20 April 2009

British style kayaks

One aspect of sea kayaking that excites me at the moment is playboating.
It offers all the right elements to keep me interested: skill building, adrenaline rush and fun with friends.
While the immediate waters of Moreton Bay usually don't evoke thoughts of rough waters on occasions you can come across some clapotis where, with the right kayak, a lot of fun can be had.
As most sea kayakers, I was introduced to the sport without knowing much about kayaks.
I am not the type of person that would endlessly research something before I commit.
I learn along the way.
If at the time I would have had a mentor or an experienced person to guide me I could have gained my skills faster and probably I would have avoided learning bad habits that later take so long to change.
I might have even started with a rudderless kayak so I would be forced to understand that a kayak is steered with the whole body, not just the pedals of a flimsy rudder.
Eventually I realized that for sea kayaking in demanding waters using my rudder was not the best solution. ("boner" on paddling.net comments: ....My previous kayak had a rudder, which hindered me from learning good paddling skills; very much like training wheels...)
I was intrigued by the virtues of a skegged boat but held back too afraid that it was all too hard.
Little I knew that the learning curve is not as drastic as feared.
Slowly I started to use my paddle not just for forward travel but also for directional adjustments. Eventually I started to lift the edge of my kayak and lean the boat when surfing down a wave.
How much more fun it all became once I understood what sea kayaking in rough waters was.
Kayaks were meant to go in all direction, not just forward.
Broached by a wave, skidding along sideways, spinning around and going backwards is now all part of the endless fun that the surf zone can bring me.
While expedition kayaking is just one aspect of my time in the sea I really like to play in confused waters.
Just like this:

best viewed in HQ mode, full screen (tabs at bottom of window above)

1 comment:

  1. Could just see Eddie's red kayak out on the waves from where we were. Looks like you had a lot of fun :-)


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