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About mattdrayer

  • Birthday January 12

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    Kayaking, of course!

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  1. Gift certificate is still available — it’s valid for four more years! Fall is here, replace that gear! Xmas is coming! Matt
  2. The New England Surfski "Salem League" Series completed its final race of its 15th season last night with an out-and back course from Lynch Park to Bowditch Ledge (Course #2). With the late-afternoon storm front tracking just far enough north to enable us to race, Greg Lesher once again asserted his dominance over our local crew, finishing the 5.6-mile course in 47:35 -- two minutes ahead of the next competitor and placing a cherry on top of his 7th overall series win in the past 10 years. The 2020 series saw a range of paddlers competing each week, from grizzled veterans to shiny rookies. The introduction of two new courses to provide additional options for downwind legs, as well as a COVID-conscious offset starting procedure were both found to be popular developments that will carry forward to the 2021 season. With racing wrapping up, the focus for the remainder of the year as usual shifts to pursuit of the ultimate downwind run. A community Google Group exists for people located on the North Shore interested in coordinating downwind surfski adventures. For more information about the Google Group, please feel free to PM me. Matt
  3. For loose/wobbly paddle connections I’ve learned that a thin smear of superglue on the male side can increase the purchase required to get a tight fit particularly with “lever lock” style connections — you can apply multiple layers to build up thickness as needed. you just want to make sure the glue is totally dry before you put the paddle back together or you’ll never get it apart again Matt
  4. Nice what is your calculated MaxHR? Does your app provide you with a HR zone breakdown as well? Typically it’s presented as time spent in each zone. Hey find that the more I train and dial into the downwind the more my sessions look like HIIT workouts, with a large percentage of time spent in the upper work zones and a similar amount of time in the lower recovery zones. More importantly who joined you? Member #2 of the South Shore Surfski Center? Matt
  5. Woooo! Have fun Conditions are great on the North Shore, too! Matt
  6. Yep exactly —
  7. I used to wrap tape around my paddle shafts to add some friction for my hands, but I learned quickly that the friction I thought I needed translated more into additional blisters than additional grip, so I took it all off. I do use the self-fusing tape that Nancy referred to, but only as high+low stops on each side to keep my hands in the proper spots, sort of like this: <=--|o|----|o|--=> Aside from the slip-stops the one thing I've done is apply some light scoring with very fine steel wool to the spots where my hands go -- just enough to scuff the finish and take the shine off, you really don't need much. Again you want to avoid creating blisters, because at say, even a slow cadence of 60 strokes per minute at a pace of 10 minutes/mile, that's 600 strokes per mile, times say a 10 mile adventure and you are talking 6000 strokes (3000/side) in 100 minutes -- any form of friction, even a few grains of sand or some loose threads of tape, can really eat away at your palms and fingers. Proper technique dictates that you shouldn't be gripping the paddle shaft too tightly, anyway. If you're gripping too tightly then your forearms lock up, your upper arms lock up, your shoulders lock up, your entire upper body locks up, and with everything seized you can't rotate, you can't balance/adjust, you can't breathe... So yeah, loose is good, loose is efficient, loose is fast, and keep the paddle shaft as clean and clear as you can Matt
  8. w00t! You did great — and we didn’t get eaten by the sharks of Woods Hole — all in all a fun day out. If anyone would ever like to try a surfski in nice calm Nahant Bay I have an Epic V8 in my garage ready and waiting. I’ll be out of town for 10 days starting this Thursday but otherwise I’m happy to meet up anytime. Matt
  9. I agree with @rfolster that bracing is a key skill to cultivate -- however to continue on the angular momentum track I have found that it's often easier to simply take a couple of forward strokes to restore stability versus bracing -- it does require you to conquer your fear of tipping over! Picture yourself riding a bicycle, and you hit a pothole. Your feet come off the pedals and you begin to wobble. You can either continue to slow down or even stop + put your foot down, reset yourself on the seat, and then start pedaling again, or you can put your feet back on the pedals while still moving/wobbling and in just a couple of turns of the crank restore your balance and continue on like nothing happened.
