One man's rush to jump on the kayaking bandwagon

Updated Search Engine

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tags: software

June 29, 2008

Our new paddler in her new kayak

Okay so far
Okay so far
She's not impressed
She's not impressed

June 08, 2008

To HV or not to HV

When I tell someone that I had an Explorer HV and I replaced it with a normal Explorer, I usually get asked, "Were you bigger then?" I guess they think the HV refers to the paddler. In truth, it's about the bumps.
Instead of HV, NDK should use LL -- Long Legs. Those bumps are for your knees. If you have short legs, then this won't really work for you. If you have long legs, then HV is for you! To get those long legs in the boat, Nigel has also made the front of the coaming an inch and a half higher than on the standard model. You may be asking, what difference do those bumps and that extra 1.5" make?
It's all about edging. When I was in a relaxed position, I had to lift my knee up about 3 inches before making contact with the boat. That's 3" less "edge" I can apply to the boat. With the standard Explorer, the deck is only about 3/8" from my leg and it hits my thighs, bringing the leverage point closer to the center of the boat. The net result is that I never felt comfortable edging or rolling my HV, but I can throw my standard Explorer around like it's attached to me.
To all the kayakers out there that are a little overweight, give the standard Explorer a try. All you skinny guys with long legs out there, give the HV a try. To all the guys that think those bumps are where where the fat goes, go eat a doughnut.
tags: gear

June 07, 2008

Current Designs

I knew Great Outdoor Provision Company was having a demo days event yesterday, but it until I left all my gear at home that I found out the CD rep would be there with something other than the usual rec and whitewater boats. I must have looked like an idiot standing there barefoot in my work outfit wearing some ill-fitting PDF and carrying a whitewater paddle. I jumped in a Gulfstream and headed out into the lake. I'm not a fan of the Gulfstream. Its pointy ends and bathtub cockpit just don't do it for me.
As I was pulling the Gulfstream back up the beach, a GOPC employee asked me what I thought. I replied, "I didn't like it, but I bet I'd love that Cypress on the truck over there. Is it going in the water today?" He replied that it wasn't a demo boat. I then exchanged my whitewater paddle for a nice low-angle Werner and headed out in an Solstice. It didn't work for me either, but then I hate ruddered boats.
I guess I must have done something to demonstrate that, despite my appearances, I was serious because the GOPC employee was waiting for me when I came back in. He said that as long as we wet launched the Cypress, I could demo it.
The Cypress is CD's latest "British" style kayak. It has all the required elements you'd expect on a modern kayak. Tracking was better than I expected, as was it's maneuverability. Skeg operation was very smooth and I didn't get a sense that the skeg is needed very often. Primary stability was lighter than my Explorer and secondary seemed light as well. The kayak seemed to accelerate fairly quickly, but it didn't feel fast. When moving quickly, the stern design resulted in the sound of something being drug through the water. I've never before heard a wake this loud. The construction was superb the seat seemed like it would be comfortable for extended periods of time.
Overall, I liked the kayak, but I think I'll stick with my Explorer.
tags: gear

June 05, 2008