/ The dangers of sea kayaking?
So far after an introductory weekend course and about to book a week long improver's course, both at Plas Menai there seems to be a major danger of getting hooked on something else that is going to soak up a lot of time and even more money on (eventually) a new kayak and loads of gear. Any ardent sea kayakers on here with advice and experience?
Ha, welcome to the club!
> major danger of getting hooked
Sorry, you are almost certainly doomed. Big chunks of the UK coast are genuinely world-class places for sea kayaking, Anglesey more so than most. You might be surprised how far people travel to paddle there.
The gear is a world of faff, sea kayaks are a pain in the arse to store and to carry around and the same 'n+1' rule applies to kayaks as it does to bicycles.
The good news is that you get to explore the coast, sea cliffs especially, and encounter the wildlife in a way that just isn't possible by any other means. The water temperature is just beginning to rise now and doesn't fall again until we get well into winter, so at least you won't be feeling the need for a drysuit for a while.
If you enjoy wild camping, a sea kayak will carry everything that will fit into a big rucksack and once on the water you can cruise along at the same gentle jogging pace you do in an empty boat and hardly know it's there.
As a climber, I imagine you enjoy playing around rocks. If you start to find you enjoy rock-hopping (and pushing your luck) as much as I do, you might want to avoid buying a brand new composite boat with a beautiful shiny hull! There is a pretty decent second-hand market, but that said some boats are hard to find second hand as people tend to buy them new and keep them forever.
There are quite a few paddlers on here, but the forum of choice for sea-kayak related stuff is probably UKRGB. (The natives are friendly - overall, probably a tad more friendly than here on UKC.)
Best of luck.
It’s fun, but not as much fun as climbing.
I paddle whitewater, and sea kayak, as well as climb and MTB. Climbing is still the most fun, with WW kayaking the next. MTB is in 3rd place, and sea kayaking 4th...it’s lovely, but not quite the adrenaline rush of the other sports. Unless, of course, you are overtaken be “events”, aka bad weather, in which case it becomes the most adrenaline fuelled sport in world...choose wisely, young Skywalker.
Slight hijack, but on a related note.
I live in Pembrokeshire, and have a general purpose kayak which I have paddled round the coast here. But even though I would describe myself as a pretty competent paddler I get pretty nervous going round the headlands on my own and a general purpose boat isn't great for covering distance at sea.
Ciuld anyone recommend a good and safe boat for fair weather Pembrokeshire coastal paddling? Are modern sit on tops good for coastal cruising?
Yes, you will get hooked and want your own boat, and then a glass boat .......... etc etc, )
Fair comment but after over 40 years of climbing the rush isn't what it used to be, maybe the same goes for my ability too? I climb, ski op/ski tour, road cycle and now it seems will be sea kayaking a bit - much more when I can afford to semi-retire. I enjoy them all in different ways and feel very lucky to be able to do so.
Recently bought a second hand 'glass boat, new paddle, new drysuit etc. Two weeks later get skin cancer and can't paddle. I live with the sea outside my front door. I have a sea kayak and a SUP waiting on me. Hoping to get the all clear soon.
Sea kayaked several years ago and loved it. Very addictive. Back living by the sea so getting into it again (well trying to get into it!). An excellent adventure sport although when the waves get up it can get rather interesting.
Your climbing grade tends to drop.....
On the contrary. I came to climbing 25 years ago from years of sea kayaking and slalom competition. The upper body endurance was quite handy on the sandbags my climbing friends had a habit of recommending.
Paddling has the benefit of being able to get to beautiful places which are much harder to access on foot and a boat is better for taking the weight you'd never volunteer to carry on your back. Camping on islands, behind stunning beaches, getting closer to some wildlife than you can get other ways. The more you do, the more ways you find to enjoy it. 40 years of paddling now and it still opens new doors.
Yer gonna die. The sea is infinitely more powerful than you are and will always win. When things go wrong at sea they have a habit of going very wrong very quickly. As long as you remember that and are prepared for it (always thinking 'what if?') you'll probably live.
well as deepsoup says you have some of the best paddling in the world (hard to believe I know) only 3 hours away around North Wales with some of the best tidal races for when your skill level gets there.