  10. Great discussion thread! I've also been messing around in boats for 20+ years and mainly in boats with <24" beam for the past 10 or so. I transitioned from traditional sea kayaks to surfskis in 2013, starting with an Epic V8 and working through the model line to my present Epic V12. For reference the beam of the V8 is a reasonable 21.25" and the V12 is a real stiletto at 16.9". While hull profiles differ somewhat between surfski manufacturers and even sometimes within their model lines, generally I think they are fairly similar in design -- this is why we like to race with them (it's sort of like NASCAR). What differs more than hull profile are beam and length dimensions, as well as the amount of volume and how the designer distributes it. These characteristics, combined with your weight/volume ratio (including paddler + gear) contribute greatly to your overall speed/stability performance profile. For a visual example check out this great chart developed by Wes Echols of SurfskiRacing.com. Paddling such narrow boats with low primary stability I have learned over the years that remaining upright in any boat is a function of essentially doing exactly that -- remaining upright. By maintaining proper form when you paddle -- no slouching or leaning, placing the blade properly in the water, rotating correctly through your stroke, etc -- you greatly improve your ability to keep dry. I've also learned that even the narrowest boats can be extremely stable when you are moving with good form -- it's when you lose focus or slow down/stop and break that form that you fall in I'm fairly certain this is an angular momentum thing, similar to how bicycles work -- maybe the physics people in the group can comment on that. Speaking of keeping dry -- I agree with what several people have already pointed out in the thread, and that is the importance of NOT being worried about getting wet! If you accept that getting wet is part of the fun of kayaking, then when it happens it's not an emergency in your mind, it's just part of the experience. Whether you are inside of the boat -- as with a traditional sea kayak -- and need to become comfortable rolling and exiting/entering, or you are on top of the boat -- as with a SUP, surfski, or outrigger canoe -- and need to become comfortable remounting, this is a skill that you absolutely MUST learn, practice, and perform on a regular basis to develop expertise. We ALL fall into the water -- as with skiing it's all about converting that fall into a nice recovery. (edit: ...a little more) I'd also like to add that one of the biggest contributors to stability is how well you fit in the boat. Maintaining a solid connection with the hull is extremely important both for power transfer and being able to swivel the boat around its longitudinal axis when needed. It's a bit like riding a mechanical bull -- the people who do very well with stability have a good connection with the boat and have learned to relax their hips. If you are able to shift around in the cockpit enough to cause the boat to tip -- so more than an inch or so side to side -- you probably need to consider adding some foam at your hips to tighten things up. Matt
  11. It certainly has helped me to mentally prepare, although I still have no solution for being a mile or more offshore and having a GWS “test bite” cause catastrophic damage to my ski. I certainly don’t want to be treading water next to my submerged craft when it comes back around to follow up on its work. Maybe I should carry a roll of duct tape with me just in case? I’m hopeful that all of the lion’s mane jellies are keeping the sharks away from surface-based travelers for now — I counted over 50 today in a single 5k leg. Matt
  12. *bump* -- also I'm willing to entertain reasonable offers -- if you're planning to make a $200+ purchase from CRCK anyway this season you could help me out at the same time and save a bit of money too
  13. Also it might not be clear from the picture but the certificate is also good for the Weston Ski Track (skiboston.com) and the Kendall ice skating rink (skatekendall.com)
  14. Hi all -- I have a $200 gift certificate for Charles River Canoe & Kayak / Paddle Boston that I was given a couple years ago. Since I have no plans to buy anything from CRCK or take a class, I'd like to convert it into cash so I can put it toward some surfski-specific gear. Certificate expires 5/23/2025 and you can have it for $175. PM me if interested. Cheers, Matt
  15. If you’re a mogul skier you might take a look at surfskis — Newbury Kayaks carries the Stellar brand and these boats are designed for speed and having fun in downwind conditions (surprisingly similar to mogul skiing). I suggest taking the S18S and SR models for a spin. Used boats can often be found at SurfSkiRacing.com Matt
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