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Trying out kayaks

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:30 pm
by rockhopper
I currently have a Carolina which suits me at the moment while I am still learning however, I did a very silly thing the other day and had a sit in a composite boat.....my, my, what a difference, a bit like getting out of Ford and into an Aston Martin !!
So, whilst I can see me keeping the Carolina for at least the next 12 months my appetite is whetted and it would seem prudent to use this time to check out the range of composites so that I can decide which one will be the final choice.
Where would you recommend is the best place to go to be able to test out a good range?
Clearly it would be impractical to travel halfway across the country to test one or two but if there is somewhere where they have five or six that I could try in the same day then it would be much easier to draw a comparison.

Rog.

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:37 pm
by Goldspoon
Anglesey sea symposium (is usually April I think but maybe somebody else has the dates). Usually you will have Pyranha, P&H, Valley, NDK and Rockpool there - with their full ranges. Is also a very good weekend.

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:42 pm
by maryinoxford
Rog, I wonder how much of the difference was due to the boat material and how much was due to the size and shape, compared to your Carolina? My experience of sea boats is very limited, but I remember on holiday switching from a plastic Carolina to a plastic Capella, and finding it quite an improvement.

Any comment from the more experienced paddlers out there?

Mary

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:52 pm
by rockhopper
Hi Mary,

well, I actually had a sit in a plastic version of the same (nearly) boat before I sat in the composite one and it was that that made me so amazed at the feel of the composite. I have to admit that up until that point I was thinking that getting a plastic version would be the way ahead for me but my experience has changed my opinion. I could be wrong and it may just have been that the composite was a better fit (although the guy at the shop said that the composite boat was actually for a larger paddler than me) or maybe I was just suckered by the smooth sleekness of it but I was genuinely flabergasted (not a word I use often!).

Rog.

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:28 pm
by Peter M
I too would recommend the Anglesey Symposium. I may even see you there. Other than that its still a bit of a drive, but I found Woodmill in Southampton very helpful. I tried 4 or 5 boats in the tidal pool at the back of the shop, became fairly sure of my choice. I then booked myself onto one of their day trips and was able to take the boat out for a full days paddle before committing.

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:07 pm
by Carl M
I would also recommend the anglesey symposium it starts on Fri 4th May with paddling on the 5, 6 and 7th you can also tay for the week and there is an overfalls and tide races weekend on the 12th 13th though I imagine the demo boats will only be there the first weekend there are hire boats avilable the whole period.

Another option if you are in a club is to ask if you can try other peoples boats, the club may also have a selection of club boat you can hire or borrow.

Re: Trying out kayaks

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:27 pm
by muzz
rockhopper wrote:I currently have a Carolina which suits me at the moment while I am still learning however, I did a very silly thing the other day and had a sit in a composite boat.....my, my, what a difference, a bit like getting out of Ford and into an Aston Martin !!
I have recently made the move from a Contour to a fibreglass Sirius, that felt like going from a diesel van to a CBR 600f ( sorry for mixing my motor vehicles).

I didn't have enough free time to try out many boats and would probably have frittered the money away if I didn't buy when I did. It would have been great to be able to try a few different boats on the same day in the same conditions. I am enjoying going through the steep learning curve though so I'm not that bothered. I did try a plastic Capella for a day which was a huge difference from the Contour and 10 mins in Caileans Alaw Bach whcih was lovely to paddle and even scarier.

A symposium sounds like a great way to meet new boats. If you have the time.

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:06 am
by Helen M
Rockhopper, bad move - you are well and truely hooked - line and sinker!

No hope now!

H - x

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:41 am
by Skua
Before the Anglesey Symposium you could see everything available at the Canoe & Kayak show at the NEC, then shortlist a few to try.