Then you have Scotland for expeditions - kayaking around Shetland is like being in a Conan Doyle novel
Cornwall for cliffs and swell and surf. The Scilly Isles - magical
Pembroke for more tidal races
West Coast of Ireland and Donegal - wow
And more wildlife than you can possibly shake a stick at, that most people are unaware you can see in the UK.....
One of the Sheffield clubs does some sea kayaking.
My top tip. Dress for the water not the air temps.
We are about to build a retirement house on the shore of a fresh water loch in Scotland. I used to go canoeing and would like to do more into my later years. I fancy a rowing skiff because I enjoy rowing but recognise that this might not be appropriate if there's a bit of wind. Will probably get a couple of disused sea kayaks off a friend who went over to sailing but I'm a little nervous about the potential for a disaster because I never learned how to roll a canoe. Have also considered a Canadian canoe, which would enable us to explore and take out visitors in relative comfort and safety.
Can you roll a canoe? I was under the impression a canoe is an open sort of thing.
If you’re going to paddle a kayak on your own on a Scottish loch, I’d imagine a paddle float would be a useful investment.
Well, yes, some people can roll canoes, same as kayaks as long as they've got a spray deck.
That's similar thought's to mine when considering solo paddling on the Pembrokeshire coast. A sit on top type boat seems like a good idea from the safety point of view, but i've no experience of sit on tops so I am wondering how much of a performance sacrifice there is if wanting to cover a reasonable distance.
Join a club or take a guide out for a couple of days and join a club. You've gotten away with it thus far. Solo sea paddling is super dangerous, when you can't get back in / roll, suicidal.
Thanks, I appreciate your concern, I have paddled a lot of white water in my youth and am very much a fair weather sea paddler. So I do minimise the risk, but when I have ventured round stackpole head on a calm day I have realised that a flat calm day on the beach can be a lot less calm and flat round a headland 1/2 a mile away. I no longer have 100% confidence in my roll in rough water so am wondering if always going in a group is the only solution or if solo paddling on a sit on top type boat with reasonable performance is another possibility?
Charliesdad - where can you find more info on white water kayaking locations in the UK?
Lovely area, but if you have no confidence in your roll then what happens if you come off the sit on top, how are you going to re-mount it? Paddle float?
My inclination is that a spray deck equipped kayak is much safer and some time in the swimming pool and with the informal learning of a group of experienced local paddlers will make your solo travels much more interesting, fun and safer.
I agree abut the danger of sea-kayaking I read a book recently (think it was Argonauts of the Western Isles) where the author decided to get into solo sea-kayaking. He decided first that he needed to be so good at rolling that it would be instinctive so he practiced it and practiced it until he could do it in both directions in any water and conditions without even thinking about it. Then he set about gaining experience but he describes a couple of absolutely desperate escapades where he only survives by sheer strength and stamina.
Friends of mine made what they think was the second recorded crossing from Shetland to Foula using only a Silva compass for direction. Going out took them five hours, they camped the night then set off back without realising that a massive storm was brewing from the west, unseen behind the island. Coming back took them considerably less time and was extremely hairy.
Learning to stay in the boat the right way up is one alternative to rolling. Some people are good at rolling and a little too blasé about capsizing.
Sea kayaks are reasonably stable and on a loch you should be the right way up without too much bother.
Practice wet rescue with your paddling partner. Learn good bracing position and strokes.
> Learning to stay in the boat the right way up is one alternative to rolling. Some people are good at rolling and a little too blasé about capsizing.
> Sea kayaks are reasonably stable and on a loch you should be the right way up without too much bother.
> Practice wet rescue with your paddling partner. Learn good bracing position and strokes.
Best advice on this thread. Especially the first piece.
Alternatively a stable surf ski is faster than a sit on, but easier to remount IMHO.
I kayaked on a freshwater lake in NZ. Lake Taupo I think. Our guide said freshwater waves were different to those in the sea as there is less fetch so the waves slap the boat rather than roll underneath the boat. Don't know whether thats true but it was a very choppy rather unpleasant paddle.
If I end up acquiring two sea kayaks, my paddling companion will be Mrs RR and although she's a great swimmer and a very experienced SCUBA diver she has zero canoeing experience. That being the case, it would be better to try to obtain a couple of regular canoes, which would be more stable in the hands of inexperienced paddlers although slower and less directionally stable. Am I right?
