Training "wheels" ama

I wanted to know if anyone out there in sarcastic land has made a training wheel ama, One that would attach to the right side of the boat, I have a customer with serious asthma. He (and his wife) is very afraid of the boat flipping, He has a kayak but wants an OC-1 for the speed, relative to output, and the overall weight, I made a prototype by taking a 1/2 in bar, bent it so it would attach to the rear Iako and then went across the deck level to the water, I made a crude ama about 16 inches long and 4 inches wide and 8 inches tall out of foam. I attached the ama by drilling a hole in the side of the foam, and just pushed the bar on. I attached the bar to the Iako with hose clamps. It worked great, I could put all the weight on it I wanted and not huli, The ama runs about 8 inches off the water. You can practice flying the ama, and not worry about going over, I would be curious if anyone else has ever made something similar. After trying it out I really think there is something here, A great safety tool for kids, new paddlers, paddlers wanting to learn where there ama wants to flip etc, The ama can be attached quickly and No modifications to the existing Iako or boat,
I would really like to here from those paddlers that are new or feel this is something they may use, Privately or publicly JC, GOTO, Poopoo and others that always want to rip on anything not MANly please keep the sarcasm to a minimum,

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Submitted by OceanOhana on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 5:54am

Goto could probably use one-strong as hell but crappy balance. Too much muscles, I think. It's amazing that someone that short is so uncoordinated!

#1 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 6:27am

I'm sure you'll get slammed on this one, but if it works for your customer, who cares. Sounds like a good idea for someone learning to fly the ama in cold water. Not everyone gets to paddle in 70 degree plus water.

#2 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 6:27am

I think it would be cool to have an OC1 on the market in a trimaran configuration. Such a boat could be configured for sailing or paddling . It would be super stable but would need to be built alot more ruggedly than one ama boats due to extra stress on structure. There`s a few boats on the market now in this form but they are of the roto molded plastic type. Both Windrider and Hobie make plastic trimarans.

#3 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 6:34am

I think it's a great tool for teaching/learning ama-flying. Especially when you live around cold water. A lot of bad habits get deeply ingrained because of Huli-Fear in cold water.
The only minor surprise I can see is when you get good at flying with the crutch, you may go over a few times because the weight of the crutch has been removed.
Admittedly a minor concern.

#4 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 8:23am

I forgot to ask.
Does the mini ama have CHINES and how many?

#5 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 8:26am

I felt bad asking about chines.

#6 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 8:40am

I had a really long well written comment on this one, but then thought, meh.

People have learned to paddle for years without it. If someone is really concerned swimming, perhaps a land based sport would be best.

#7 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 10:01am

I worked with Valhalla on this very thing for surfskis and can tell you you are right on for the ama size. Even a 2 liter bottle size is enough. Not sure if he is still making them but the baby ama sure was cute. You can contact Keith through

I also know of another well known manufacturer who is working on a universal system for real world production right now.

Not out yet so can't say..... but its coming.

#8 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 12:02pm

here's another- looks more for the for the heehaw crowd based on the pics

#9 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 12:59pm

Here`s the windrider trimaran link:

#10 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 1:18pm

OceanOhana I think that prototype is spot on. You're not looking for another ama, just something to brace when it's urgent therefore you don't need much strength. This lets the paddler experience OC1 without feel of crutch unless absolutely needed. Considering the owners trepidity, I wouldn't expect him to travel into rough water where more thought or refinement of the little appendage would be neccesary. Materials could of course be improved to lighten but at least for now the dude gets to paddle a sweet boat.

You could go carbon on the iaku but that might be an expensive move. Otherwise, maybe replace the foam ama with a 1-2 liter Coke bottle(think that's been suggested already), impaling it with iaku at appropriate angles then lightly glass to secure it to aiaku and maintain rigidity; you're not looking for efficient hydrodynamics of a real ama, just a float to prevent huli during an episode of lost balance.

Chances are his risk of asthma attacks will be inversely proportionate to comfort in the boat and being on the water to where he may ditch the "trainer". At least it got him there. As for newcomers, not a bad way to bring the timid one's into OC1.

Nice work.

