Deadrock Laser Hiking Bench

Build your own!


This is my folding version of Dick Tillman's hiking bench from the early 1970s — almost as old as the Laser itself. (If you want to see the original, it's in Dick Tillman's ' Laser Sailing', pages 80-82.) My version folds away when you don't need it, so it's handy for anyone whose parents or partner doesn't like a hiking-bench sitting permanently in front of the TV:

Further down the page you will find the detailed plans for building your own.

Mine has lasted for about twenty years without needing more than a screw-tightening, but I still advise you to use thru-bolts instead of the self-tapping wood-screws in the diagrams, as the holes have become worn.

Using your hiking bench

This isn't a Laser simulator, and I didn't try to make it into one. So there are no ropes and pulleys, no springs or no bags of sand to simulate a loaded mainsheet. The aim is to strengthen your leg and core muscles, not your arms. For your arms and shoulders there are other, better exercises. Your arm holding the mainsheet also takes some of the hiking load – though you may not be aware of it – so it's harder to hike with just your legs to hold you up.

Start off by hiking for just a minute, legs as straight as possible. Rest for a minute. Then hike for for a 75 seconds, rest for a minute, then hike for 90. Increase the hiking times and the intervals as you feel best. Soon you'll be fit enough to hike 2-mile beats in your Laser. (The average beat is a about a mile, but if you can hike for longer you won't be knackered by the time you approach the pressure-area of the windward mark.)

Technical drawings

These 'technical' drawings were written in Powerpoint and have been saved as GIF files.