A Canadian canoe is fun for social or camping trips but probably even less good for building and maintaining arm, shoulder and back strength. Right again or not?
I know very little about sea kayaking yet, but there are two things I do know:
1. A regular canoe( kayak) will be far less stable than a sea kayak on the sea
2. An introductory (weekend or 5 day) sea kayak course at Plas Menai is very well spent, great fun and should get Mrs RR up to speed and relative safety in sea kayaking
The trickiest waves I've paddled through were blown up in an afternoon of windy weather on a big lake in Finland. The frequency of them is small so you can end up almost lifted out of the water by a waves front and aft. We paddled through much bigger swell on the Baltic - waves coming in from storms out to sea, big enough that I couldn't see my partner when there was one wave between us, but it was suprisingly mellow, sea kayaks are very seaworthy crafts and you just went up and down passing waves with ease, just a bit of a hip flex to keep you into the wave and upright. No problem with landings there either as you just go into the archipelago and very soon are completely sheltered from the waves. Different on an Atlantic beach I suspect!
Canadian canoes are excellent for developing core and shoulder strength (why would they no be, considering how you paddle these boats?), and much more convenient for lake and river trips. I would avoid using them saltwater or for crossing large lakes, as they are less stable in waves, impossible to roll without a spray deck and barely so with one, and, most of all, are much more susceptible to wind as they ride up higher in the water.
I have both a folding sea kayak and a folding canoe, both are great for extended camping trips (albeit to different locations), and will really get you away from the crowds.
There are lots of 'touring kayaks' available, that aren't quite as full on as 'English-style' (at least that's what they are called in the Nordics!) sea kayaks - (think your classic Greenland kayak). These tend have a bit more secondary stability and plenty of volume for putting your camping gear in, for lakes and more sheltered sea areas (probably Scottish sea lochs) they work great. I've used Prijon Seayaks a number of times and they're great - have a google to see what I mean.
Most likely is a persistent bowel infection,caught from the sewage floating about.
Sorry? How does one deal with diarrhoea in a kayak?
I thought I would share with you my one tale of sea kayaking. I wanted to go sea kayaking for 3 or 4 days when back packing in Canada (about 22 years ago). I had zero experience and met a crazy German guy who told me it was easy and not a problem. We found someone to hire the kayaks from and loaded them up. Off we went......through one of the world's busiest shipping lanes with cruise ships belting up it en route to Alaska and oil tankers coming back the other way. We paddled out about 2 hours and then the German guy capsized. Luckily he was able to get out of the boat.....but could not get back in. We then spent about 8 hours getting back to shore whilst trying to make ourselves know to tankers. Looking back it was probably one of the most dangerous things I have ever done.
......an improver course would certainly be a good idea I think.
> Fair comment but ...
Not entirely fair. Those comments echo the old chestnut about how white water paddlers think sea kayaking is "boring, but dangerous". Like some big open crossing, out of sight of land and paddling along to a compass bearing for hour after hour whilst wondering if you might have got your nav wrong and are consequently going to die.
But it ain't necessarily so. There are lots of places where you can get a very 'white water' kind of a buzz, on surf and in moving water. Some are quite dangerous places to play, others are relatively safe and they all have the advantage over natural rivers that there will still be plenty of water even if it hasn't rained in a while. ;-)
Again, Anglesey is absolutely world-class for this kind of thing. When the tide and swell are right, you can sit in an eddy at Penryhn Mawr to catch your breath and take photos of your mates looning about in huge waves only meters away. With any luck at all, you'll get an idea of what I'm on about on your 'improvers' course.
> Yer gonna die.
We all are.
> When things go wrong at sea they have a habit of going very wrong very quickly.
Indeed. Though not quite as quickly, as a general rule, as things can go wrong whilst climbing.
Same rules apply exactly as to climbing. It's a very different activity and skillset, but there is nothing new here for an experienced climber:
Acknowledge that you're taking part in an activity that could lead to injury or death.
Make an informed choice about the level of risk you are looking to take on.
Choose your route accordingly, look carefully at the weather forecast and think about the current conditions and how they might change.
Will you go solo, with more or less experienced informal partners, or would it be best to hire a guide?
