Kayaking Origin: Bluff and arrogance I skoffed at S.O.T. kayaks believing, in total ignorance, that a CANOE was the altruistic level of paddling. Sadly in a stiff wind and solo I was thrashed on an inlet.
The Curve: 4.5m of Golden Lady who suffered my ineptitude – My 1st buy was a S.O.T. with rudder then I added the Kite for downwind paddling. A treasure though the ‘surf-ski’ aficionado’s called her QEII as I passed them under power during early morning paddles. Lizzie carried me well over 2 years including the inaugural Gladstone – Monkey Mia paddle “Shark Bay without the Sharks” (I’m wilt).
Steeper Arc: Being completely politically incorrect Erica was the upgrade. 6m of Surfski (designed for the Avon Descent). I spent 18 months falling off her – the Ladies managed to stay afloat as well as the ‘Hutch’; yet I would be tipped off every 15 minutes or so. ‘Hutch’ kept on saying ‘get your weight in your ass’ I just never managed it. Erica’s claim to fame is competing in the ‘Narrows to Fremantle Bridge’ race… we finished is all I’ll say
Narrowing the odds: Back to a S.O.T. which was another massive length 5.5m. This long narrow tracking beast was the best step in finding the passion of water under paddle power. Passing an outbound yacht the skipper said there’s a beer if you can catch me. He’s in a 5knt limit channel. Sleek & I have performed a 180 turn and are under full power… We passed La Morna and cheerfully accepted a beer from the bow, as the Helm passed the Skipper nearly dropped his beer as I called “cheers n thanks for the beer” as his sunset crew applauded ‘Sleek & I’. Sleek was fast and a pleasure to paddle… and missed.
Overseas & lacking a paddle: Unfounded fear is a funny thing: The thought of a hard-shell or ‘sit-in’ kayak raised the trapped under water paranoia. I’m on a Working Holiday and back packing the North Americas. The cost of what I want to do over 4 weeks against the cost of a folding kayak is horrendous. The folding Kayak wins! Which model/brand. Research, research etc. Value versus cost and what I wanted led to the purchase of a 5m Folbot Cooper Kayak. In fairness I must suggest that you look at the Feathercraft range. As always it is what you want a kayak to offer to your life. The Cooper is back-packable, under minimum weight and dimension – so we could fly together. Me a kayak and a backpack on International flight all A-OK and under cost. 4 weeks in Alaska, my purchase was less than the projected hire cost. So the my Folbot has ever been known as ‘Cooper’. Served, and serving, me well in Alaska, Florida Everglades, Costa Rica, Panama, Bermuda Islands & Vancouver waters.
1/2 full wallet & a KAYAK shop! Do not ENTER! Being back in West Oz & working as a Locum, the $’s when available take precedence because I could be hungry next week. The inconvenience of assembling a folder Kayak has become a time issue (laziness). Canoeing Downunder have an Ultralight 5m Kayak on the shelf. It really didn’t take anymore than lifting the weight to convince me that this was the next step in my kayaking progression. ‘couda’ (a play on Barracuda) lives on the Jeep – she’s seen some water and more than enough kilometres on the highway… really need to readjust the work versus water hours! We’ve driven 1600km for an overnight paddle on the way to a job 7 hours inland from water… so sad!
Time to stop the rambling… There’s gear & accessories that I do and don’t need – later!
And so this is from where the kayaking advents will progress…
The links are the manufacturer as the models I had, as ‘like me’ some are past their use by date/production – However a “link” says I have respect for the product – I owe the company zip and they more than likely don’t know who I am…