Jump to content

Contact Cord Specs Question


Recommended Posts

Great thread for an important (validated by Leon's timely input) piece of gear, that the "school bus" is lacking. Before I assemble my own version, incorporating Peter's simplicity/size and (soon-to-be [rumor]) Jason's adjustability, I still have some questions:

-Peter/others: How do you take up slack, if needed, in your single-line rigs?

-In the photo of the adjustable rig, is the outside-to-outside perimeter line attachment the recommended configuration for the tow?

-If not, could I consider permanently fixing my kayak's contact to only one of my perimeter deck lines, adding a side-release buckle between contacts?

As for the daisy-chained (preferably) tow belt, I like to wear it routinely. I've hastened a small, stalled, sailboat from the lee of an island to a windier passage.



Mine is daisy chained a little bit so its about 22" long and fits across my deck with not much slack , the daisy chain held by loop in biner (see photo)post-100369-0-54173900-1333748412_thumb. ; it can be un -chained by just taking loop out of biner.

Mine, however, does not have a quick release like the one in Jason's picture does: Most paddlers feel that a short tow must have a quick release, as you need to get out of it when its under tension(like in some rafted boat capsize or mishap) , but some feel that since it's in front of you can grab it lessen the tension and unhook the biner, it so a quick release is not essential , also: the quick release can , well, quick release when you don't want it to. Different strokes... I did some training with Leon Somme , who doesn't use a quick release, but most paddlers i know have one on their short tow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not that I care one way or the other, but it is in Gordon Brown's book.

Ed Lawson

Yup... I see that. Actually, Brown does not even have a category called "short tow", so I assume that's what he means by the subcategory "clip in" under "contact tow". So he's on the other side from me. Well, my authority was someone of roughly equal "rank" in the coaching community. I guess even experts differ. I just find my definitions more logical and easier to communicate.

Then again, I have often been amazed at the lack of consensus among coaches. For example, I have found that the question of whether a "carved turn" or "skidded turn" is on the inside edge or the outside edge to roughly split the coaching community. They can't both be right, of course. In fact simple observation of the wakes of turning boats will tell you which way is correct -- and lots of prominent coaches have it wrong. Of course, they're all good paddlers, much better than I am, so maybe who cares. But it can be confusing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if it would work, but did you try having her lean across your bow while you pushed, instead of your stern while you pulled?

In my limited experience practicing contact tows, I found a lot of abdominal strength was required when I was in the girl's position near the stern, but far less strength was required if I laid across the towing paddler's bow. Her boat might still have ended up at an angle to your boat, but I suspect closer to 45 degrees than 90 degrees, which might have been good enough.

Across the bow might have been better from the start. By the time I gave up there was no time to try anything other than pulling her down current to the safest place I could see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ever-entertaining David (I mean that: he writes with much quiet humour) wrote this:

<...amazed at the lack of consensus among coaches. For example, I have found that the question of whether a "carved turn" or "skidded turn" is on the inside edge or the outside edge to roughly split the coaching community...>

I think there is an easy answer to this and it is that the coaches with whom we have been fortunate enough to be associated have all tried, rather, to get us (the great uneducated masses) <to think for ourselves>. I am certain that they have, one and all, wanted us to try to experiment, in order to ascertain exactly what works best for each of us or our boats. Simple, really!

See you, Mr. Lewis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I believe given the circumstances it was going to be a tough go no matter what technique you tried. In my very limited experience, using a contact tow beyond a minimal distance to get someone ouy of an unsafe place without some device to physically "pin" their kayak to yours makes for a difficult situation at best and is usually not easy even if the towee has a clue about what needs to be done. I think towing a significant distance that way is somewhat herculean.


I think you too deserve a "Bingo!" for saying the best coaches don't dictate to students what is the "proper" or "correct" way, but instead provide options for us to explore and adapt and select or reject based on what works best for us. Of course that requires us to spent a good deal of time playing about in our boats to develop a feel for what works for us and our paddle and our boat and our "typical" paddling venue, but how else to learn craft/art of paddling.

Ed lawson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...