Mitigate the danger through the use of appropriate gear, skills, training etc..
I borrowed an NDK Greenlander Pro to do my 2* years ago. Very little primary stability but awesome secondary stability. Was asked to paddle forward and turn on either edge. I just shifted my weight and sat on the chines and it carved beautiful turns. Effortless.
Awesome story Mark, looking forward to hearing the full story over a pint. We learned and practised how to do a rescue; get a capsized paddler back into their boat on our introductory weekend course. Definitely a sport not to be self taught on - Plas Menai were very good
I'd add join a club. Works well for both climbing and sea kayaking and there is a very high chance that you will meet people who are in both clubs. Certainly the Inverness Canoe Club organises sea kayak trips where people can bag a Munro or climb.
A sit-on-top has the advantage over a sit-in sea kayak that self-rescue is much more straightforward. They're much more stable and it's really just a question of clambering aboard.
Just clambering aboard is one possible method of self-rescue with a sit-in sea kayak but it can be rather difficult to balance, especially with a load of water in the cockpit, and get back in without capsizing again.
People who want to fish from a kayak usually choose a sit-on-top because it gives them a better platform to move about, have access to and faff about with tackle and so on.
The downside is that being shorter and wider they are rather slower, which will tend to reduce the distance you can cover. Also, it's a bit counter-intuitive, but being more stable can make them more difficult to paddle in big waves - because they want to sit nicely perpendicular to the surface of the water, their primary stability makes it more difficult to stay upright when the water isn't flat.
Older sit-in kayaks often have a smaller cockpit opening than more modern ones. Spraydecks were less effective back in the day, and needed to be kept smaller to prevent them from 'imploding' in surf or big waves.
Pretty much every new boat available now has a cockpit big enough to get your legs in and out whilst sitting in the seat. The smaller cockpits common with older boats mean you need to sit on the back deck while you get your feet in and shimmy forward, which can make launching/landing more difficult, and can make getting back into the boat after a capsize and a swim much more difficult. (Especially if alone, as opposed to being rescued by another paddler.)
If I were looking to buy an old second-hand boat, personally I wouldn't consider one that has an "ocean" as opposed to a "keyhole" or bigger cockpit.
Ocean cockpit? I have one. It is just different.
- getting in and out of it on the beach/jetty is more ungainly. Higher chance of falling over and looking like an idiot.
- assisted rescue from another paddler at sea is identical in practice (I would say this is the most important rescue to learn as rescuer and victim)
- solo scramble aboard rescue at sea is much harder - but this isn’t a great rescue to rely on anyway as it may be ok in flat water but impossible in the waves that tipped you in.
- reentry and roll is slightly easier - boat doesn’t swamp as much as you get in and you can wedge your knees anywhere you like rather than have to seek out the thigh grips with your legs when you are underwater, upside down and bobbing about. I don’t have a bombproof roll so use this as a solo self rescue at sea with a solid float on the paddle and it is pretty quick.
Boats with ocean cockpits are all older ones, which may come with other disadvantages as well, but I wouldn’t rule them out as a cheap intro. They aren’t seen around as often as they used to be so some people get intimidated by the thought of them. But each to their own.
I'm intrigued to see that the BBC are using a shot of night kayakers for one of their Oneness idents. This was filmed in Killyleagh. I would imagine that night kayaking is as rewarding and thrilling as the night cycling we do to keep fit during winter.
Sea kayaking is very dangerous, it'll end up costing you a fortune and your climbing will suffer!
It is a fantastic sport though. I've seen close encounters with dolphins four of the last five times I've been out this month.
Just had a bit of a skim through other replies, so may be repeating advice above.
Don't get too fixated on learning to roll. It's a good skill to have but having solid rescue skills and being able to read the water enough to avoid going in in the first place is more important.
A couple of points about sit on tops, they sit higher in the water and are more prone to being blown by the wind than a proper sea kayak. If an offshore wind picks up too much, you may struggle to paddle against it or point in the direction you want. Also, though they are more stable than a sea kayak in calm conditions, they are less so in rough seas.
With regard to open canoes, they are not suitable for the sea. There was an incident a friend was involved in off Aberdeen several years ago where two guys headed out in an open boat in relatively calm conditions, but got swamped by the swell and quickly capsized. One swam for shore to get help leaving his friend holding the upturned canoe. They found the canoe but never found the guy left holding it.
