Tight spraydecks

Inland paddling
Post Reply
Franky
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:07 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Tight spraydecks

Post by Franky »

How tight should a white water spraydeck be?

I have a Play Boater spraydeck that grips my cockpit like an anaconda. While this is reassuring insofar as it keeps the cockpit dry, I find that I really have to wrench it when I "decide" to swim. A few times at Lee Valley, after a couple of failed rolls, I've been in near-panic mode as I struggled to pull the deck off in the middle of fierce currents. In those circumstances, the coldness of the water, the diminishing oxygen supply, and the physical tiredness combine to make pulling the spraydeck off much more challenging than is comfortable :\

I used to have a Yak spraydeck but it came off far too easily - even just when I was sliding into flat water from the bank.

Is there a spraydeck that is a reasonable compromise - i.e. it doesn't come off accidentally, but when you do want to remove it it doesn't fight you?

mark62
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:54 pm

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by mark62 »

Seals Pro Rand, totally dry, easy to get on and off. Expensive but mine has stayed drier for a lot longer than other makes I've owned.

User avatar
Chalky723
Posts: 928
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:56 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Chalky723 »

It'll get looser as it gets older plus, have you tried leaving it to dry on the boat? That can help loosen it too.

The only other thing I can say is "keep calm" - you're obviously getting the deck off every time as you're still here to type, so you're more than capable physically. Maybe take your time, set up for one good roll attempt & then pull your deck rather than a couple of hurried attempts and a panicky deck pull?

C
Jackson Nirvana, LL Remix 69, BMW F650GS...

Franky
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:07 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Franky »

Chalky723 wrote:It'll get looser as it gets older plus, have you tried leaving it to dry on the boat? That can help loosen it too.

The only other thing I can say is "keep calm" - you're obviously getting the deck off every time as you're still here to type, so you're more than capable physically.

Maybe take your time, set up for one good roll attempt & then pull your deck rather than a couple of hurried attempts and a panicky deck pull?
Thanks, that makes sense. Today I tried, and failed, three rolls at the top of the Legacy loop, and had virtually nothing left in my lungs when I decided to pull the deck. Then I couldn't find the deck strap (the deck is far to tight to get off any other way); and then I got flushed down a drop and my arms were being wrenched in all directions. Really not a pleasant experience. I kept as calm as I was able, but I felt there would only be another second or two before I started inhaling water. Yes, I found the strap... but what if I hadn't?

From what you say I should have been sensible and resigned myself to a swim earlier. It's true also that I procrastinated about whether to try a left-handed or a right-handed roll.

I don't think it helped that the water really was ****ing freezing today! Eight hours later, I'm just about starting to warm up.

User avatar
daverice
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by daverice »

Perhaps try practicing a few wet exits in calmer water? You might find that you just need a slightly different technique for your new deck.

Franky
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:07 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Franky »

daverice wrote:Perhaps try practicing a few wet exits in calmer water? You might find that you just need a slightly different technique for your new deck.
It's not a new deck; I've had it 18 months. I've not had problems getting it off on river trips, but at the top of the Legacy loop, the drops come thick and fast, and one mess-up quickly leads to another!

I think what Chalky wrote makes sense: I should practise setting up for one quality roll attempt rather than making two or three rushed attempts and then having nothing left in reserve.

One thing I'm struggling with is how to know immediately which side to try rolling. I know when I'm trying the WRONG side - but only after I've failed.

I can usually roll fine at the bottom end of the Legacy, but I think the flow is rather mellower down there.

Mark Dixon
Posts: 820
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 am
Location: Devon
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Mark Dixon »

If your deck is too tight just leave it on the boat until the next time you go paddling, a playboater is a fine deck and with a bit of stretch will be no problem.
Mark

User avatar
DaveBland
Posts: 3658
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 pm
Location: Calgary Canada
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by DaveBland »

If it goes on without a fight, it should come off okay.
It does sound like it's a lack of staying calm? But once the doubt is in your head, it won't help.

Try relaxing, wait for a bit of calm, make sure your set up is right... and have one good go at a roll. Then if that doesn't work, go or the deck.
Rushing the roll is the best way to screw up.
By deciding to just have the one go, you'll have more air and not be done in from multiple attempts.
dave

Timo50
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Timo50 »

I'm relatively new to kayaking, I found the easiest way to find the spray deck loop was once upside down, put my hands on the cockpit rim by my hips and run them around the rim to the front, works for me.

User avatar
mantamx
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: East Anglia

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by mantamx »

ps and frank - remember, that just like any freedivers', your body is able to stay underwater for at least 5 mins (even considering active movement). and freedivers can do 10+. unlike freedivers, kayakers also get a chance for a short breath during failed rolled attempts (so in theory can go on indefinitely)... So even when it 'feels' you are just about to inhale water - just simply dont, your brain wants it but does not 'need' it, not for many more minutes before it 'blacks out'. inhale = (possibly) dead, hold on = no problem whatsoever [says he, who still occasionally takes a swim... it is all about mind control, and it takes a while to master!].

tjclare
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by tjclare »

Get that roll nailed, then you'll have no need to pull it off to swim!


On a more serious note, if you managed to get the thing on it will come off, just try to keep calm.

User avatar
Kizzie_St-As
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:15 pm
Location: The Flatlands of Fife
Contact:

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Kizzie_St-As »

My Pyranha deck was super tight when I first got it - it took five people to get it on the first few times! I left it on my boat when I wasn't using it for most of a year and now I can get it on dry by myself. It's only popped once and I don't blame it for that - I resurfaced directly underneath right angle on the Etive and the whole of the Etive dumped on my deck!
It might help, other than that, practice wet exits more and you'll instinctively know where the loop is when you really need it.
Done a Scottish river not on the site? Message me!

