Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ok, so now what?

So let's say you bought your raft.  It's a 14' self-bailing boat (not an "bucket-boat" that you have to bail every-time you take on some water).  Now..back to the frame.   I posted a pic of the NRS frame that I like.  Everyone has their preference on frames and seats (the Captain's Chair).

Below is the Captain's Chair that I find the most comfortable.  And you want a comfortable seat to row from, and to sit in as you float.  I've had two back surgeries, so the seat I sit in is very important.  If my back were to go out during a multi-day trip, it would be major trouble.  Not only due to the need to get the boat and my family through the canyon to the "take-out"...but all the work involved in setting up camp, unloading gear at camp, reloading in the morning for the next day of floating...a bad back would really be a problem.  So, I'm a believer in having a seat that works.  Below is a pic of the seat I like, go hear to read more: NRS High-Back Seat 

I have found the high back Captain's Chair to be the best in providing comfort and lumbar support.  I don't think anything is lost as far as performance.  Below is the low-back, which some people feel provides better performance in that you can lean back more as you row. 

I've used both and highly recommend the high-back.  I'm sure there are times during hard-core rowing that the low-back has it's uses.  That said, I've rowed some long days and down some pretty technical runs and have never had the higher-back get in the way. 

Above is a pic of a different type of seat and frame.  Many rafters like this type of high-back seat that has a mesh fabric (that can be replaced).  I don't find these seats as comfortable, but many rafters love them.  If you're in the Denver area go to AAA Inflatables or Down River Equipment to sit in one.  As I said earlier, Mark at AAA does amazing work and is a great resource!  This pic also shows a different type of frame than the NRS one I have.  It has nice diamond plate decking and pretty much rocks!  Below is a better pic of this type of seat.  It's made from 1 1/4" pipe.  

Regardless  of what type of Captain's Chair you end up with, you'll want to make sure it is both comfortable, and allows you to row effectively.  I've spent a lot of time in both types of Captain's Chairs, and find the high back NRS to be the by far the most comfortable for long days in the seat. 

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