Kayak – How to Sit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 57,212
    Kayak instructor Mike Aronoff demonstrates how to sit down comfortably into a kayak, a method known as the Dynamic Seated Position or DSP.

    Mike Aronoff

    Mike is an American Canoe Association highest level Instructor Trainer Educator in both Coastal and River Kayaking as well as WW Canoe. He is also a British canoe Union Coach with the 4 Star award in Sea Kayak. He is the Chairman of the Coastal Kayak Committee of the USA and on the ACA Safety Education and Instruction Committee. Mike has co authored a number of books on paddling and wrote the ACA Kayak Trip Leading Course. He is a guest instructor in many parts of the US for various programs. He is the owner/general manager of Canoe Kayak and Paddle Co. LLC, a northern Virginia based paddling school and outfitter with an Annapolis, MD branch. Mike is also a registered Idaho Guide and leads trips there and locally. He is most active in certifying ACA paddling instructors in sea and river kayaking.

    Mike Aronoff with Canoe, Kayak and Paddle Company. Let's take a quick look at how to sit in the kayak, while we are here on dry land. Obviously I am not in the kayak now, I am on it, but I want to give an idea of what we refer to as a Dynamic Seated Position, DSP. You cant see this, but inside the kayak up forward are foot braces and the balls of my feet are going to be on those braces, so that I can sit upright, and with a pressure against my feet, keep my knees in this position, making sort of a diamond shape. I want to have them not so tight that I cant just slide my heels forward and stretch my legs out when I want to, but if I push on the balls of my feet, I come up into this diamond shape again. Again, sitting up straight let me slide into the kayak. Feet are on the foot braces up here, to the extent that I can have pressure against my thigh brace here. Sitting up straight, little arch in my back, so that I am sitting up not leaning back. Sitting up straight; this allows me to be able to use the torso most effectively so that I can rotate to put the paddle where I need it to be without running the risk of damaging my shoulders.

    Remember to stay loose; you dont want to be locked up, you dont want to be tight. We will talk about this more when we get in the boat on the water but you want to be loose in the waist so that youve got good mobility, not locked up tight.

    So, here we are, Dynamic Seated Position, so that you can use the big muscle groups, be relaxed, be comfortable, transfer the energy that comes from your body to the kayak itself for doing maneuvers.

    Thats it! e extent that I can have pressure against my thigh brace here. Sitting up straight, little arch in my back, so that I am sitting up not leaning back. Sitting up straight; this allows me to be able to use the torso most effectively so that I can rotate to put the paddle where I need it to be without running the risk of damaging my shoulders.

    Remember to stay loose; you don t want to be locked up, you don t want to be tight. We will talk about this more when we get in the boat on the water but you want to be loose in the waist so that you ve got good mobility, not locked up tight.

    So, here we are, Dynamic Seated Position, so that you can use the big muscle groups, be relaxed, be comfortable, transfer the energy that comes from your body to the kayak itself for doing maneuvers. That s it.