? for ski paddlers who like touring

okay… it looks like i will be paddling the ski more often than the avocet for many reasons… and that i’ll likely be wanting to take it on some of my day paddles while on vacation, etc. i have the hydration thing figured out, pretty much, but what arrangements do the rest of you use to stash snacks, a spare fleeec, etc., if you don’t have a hatch?

i orginally thought i’d be using the ski for fitness paddling only, and keeping the avocet for touring. the ski is simply less problematic for me in terms of my neck/shoulder injury, so i will likely be working on feeling more confident on the ski and using it on more and more of my paddles. hopefully i will be paddling it in my local ocean by sometime this summer.

having jude (huki) build me a custom ski with hatches is an option down the road… but it isn’t a road i’ll be traveling down this paddling season, or probably not next year either:) so i am open to suggestions and pictures would be even better!


A friend of mine cut a hatch in my Mark 1 up by my feet so that I can carry water there as well as keys, etc. It has one of those bags, so it is watertight. You could easily get someone (or do it yourself) to do that just behind you. You should be able to fit a thin top and a snack in one of those bags. Otherwise, I’d just get a drybag and strap it behind you with the bungees. Not too much weight, since it is above your center of gravity.


Decent bungees/lines added to the rear deck and a small drybag is another option. Odds are you’d have to hopp off or land to mess with gear much anyway. Don’t think I’d want to be opening hatches or dry bags from the seat, and maybe not on the water at all unless they had sealed compartments/bags.

I added a hatch on a UX. No big deal. Pretty easy job.

My Mark 1 came with one up front, with a small sealed compartment built (sort of like a shelf). Has a hole through the cover for hydration tube. It’s at the highest point of the boat though so not ideal for stability and a long tube is needed. It would be great for keys/snacks/whatever small stuff though.

I could add another hatch just aft of the seat as the decks flat there and wide enough to accept a big enough hatch to allow some gear storage.

I might also be able to get a small hatch between my legs for just hydration, putting the bag in the ideal spot. Link to someone else’s installation like this on a Fenn X/T:


I have a good hatch that size ready to go, but I really should learn to paddle it before I start cutting holes…

All three hatches would allow incredibly functionality - but adds weight and gets away from the simplicity of skis.

Yep, ez to install hatches … unscrew
lid and trace perimeter … this is your hole size.

Install not to tight w/ silicone.

Another thing is any size or shape cutout can be converted to a hatch. So if you want some ’ flush ‘kayak like’ hatches it can be done on any boat.

Jude is a great guy to work with and you might check out the S1-R or the faster, stable S1-A or S1-X boats.

Thanks guys:)
I think I’ll hold off thinking about adding a hatch to my boat for now and just go with the dry bag and bungees on the rear deck idea for now, and move my hydration system up to the front of the boat behind the foot pegs.

Deck Net
Most skis are so minimal that there’s very little in the way of mountings to secure items using bungees. This site offers wellnut deck nets or bungee mounting kits for deck lines that are easy to mount.


If you sew a wide velcro patch onto your hydration bladder sleeve and use an industrial strength adhesive backed companion strip on the raised section between the wells, the bladder should stay put.

All the major chandleries (BOAT US, West Marine) sell “inspection ports” which make for extremley easy and watertight installations. You just need to make sure you cut your hole on a flat deck, not a haevily cambered surface!

All the major chandleries (BOAT US, West Marine) sell “inspection ports” which make for extremley easy and watertight installations. You just need to make sure you cut your hole on a flat deck, not a haevily cambered surface!

speaking of ski touring…
Are people using tethers or leashes when touring with skis? It only takes about a 5knot wind to blow a ski away faster than one can swim after it. I like the efficiency of my surf skis, but miss the confidence of the closed cockpit and eskimo roll combination. If you’ve ever been separated from your surf ski you know how quickly it can happen.

Do you subscribe to the surfski
email listserv at yahoo? There was a discussion this week on this very topic. I am not paddling in open ater yet, but I have a leash for when I do.

No I don’t subscribe to yahoo. I am rarely on the internet as it is. Over the years I’ve enjoyed checking in to this site every now and then, and I also check hockey scores and maybe a little misc. research here and there. I may be the single most computer illiterate person I know.

Of course, now you got me curious and I’ll probably have to figure out what this yahoo thing is all about.

I just returned from trading my Huki for a brand new never been paddled Kevlar Seda Glider. Now I have to order another Huki, and I think I will get the hatches this time.

Thanks for the hot tip.


Strong story! I need a cup of hot chocolate just from reading it.

A few years back I flipped a ski on a February Pacific Northwest day.

Wind was howling so we decided to catch some waves. I was wearing a drysuit and PFD and it was an on shore wind.

I used my paddle to swim with and while it made me swim a lot faster, theres no way I was gonna catch the ski. It finally blew into a docked freighter. Loads of fun, let me tell ya. I was fine ( I mean its not like being stuck in a man-eating recirculating hole in a class v…but yeah, its still its own friggin predicament!), the Findeisen X was fine, so I paddled back out to the boys and they yelled at me to quit messing around with my own private biathalon and finnish my workout.

Steve Lutsch from Ontario used to say that while there may be 3 million people within an hour and a half of you, if you get separated from your boat in conditions, you may as well be the only person on the face of the earth. You’d better believe it. Its all fun a games untill somebody doesn’t resurface.

Thanks for the post. Thanks for bringing the chilly memories back to the forefront. I’ll order a leash asap.


There Was Also Some Debate
on the Yahoo site about which type of leash to go with: the straight tether variety such as Lendal offers with the quick release ball, or the commonly seen coiled cord variety. Some folks said that the coiled cord can be potentially be problematic in the surf zone, springing back with some force should you get maytagged, or if you’re in the wrong place below it when it gets extended. Most of this school were from big wave/surf areas-Hawaii, S. Africa, Australia. I have the straight tether on my ski; makes it one less thing to worry about when remounting, you know the paddle’s not going anywhere. The only downside I can see to the straight leash is it occasionally ‘catches’ on a pfd buckle during the stroke, and tends to whip through the air like a lasso at faster stroke cadences. Minimal though. During the longer races where you’re out there alone, as one poster noted, and certainly the windier ones, I’ve been using it on my sea kayak-just makes me a little more secure. Sudden gusts can rip your paddle out of your hand very quickly, particularly if you loike a looser open hand grip. Flatwater events and paddles I leave it in the car. I keep mine tethered on the ski now at all times so I don’t forget it also.