Having been using the New Pyranha C4S Outfitting for a while now in Burn 3’s and my new 9R I’ve been impressed with how adjustable the outfitting can be, fully customising the seating position to fit a huge variety of people so when asked what about outfitting a boat for a paddlesport coach with spinal cord injury the only boat to turn to was the Burn 3 Medium, The outfitting options combined with the stable predictable hull meant it was the perfect choice.
The boat in question had previously been demoed by one of my team paddlers who had moved up from the Small Burn 2 with some custom work on the seat to lift it high enough for her to paddle the larger boat with no problems,
Firstly I used the largest power block (power block 3) under the front of the seat then using power block 1 reversed under the tail of the seat and redrilling the seat onto the brackets allowed for the seat to be lifted much higher then standard whilst still offering a secure fit.
Next step was to start with the feet, as a spinal cord injury with paralysis from the core down any movement of the feet will cause knees to slip out unbeknown to the paddler making the boat more difficult to control and rolling impossible.
So to keep the feet in position I used the 2nd power block measured and cut, to slot between Jenny’s feet to stop movement left and right. it is important to take into account footwear being used to provide adequate space.
This can then either be secured and glued into the boat or slotted in when the paddler gets into the boat.
The thigh braces have been left as standard only slid forward to provide a snug fit, staying off the knees so not to create any pressure sores. the thigh braces are effective because the high seat position will really lift the legs up into the braces.
The hip pads were lifted along with the seat, to lift just above the hip bone and provide both support and to lock the paddler down into the boat. experiment with the foam shims and the strap positions to get the best fit. putting a strap above the ratchet strap will hold the pad high.
Now the backrest, my pride and joy a work of art,
Because of Jenny's level of injury she has a vastly weakened core resulting in very little core stability this means she cannot physically do a sit up so if the backrest does not support her fully she will fall backwards and land on the back deck unable to lift back up in the boat previously she has been using 2 backrests to hold her upright, this has worked successfully as the best option until now.
So I took the standard C4S backrest lengthening the lower retaining strap to lift it higher, then thanks to the guys at Pyranha who kindly sent me a Flip top backrest from a fusion I cable tied this into the same webbing hole on the bottom of the rear seat, this then stretches a full 12 inches up much more than the standard backrest,
To use the backrest Jenny must slide her waist tube of her skirt over the backrest this acts like a corset, providing the support needed to allow her to concentrate on paddling.
Then using bungees to secure the C4S backrest to the Flip top backrest and tying the fliptop’s string adjustment into the ratchet loops means the whole backrest now tightens as one offering a solid support for Jenny holding her upright in the boat
Because the backrest sits much higher up Jenny's torso she can now feel the soft upper edge against her rib cage this provides feedback whilst the boat is edging something she's only ever been able to do by visual references.
Lastly Jenny has added a lap belt to the boat, this assists her in staying in place in the seat making it possible for her to roll the boat.
The lap belt is a beaver dive belt but berg buckles also work really well, releasing under tension. On the Burn we simply ran the belt through the two gear attachments to the rear of the seat and around.
And now the Burn was ready for a paddle!
Jenny found the Burn to be responsive and stable, with the new found feedback she was able to push the boat onto its rail to carve and ferry,
With the lap belt Jenny is able to roll the burn. The C4S with the raised seat tail and fliptop backrest creates a bucket style feel to the boat offering support.
Jenny is a BCU Paddlesport coach and coach educator, with a background in Strength and conditioning and clinical rehabilitation, Jenny has competed in many different sports winning medals, records and personal bests at National, European, World championships as well as two Paralympics.
Labels: boat demo, boat test, canoe, canoeing ireland, kayak injury, kayak test, paddle4life, pyranha, pyranha kayaks, recovery