#11 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 3:02pm

Jcnizzle, what if someone wants to paddle in cold water, but they're not athletic enough for surfski, and they want something a little more high speed than a roto molded kayak, would it then be permissable to try the training ama? Just wondering...

#12 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 2:58pm

I did a similar project for an older guy that wanted his surfski modified so he could take his wife out, who wanted a guarantee it couldnt flip. I bent and welded custom aluminum iako's and highly modified a couple stingray ama's to mirror eachother and fit each side. It works insane.

#13 Fri, 03/07/2008 - 3:26pm

As mentioned by a couple of people, a training ama might be just the thing to entice people to paddle on cold water. I know that I am one of only a few people in my club that have been brave enough to take an OC-1 out onto our 30 degree winter water here in the Pac-NW. Fear of the huli has been the reason stated by others for not getting out during the winter. Eliminate that fear and more people may be willing to paddle over the winter.

#14 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 1:43am

how about a ama'less canoe?

#15 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 7:59am

"how about a ama’less canoe?"

Theres a novel idea:-)

#16 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 10:06am

I actually thought about this. Since this board does not seem geared to novices (as I discovered) you should add an informational section to your web site that you could refer novices to. I have been writing all the beginner stuff I have encountered from butt cheek rash, to tips securing your boat and windy days, to how rig your hydration, to golfers elbow, rotator cuff exercizes to keep you healthy, seat modifications ala Rambo for persons with sciatic pain (good designs from rowing) what hat and sun glasses you can buy that will not sink if they get in the water, issues with driving with your oc-1 etc etc etc...and link stuff that is helpful like Lukes beginners guide...think starting off with this balancer would allow more quick aquisition of finding the balance point and maybe good for demos. I think trying not to flip over causes a LOT of bad habits.

It is So Cal but when you are hot and winded from paddlling and you hit 57 degree water with severe asthma that can be critical.

Dorky but good idea per the many demos, maybe a good saftey/legal thing for you

#17 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 10:48am

the older mold we got has a bolt down system for the ama when it attaches to the canoe so I think is perfect for the catamaran oc 1. this other one is a good ama'less canoe picture. I think is faster than my Pegasus.

#18 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 12:31pm

"Since this board does not seem geared to novices"

We're all novices.....whether we admit it or not.

#19 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 3:48pm

I think it's a pretty interesting idea.

I used to live somewhere where the water temperature hovered in the 40s (F) in the winter. (I think another Pacific NW paddler commented earlier on this.)

My first winter, I was very hesitant to paddle at night in the dark. Yet I could only get out before and after work on weeknights, and the short winter days meant that was always in darkness. I would have liked to accelerate my OC1 paddling, but just felt I couldn't safely do so due to the combination of cold water, darkness, and my general newbie-dom.

#20 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 7:17pm

I tried paddling after dark and i couldn’t see the water eeh. it effected my balance. my brother does it.

#21 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 7:55pm

Paddling here in Seattle, as I'm sure it is in other mainland areas as well, is frickin' COLD. So, if you want to use the training "wheels" ama to get your workouts/pleasurable paddles in, then I think it's a good idea. But I would recommend that your eventual goal, just like regular training wheels, is to eventually paddle without it.

PS-I love things that aren't manly - like women. In fact, the less manly, the better. Mmmm... women.

#22 Sat, 03/08/2008 - 8:03pm

When asking about ama-trim to seasoned paddler one January am the response I got was, "well, basically the depth of my rear iaku is proportional to the water temperature....the colder it is, the deeper I set it."

#23 Sun, 03/09/2008 - 4:35am

I am very pleased with the feedback, and will be working towards developing this ama, MAny of you brought up some great points and the more I thought about it feel this is a great tool. We read a lot on this forum about trying to get better, "how to" The current string about sciatic nerve problems is one that may benefit from the ama trainer. Learn how to paddle without leaning on the ama so much. This will help the leg numbness and make you faster. I think it is too bad that JC9 feels that if someone needs an aid to get them on the water or to paddle safer they just shouldn't be out there, JC may want to rethink his use of a rudder, as many centuries of paddlers have paddled without one, as well as the top paddlers today.
If our goal is to develop our sport and to put more paddlers on the water, and at the same time make them better paddlers, we should be open to whatever makes them more comfortable, weather it's a secondary ama to be sure they don't huli, or even a pair of gloves to help them paddle with better comfort. To make any statement that will make any paddler feel less of himself and less of a paddler is irresponsible. I would hate to here of a paddler that drowned in cold water, and would have used a secondary ama had he not been made fun of.

