Words By: Tim Shaw
So I have been paddling the Dagger Phantom for a few months now. I have now had a bunch of time to play with the outfitting and set up of the boat. Hopefully these thoughts can help you get your boat fitting and feeling good too!
Details about me for context:
Instructor at Aquabatics Calgary | 193cm and 90ishkg or 6’3” and 200 lbs
There are a couple things that surprised me with the seat. This makes for a good place to start. When I first got my boat the first thing I did was the classic move the seat forward a bit. Poor choice, with the seat forward the nose was too low, it caught the water making the boat unpredictable and tricky to keep the nose up. I moved the seat back to the center position and with all my gear in the rear of the kayak found myself sitting a little tail down. The difference surprised me, the boat loosened up and became much more controllable. With the tail more in the water the boat also tracks and carry’s speed more effectively.
The second thing that surprised me was once I place the seat raiser foam under the seat I didn’t feel too high. Typically, being a taller guy this adds too much height. However, in the Phantom it gave me a new level of edge control and reach, without being too unstable.
Showing the Seat in the middle | The seat raiser foam under the seat
I fiddled with the thigh braces moving them about a centimeter forward. I found this made more room for my big legs. Smaller people may find moving them back to be helpful. Also making sure to adjust the leg raiser ratchet fairly tight. Keeping this tight, keeps pressure off your lower back and helps to keep your legs in the braces.
Thigh Braces moved forward
Hip pads… I am often outfitting people into boats and hear the same thing over and over. “If I make my boat tight so I don’t fall out my legs go dead”. Placing hip pads, you need to make sure that the padding has the bulge high at a similar level to the cockpit rim. The idea is to be tight on top above your legs and hips to keep you in. But loose down lower as to not crush the nerves in your legs and hips. At the right fit you should need to get in your boat on an angle to get past the bulges, and then feel a comfortable snugness with a little room to wiggle once sitting. This give the perfect balance for control and comfort.
Hip Pads nice and High
Throw bag in front, strapped between the legs for easy access, I find under my throw bag is a great spot for a folding saw. I try to balance the load in the back. Breakdown paddle in a dry bag on one side and my first aid/emergency kit on the other side.
River Saw location
If you have a Phantom have a play, maybe some of this will help you get the most out of your boat. Most of this also applies to other boats. In the end put some effort into your outfitting to make it suit you. We are all different shapes and there is no need to be uncomfortable ????
Benny Clark sending it in a well outfitted Phantom :)