Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

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wildwaterc2
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Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by wildwaterc2 »

I'm 45 and have paddled C1 since I was 15. I've always had a Gyramax as my cruising C1 - still have one. I've paddled a number of wildwater C1s, but not many cruising C1s. I have literally hundreds of days in a Gyramax.

I purchased a Cascade recently and have paddled it 4 times. I'm about 175 lbs. I've currently got a 7" saddle height, which is pretty comfy for me.

I've found the comparatively low, flat rear (compared to the Gyramax) can really get snagged and go down. On the Lower Gauley a couple of weeks ago, I flipped in Lower Mash when the back got caught in a current seam - I could have avoided that with driving harder forward but I was just floating enjoying the waves like I could do in my Gyramax. Today on Johns Creek, I did a vertical stern squirt on a powerful eddy line midway down Bambi (stayed upright) - exciting but not the preferred move - and here I was driving hard forward into the eddy, not drifting at all. Unlike the Gyramax, it did not propel me out any after it dove down - it felt more like when a slalom C1 sinks in a pivot turn, how it slowly comes back up with no real shove.

I'm just getting used to the boat. I like its big bow, as it gives a lot more margin than the Gyramax on steeper drops (I've paddled North Chick, Cain Creek, N. Fork French Broad and a number of other moderately steep runs in my Gyramax, but the blunter bow on the Cascade makes it much easier). I'm having fun surfing waves I could never stay on in the Gyramax, and the saddle is a more comfortable setup (I like having my feet tuck together somewhat), and comfort is important too.

I'm considering sliding the saddle forward some - I think that would just take drilling a couple of new holes. I don't want to just slide forward as that would spread my knees too wide given the saddle style.

I'm sure part of the challenge is due to my natural habits from long paddling the Gyramax. In the Gyramax, you need to get the relatively smaller nose up, and the big back pretty much won't dive - if it does (rarely) the buoyancy will shoot you out. It may just be that I need to get my weight more forward coming off drops in the Cascade - I don't tend to really lean back but stay more neutral, and certainly don't normally lean forward.

I'll figure out more as I get more time in the boat. But I know we have a lot of paddlers here with a lot of experience, and I may as well use that collective experience.

I appreciate your feedback and input.
edg
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by edg »

I haven't had a Cascade for years, and he only "big" water I paddled in one was the lower Tuolumne and the warm up section of the NF Payette (Hounds tooth to below Otter Slide) so take this for what it's worth. I'm about 10 lbs lighter, and think that despite its weight and bulk, the Cascade responds better to being paddled like a slalom boat. I felt that staying neutral made it both sluggish and a bit stern grabby, and that the Cascade paddled better with weight forward or even on the knees and the paddle up front. I also thought it handled better with a lower saddle, although I never considered moving the saddle more forwards. I have even less time in the Gyromax, but felt the Gyromax handled better than the Cascade with a higher saddle. I had not yet paddled a wildwater c-1 when I paddled the Gyromax, but in retrospect I think that it could be paddled more similarly to a wildwater boat. Did you by chance race Kernville WC in 2003? I was the green Tiptop.
wildwaterc2
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by wildwaterc2 »

Thanks Ed. Yes, I raced with my brother in a white c2 with blue stripes - I was in the back. Fun times. We each had kid 1 in 2004 and no more racing after that - exercise and casual runs in Tip Tops are the only wildwater since.
JimW
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by JimW »

Never actually seen a Cascade in the UK (did see an Atom last year) so I'm remembering from brochure images etc.

I did used to paddle kayaks with similar big flat sterns back in the day, and I still run relatively hard whitwater in playboat kayaks that will squirt easily.
One technique I worked out pretty quick, which a lot of people seem never to get, is that when you run a drop (even a very small one) you want to roll the boat onto it's edge very soon after landing so that as you power through the hole the surface water spills off the deck instead of pushing it down. Same idea if there isn't really a drop, just a hole to punch.

I still paddle a spud with the rear deck squashed concave (used to be my playboat!) people always expect me to be back looping that thing all over the place, but I don't because I alwys flick it onto an edge to spill the water off - I get squirted much less than guys paddling them with the full volume in the stern that haven't learned that technique.

I'm not 100% sure it will transfer to C1 but it is probably worth trying.
I have started paddling slalom C1 but don't like to roll it too far onto it's edge because other wierd large steaming pile of dog doo happens that I don't get, or at least feel, when I do it in a kayak... (i.e. I fall in)

Oh yeah, roll onto edge at the same as burying the blade for a forward power stroke, that should naturally get you trimmed forward at the same moment!
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the great gonzo
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by the great gonzo »

I have had a Cascade now for about 2 1/2 years and I have paddled it quite extensively. I weigh about 185 lbs and my saddle is in the factory location as far as I can tell. Height is approximately 6 inches.
I paddle it on both steep creeks as well as in big water. The stern has so far never given me too much trouble. The key to paddling the cascade well is, as edg mentioned, to paddle it actively from the bow. It likes to move forwards, if one is just drifting or actually paddling backwards, then the stern can catch sometimes. That being said, I bnever experienced any big stern ender action in the boat, neither on the Ottawa at high water nor on the Upper Gauley.
But I recall having heard that some owners have squished the stern of their Cascade a bit to make them a bit more active and to allow for some intentional pivot turns, something that a stock Cascade won't do, at least at my weight. The thought of lowering the stern a bit, in conjunction with maybe raising the bow an inch has crossed my mind as well, it migh make it faster while allowing quicker turns.
A lowered stern should be easily identifyable, as on a factory spec boat the height of the stern and bow deck where they meet the cockpit rim are about the same. If the stern deck is noticably lower, then the stern has been squished and you could bring it up to factoryspec by adding some foam to the stern pillar.

TGG!

But stick with it, the Cascade is an awesome boat, although you might have to change your paddling style a bit coming from a Gyramax.
Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing - Henry David Thoreau
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Rand C1
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by Rand C1 »

I paddle a Fink, but the Cascade is my go to for Ohiopyle Falls. I really like the boat, though there are some haters. Sounds like you will figure it out. Good luck, Rand

Also, I just wanted to say that being a Gyramax paddler is very cool.
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busterblue
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by busterblue »

Rand, I like it that you are a fan of the Cascade. I enjoyed my brief stint in the boat. But have you ever tried a modern creekboat conversion for comparison? (I was really happy in my Remix). Is there something in particular about the Cascade design that keeps you coming back?
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Rand C1
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by Rand C1 »

I like that it looks like what William Nealy drew as a C1 in his books. I has good hull speed, bow volume, and stable handling that is very familiar to me. It cleans Ohiopyle falls everytime(I'm not that good). Its part of my past so I like it. Rand

I have not paddled a conversion. I have paddled an Option that I really liked. The Fink is great.
NC-1
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Re: Stern "squirting" in a Cascade C1?

Post by NC-1 »

What a small word. I also raced in the Kernville WC in 2003, in the Red Zastera C2, I was in the stern. I think it's awesome that you're still paddling a Gyramax, I haven't had one in probably 15 years!
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