Diagonal Solo seat?

Forgive if I can’t describe this well in words. I saw an old picture of a solo canoe with as seat that seemed to be designed to allow one to kneel at a 45 degree angle to the side. It came to a “V” in the center at the front and had a small triangular seat angled on each side. I’d like to try making one. Does any body have a picture or more information on one?


Invention: pivoting tractor seat
I’ve never seen your triangular seat, but can picture it.

It would be kind of hard to fit on one side of such a triangle in a narrow solo canoe unless one was Twiggy.

I can accomplish the same effect by sitting on my pile of three rectangular PFD cushions that I’ve used for 35 years, which I can slide, pivot or twist around to any place on the floor of the canoe.

If you want to be elevated on more of a traditional seat, I hereby invent the pivoting tractor seat. Get a Deal kneeling bucket seat from Dave Curtis, and mount it on a removable gizmo that can slide fore and aft on a track and pivot toward the left and right.

For me, that paddling position …

– Last Updated: Dec-17-13 3:46 PM EST –

... wouldn't work. I can pull a paddle from front to back, alongside my body pretty well, but pulling it sort of cross-wise in front of me? That wouldn't work so well because it would require my arms to NOT be pushing and pulling, but reaching out and applying force in a sideways direction. Also, when kneeling but semi-facing the gunwale, I'll automatically be farther from the gunwale than I would be if facing forward because I'd have one knee aimed toward the side of the boat (that in itself would prevent me from using such a seat at all, unless it was angled to one side only and offset closer to the non-paddling side, and that would be pointless). Do you think the seat you saw was for partly facing the side of the boat, or just to provide more butt contact when kneeling (facing straight ahead) than is possible with a straight-edged seat?

Actually the transverse position
works well because it forces you to use torso rotation.

Marc Ornstein won a slalom race at a FreeStyle Symposium simply because the transverse ( its commonly used in reverse cross strokes) uses torso rotation much more than traditional face ahead paddling.

Canadian style uses a semi transverse position too in one bilge.

I can’t offer any seat references though Turtle. I use a movable “H on its side” bench to achieve that position when kneeling. The bench is just butt support.

Okay, that’s different than I expected

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In the various photos and videos that I've seen of people paddling Canadian style they were always scrunched up against the sidewall of the canoe, which of course is not possible unless your thighs point straight ahead (relative to the boat), even if your torso can be twisted to face partly outward when in that position. Point one or both thighs diagonally toward the sidewall of the boat and your upper body will end up being much farther from that sidewall, and that's not a paddling position I've ever seen being used.

Not saying it can't be done, but if it were me, I'd not choose a seating position that forced me to be located farther from the side of the boat than is possible with knees/thighs pointed forward.

Well …
I know Marc usually tends to paddle slightly transverse, sort of scooted up to the on-side gunwale. But I wouldn’t conclude that that’s the reason he won some sort of slalom event. He may have won it against the particular competition from a traditional seated position or from any position. Marc can do sophisticated things in a flatwater canoe that most people can’t.

Moreover, a slalom course – repeated radical turns – isn’t a typical paddling situation. The vast majority of paddling is straight ahead with forward strokes. I agree with GBG that a transverse stance wouldn’t be the most efficient leverage position for that kind of paddling for me.

Finally, in whitewater slalom racing, I’ve never seen anyone using a transverse stance. Aside from the restrictions of saddles and thigh straps, how can you properly do cross strokes on the off-side if your torso is rotated to the on-side? This makes no physical sense to me, unless the paddler repositions his transverse side from left to right for different strokes.

That said, there may be temporary situations where other paddlers (including me) like to paddle semi-transversely for reasons of comfort, variety or different leverage. It may be a comfortable way for some paddlers to negotiate a twisty creek, for example, or just to practice certain moves.

Watch some videos of Becky Mason

– Last Updated: Dec-17-13 5:11 PM EST –

or Rolf Kraiker.

We are getting a bit off Richs post because I don't think he wants to do slalom in whitewater. When you have thigh straps of course the equation changes.