If I could only choose one activity after doing lots, I'd choose sea kayaking, even after a friend told me it reminded him of playing cricket.......boring and dangerous. My bit of advice would be to go for multi day adventures, and go for long enough to ride out bad weather.
Agreed, there's a whole spectrum to sea kayaking from a pleasant bumble to bum clenching terror!
it's been quite a few years since I've paddled off Anglesey, but still remember the fun playing in the tide races off Penryhn Mawr.
Had a great paddle off Aberdeenshire coast last Monday, very little wind, but a few feet of long period swell, made for some great rockhopping conditions, which nearly got a bit too exciting when I miss timed a long narrow gap and ended up surfing a big wave through a passage a couple of feet wider than my boat!
Without wishing to be overly negative, I’d counsel against going to sea* in anything but a proper sea kayak, ideally with a companion, and some basic training in rescue and what to do if it goes wrong. A sit-on-top will be lovely in calm seas, on a warm day, with a gentle onshore breeze...but the moment any of these change it can get pretty hairy very fast.
*If you are just playing around off your favourite beach, then fine, a SOT, inflatable kayak or even a tyre inner tube will be ok!
> - solo scramble aboard rescue at sea is much harder - but this isn’t a great rescue to rely on anyway as it may be ok in flat water but impossible in the waves that tipped you in.
I had a little bit of an epiphany regarding the "cowboy" self rescue while getting a bit of coaching at the Scottish Symposium a couple of weeks ago, and have started to think it might be more useful than I thought before. Haven't had much chance to practice since then though unfortunately, so who knows.. (I'm hoping to spend quite a lot of time making myself look like an idiot at the beach this summer, practicing ridiculous things. If it doesn't teach me anything useful, maybe I'll at least manage to learn a party trick or two. )
You're probably not wrong though. But then whichever method you go for it's always likely to be harder to get upright in a boat with a partially flooded cockpit than to stay upright in a non-flooded boat, so any kind of self-rescue will be difficult while you're still in the conditions that tipped you out in the first place. (Unless you're leaning heavily on a paddle float, maybe, but then that does tend to make it difficult to get paddling again.)
Couldn't agree more that an assisted rescue is a much better idea any time you're paddling with someone able to help back into your boat.
> They aren’t seen around as often as they used to be so some people get intimidated by the thought of them. But each to their own.
Yeah, it might be fair to put me in that category.
One more thing to bear in mind though possibly is that not all lauches/landings are on a beach, slipway or jetty. Being able to get your legs in and out easily is also very handy for rocky landings, can't speak for the OP or paddlers who also climb more generally, but I quite enjoy jumping out of the cockpit and scrambling up a rock.
> which nearly got a bit too exciting when I miss timed a long narrow gap and ended up surfing a big wave through a passage a couple of feet wider than my boat!
Ha ha - sounds like you mistimed it to perfection. ;-)
Slight tangent. If you've not seen it "Solo: Lost at Sea" is very powerful documentary about Andrew McAuley's attempt to kayak from Tasmania to New Zealand. Watched it to fill time or an AirNZ flight and found myself unexpectedly sobbing about one minute in.
My knees hurt in a Canadian canoe. It is something to try before you buy.
I'd suggest you and your wife spend a warm day in a quiet sheltered spot practicing wet rescues. It is reasonably straightforward to get back in a boat someone is holding compared to the solo methods.
I find the hooking opposite heel and lying on the back deck method easiest. I will see if I can find the proper name for it.
> I had a little bit of an epiphany regarding the "cowboy" self rescue while getting a bit of coaching at the Scottish Symposium a couple of weeks ago, and have started to think it might be more useful than I thought before. Haven't had much chance to practice since then though unfortunately, so who knows.. (I'm hoping to spend quite a lot of time making myself look like an idiot at the beach this summer, practicing ridiculous things. If it doesn't teach me anything useful, maybe I'll at least manage to learn a party trick or two. )
I was there too. Did you go to Gordon Browns self rescue workshop? What an amazing week weather wise! I've been practising rolling and cowboy self rescues every time I've been out since then. Hoping that if I try it in increasingly rough conditions I'll stand more chance of pulling it off if I ever need to use it for real.
