Newcastle paddler David Price called me last week asking about the differences between the Valley Aquanaut & the North Shore Atlantic. The distinctions in these two designs are blurred, with both being designated rough water specialists, the former skewed more towards the touring & expedition end of the spectrum, and the latter definitely favouring the kayaker looking to do a lot more playing around.
So much is written about boats & designs & much of what I see on the web is pretty heavily qualified once you find out the credentials of the reviewer, so my advice for David was to come down to Sydney & have a crack in both boats.
Yesterday was a great day for a demo paddle. A building northerly swung west as we were out on the water, cutting up the surface of the sea & giving David a perfect picture of what happens to each boat in wind approaching 20 knots, wind driven messy sea & chop. We paddled out into the headwinds, across the chop to get a feel for the skeg, then raced downwind on the back of some great fun little wind waves.
These 'real' demo paddles are something I always wished I had the opportunity to do back when I was making boat choices as a relatively new paddler. Back then you were lucky to get even a flat water paddle in before coughing up your dough.
As a consequence, this is a service we're glad to offer to make sure that anyone who buys a boat from us firstly gets a taste of what their $4000 thereabouts sea kayak can do on the sea, and also makes absolutely sure of boat fit, comfort & feel on dynamic water, rather than just on the floor of the showroom or a millpond.
With the paddling season fast approaching, give either Rob or I a call if you'd like to test out an EK boat.
As you can tell from the video, I just hate getting out & doing these paddles....!