Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

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kayakbiker
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Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by kayakbiker » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:00 pm

Unfortunately I've just been diagnosed with early arthritis in my knees and hips worst luck.. I first really noticed pain in my hips when rolling my kayak up a few months ago. In fact it's really quite painful in my right hip but thankfully OK at the moment on my stronger left side.
I've messed about a bit and find I can roll up relatively pain free using the Pawlatta roll on the painful side which is good. I do wonder why though. Is there less hip rotation perhaps?

I'm a bit fed up as I only started paddling and rolling a couple of years ago. I am hoping to keep paddling into my twilight years. Hopefully!
I'm concerned obviously that it will get worse and as a paddler that sometimes goes solo paddling it would be a chink In my safety margins if it gets worse.
Just wondering for those that have also been diagnosed with this arthritis and who have had replacement joints if it's still possible to roll a kayak or is it too difficult. As I understand it doctors sometimes also advise against certain movements after replacement. Is this one of them? Thanks

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:46 pm

Greetings kayak biker, Having arthritis in both knees and hips for over 20 years and had major surgery to both knees I have no difficulty at all rolling. My main problem is I don't like being in the frog leg position jammed into the thigh braces for any length of time so I usually paddle with my legs flat on the bottom of the boat then if I want to go into the thigh braces I press on the footrests with my toes and press my foot down away from my knees. I know several people with hip replacements who roll.

I lost 20kg in weight and that has greatly helped both my arthritis pain and my flexibility

Image
If you are not bothered about camping* have you considered a surfski? I got one last year and can't understand why I didn't get one years ago. They are so much lighter, more comfortable, fast and fun than a kayak and no need for that rolling nonsense. :) :) I have a Think Zen carbon ski that weighs a tad over 10kg so I carry it one handed down the beach. Almost all my paddling last year was on my own.

https://youtu.be/_tvKyZTcajg]

Douglas


* an Epic V5/V6/V7 would make a great camping surfski.

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by kayakbiker » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:00 pm

Hello Douglas.
Thankyou for sharing your experiences.
It's good to know that despite the arthritis and all the ops it's not stopped you from overcoming the issues and getting out on the water and still enjoying yourself.
I now feel much more optimistic that despite a few aches and pains I can too .

At the moment I still enjoy rolling and jumping in and out of my kayak but I have heeded your previous warnings and advice about wearing ear plugs even in the summer. Cheers.

I also just started camping /kayaking this year and loved it so much I can't wait until spring next year. Loch shiel/Moidart circuit was my first real wild camp in a kayak and it was brilliant. I would therefore be looking at a surf ski with hatches for camping if that's the direction I plan to go in.

I just had a thought.. At the moment I struggle a bit to keep up with some of the guys in their long seaboats with my delphin but I guess a surf ski would make a big difference. It does sound very tempting after all.

Your surf ski looks ultra modern and really fast on the wave
I will definetly be researching then a bit more.

Thanks again for the excellent advice and suggestions.


All the best.

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by mcgruff » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:29 pm

Douglas: would you say an open cockpit limits the kind of conditions you can safely venture out in? Without being connected to the boat (knee braces) can you still balance and edge effectively? Is there a risk of being washed right out of the cockpit if you run into a big, steep wave? The freedom of an open cockpit might start to feel uncomfortably exposed in rough seas.

I've never really thought about surfskis for touring in Scotland but if there is no real drawback to losing the ability to roll, a hybrid like the V6 could have a lot of advantages over a standard sea kayak. Easier launching/landing in difficult conditions (esp if you have to do it all on your own) and a light 30lb boat for portages could be a big plus.

And huge amounts of fun on the play days without a touring load :)

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:04 pm

Greetings kayakbiker, I am glad you enjoyed the Loch Sheil, Moidart Ailort round and hope you got a chance to ring the bell. I am a regular visitor to the area and did the round one winter in my Aries (which is similar to your Delphin) with full winter camping gear and food for 4 nights.

The Think Zen is a beginner/intermediate ski, I chose the lightest construction because of my joints. This year I have been recovering from a rotator cuff injury which tore a third of each of the four rotator cuff muscles off the bone. I found paddling my conventional kayaks just too much like hard work. Paddling a light ski is what got me going again. Waves move faster in deep water than in shallow water and a lot of Greenland style kayaks with a lot of rocker are just too slow to catch them. This is why sea kayakers who like catching waves tend to do so in the surf near the shore where the waves are slower or seek out standing waves in overfalls and tideraces. Surfskis can be paddle fast enough to catch fast open water waves. The waves in the short video were travelling at 9-10 knots and I have never been able to catch them in a traditional sea kayak.

