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Pool kayaks?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:20 am
by Vulch
My club has some old pool kayaks - now pretty much beyond their sell-by date. We have a rotobat and some aquabats - if anyone remembers those! They were great back in the day, when the skills learned in them were easily transferable to boats on the river - which were usually Dancers or similar. I am now looking to replace them but am struggling to find the equivalent boat for the needs of today! The boats we have on the river are Dagger GTs and GTXs with some Acrobats as well. The aim of that branch of our activities is to give people a broad introduction to paddling on whitewater, up to grade 2 with the odd bit of 3.

I think that many clubs just use their whitewater boats in the pool, but I am concerned about sharp ends on whitewater kayaks combined with people being in the water after their regular capsizes. The pool-folk also do not want to have any 'outside boats' in their pool. We run three session a week in the pool as well, so having a pool-specific boat is probably the answer.

Does anyone know of something that might suit our needs?



Re: Pool kayaks?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:48 am
by Jwprobinson
The Pyranha Master TG was a popular choice for a few scout troops I have been involved with coaching.

Staple platforms for transferable skills to "outside boats" - they are not too long at 8 foot 9, lightweight at 14kg and VERY big cockpits for easy wet exit :)

Also pretty cheap

Re: Pool kayaks?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:55 am
by The Chuckster
Dagger produce the Club spec versions of the GT series, at £450 each are pretty cheap, and if you are buying a few I am sure you could get a deal!

A Big Dog Storm retails at £455 which would be another good option. I'm sure there are offerings from Pyranha too

Re: Pool kayaks?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:33 pm
by Jim
Master is a truly awful kayak, worse than the pool boats you have for transferring skills to and from. I nearly failed a level 2 assessment because I borrowed a master rather than turning up with my topo (at a time when I was paddling a lot of different boats), I had great difficulty transferring my already solid river running skills into the master to a level that met what they were looking for to confirm 3* equivalent ability (I already 3*, did it in a dancer XT some years before at the same time as my TI). The boat was a complete dog for everything.

I have to say I never noticed a problem with people transferring form Aquabats (and Jumpers) in the pool to river boats - Acrobat was about at the time although most of the club boats were big old barges. The GT has always looked like an easy enough boat to get on with, I know someone who went straight from a Rotobat to a GT after he split the Rotobat, but he was actually a cracking paddler in a crap boat so that's maybe not a great comparison :-)

If you really need to upgrade your pool fleet, I reckon the club spec version of the boats you use would be a good idea. I wouldn't worry about people in the water, no-one should really be charging around the pool at high speed (at least when you have people in the water) and the edge of a paddle is more likely to cause an injury. Impacts with the side are more of a concern - I don't know if you can buy rubber end caps for these kind of boats, if not maybe buy some thick neoprene sheet and use some dressmaking skills to cut it to make endcaps which you can attach with contact adhesive. You might need a pile of spares and a tub of adhesive to keep at the pool.

Alternatively the RX300 (if it is still made?) has blunt ends and you used to be able to get rubber end caps, you can also use them for polo if you desire.