Upcoming kayak events

Kayak orienteering

Kayak orienteering is an annual event and will take place on the 4 June in the archipelago outside Fjällbacka, Grebbestad and Hamburgsund in Sweden. The track will have a length of 20 km. It will consist of three to four orienterring routes, with control markers on land. Route choice between control markers is free and the idea is that participants will be brought to navigation and routing problems. I have been kayaking in Fjällbacka archipelago several times and it is beautiful.

Paddle for the planet

A world wide challenge to unite the paddlers around the world for a one day relay in effort to raise environmental awareness. It’s a great initiative from Dawid Mocke. The magazine Paddling is organizing a paddling event on the 5 june.

Seamasters 2011

Seamasters will take place on the 27 August in Arkösund/Oxelösund, Swedish east coast, Baltic sea and is a 25 km long Ocean race open for Surf ski, Outrigger, Stand Up and Sea kayak paddlers. I’ve never been in the area before, so it might be a trip to the East coast in August. More information will be found at Seamasters.se but is not updated but you will find information about last years race. You will find more information at globalsurfski.com and surfski.info.

More events 2011

 

Paddelvarvet 2011

Göteborgsvarvet, the world’s biggest half marathon, took place today in Göteborg. Approx 75,000 runners will participate in one of the races during the GöteborgsVarvet weekend 20-22 of May 2011. Today was also the first time the newly instituted paddling race Paddelvarvet took place. The Paddelvarvet is not as big as the Göteborgsvarvet. About 30-40 participants struggled for 21 km in Göteborg Harbour and channels.

The paddlers are crossing the Göta Älv to do the first leg in the Channels.

One paddler passing the fish market Feskekôrka

The winner? Jens Thorild paddling the channels for the second time and is in leading position.

Some parts of the race is really nice

Paddling in the city center

Paddan is the tourist trap. Why go by motor boat when you can use a kayak!

Mostly Sea Kayaks but also some surfskis. Here is an Epic V10 L.

Next to the Garden Society of Gothenburg

A pleased kayaker in the first race!

The course is passing the central station as well.

Two of the paddlers were not in a hurry. They stopped and chatted with friends at city hall.

And for those who didnt felt that 21 km in a kayak was enough. There was some time to recharge the batteries and jump into your running shoes. I took some photos from the Goteborgsvarvet as well.

Results: Top 3

  1. Martin Flinta, 1.55.09.1
  2. Jens Thorild, 1.55.09.2
  3. Gunnar Castmo, 1.58.07

Qanik first impressions

Which kayak should I buy? That question I asked myself last fall. I have paddled a Silhouette designed by Nigel Foster since 1999. That is a kayak that I have greatly enjoyed paddling. I fit well in the Silhouette, it is easily driven, it has a small cockpit and a low hull (I have the old version with a small cockpit). I think there is only one major drawback to it. The Silhouette is not particularly fast when turning. At least I can’t get it to turn quickly. So when I decided to buy a new kayak last year, I wanted to have essentially the same characteristics as my silhoutte but with better turning abilites.

The Qanik unwrapped. There is still thick ice on the sea. Here is Qanik at the place where I usually launch my kayak in Göteborg, Sweden.

I’ve looked and test paddled Anasacuta from Valley Kayaks. A very nice kayak actually meet most of my requirements. There are three things that made me not buy a AnasAcuta.
1st Price
2nd Speed
3rd Design and my vanity

I’ve also tried and paddled the Clapotis and that is an excellent kayak in many ways but it is too big. I have tried to convince the constructor Johan Linder to build a low and slimmer version of the Clapotis but without any success.

After reading about Seabird Designs cooperation with Björn Thomasson and when I understood that they had outlined a new kayak model, I was curious and interested in the Qanik. I made contact with Bjorn and asked my questions and talked about my requirements. The answer was  positive to all my issues and with the fact that the pricing of Seabird kayaks is about 50% compared to Valley I decided to go for the Qanik. I bought it without having test paddled or even seen the Qanik.

I still have not paddled it but now it is in my possession anyway. The new kayak was delivered last week.

Qanik has a low profile and a classic shape

The finish is really good.

Screws in the cockpit. Im not used to have open screws at the seat. I know that some kayak models have it.

The first impressions of the Qanik is really good. The external finish quality is good, much better than i expected. Everything seems to be well planed on the deck. I really like the lines and shapes of the kayak. I fit in the cookpit. Seating comfort seems good but it has a soft seat that is riveted. There was surprisingly lots of space for my feet.I’m used to much tighter in my Silhouette.

The Qanik comes to a low price. You can tell by certain construction solutions such as the internal seam between the hull and deck.  They like to use rivets and screws in different locations. They will hopefully do the work but from a designer perspective it could have been done more gracefully. Fortunately, you wont see most of these details externally.

Now I’m curious how the kayak performs in the water and if it will be dry. I will found out soon. We are going to some indoor pool practice in two weeks. And hopefully the ice will melt within a few weeks.

Mini kayaks

It is a cold winter in Sweden and it is nice to stay indoors. The lakes has already frozen and the sea is also getting covered with ice. So I spend some time with photoshop instead and are dreaming about a new paddling season. Just a few months away…

These pictures are from the island of Rävholmen in Goteborg Archipelago. They are manipulated to look like miniatures of the real world.

It was a really nice weekend in September, only three months away and now it is freezing cool. But the longest night passed by last night and now it is getting brighter again! 🙂

I wish all of you a merry christmas!

Surfski test – Zedtech Griffin

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!

Don’t scratch my kayak

I have moved into a new apartment with my girlfriend some time ago. It is so nice but there is one problem. I haven’t had time to paddle. Instead of kayaking I’m spending my time moving furniture and gadgets. Today I have some time off searching the net and found a new cool kayaking video. Hopefully there will be some real kayaking soon. Enjoy this cool clip until then!

Stockenträffen 2010

Stockenträffen at Orust was, as always, a very pleasant event. I haven’t heard any numbers but I guess the number of participants was about 200. The weather was quite good. Sunny and just a light breeze.

Besides good paddling and opportunities to meet lots of fun kayakers there was arranged paddling trips and different courses. Courses was held by Björn Thomasson. We went to the light house at Måseskär and some circumnavigated the island of Härmanö. On Saturday night was the traditional dinner at the Tofta Gård. Bengt Rodin showed his photos and talked about the kayaking trips he has done in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

The Kayak Association of Tjörn, arranged trips both days.

Björn Thomasson held courses in paddling technique and rolling technique.

The coolest skirt at the symposium this year! 🙂

It was crowded at Hermanö.

Some had  a looong lunch break

CJ and Marie raced against this old beautiful ship

Åsa, who joined us at the trip to the High Coast a couple of weeks ago, is getting ready for a shorter trip!

Måseskär lighthouse

Video clip from Stockenträffen

Upcoming kayak events in Sweden

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!