Diablo Deck Review: Part Four Finally made it to the water! As we all know this is where the learning curve begins. And I already had questions in mind, believe me. How much would the “Deck” improve visibility? Would I be comfortable atop the “Rigid Pro Box” ? How hard was it climb up and down from the box? What was it like to paddle when seated so high off the water? Yeah there were questions that required answers.
As far as visibility is concerned, standing on the “Rigid Pro Box” put me 15″ above the cockpit, giving me a significant improvement in spotting fish. Man you’re in the catbird seat! I mean it. This “Diablo Deck”-“Rigid Pro Box” combo will improve my sight-fishing for sure. And as long as I kept my feet centered on the box, stability was reasonably good. (For traction, I temporarily put a nonskid shower mat with suction cups on the box. See photo. ) Poling from up there was not a problem either. I just extended the length of my DIY push pole to about 10′. Easy to do.
So how was getting up on, and getting back down from the platform? Hairy, especially in a chop. Almost fell twice. This is no cakewalk amigo. Its a lot more difficult than it looks, honestly. Okay if you’re a 20 year old gymnasts, you’re laughing at me right now. But remember I’m a retired guy! Expecting this climbing business to be an issue, I brought along a small folding plastic step stool that I employ when tying the kayak on the roof of the car. (It’s made by SeaStow. See it in the photo.) At 9″ high, it was a help, but not a total solution. You still have nothing to really to grab onto. (I’m glad I didn’t go with the Yeti cooler. It’s taller and would have made matters worse.)
Okay here’s a trick that worked for me. To steady my Adios, I placed it 90 degrees to the sandbar and put the rear quarter of the kayak on dry sand. This stopped any side-to-side hull movement while I climbed up on the box. Then with my push pole I shoved off the sandbar. Granted not a perfect solution, but at least it got me going. Hopefully in the days ahead I’ll come up with something better.
Onward. I paddled out of the marina seated on the box. Did alright, I guess. But, paddling from up there was more of a chore. Honestly I wouldn’t want to go more than a couple hundred yards seated so high up, especially on a windy day. An extremely long paddle would help. So would arms like an orangutan. LOL So I’ll have to work find a work-around for this issue too.
In the weeks ahead I’ll discover more about the “Diablo Deck” and have more to share with you, but if you have any comments or suggestions send them along!