A soft weekend at Valö in Göteborg Archipelago. Good friends, wine, food, some paddling, relaxing and just having a good time! And obviously too much time…
Tjäröfestivalen 2011 was held at the island of Tjärö in south of Sweden and was a great success to the organizers. About 200 participants from all over Scandinavia and Europe attended the festival. I have put together a videoclip with pictures from the event. A full report will be published later on this week.
Danish paddler guarding the festival! 🙂 (photo by Gabriella)
Gordon Brown was one of the instructors this year. Now in a Play from Arrow kayaks.
Nigel Foster is back in Sweden. This year with a new haircut… 🙂
Dubside is cooling down. He had many participants in his classes.
We have had a long weekend in Sweden with excellent paddling weather. My friend Maria and I went our for three days of paddling in Göteborg Archipelago. The scenery in Göteborg archipelago is really nice and the access is also really good. I’d like to see the Älvsborg fortress again, and Maria had never been there before. It is located in the entrance of Göteborg harbour. So the distance is short but we have to cross the inlet to the harbour to reach the fortress. The traffic to and from Göteborg is sometimes very heavy but today it was just some ferries to and from Denmark that we had to keep attention to.
Maria outside the fortress
The guns at the fortress used to guard the city of Göteborg. But did it quite poorly…
Denmark has been succesful in capturing the fortress and the Swedish taxes raised to pay the ransom for the fortress i 1570. Since then we have kept the taxes at a high rate. 🙂
Tent spot at Galterö. The second day offered really nice weather.
Kayaking among the skerries outside the island of Vargö.
From Galterö we paddled south toward Rävholmen. We had a nice soft tailwind and it did not take long until we reached Rävholmen.
We spend the second night at Rävhomen.
My Allak from Hilleberg at the tent spot at the island of Rävholmen
My new Qanik is really nice.
I was very pleased with my Qanik from the beginning and I start to appreciate it even more. I have re-mounted the back support. It gives me great support but it takes some time to adjust it before paddling because I sit on the back support each time I sit in the kayak. But it is worth it. I tried without the support but I was not strong enough to keep myself in a good paddling position. The acceleration of the Qanik is impressive. I catch waves that I have not managed to catch before. This was also the first time I have been out for more than one night with the Qanik. It works really well.
My friend Carin’s facebook status earlier today was “I am heading for Gothenburg”. So I asked her if she wanted to join for a short paddling trip in Göteborg Archipelago during the evening. It was a really short trip with a beautiful sunset and a nice meal together with friends on one of the closest islands.
Patric, Carin and Fredrik in the sunshine late this evening. Great evening on the cliffs in Göteborg Archipelago.
The Qanik is in the water!! 🙂
Next weekend, 27 – 29 of August, is the annual Stockenträffen at Orust. I’m usually there every year and it is the biggest kayak event in Sweden. Last year it was attended by approximately 250 kayakers. Freya, Dubside and Nigel Foster are among former instructors but unfortunately none of them are coming this year. It is always great fun and often it is good opportunities for those who wants to play in white water.
The Stockentraffen is free of charge but it is a camping fee. Registration for participation in some courses and/or trips might be needed. If you want to join join the the Saturday night dinner/BBQ you must make a reservation in advance. Check out the information at Orust Kajak.
Here is a videoclip from last year that I found at Youtube. Best part is from 3.50 in the clip.
Lars from Horisont kayaks in Stockholm at Stockenträffen 2008.
The 3 – 5 of september it time for the Rävholmsträffen (in Swedish) in Göteborg Archipelago. It has no program. The weather decides the activities. Some years there has been paddlingtrips to the light houses of Vinga and Tistlarna and some has been surfing in the bay at Rävholmen. The atmosphere is relaxed and about 50 – 60 kayakers are ususally attending if the weather is good. Come as you are! No registrationen is needed. It is free of charge. Just bring your kayak stuff, tent, food and something to drink.
The bay at Rävholmen
Final kayak event this year held by the magazine Paddling at Tjärö in Blekinge. The Tjäröfestivalen is held 10 – 12 of september and has a nice program and activities, both interesting talks from Swedish adventures and kayak designers and work shops. Unfortunately is the information only in Swedish. There is a registration fee of 795 SEK. In that price is all activities on land and sea, BBQ and Camping included. To bad I can’t join Tjäröfestivalen but I am Hiking in the North of Sweden!