Greetings McGruff, I have probably been caught out in rougher conditions in my sea kayak but I choose to go out in much rougher conditions in the surfski. I suppose you can edge a surfski but as they have little rocker it would seem a pointless activity. A surfski has a very effective rudder which means you can turn very quickly indeed. The knee braces giving stability in a kayak seems to have no basis in reality once you have been in a surfski for some time. Several people who used to inhabit this forum are now touring in surfskis. A lot of people think surfskis are all about racing, far from it they are just fun to paddle, even on your own. Some of the touring surfkis have traditional over the stern rudders which make landing easier. I would not like to carry a loaded surfski with a fixed underhull rudder out of the water and up the beach. Of course loading a touring surfki is not as easy as loading a kayak which often have bigger hatches.

I have never felt like I would be washed out the bucket seat. Yes you are more exposed to the elements than in a sit in kayak but that is not a bad thing, it makes it more likely you will be dressed for the water temperature in the winter and spring.

I am certainly not suggesting get rid of your sea kayak and convert to a surfski. However, quite a few sea kayakers tend to be conservative and some of my kayaking friends look on surfkis as the spawn of the devil. I windsurf, sail, SUP and RIB as well as kayak so I have always had an open mind about trying different things. Maybe this is why I am happy to use GP, Euro and wing paddles interchangeably. I would however, recommend that sea kayakers should try out a surfski at one of the many open days round the UK. You might just find you become as hooked as I have.

Douglas

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by mcgruff » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:12 am

It's inspiring to hear there is still some serious paddling to be done after such serious injuries :) Maybe you've found the secret of relieving the strain on the NHS: prescribe surfskis for recovering patients and watch the wards empty.

I always imagined surfskis were quite a specific tool for warm, sunny climates, playing in the surf, racing, and people who enjoy hard physical training as much as being on the water. But when you mentioned the V6 I took a look at the specs: 170l of storage space.. up to 150kg load.. That's an expedition boat! A very fast and light expedition boat. That could open up lots of new possibilities.

For example, I'm also planning to visit Loch Shiel in the future but instead of driving to the head of the loch and launching I'll be arriving at Fort William by sea after several weeks of paddling. How to get to Glenfinnan? From the west end of Loch Eil to the nearest place you could launch in the Callop river is about a 5k walk. A light boat makes that feasible to portage. One trip carrying a rucksack with all the gear. Another with the boat.

The same kind of issue could crop up quite often on an extended trip where you're covering very long distances entirely under human power. Maybe a portage could cut out a long sea journey, or perhaps there's simply no other way to get to a freshwater loch. Invergarry to Loch Cuaich? I could easily spend a couple of weeks in there climbing hills and gliding around the loch on a calm evening. And it doesn't look far to exit to Loch Hourn.

The low weight could even make some packraft-style trips possible eg crossing North Uist or Benbecula loch-to-loch. Not many big waves to surf but if you like exploring wild places it could be a fun day out.

The only thing I wasn't sure about was how safe a surfski is compared to a sea kayak when conditions are really bad - thanks for passing on your experiences. This just might be the perfect boat for me.

PS: don't mean to take over your thread kayakbiker but I've justified it to myself because we've been talking about the Epic V6 :)

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by kayakbiker » Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:30 pm

Douglas
No unfortunately I didn't ring the bell. To be honest I wasn't aware of it but now I am I'll just have to go back and do the trip again. A great excuse!

Mcgruff your right the V6 sounds very interesting.

I must admit I've previosly thought about similar ideas as you've had but using my inflatable gumotex seawave. It's a big pack craft but more robust than most and it packs down small enough to put on a folding trolley. I'm not sure it would be great in high winds though.
I've never asked or tried but i think I could probably get it on a bus. It's all the other equipment that complicates things. Bulky pfd drysuit sleeping bag,etc

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:37 pm

https://youtu.be/GYaUSabTxcU

Kayakbiker, especially for you...
ring out that Solstice bell!

Douglas :o)

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by mcgruff » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:43 pm

Careful now! It's said to be a magical bell. When struck, it echoes down through the dark earth and is heard by those who sleep there. If you are good of heart and pure of soul ringing the bell brings good luck but if your life has been spent in evil and debauchery.. the dead will rise from their graves and try to eat you.

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Re: Arthritis Knees and Hips Is it possible to Roll

Post by Fozzy » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:31 pm

Merry Christmas.

I also have arthritis in both my feet and have problems maintaining the frog position. Like Douglas I primarily paddle straight legged. I have a variety of boats and can roll all of them with no problems. My expedition boat is an Epic 16X which although a closed deck sea kayak has a long cockpit allowing for surfski style paddling and once I fitted a Connect 30 seat it became very comfortable indeed.

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