelevant.

Hopefully if you are buying secondhand the last owner will have already found the best seat position and it is just a case of deciding if it handles the way you want for the kind of water you will be paddling in it.

Also wherever you are, there is bound to be a slalom club not too far away where you can get advice - they are all friendly and just as happy to see adult beginners joining in as well as juniors.

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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by Chris Bolton » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:39 pm

I would tend to go by the listed range, rather than the waterline relative to the seam (which will vary depending on the shape of the boat - the seam is placed to get it out of the mould). The question I'd be thinking about is how will a boat handle if I'm at the top of the weight range, and that will depend on the kind of water and your level of experience. If you're doing lower division slaloms on flattish water, it won't be much of a problem, just make sure you don't edge it wrong way, and it might even be an advantage if you want to dip the ends and spin it. On bigger water you might find it buries in waves and is harder to control unless you paddle very positively. But if you're inside the listed range, not outside it, it should be quite usable. You might search online for the model name and see if anyone has comments on it.

PS - having read Jim's post above, my experience is all with older style 4m boats

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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by countvoncount » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:33 am

Thanks, Chris and Jim, this is very useful indeed. It's a modern 3.5 m boat. I am right at the top of the listed weight (but not over) and am not planning to race, just train at HPP, so it sounds like I should be OK (if a little challenging were I to take it to Lee Valley's Olympic course, say). Will see how it feels/looks on the water. Thanks again!

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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:06 pm

I mentioned paddling positively - at HPP, that means keeping the boat moving forwards on the boils, with power on the paddle not drifting. A big boat can get away with it, a smaller boat is more vulnerable.

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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by Jim » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:16 pm

Muncher and the section immediately below can be a bit heavy/pushy, depending on what moves you are practicing but if you build up progressively you shouldn't have any real problems at HPP.

As an illustration of how the moves affect how pushy the features seem:
Typical moves in div 1 are into layby (up right) cross muncher to up left technically upstream of layby to a down centre or right of centre on the back of muncher (so you have to come out on the towback without dropping in) and then a couple of staggers to keep you off the Vs that flush through the middle of the next 2 little ones.
Div 2 tend not to go into layby at all and after an up left above muncher the next down will be left of centre so don't have to go as close to the hole, and the final gates let you hit the easy line through the rest.
I'll find out what a prem course looks like next month!

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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by countvoncount » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:23 pm

Might not be bad for my paddling to have a boat that forces me to be positive in my paddling at all times. I am a profficient (i.e. comfortable on 4(+) but with no experience on 5) WW paddler but am new to slalom and am just looking to improve my overall technique (whilst having fun!). Thanks again, guys!

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Re: correct trim for k1 slalom boat

Post by Jim » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:25 pm

That's how I started, now addicted to racing! :)

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