Cool winter paddling

January 22, 2012

Yesterday I went out for a downwind paddling trip togheter with my friend Jens. Average winds 16 m/s (31 kt) with top winds of 21 m/s (41 kt). Water temperature + 1 C (34 F),  Air temperature -1 C (30 F) and heavy snowing. Great fun but I wish I was on the southern hemisphere…

Winter paddling in Sweden. I had to swim a few times. Good clothing with good insulation is essential. I use a dry suit from Ursuit. Neoprene gloves and hood.

Paddling in January

January 8, 2012

A year ago I went iceskating in the Archipelago. This year is the Winter late and the sea is still open. That’s perfect. More time for kayaking. :)

Today I went for a short trip chasing the ferries in the Archipelago. Nobody else on the water these days.

The Braca wing paddle for sea kayaking works out really fine.

New Year Paddling

December 31, 2011

Finally is the weather decent enough to do some kayaking. Just in time for the new year and the winter… My friends Pia, Erik, Patric and I had a great paddling in Göteborg Archipelago. The days between christmas and new years eve is pretty soft at work. I could work from “home” and my home yesterday was Valö!  A great way of ending the paddling and working year. :)

Happy new year everybody. Let 2012 be a great year for kayaking!

The sunset was magnificent.

Dramatic clouds but hardly any wind.

Pia is paddling her green Skim kayak. When she is not paddling, hardly ever happens, she is creating really nice silver jewelry.

Sunrise at Valö

The winter is coming closer. Frost on the deck this morning.

Patric has bought a new kayaking hat! Orange…

I had to break through some ice to get ashore.

Great weather but the ice will make it harder for me to launch the kayak the next coming months. Today it was easy to break through.

Surfski test – Zedtech Griffin

December 18, 2010

Some days ago my friend Patric and I went to Marstrand to test ZedTech Griffin Surfski. Patric has recently been in New Zeeland where he tested a few surfskis and when he got back home to Sweden he was eager to try a surfski here. Although it is getting cold in Sweden, we set off to Marstrand to try the ZedTech Griffin. We picked up the surfski at the company Paddelkraft, which imports the kayaks to Sweden.

It was freezing cold so I didnt try the surfski. Why try a surfski for the first time during winter?  I thought it was too cold in the water and I had no desire to swim. I had the opportunity to play with the camera instead. :)

Read Patrics impressions and his short review of the ZedTech Griffin.

“Some words, too many I know :)

My name is Patric and I’m a paddler who doesn’t have a background in kayak racing. But I have been active, and very happy, in quite “fast kayaks”. My main paddling hours have been made in sea kayaks, quite narrow sea kayaks that is.

“Fast kayaks”, firstly, that is if I compare to any normal sea kayak. And secondly, “fast” is not really the correct word for me. It’s not a matter of speed, but the feeling of flow. Just like I love a loaded tourbike for a multiday tour – I love a strong and sweaty trip on my light racer. Just as I like the slow and persistent walk with a backpack in the mountains – I do l like running. To enjoy a fast kayak for me is as the trip on the bicycle racer or the run. It’s really a different animal compared to the sea kayak.

I have owned the danish kayak Escape, it’s like a Zedtech TT or a Nelo Viper 51, and I have used it for intense trips in the Gothenburg Archepelago. I have been very pleased with the low resistance and the ergonomics in that kayak. But I have never felt really secure with regards to getting up in the kayak again. This have somewhat hindered my development and pleasure. At the same time this have given me adrenalin and on-the-limit-experiences… :) The Escape have anyhow been av very good kayak to me. So far.

I have lately tried a few surf skis. I tried the the Epic V10 Sport and the Epic V10L in New Zealand. The basic go-nogo-question to be answered first was if I even like sitting “naked”… And that was okey. First question was about stability… And if that hadn’t been good enough for me, it would of course become the basic question in a very obvious way. :) Second question about ergonomics and third about the flow, or “fast”, or my feelings on the match between my power and the resistance. I never use any other tool than my feelings when doing sports. I don’t compete, I just enjoy. :)

The Epic kayaks did get good points on everything but the last and third question. I believe that the Sport was a bit to wide and stable to be really “fast” for me. And the V10L is probably a bit too long for my strength. At least in flat water. But since I don’t live in Hawaii, South Africa or Australia I reckon I don’t need to bother too much about the surf on the ocean swell. I’m not aming at the Surf in Surf Ski, rather the Ski-part with an easy remount.

Ok, that was a long introduction.

I’m very pleased with the little test day in Marstrand. I got, again, a very good impression from Magnus Sivenbrant at Paddelkraft, he has been helpful before. I’m happy with the weather direction generating almost no waves which is good for a start a kayak like this. We started of with some minor hardware issues which I’m also greatful for, now in hindsight. It made me try out my balance a bit more. Ok, ok, ok….no more words…. What about that darn surf ski?

Well, the Zedtech Griffin is my kayak. Or rather, my kayak to become. At least if the good dialogue with Sivenbrant continue, which I do believe… :)

The Griffin felt great.

It was tippy the very first minute. But it felt, surprisingly, a lot more stable just some minutes later. I didn’t have any problem at all with the stability in the absence of waves. And I have some waves in New Zealand in my memory, and I feel safe to say that the “wave-thing” is a totally different thing in a Surf Ski than in a Escape. Then the ergonomics; yes I could work it with my legs. You can even see this in the little film. I did not sit to deep as in the large majority of the sea kayaks, which for me leads to a bent lower back and a hindered motion. I sat very good. And the kayak felt “fast”. Just as easy to paddle, resistance-wise (for me that is), as the Escape. And a bit or two easier than the Epics I tried. I did really like the sharp and narrow fore, that’s a wonderful sight from the cockpit.

What about the rest? Hrm… I would like to have a less colorful kayak. I normally fall in love with white kayaks or black&white kayaks. And I cannot really enjoy being a billboard for Paddelkraft and Zedtech. Not that I like these companies, I do, but I even more like kayaks (or bikes, jackes, etc) as they are in their raw shape without advertiments, logos or different patterns.

What more? Yeah, I do wonder how I will solve some kind of storage in my Griffin. That process will contain a big hole somewhere and a lid to the same hole. And a solution that makes my over-night-stuff dry on the way to the island Valö. Still to be solved.

So now I’m waiting for Christmas Eve and the big old generous Mr Santa Claus. No, I can and must handle without him… :) I’m only waiting for the demo kayaks to come back to Paddelkraft. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my paddling muscels active.

It’s been a long time since I longed so much for the paddling season to begin again.”

Here is more info from The Swedish Surfski Community Global Surfski about the surfski from Zedtech.

Thanks a lot Patric!

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