This site is a great place to learn and share ideas, However I think many people are afraid to post the "stupid" question out of fear they will be made fun of. I applaud Shawn on asking all the questions he does. and I am certain that there are plenty of paddlers out there that are thankful he does,

#24 Mon, 03/10/2008 - 8:56am

It's cold here too and while I paddle just fine without training wheels, I'd feel much safer paddling in the dark winter with them. Thanks for the photos.

#25 Mon, 03/10/2008 - 9:52am

I think it is too bad that jc9 has beautiful blue eyes, but no one ever notices them because his GIGANTIC NOSE is so distracting.

...and he has a huge rudder too.

#26 Mon, 03/10/2008 - 10:47am

jc9 has blue eyes? Really? I never got past the nose I guess, I'll have to take a closer look.

Funny you should mention his rudder, he was over at my house the other night and said that my rudder is wayyy to big.

#27 Mon, 03/10/2008 - 12:12pm

OceanOhana - That looks like a great tool for adaptive paddling. Jan Whitaker from Cape Ability Outrigger does amazing work with adaptive paddling. You should check out their work and contact them.

#28 Mon, 03/10/2008 - 2:55pm

A catamaran oc 1 with a sail would be fun.

#29 Mon, 03/10/2008 - 8:25pm

OceanOhana, this might be another idea to stabilize an OC1 without having another Ama

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Mulus, check out the Raptor

Cheers Rambo

#30 Wed, 03/12/2008 - 11:43am

I thought the idea was ridiculous when I saw it. But that's only because I've forgotten how difficult it was in the beginning. I also began to think of my friends who tried paddling for the first time and how difficult they found it to balance and paddle. They spent most of their time swimming and climbing back into the canoe. Needless to say, they found the experience less than thrilling. Incessant flipping is a turn off and can intimidate many would-be paddlers from the sport. The training wheel ama is also good for days when you want to horse around with a fishing pole. I have problems keeping my balance when handling my fishing gear or grappling with a fish. The training wheel ama would minimize that problem. If the beginner doesn't mind the dork factor, the training wheel ama is a good idea.


#31 Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:51am

I think it would be cool to have an OC1 on the market in a trimaran configuration. Such a boat could be configured for sailing or paddling . It would be super stable but would need to be built alot more ruggedly than one ama boats due to extra stress on structure.

check this one. A kayak with 2 outriggers and a sail.
and look at the logo on the sail ! All you need now is Luke Skywalker's helmet and a 2nd cockpit for your R2 droid...

#32 Thu, 03/13/2008 - 12:29pm

The dork factor is something we as paddlers control, If you tell someone that they are a looser or less of a paddler because they have the training ama, The dork factor rises, Share your knowledge and help them progress without shame the factor lowers. I can't wait for the day that a paddler starts with the training ama, builds a solid paddling foundation with proper technique, form and balance, Then goes on to crush those paddlers still leaning left on the ama and complaining of the sciatic nerve pain and dead left leg because they were always too afraid to balance the canoe.

#33 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 10:54am

Hiro C.

Thanks for the trimaran link, that`s a neat looking boat.

#34 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 11:02am

I do think it's a great idea.
playing in water is not natural to humans.
Everything helping someone to gain confidence is OK by me.
On the other hand, I'm going to ask THE stupid question : why is there only one ama on our canoes ?
A modern trimaran fitting (amas just clear of water line when the hull is balanced) could be interesting : only one ama in water at a time. A bit of wind drag on the other, of course.
The slight leaning of the central hull would help fight the tendency to turn on the ama, though.

When seakayaking a few years ago, I used to fit a pvc pipe and inflatable gear on my wife's kayak, it looked like a "low cost triak". It helped a lot sending her on rougher seas, giving her confidence and so much fun.
Never mind the sarcasms !

#35 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:55pm

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