I have met and paddled with Turtle and do believe he wants it for quietwater in the ADK's in a small solo seat.

Its a neat idea that I would like for my narrow solos too just to use more muscles differently during long days on the water.

Actually, I’ve watched both of them

– Last Updated: Dec-17-13 5:44 PM EST –

I've been to three of Rolf's seminars and watched his videos, and I've watched Becky Mason both in videos and in-person. All I've seen from those two is the kneeling position I described (though Becky ALSO often kneels in the conventional manner, with body centered and knees spread toward opposite sides of the boat). I've seen free-stylers position themselves at unusual angles in the boat, but the Canadian-style paddlers I've seen have positioned themselves with their butt tight against one sidewall of the boat and thighs pointed straight ahead.

I think something's been lost in translation here. It's physically impossible to point your thighs toward one side of the boat AND put your body close to that side as well, and I don't think that needs detailed explanation. We may be talking past each other somehow.

the angled station is common among many solo canoe paddlers. It’s been used far a long time now and exists because facing 45 degrees to the paddling side provides a superior bio-mechanical advantage, in terms of both power and control. Several instructors have been teaching this approach for years. It takes a bit of getting used to but once mastered one can easily feel the advantages. Of course one should be able to change this angle to the other side for cross-bow maneuvers.

I participated in a lively discussion of this several years ago, in this forum. It’s not a new idea. But I like very much the sound of this seat design. Any chance for a pic or two Turtle?


Crackpot inventor that I am, I’ve
thought about a pedestal for my Bluewater that would pivot horizontally from a rear pivot point. If I were paddling on the left, the pedestal would put me closer to the left gunwale, with my body somewhat angled to the left. To paddle on the right, the pedestal would be swung to the right, and my body would be angled a bit to the right.

The objective of this nonsense would be to make it easier to solo paddle a 34.5" wide, 17’ long tandem that has strong primary stability and does not like to heel.

Obviously, designing a pedestal that pivots easily on the floor of a canoe would not be easy. But having one’s torso preloaded a few degrees by being angled toward the paddling side should be no problem at all. It might even be an advantage. My cruising stroke is rather short, with emphasis on a firm catch and early blade extraction.

I’ve been raking a record crop of leaves and pine needles, and I lengthen the rake stroke by passing the rake across in front of my body. I probably get a 6’ stroke and for just one yard, I’ll bet I can match any leaf blower. (I hate the noise of leaf blowers.) The reach across and pull past motion of the rake is similar to what would be done if one’s body were cocked a bit toward the paddle side.

I saw it in an overhead shot in an old solo canoe article link by Mike Galt on the canoe tripping forum. Sorry I don’t know how to post the link.


This one.
Is this the article you wanted to post? The third overhead picture shows something that looks like an X brace to sit on left or right. Need to zoom in to really see it. To me it looks like a way to end up paddling with your arms instead of your torso but I’ve never tried it so who knows.


That’s a very interesting picture
That seat, if it is a seat, is not what I was picturing.

That looks like Patrick Moore paddling probably one of his own boats with a special seat for an Olympic high kneel stance. Paddling with a leg extended changes all the biomechanics to favor a powerful forward racing stroke. The paddler isn’t going to be doing any cross strokes from that kind of stance – although someone like Patrick Moore or Harold Deal probably could.

My motive
I sit this way a little on a conventional seat to compensate for some arm and shoulder issues. On flarwater this seat may help. I’m definatly going to build a rough tryit seat.

“Life is what you make of it,if it doesn’t fir,you make alterations” From the movie Silverado.


Hey Turtle…
I think you are correct. This stationing will ease pressure on shoulders, etc. One concept that might get lost in this discussion, is that it applies to those using kneeling thwarts or canted seats for paddlers who kneel. In doing this one must take care to adjust keep trim during forward travel. Having said that, my idea is to use a kneeling thwart which is curved along the front edge. This will allow the paddler to assume any angle desired in either direction. I’ve almost built one myself several times. Good luck with this. Hope it helps.