SOT outfitting

Could someone give me some good tips for outfitting a SOT kayak for mild river running (class III and down)? I bought a Wilderness ripper for a great deal, but I want to get it all put together. I looked at leg straps for more control, but what else.



might want to ask here as well:

Thigh straps are about all you need for your boat. Make sure they fit well and practice leaning your boat with them, tipping over and bracing up, using your knees and your hips to right the boat while you lay back with your head close to the water, and sweep the paddle to brace up. I’m assuming you already have a seat. A lowback seat is best. If you have hatches make sure they fit tightly … you can stick an inner tube or kayak float bag inside for extra insurance but probably not worth the bother.

Make sure you have a good PFD and a good helmet.

Wetsuit if the water is cold.

Practice tipping over and bracing back up, getting dumped and jumping back on and in ASAP. Get very familiar with how your boat handles in flat water before you try moving water.

I believe that boat has somewhat of a keel, which you are going to find to be a bit of a drag (no pun intended ) in rocky whitewater.

Thanks for the site and the tips. I planned on taking it over to the pool this week and paddling around in it. It does have a small keel, but for 175 basically new I couldn’t pass it up. the outfitter locally have them for 380.00


Seat AND Backband
The seat and the backband need to be two separate items.

ScupperPro Frank in Miami gave me this tip many years ago, and he is very right.

If the seat is attached to the backband, you can’t adjust the backband while you are sitting on the seat.

This is important for several reasons. The most important is the backband needs to be adjusted to keep you tight in the cockpit and keep good contact with the footwells, or footpegs.

Its also more comfortable because you are not constantly shifting you weight to adjust the backband.

Finally, if you glue the seat into the kayak you just need to carrying the backband with you and its a lot more compact than a backband with seat attached. Mine fits into a mesh bag with the PFD.

For solo open ocean trips I always have a paddle leash. Some people recommend against this because of entrapment issues, but I am a believer. BUT I would probably skip it for whitewater.

no paddle leash
a paddle leash is very dangerous in whitewater.

I’ve seen people have a lot of fun with the ripper in small whitewater. (class 2)

My SOT seat can be adjusted from the seat with no problems.

The thigh straps, helmet, good pfd, that’s what you need.

Sounds good
So everything I carry with my WW Canoe minus the floatation. add leg/thigh straps and I am good to go. I like the ripper so far… I even got it to roll similar to my WW Kayak I use to have. I do have another quick questions…Do I need plugs for the self bailing holes?


Don’t need the plugs in ww.

– Last Updated: Apr-29-08 11:36 PM EST –

In fact, the more self-bailing holes
the better. Expect to get wet, and
you'll have a good time. If you want to
shove the plugs in during those in-between
calms that's up to you. But for Class II
and up, store the plugs away with the paddle leash.