Questions From a First Time 'Quester
Hello Heather and Brandon !
Not sure what category to put this question in so here goes. I’m hoping to do the Yukon River Quest in 2010 as a solo kayaker. I’ve been canoeing for quite a few years in a variety of boats including marathon C-1 and tandem canoes. Done some races up to class 3 ww but nothing remotely like the YRQ. A few years ago I moved to the Olympia area and have started kayaking since that seems the thing to do over here. I now have a Necky Tesla NM and a Current Desgins Extreme HV. The Necky is definitely more stable with a 24″ish beam and a roomier cockpit. (I’m 6’5″ with looooong legs) The Extreme is a nice snug fit and a bit faster boat being a foot longer and 3 inches narrower. However, In a race like the YRQ, I’m assuming you get tired, somewhat incoherent and stiff and cranky. Is it better to sacrifice the extra bit of speed for the added comfort and stability in a race like that.? If I’m cranky, stiff and incoherent and my balance isn’t 100% I’m guessing overall I may actually be faster in the Necky. I’ll be training in Puget Sound so will have ample opportunity to practice some swell surfing, wierd currents, eddies etc with the exception of 24 hours non-stop paddling. Any advice would be greatly appreciated ! Congratulations on all your great achievements !!!
Congratulations on taking on the ‘Quest!
First off, YES YES YES… Comfort is key! Especially for your first ultra. When your butt hurts, or your legs cramp – your entire emotional state, your goals, your stroke efficiency… everything goes! So, I think you are on the right track wanting to go with a boat that is comfortable. You have a whole year to train, and by training I don’t mean just mileage, I mean testing all your systems. How and what you are going to eat and drink, how you are going to pee, how you are going to handle blisters and chafe… there is so much to think about! So, being in a boat you know is comfortable and stable… that is one less thing to think about. Do you have a (proper length) light paddle? That, to me, is almost more important than the boat you race.
Feel free to ask specific questions along the way… the year of prep is a huge part of the journey into ultra! Have fun… and good job planning ahead!
Heather and Brandon