21 September 2009
stix or Euro paddles: it's all good
On a recent paddle of 25 Km we had two Nordkapp LV in our pod.
Adventuretess and Greg Schwarz love those kayaks for different reasons.
Tess loves how it performs in rough waters (video here) and she prefers it to other kayaks for surfing.
She also can roll that kayak very well (although she admits a Tahe Marine Greenland would be the ultimate roller, for her) and finds it very reassuring.
Greg Schwarz on the other side does not seek out the surf.
His preferred game is rolling.
He is happy to spend a few hours just playing around in the bay in front of his house.
He does that regularly. He also has admitted to me that he gets "pumped" watching Dubsides's DVD and he learns a new way to roll just about every other week.
Needless to say I ask him to show me his new tricks every time I see him.
Greg also is very happy to teach other kayakers interested in Greenland rolling technique, not formally but from the pure joy of spreading this amazing feeling when rolling.
But what I find interesting is that both Greg and Tess deem the Nordkapp LV as a "stable" boat.
I have tried to paddle the Nordkapp LV once (had to shoehorn myself into that tight cockpit) and did not find it excessively tippy.
I often hear and read that the Nordkapp LV is a kayak that a lot of paddlers find "demanding".
So, when Greg suddenly got out of his seat and stood up in the LV, I was amazed.
Therefore, I understand that what might feel very tippy for one person obviously is not for an other.
When a paddler would praise a kayak (often his/her own ride) and discard another one (sometimes one that they have not even paddled) I now view their opinion with caution.
If I want to value their opinion I ask them what other boat they paddle and what is their skill level.
What might appear as rather "tippy" to a novice it could be regarded as "dead" (too stable) by other advanced paddlers.
On that note I have to admit that a kayak that I purchased (sight unseen) a few months back and found very "demanding", is now warming up to me.
Not sure if I will even have the balance to be able to stand in a narrow kayak but practice can only make me a better paddler.
PS: a very good article on understanding stability was found at Hunter Kayak Klan.