Seat or no seat
Just curious how many of you actually use a lowback or highback seat versus just rowing from the cooler.
Explain why you do what you do.
I just purchased a new 13ft Otter from a guy and the frame had a high back seat. I took it to the lake tonight to try it out and adjust the oars before I hit the river.
I liked the seat but am curious everyone elses opinion on here.
We are all full of those
The cooler option is great for keeping lunch dry or gaterade cool. The high-back seat is very great for keeping a tired old back happy, and for "bracing" off of it when a big-water hydraulic looms ahead.
I don't like high back seats because my PFD pushes against the top of seat back & doesn't let me recline leisurely into the comfortable position I prefer.
Actually, I do find low back seats more comfortable when rowing, although not when just sitting/riding. When I need to take a really long stroke, I don't want a seat back to restrict movement, so lower is better for me. Both of these are just personal preferences though, and others find the high back seat a better option.
But the main reason I don't usually like sitting on the cooler has more to do with what Dennis mentioned, there's nothing to push against. When you use a portagee/pushing stroke, as opposed to a rowing/pulling stroke you need either a seat back, toe bar, or just to sit on a slant board. You can arrange drybags & whatnot to be the seat back though, so coolers are not completely out for us old guys.
For this same reason, I prefer to have my seats slanted forward a bit -- to assist when the need comes to push. I always have something to press my feet against for rowing & keeping me in my seat, but it's usually too far away to get my toes under it for a portagee/push, so just slanting it forward works for me.
I did spend 21 days on a cooler a couple years ago, and was surprised that I didn't find it objectionable. After a couple days I did fold a Paco pad under me though.
Again, same thoughts about it as Jim. Lowback is the nice compromise between comfort, having a bit of a lip to push against, but it doesnt get in the way of PFD's as much.... Always felt uneasy when I rowed whitewater on a cooler, not only front-to-back but also laterally if things get crazy.. Flatwater meh, wouldn't matter as much except for rowing efficiency..
I like foot bars too personally..