I did have a big grin on my face as I surfed out (once I realised I wasn't going to get munched on some rocks!)
> - reentry and roll is slightly easier - boat doesn’t swamp as much as you get in and you can wedge your knees anywhere you like rather than have to seek out the thigh grips with your legs when you are underwater, upside down and bobbing about. I don’t have a bombproof roll so use this as a solo self rescue at sea with a solid float on the paddle and it is pretty quick.
I've yet to successfully pull off a reentry and roll. Just can't seem to get the hang of it for some reason. Now the sea's starting to warm up (relatively) I should spend a bit more time practising. Any tips?
I am the last person to ask for rolling tips, as my roll is prone to going south at the best of times... But I don’t find reentry and roll that different from regular roll, just take it slowly, first because there is a natural inclination to start the roll before you are properly in your seat and you do need to be set up, and secondly because a flooded boat rolls slower than a dry one. You could maybe break the task up by seeing if you can do a regular roll in a flooded boat. Useful skill anyway, as flooded boats are unstable.
Cheers, I do probably rush it a bit. I'll try breaking it down into stages, see if that helps.
Maybe spending a bit of time just getting back into a seated position in the boat while it's upside down and sitting there for a bit to get used to being under water might help slow me down.
Given what you climb that's saying quite a bit mate!
I'd suggest you and your wife spend a warm day in a quiet sheltered spot practicing wet rescues.
Best advice yet although I feel we may have deviated from sea kayaking into other activities.
> Cheers, I do probably rush it a bit. I'll try breaking it down into stages, see if that helps.
> Maybe spending a bit of time just getting back into a seated position in the boat while it's upside down and sitting there for a bit to get used to being under water might help slow me down.
For what its worth, my top tips for roll and re-entry: Practice getting locked back into the seat several times with your knees etc before trying to roll. Just so that you can really understand how long you can hold you breath for easily!
Attach you paddle float to do the roll. I have a blowup paddle float which I often have half inflated behind my seat which is enough. I can usually be out of my boat, and back in using the float in under 60s....Its a great self rescue and more useful than cowboy back deck rescues which I really don't see as that useful as any sea state that puts you in the water is going to be very difficult to balance your way back into the cockpit. though I admit fun to try.
Thanks for the advice sounds like a similar approach to what I was thinking.
I do have a solid paddle float, but hardly ever bother taking it as it's too big for the cockpit so would have to clutter up the deck and make the boat even more prone to wind cocking. Time to invest in an inflatable one perhaps
I've just breezed through thread without reading everything in detail, but with rolling....... I never had occasion to try it for real. Unless you are surfing or playing in races etc, I found it a good sport for gauging the route against risk, ie the weather forecast/tides etc, in Scotland, and never capsized for real. I wonder how common this is. I also felt that if conditions were bad enough to capsize me, they would probably be too bad to roll back up. I have had plenty of times when its been reasonably marginal, and I've been gripped, but never enough to capsize me. I remember feeling at some of these times, how much the boat can look after you if you are able to stay relaxed. One of the attractions then becomes how much the activity can keep you in the present, a feeling of living in the present, as you have to concentrate so much. Then there is the wild camping, close to nature etc which are all part of it.
One well used knordkapp (ocean cockpit, modified hull) for sale, Kendal.........
> I was there too. Did you go to Gordon Browns self rescue workshop?
Ha. Small world. I mentioned the bunkhouse at Anglesey Outdoors in a thread a wee while back, and it turned out I had been sharing it with syv_k that weekend.
I didn't do that one, but I did do one of his half-day "fun & games" sessions with the balancing and wotnot. It was a bit of a revelation how much improvement can be made (from a pretty low baseline, to be fair) with just a few hours playing about, sitting on the back deck, sitting on the front deck, standing on the seat, etc.. (Or trying to.) I also did a rescue session with Calum McKerral, and among other things was quite impressed at how much water he was tipping out of the cockpit from the bow before clambering up onto the back deck and getting back into an almost completely dry boat.
Between the two, it's got me thinking that given enough practice, maybe the 'cowboy' thing could turn out to be more useful than I'd previously thought. If nothing else, perhaps among the rocks, where it might be possible to clamber up onto a rock to tip out the cockpit, leap onto the back deck and scramble back into the seat between sets.