Which kayak should I buy? I’m considering buying a new kayak. I have been paddling my Foster Rowe Silhouette since 1999 and I enjoy paddling the Silhouette as long as it is not necessary to do quick turns in strong winds and rough water.
I have been searching fo a new kayak for a while and even considered building one by myself. But hey, I have the thumbs in the middle of my hands. I can’t build anything that can float. I have to buy a kayak.
So which kayak is the best choice for me?
My demands is:
- Small Cockpit
- Easy to turn
- Low Deck
- Fit my gear for a one week trip
I would love a low version of the Clapotis Seakayak. The Clapotis is very easy to turn and has a nice cruising speed but it is huge compared to the Silhoutte. The designer Johan Linder is quite tall and has big feet so his priority isn’t a small cockpit and low deck. Besides that, he only produce a few Clapotis Seakayaks every second or third year.
A kayak friend of mine, Anders Olsson, has build a low version of the Clapotis Seakayak. It is beautiful but unfortunately not for sale… And as you remember I have dropped the idea of building one by myself.
I almost bought a Anas Acuta from Valley last year but I think the Anas Acuta is to expensive and I´m concerned it might be a bit slow. I’m not a fast paddler so I do not know why this should be a problem anyway but I´m still concerned and that affects me. I do like the maneuverability and I fit well in the kayak.
But a couple of months ago I found an article at the web site of Björn Thomasson that caught my attention. Björn is the designer of the Black Pearl. (The Black Pearl was rated 10 out of 10 when it was reviewed by Paddling.net). The article mentioned that he has designed a kayak for Seabird Designs. The kayak is named Qanik. The Qanik is Bjorns version of the Illorsuit kayak. The reading was very interesting and the design appealed to me. Here is the summary about the information that I appreciate about the Qanik.
- It is build a few inches longer to increase the speed compared to Anas Acuta. I like!
- Lower stems. I like!
- Slightly lower deck. I like!
- It should be much easier to turn than the Silhouette. I like!
- Hopefully cheaper than the Anas Acuta. I like!
Qanik designed by Björn Thomasson. The original image is found at www.thomassondesign.com
The Qanik is soon in production and will be presented at the Kanu Messe in Nurnberg, Germany, in October 2010. It will be available at dealers 2011. According to Swedish dealers the prize will be about 14 000 SEK = 1 420 EUR.
I’m certainly going to have a closer look at the Qanik as soon as possible. There is a hand made version done by Erik Franzén, Here is a link to a picture of the Qanik during a rolling session with Dubside.
Do you have any other suggestions on kayak models that might be good for me?
Last week my friends and I paddled from the city of Härnösand to the city Örnsköldsvik. We passed the coastline called the High Coast (Höga Kusten in Swedish). It is a really nice paddling trip. The High Coast offers an amazing variety of natural surroundings. Since 2000 the High Coast has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. What makes The High Coast Unique is its post – glacial rebound. It is still rizing at a rate of eight mm per year. The area has one National Park and heaps of Nature Reserves.
The kayak trip along the High Coast maybe is not the easiest choice for beginners because some parts are really exposed and it can be hard to find easy landing in strong winds. We had great conditions almost everyday with a slight tail wind. One day we had a headwind (near gale). We then decided to have a bonus day at Högbonden.
We started downtown in the City of Härnösand. Our plan was to paddle about 20 km every day and do some longer stops at some islands along the trip. We paddled for seven days. The coastline is pretty rough due to the post glacial rebound. We had excellent support from Höga Kusten Kajak in Härnösand who helped us with transport back from Örnsköldvik to Härnösand.
We started in Härnösand in cloudy weather
We are used to camp straight on the cliffs but at the High Coast we sometimes camped in the forests.
Åsa, Fredrik and Patric.
The red Rapakivi granite has been a geolocial symbol for the area.
The lighthouse of Högbonden. The old lighthouse keeper’s house is now a youth hostel, Högbondens vandrarhem. We spent an extra night there due to headwind. A really nice and cool place.
We also had calm weather! Fredrik is paddling his Legend 🙂
Crossing between some islands.
I will post a full trip description. But it may take some days before it is finished. Here is two different video clips from the trip.
Here is the first videoclip edited in my Iphone
Here is the second videoclip edited at home