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13993
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 56 times

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Jim »

My playboater decks are no looser now 10 -15 years down the line than they were when I bought them.

If you are having confidence issues look for a more flexible deck with a less aggessive shock cord / rand. You only need a super tight spray deck (or one with kevlar reinforcement) if you are paddling big volume where big amounts of water are going to land on it and could blow a regular tensioned deck off, and even then only really where taking a swim is a dangerous proposition. For playboating most of the time a really tight deck is over the top but a lot of people want them anyway.

Seriously, "my deck popped" is a really lame excuse unless you are still using a 1980's style nylon deck. Some designs don't fit certain cockpits very well, but it's not about the tension it's about the type of band, as long as you find a type that works, it doesn't need to be tight until you are ready to push the extreme.

Keeby
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Keeby »

Hello Franky, if I may can I suggest the deck is a small part of the issue (although important) I think what the major problem is one of psychology its surprisingly common. Your feeling rushed as you don't want your bell rung by one of those lovely grey plastic blocks ( it can hurt as ive done it a few times) so things are rushed..... Heres an idea to help, when your in the bath try holding your breath and see how long you can hold it for and practise that (a surprising long time), next when you capsize first thing in your head is DONT PANIC, then set up for the roll and hey presto a sweet roll follows. I had similar problems and have learnt to slow things down by a second or two and its made all the difference. If you can roll at the bottom bddy, you can roll at the top !. PS I was at LV Saturday to ! what boat was you in ? I was in a red zet. Happy days, chrissy.

Franky
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:07 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Franky »

DaveBland wrote:If it goes on without a fight, it should come off okay.
No, it's difficult to get on as well! I can get it on my new Mamba OK, with a fair bit of muscle power - but it would sometimes take me 2 minutes to get it on a Burn.
Jim wrote: If you are having confidence issues look for a more flexible deck with a less aggessive shock cord / rand. You only need a super tight spray deck (or one with kevlar reinforcement) if you are paddling big volume where big amounts of water are going to land on it and could blow a regular tensioned deck off, and even then only really where taking a swim is a dangerous proposition. For playboating most of the time a really tight deck is over the top but a lot of people want them anyway.
Yes, that's what I figured. I'm not going to be running the Zambezi any time soon and I'm sure a looser deck would be fine for LV.

On the other hand, NOT SWIMMING is of course my ideal.
mantamx wrote:ps and frank - remember, that just like any freedivers', your body is able to stay underwater for at least 5 mins (even considering active movement). and freedivers can do 10+. unlike freedivers, kayakers also get a chance for a short breath during failed rolled attempts (so in theory can go on indefinitely)... So even when it 'feels' you are just about to inhale water - just simply dont, your brain wants it but does not 'need' it, not for many more minutes before it 'blacks out'. inhale = (possibly) dead, hold on = no problem whatsoever [says he, who still occasionally takes a swim... it is all about mind control, and it takes a while to master!].
It sounds too good to be true, but I'll take your word that it's possible!

I've experimented after reading your post, and yes, I can resist the urge to inhale... but not for long, and when the urge returns it is stronger than ever. I suppose perhaps you need to put yourself into some kind of trance - or is it simpler than that?
Keeby wrote:Heres an idea to help, when your in the bath try holding your breath and see how long you can hold it for and practise that (a surprising long time), next when you capsize first thing in your head is DONT PANIC, then set up for the roll and hey presto a sweet roll follows.
As it happens, recently I've been experimenting with breathing techniques for staying under water longer, but they only work when you apply them for a couple of minutes before going under (basically you breathe out twice as slowly as you breathe in). It definitely works to an extent - I can now swim a length of a swimming pool under water fairly easily, whereas I used to be really gasping by the end of it.

As for not panicking... Maybe I overstated my panic - I was fine until the water started wrenching my limbs about and all I could see was bubbles. And yes, I did hit my head, probably against one of the plastic blocks. But the panic only started when I couldn't find my spray deck handle. (When I say panic, I don't mean total panic, I mean controlled panic, if that makes sense!)
I had similar problems and have learnt to slow things down by a second or two and its made all the difference. If you can roll at the bottom bddy, you can roll at the top !. PS I was at LV Saturday to ! what boat was you in ? I was in a red zet. Happy days, chrissy.
I was there on Sunday, not Saturday. But for the record, I was in a green Mamba :)

Need a few more sessions I think... I'm still fairly new to LV - yesterday was my first public session since passing my assessment, which I took at the end of a 6-week Paddlesport Development course. I did have fun and I'm looking forward to going again.

User avatar
Mark Mulrain
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:27 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Mark Mulrain »

Franky wrote: I can get it on my new Mamba OK, with a fair bit of muscle power - but it would sometimes take me 2 minutes to get it on a Burn.
That'll be because the burn and mamba are massively different in cockpit size.

Mamba - keyhole/Large/Roto 4/1.4
Burn - bigdeck/XL/Roto 5/1.7

Keeby
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Keeby »

I think you hit the nail on the head when you say your having fun, that's the golden rule for me, the more you go round the course the less you,ll swim, it's a great way to improve your paddling !

Glyn B
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:29 pm

Re: Tight spraydecks

Post by Glyn B »

Rather than pulling back towards you, try pulling towards the front of the boat, then pull up rather than back?

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”