Outfitting an Alaw Bach to fit a tiny paddler?

Hi, I’m new here. I asked this on Reddit and was pointed to this site. I have a Rockpool Alaw Bach TCC that I purchased second hand a number of years ago. As I was getting to know it and had started trying to get it to fit me, I had a health crisis and had to stop paddling. I’m just now getting back to it and wondering if I should keep this boat, or not. I am 5’5" / 165 cm and weigh 110 lbs / 50 kg. So I’m smaller than the recommended paddler range, and quite tiny around, with long legs and a very short torso. I swim in the cockpit and seat. Is it possible to make this boat fit me so I can use it properly, or should I just sell it? I was previously able to handle it in rough conditions and even do a little easy surfing on barge wakes, but I couldn’t roll it to save my life. I can self rescue, no problem, but that gets annoying. It’s a beautiful boat and I’d really like to make it work for me but don’t want to waste the effort if it’s pointless. Thoughts? Advice?

I’m thinking of getting an Isel if I sell this since I love the AB.

I think I would suggest getting a smaller fitting boat. While you might be able to foam out the cockpit enough, you still won’t weigh enough to sink the kayak to its designed waterline. This will give you more windage and the kayak may not perform as it is intended to. Fortunately there are many more choices for tiny-person kayaks now, that wasn’t the case until relatively recently!


Thank you. This is the unfortunate reality I’ve begun to accept. I’ve already been corresponding with the Rockpool dealer about ordering an Isel so I think I’ll get over the disappointment as soon as I decide if I want to go with carbon/kevlar or not and settle on a color scheme. First I will need to sell this boat.


Yes on the carbon/kevlar - I’m a smaller paddler (5’7", used to be 120 lb, now about 150 lb) so I fit in most of the tiny kayaks. After years of hefting around super heavy British boats my latest is a Tiderace Xceed S in carbon - at 45 lb I love it more every time I pick it up. Tiderace makes an XS which would be perfect for someone your size (I can get in it but it wouldn’t be comfortable on a long paddle) that weighs closer to 40 lb. Good luck! Picking colors is so much fun!

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I’ve been absolutely obsessed with all the color choices, and custom graphics, and wondering if glitter is a problem with reflections in sunlight. It’s definitely fun! But I don’t think I am going to consider anything other than the Rockpool Isel - once I get the cockpit height measurement, that is, in order to make sure my long legs will fit comfortably. I really love the way the AB handles (aside from being too big for me). I won’t be able to test a boat here so I’m going to go with what I know and love. I hope that approach will serve me well.

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Post pics when you get it! There’s a show-off-your-boat thread.:slight_smile:

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I will! But it will be a long time before I have it given all the impact Covid has had on the industry. I’m told May would be optimistic. Good thing I have another boat and a SUP.

Hello, Well I own a Rockpool Isel and have paddled the Alaw Bach extensively.

At your size I would say the Isel is definitelyyour boat. I am 5`9 and 170 but with narrow hips. Now I believe Rockpool has two seat sizes , I would go with the smaller one.

Contact your dealer or if you are in the US reach out to the US distributor Sea Kayak Connecticut 203-247-9186 to confirm this. I think you will be very happy with the Isel but just biased and I very happy owner. Any questions ask away. Happy to help.

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Thank you! This is great to hear. I appreciate the tip about the seat size. I’ll definitely want a smaller seat if available. I am already in touch with Sea Kayak Connecticut and have been peppering them with questions. David McPherson is incredibly helpful.

I have a strange question I have been wondering about. Does anyone here who has glitter in their paint find the reflections annoying on sunny days? I tend to paddle with a hat rather than sunglasses, and I wonder about that. I am a huge fan of glitter, though.

23 days later, my boat is sold. sniff It went to a very nice man who drove a long way to get it. I think he will be very happy with it. Now my search for a used replacement starts in earnest. I really don’t want to fork out the big bucks for a new one, but might do since sea kayaks are not big where I am located, especially not LV boats. You folks in the NE have it good!