Yes, amazing week! In a way the fabulous weather was a bit disappointing for the symposium itself - who needs coaching on how to paddle flat calm water in glorious sunshine on a windless day? ;-)
I had a stunning couple of days before the symposium - paddled out from Mallaig around Loch Nevis and over to Inverie for the night (left the tent behind and stayed at the Knoydart Foundation bunkhouse - lovely!), and an even more stunning trip afterwards paddling out from Arisaig and south around the headland into Loch Nan Uamh to spend the night at Camas Ghaoideil. Saw an otter on the way back! (The otter even sat still long enough for me to fumble the camera out of my pocket and take a photo - not quite in focus dammit, but you can't have everything. Check it out: http://deepsoup.f2s.com/UKC/otter.jpg )
> Then there is the wild camping, close to nature etc which are all part of it.
Yeah that's the part that is 'boring' apparently. ;-)
Ooh. Kendal. That reminds me. There's a great gig there tonight. (My current favourite band - I'm almost tempted to schlep all the way up there for it myself.)
It isn't sold out and it really should be, I'll start a new thread and give it a plug..
Could be......but I think it might also be because, unlike river kayaking, you have to do all the arm work, and some of those headlands can seem a long way off......!
Thanks for all your helpful and interesting replies, rolling clinic this weekend then looking forward to improver week in August. It looks likely that I will be splashing out on some serious kit. I really enjoyed my weekend in an NDK Pilgrim - very agile, (maybe a little too so at the moment!), and hope to be trying a Romany out on next trip. A friend highly recommends his Rockpool Isel. What do folk recommend I try and test/shortlist for a composite sea kayak? I'm 66/67 kg so not too big / vulnerable to wind, stable on the flat and edge and easy to roll (is this a contradiction?), basically forgiving but fun and good to progress on, cargo capacity is not so important but able to carry a long weekend's camping gear or maybe a rope and rack to approach seacliffs
Crikey you have got the bug ) took me ages to learn to roll, at one stage I had three 5 star coaches at once watching me in the pool to see what I was doing wrong, ended up just being the common fault of bringing my head up slightly early, once I rolled once that was it,
I am similar weight to you, have a plastic boat, have been ogling composites for a while now. Pilgrim is currently my favourite composite boat. Romany is nice but prefer the snugger fit. Pilgrim, as the narrower boat, is very slightly easier to roll than the Romany but slightly harder to cowboy rescue. I haven’t tried an Isel but want to try that and a tiderace xcite s (they have just stopped manufacturing them). The Sirona is a lovely boat, only tried the medium, not sure whether that would be right for me or the small. I like the Wilderness Tempest 165 in plastic. They do a composite version too which I haven’t paddled but should be even nicer. Others rave about the Northshore Atlantic LV.
Go and talk to Summit to Sea on Anglesey who will happily chat about different models and sort you out with demos.
Look out for a second hand Avocet LV - don't know why they stopped making these. I know of several smaller paddlers who love this boat.
Yes Tiderace - its interesting that they had a boat for every possible circumstance once, and not that they have a new owner, they now have one boat that does everything.....they have the one of the best designers and some terrible manufacturing. I kinda like my gelcoat to stick to the fibraglass.....
I also have a 2nd hand avocet, bought a few months ago. I'm 60-65kg and it suits me just right
Partner has a Romany, hes around 75-80kg, but he can get by in the avocet - in case he wants to go out with someone bigger, who needs to borrow the romany. I've used the romany in the past, didnt find it quite as good as the avocet, but I fully admit thats likely me being crap rather than the boat.
Romany hatches are pretty small to get kit into - you can fit a lot in them, provided you wiggle it all in through the small entry points. Avocet is easier to pack.
Avocet is definitely heavier than romany though - not by a lot, certainly not as heavy as plastic, but enough to notice (I definitely need to carry avocet with my 'strong arm' rather than my weak arm when carrying both kayaks together.)
> Look out for a second hand Avocet LV - don't know why they stopped making these. I know of several smaller paddlers who love this boat.
The Sirona is the replacement for the Avocet. My partner (5’9”, heavier than the OP) has just bought a medium Sirona and is so fond of it I think they would take it to bed with them to cuddle if they could. I haven’t had much of a chance to pry it off them and try it myself yet.
