Benefits & drawbacks of a C1

First, let me say thanks to everyone who responded to me yesterday about pricing my C1. From everyones comments it seems that a C1 is not to popular. It made me wonder though why somebody would choose to convert their kayak to a C1. Are there any benifits. From the one I own, but have not used, it looks like it would be hell on my knees.

I think the upright position the saddle offers in a C1/OC1 might offer more leverage and hip flexibility.

You might want to ask this question at


Have paddled c-1 since '74, and see
only a few advantages relative to kayaking.

  1. You sit higher, can see better, get less water in your eyes or on your glasses.

  2. The single blade gives you stronger leverage for certain turning and bracing moves (but lack of blade on other side offsets this advantage).

  3. A c-1 can run full flotation in the bow as well as the stern, and so floats higher if you end up swimming.

  4. If you do overnights, it is easier to get gear balanced and the hull properly level.

  5. With some c-1 setups, in creeking and exploring situations, you may be able to get out and back into the boat more easily and securely than in some kayaks. (Depends on intelligent outfitting.)

  6. The mystery advantage. For a few of us, the asymmetrical c-1 technique just feels better. (no points awarded.)

    I also paddle OC-1 and kayak. Kayaks have a big advantage in driving back upstream, in bracing on both sides, and in long-term comfort. I would never advise anyone to start out in c-1, but for someone who already is very good in OC-1 and wants to try decked WW boats, c-1 is a natural transition.

Oh, by the way, I am one of the few
people ever to have converted a c-1 to a kayak.

Good knees - tight hamstrings
That’s my reason to C1.

Sitting in a kayak makes my back and legs SCREAM!

Kneeling is not too bad.

So I paddle canoes and C1.


Converting to a kayak
Well I am finding out that I am an extreme novice and don’t have a clue in this area. I believe the C1 that I have started out as a kayak. I’ve search this online and have found that the Blast is not on Dagger’s website so I’m assuming it is discontinued. The only place I find repeated hits are UK websites and all of these have seats in them. My question is, if it was originally a kayak, would that make it easier to convert back. From what I have read the Blast is supposed to be a decent kayak for small adults and children. If it isn’t worth much to sell I would like to convert it back to a kayak and keep it until my young daughter can use it. That or finally lose my gut and use it myself. Sorry such a long message.

The Blast was an excellent old school
boat for small people. Sort of a small Animas, but sharper handling. If you can’t get the original seat, you might be able to make a seat out of minicell. Or buy one for about $150 from But that would wipe out your savings.

Rite arm bra !
Hey TommyC1 I agree completely. Sitting on one’s butt with legs out in front puts a lot of pressure on the spine. It can put a great deal of pressure on nerves in the lumbar area which can add to leg pain. So can sitting in a canoe. Kneeling with your bum on a kneeling thwart or canted seat is much better for one’s back. Now if I could just figure out how to keep my knees form going bad after 35 years of kneeling. Those C-1 guys are my heroes. I paddled the Chattooga R. one time with a C-1’er. We paddled a lot every day for 5 days in a row, wow.

I’m teetering between kayaking and canoeing. They both have their relative merits, but I can say in my limited experience, that I find the kneeling position of an OC1 much easier on my back and butt. I too have banjo strings for tendons in my legs and the “legs out” position of a kayak can get to me. I tried a playboat (Jackson Fun) the other day and the “legs and feet wedged in” position was completely untenable. Much worse than spending hours strapped into a saddle.

Pick your poison,


C1 for about some time
and liked it for the reasons already said. While i kayak, in my heart i am still a canoeist. I left c1 mainly because i wasn’t an aggressive enough paddler which showed itself in both paddling style and in a inadequate roll. I can’t say enough about the pain in the feet from paddling c1. I stopped paddling at about the time people starting their kayak converstions into C1 and for me i figurred kayaking just made more sence. Their reasons for conversions were for having more playfull boats that were not available on the market where i was and am still not a player but more a down river kinda guy. SEe you downstream.