How far forward

Continued from another thread:

How far forward will the paddler's position on the OC 1 be moved ?

Over the years, the position has been moved forward inch by inch. This trend does not seem to stop.

Are a movable seat and foot pedals the optimal answer ? After all the hull under you remains the same.

May it be better to change stern and bow volumes to make the boat drop in better ?
Or, add weight to the bow in downwind races ?

It is obvious that you moved forward too much once you pearl; this could be offset by bow shape with more flare and more vertical bow volume.

Submitted by eckhart diestel on Sat, 01/01/2011 - 11:03am

I had a big chunk of ice inside the front of my boat this morning, was mean for dropping into the two inch bumps.

#1 Sat, 01/01/2011 - 4:31pm

Back in the days when only long lagoon type solo outrigger canoes were around, you could automatically move as far forward as you want, up to the edge of the footwell. And you could also move as far back as you want, even off the cockpit onto the fragile deck. One size fit all. The problem was that no matter where you sat: up front, in the middle or way back, few, if any of us, could surf the canoe. I only knew of one person who could. Then the Honu one-man, by John Martin, came into production with the same one size fit all cockpit, and now most of us could sit far enough forward to catch the waves off Flat Island and then move our okole to the rear to ride it out. Catching bumps was not as easy as the surfski, but being able move forward real fast did help. Eventually, with experience, the okole automatically found the sweet spot and there was no need to move back and forth anymore.

ps: a while back, Brent Bixler came out with a newer generation Bullet ski that had a bathtub size cockpit, which you dropped a custom fitted foam seat into it. Unfortunately for me, my custom seat positioned me too far back so that every stroke I took made the ski feel squirrelly. Brent made a second seat, which moved me a couple of inches forward, and what a difference it made, for the ski felt balanced and very stable. I was not as comfortable as the first foam seat, for my knees were bent and raise more, which didn't help my compartment syndrome.

#2 Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:21pm

Haha, yeah the old Channel Masters with the flat platform seat and very minimal foam (1/4") were great for body positioning anywhere on the 3ft of flat seat area, but hell on the butt.

You know the more i look at the Tahitian V1 and how it is designed to work, the more i admire the design. There is no doubt it can surf big swells with the right person in the cockpit, there are plenty of pictures around of Tahitians surfing reef breaks. Yes it is not as maneuverable generally as an OC1 due to the lack of rudder and very little rocker, but it is a supremely balance craft with an experience paddler aboard, and fast.

Seems to me the OC1 is still evolving and revolving, as previously discarded design elements are recycled, The OC1 is becoming more V1 like. The seats now are so low into the hull it is almost a cockpit. The Pueo Ama is very similar to the V1 in function. The top OC1 Paddlers are maneuvering more now using their blade to make directional changes instead of a rudder drag (yes that's what happens) And the double bend paddle is becoming more popular.

There's no doubt the 2 designs are moving closer together. How long before we see 3 Gallon water coolers strapped to the OC1 hull? (.. only joking)

What do you guys think? Is it getting more ski like or V1 like?

#3 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:44pm

Rambo, i'm glad you brought up all these points. if i had written the same thing it would have either been ignored or blasted as a totally biased post.

if anyone had been at the HVA fun run you would have seen 9 rudderless boats surfing pretty well across moanalua bay. obviously not with the same ease as a ruddered boat. but they do indeed work. fastest time for the day was somewhere around 59 minutes on a fairly light wind N-NE day.

#4 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:07am

It's just an observation jc. Same can be said for the six man canoes, the unlimited boats being produced now appear to be a mix of OC6 and V6 designs in a quest for more speed and excitement.

So are we seeing a move towards a Hybrid Outrigger Design both 6 and 1 that is suitable in most Oceans around the World rather than just large ocean swells?

Is this too far off topic Ecky?

#5 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:14pm

Rudders are a drag...


#6 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:31pm

@Rambo - I don't think that I understand a lot about OC 6.

They have a hull shape like a box, funny bows and sterns, are uncomfortable, hold too much water and are too heavy - that's all I know.
Paddling them is nice because of your buddies and the joint effort; other than that - a pain. Thumbs down :(

The ones made out of Koa, - they are majestically beautiful.

There is a boat on Big Island - the Noa - a bit on the heavy side, but a 'real' canoe, with very good lines. This is probably close to the hybrids that you envision. That boat is a pleasure.

The Noa, made light, out of Koa wood, armed with carbon - oh yes !

Sorry guys, I am from the Northern German coast, where the wind and the water are gnarly most of the time. We have big fat fishing boats, but we do not row or paddle them. :)

The OC 6 built here serve three purposes: the flat water regatta season and the open ocean long distance season; they also have to serve the rules and regulations - all that is a bit too much to get an optimized design, I think.

In case you would drop any two of those three requirements and build specific boats, you would likely get immediate results.

Your videos are great and always appreciated.

#7 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:42pm

@Rambo - it would be quite logical for ski, V1 and OC 1 move closer together as every body is copying form the previous art anyway :)
I know, I know, that is not true, - but still true at the same time. It is not an easy task to complete a new design, very intense and expert know how required.

More seriously: every boat seems to perform best in specific conditions. The Hawaiian OC 1 design is a response: you know the conditions of the Molokai Hoe, Makapu'u, Hawaii Kai.
A rudder is justified in these conditions. The length is determined by the shape of the wave. The bow design tries to 'get over the bump', you need some flare to keep the boat flexible in side on waves, the chines provide some lift on the wave surface, can't ride too deep, can't afford water in the footwell, etc.
V1 best for Tahiti, OC 1 best for Hawaii, local rudderless better than V1 for local use.

#8 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:07pm


On your initial question,,, Pretty far, but can be way too much. ...

If you could move your feet with your seat :

Mark the seat position and do some trials in as even sea conditions as you can find.

Do out and back runs keeping track of average speed, time and max speed while mental noting how the boat handles. Add H.R. and stroke count if you want too. Do race pace, sprint and endurance pace runs @ each seat postion,

I think you will find your race pace speed will top out well before your max sprint speed position which is gonna be forward to the point of the boat handling squirrelly. Dial in the seat postion to prefered handling somewhere right in this max race pace range.


#9 Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:00am

on a side note, why did squirrels get such a bad rap?

#10 Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:22am

on a side note, why did squirrels get such a bad rap?



1. Tending to move around alot.
2. Restless, nervous, or unpredictable.

#11 Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:46am

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