I think the regular Avocet would be the OP’s size, and the Avocet LV is for very little people?
> Yes Tiderace - its interesting that they had a boat for every possible circumstance once, and not that they have a new owner, they now have one boat that does everything.....they have the one of the best designers and some terrible manufacturing. I kinda like my gelcoat to stick to the fibraglass.....
I think it is the manufacturing partner that has changed, not the owner.
> The Sirona is the replacement for the Avocet. My partner (5’9”, heavier than the OP) has just bought a medium Sirona and is so fond of it I think they would take it to bed with them to cuddle if they could.
This is so funny because it's true
> I borrowed an NDK Greenlander Pro to do my 2* years ago. Very little primary stability but awesome secondary stability. Was asked to paddle forward and turn on either edge. I just shifted my weight and sat on the chines and it carved beautiful turns. Effortless.
Beautiful boats. I use to have an Anas acuta, same hard chined Greenland idea, and same characteristics you describe, tippy when upright but unshakeable when leant over. You ever tried a Greenland paddle?
> Sorry? How does one deal with diarrhoea in a kayak?
> Yes Tiderace - <snippage>... and some terrible manufacturing.
What a shame. I was going to suggest Tiderace.
Last year I paddled for a while with someone in a small Xcite, and more recently with someone in an Xtra. In both cases I thought the boats were beautiful and their owners loved them. (No chance of me having a go though - I wouldn't have been able to squeeze in.)
Don't write Tiderace off - they've had quality issues in the past as they've changed manufacturers and it sounds like JMarkW has met some of the problem boats. But they're currently made by Nelo which has a reasonable reputation, mostly in the racing world. And the Tiderace boat designs are definitely good!
> Sorry? How does one deal with diarrhoea in a kayak?
It could be the subject of one of those fun symposium balance games sessions that deepsoup recommended. Everyone line up in their boats in deep water, on your marks, get set, spraydecks off, unzip rear access zip on drysuit, legs straddle boat, sit on back deck, trousers down, let fly (mooning will be an acceptable competition alternative), back into seat and zipped up, then two capsizes and rolls to clean up the back deck. First to finish and paddle away is the winner, and try really hard not to fall in with your drysuit unzipped.
Yes! Odd feeling but it seemed ok after a while. Only had it for a few hours Stuart. Went looking at paddles in Inverness recently and Gaelforce Marine have greenland paddles in stock. Was tempted but settled on a Werner in the end. Do you paddle Grennland style?
Speaking of fun symposium games have you tried the get-blown-into-the-water-by-a-helicopter game? Done it twice now. Everyone lines up their boats and links paddles and arms then the rescue helicopter lowers itself and you resist the downdraft. He keeps on lowering until eventually someone is blown away at which point boats go everywhere! Helicopter always wins. Its great for appreciating the downdraft that you will experience if you are involved in a rescue at sea. The helicopter crew also seem to really enjoy blowing boats around!
I haven’t padded in some years but probably ought to, it is the only thing that has satisfied me to the same degree as rock climbing, though it is much more analogous to mountaineering. But yes I did use a Greenland paddle which I made myself. Didn’t take too long to get the hang of it, great feeling. I still have it (but no boat).
Sorry to hear about your ailment, hope you get back out on the water soon.
There are symposiums you can go to that have a helicopter at their disposal? Wow. Sign me up.
> successfully learned to roll
Wow. That was quick!
I just replied to your thread on the other forum btw..
> Thanks, I was pleased but Plas Menai have a very good systematic way of teaching the components then combining them.
I learned on a weekend course at PyB, which was also good and systematic, but went away having still not 'got' it. (They did send me away with everything I needed to sort it out though, so I was rolling on flat water within a few pool sessions after that.)
> Re the other forum tempted by £400 deal on Peak one piece dry suit
Good call possibly. I'm on my second Peak drysuit (one of those with the zip running from ankle to ankle), and I love it.
On a calm scottish loch the requirement for a roll is very low - even choppy it's unlikely with moderate practice - most sea kayaks try really hard to stay up.
Having said that, before learning to roll, you can learn to crawl back into an upright boat and pump it out - that's fairly easy and your motivation to work it out increases significantly when you actually need to.
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