Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Sunday, 31 January 2016

VE Paddle workout

We had a training session on the sea front today. Wind cross-shore force 5-7, sea flat but a wind blown chop to 1m and a dumping shore-break strong enough to knock you off your feet. Did I mention the 1.5 to 2kt tide running with the wind? Equals very hard work making way uptide and upwind, keeping in the shore break was the best bet but with always a chance of a bongo slide onto dryland. VE paddles have kindly lent us a range of their touring paddles to try out. A range of carbon Aircore Explorers and an experimental pre-production 'Voyager' with a longer thinner blade. Here is the 'VE Voyager' with my greenland stick and Liz's favourite the Epic Relaxed.
Once launched we could mess about upwind, downwind, round and round, surfing. I found the carbon VE Explorers too stiff and powerful for me (1.7m, 63kg 30 nm a day without tidal assistance paddler). However, I got to like the 'Voyager' on a glass shaft.
Here it is in the hands of another club member, the 'aircore' construction gives a sort of bladder (think bladder wrack) you will see here if you click to enlarge, making the blade very stiff and strong and floaty. Great for braces, rolling, self rescues......
 We gave them a good work out.
Even, I must confess to VE, catching a bit of shingle when flirting with the shore dump. Not a sign of a scrape or damage, these are very solidly made despite being very lightweight.

The prototype 'Voyager' is apparently about 650 sqcm area so similar to many medium touring paddles like the Epics. I would like to try a smaller area in the same shape 600 or even less as it had bags of power, no flutter so could probably be cut to an even more elongated shape to give a tendon saving gentle 'catch'.

VE has established a name in WW blades and there is every chance of their touring blades catching on. Liked it!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My annual foray into white water

Here is 3 hours of paddling the 'Dart Loop' on Saturday 19 December condensed into 4 minutes. It was a good water level, around 1.20m on the gauge and the best place to be in gale force winds and lashing rain.


Each time we go we marvel at how quickly you get the feel of the river and how useful this is to our sea paddling. It is a pity that we don't have a river on our doorstep.