Rob & I have just returned from a terrific sojourn to Canberra where we held a demo day & attended the annual SOTA show. Thanks to our mate in the capital, Marty Holden, we had a beaut venue on the scenic & surprisingly clean(?) Lake Burley Griffin, and had no less than 40 paddlers turn up for a splash. Scotty from Canberra's own Wetspot Watersports came along to demo a few of his boats & the Epic ski's, and for the first time in the country, a crowd got the chance to try out the entire Tahe & Zegul range in one place.
Included in the eager demo paddlers was, err, me. I always know when a boat is a good one because I don't manage to get it off Mercer for a go, sometimes for months, so this was my first chance to have a crack in the Zegul 550, and the Greenland T. I think it took about 4 months until I was able to have a paddle in the Rockpool GT, so a meagre 3 week wait was a bonus.....
The Zegul was first cab off the rank for me & impressed with it's blinding speed, hard tracking & super stability. I don't think I've paddled a skeg boat with such incredible tracking, and the punters doing the test paddles found it hard to separate the 550 from the Wind 585, which several good judges have rated the fastest 'real' sea kayak they have paddled.
In a similar vein, it was easy to see why none of our Greenland T stock made it to the warehouse, all 7 being pre-sold on the hunch from hopeful buyers that they'd paddle as well as they looked. For a fun day boat, with rollability only surpassed by it's bolemic sibling, and the versatility of being perfectly usable as a light tourer, you'd be hard pressed to find something so lively & nimble as the 'T'. Of course, there is also the added bonus of Vogue Living looks on the roof of the Forrester.
Rob jumped in the T & rattled off a few of his party tricks, I followed suit in an underwhelming way after shoe-horning myself into the Greenland, but when the startled locals starting waving arms we figured Lake BG might not be the best spot for some nasal ingestion. Always be suspicious when it's only the out-of-towners with wet hair.
Special thanks to all of the Wetspot guys for taking part in the day, and also to Marty Holden & Tony Mee for helping us out with organisation & loading the fleet back onto the EK trailer, and to Marty for the special home brew & parking spot for said trailer.
The Canberra paddling scene is quite obviously dominated by the Lake BG expanse, and it was unusual to see so many demo paddlers mount a GPS on the foredeck & go for it. On most of our test paddles the victim, err, I mean paddler is too busy letting the power of the sea wash over them to worry about how fast they're going, but clearly this is a big deal to the fitness paddlers of the lake. There was a bit of a split between those smitten with the serious speed offered by the Zegul 550 & the Wind 585, as opposed to the more subtle appeals of the Greenland & British boats. Bateman's Bay is a regular sea paddlers venue from Canberra & it was great to hear from so many ambitious sea kayakers hoping to get their skills up & find out just what the real rough water boats in our range can offer.
We then headed to the SOTA show in search of new products to add to our burgeoning range & came away with a few very innovative paddling designs. Stay tuned for details.
Thanks so much to all of you in Canberra for coming along to see what we're all about & for making us feel so welcome.