P&H Custom Sea Kayaks Blog

Sea Kayaking Articles from P&H Staff, Team Paddlers, and Friends

Lessons Learned – Lean Forward

This video series, titled ‘Lessons Learned’, will highlight things Christopher seas while he is on the water coaching and will give you some ideas to think about the next time you head out in your sea kayak. We hope that you will find them educational and that they help you get the most out of your days on the water.

So often we sea students putting themself in awkward body positions while on the water. So many tend to forget to lean forward which can increase opportunities to hurt yourself and also move you farther away from being able to reach your grab loop to get out of your kayak. When in the pool or practicing in flat water reinforce the home base potions tuck forward as if you are going to attempt a roll if for no other reason but to protect yourself and be close to your grab loop.

Hope this helps. Sea you on the water.

Visit www.committed2thecore.com for more tips and professional coaching opportunities. Christopher Lockyer is a proud member of the P&H pro paddler Team Based in Nova Scotia. Sea you on the water

Committed 2 the Roll

Often when learning 2 roll or working 2 better our roll, we find ourselves in moments of challenge or defeat.

We have compiled a list of 5 tools and Tactics that are intended to be agnostic of the style of sea kayak roll that you are working on.

6 Simple Tools and Tactics 2 sea kayak rolling

1 Mental Setup
2 Physical Setup
3 Slow things down
4 Stretching/Strength/Separation
5 Project Post Recovery
6 Introduce variation

Click on the image to download the PDF.

Remembering P&H Founder, Dave Patrick: 1939 – 2022

It is with considerable sadness that we announce the passing of P&H Founder, David Frank Patrick on the 7th of January 2022 at the age of 83.

[right to left] Dave, son Julian, daughter Jane & friend on the water in 1978

Dave started canoeing in the late 50s and joined Midland Canoe Club in the early 60s, where he competed in Slalom in the top division in both K1 & C1. He was later the goalie for Midland CC’s Canoe Polo team in the 80s, with the team winning the infamous East Midlands Canoe Polo League.

He helped run many slalom competitions for Midland CC at Darley Abbey, Tryweryn, & Holme Pierrepont, becoming chairman and then president at Midland CC.

In his working life, Dave started out as a chemist at Rolls Royce, until in May 1967 he founded P&H Fibre Glass Products with a builder called Mr. Harrison.

Throughout the remainder of 1967 and the beginning of 1968, they created and began to produce the first P&H Fibreglass products including the ‘Soar Valley Special’ canoe (1968), the ‘Bat MK 2’ (1968) and the Hahn ‘Speed’ kayak (1969). The partnership of Patrick & Harrison came to an end in 1968, but Dave continued to run the company by himself.

As the seventies began, Dave worked with the top designers of the time and expanded the range to produce the ‘Swift’ and added four new models to the Hahn range – the ‘Quick’, the ‘New’, the ‘Dart’, and the ‘Swing’.

Dave manning the mobile shop in typical style at the World Championships, Bala – 1981

In late 1970 P&H began to sell dry suits and added two more Hahn canoes to the range, as well as the ‘Munich 72’, which was chosen by the then current world champion for his next year’s debut at the world championships. This now extensive range was shown at Crystal Palace.

In 1975, under Dave’s leadership, P&H became a founding member of the British Canoe Manufacturers Association.

P&H and Dave Patrick’s relationship with Pyranha began in 1978 when P&H began to produce Pyranha designs including the ‘Orinoco’ & ‘Elite 80SS’.

1979 saw Dave partner with Derek Hutchinson to introduce a whole new range of sea kayaks, starting with the ‘Umnak’ and ‘Icefloe’. This was also the same year Dave hired current Production Manager, Perran Shreeve, who remembers him as a hard but fair boss.

The 80s saw a flurry of successful sea kayaks, wildwater racers, surf kayaks, slalom kayaks, and polo kayaks from P&H, with the popularity of the company’s products going through the roof and in 1988, Dave bought the ground-breaking shop, No Limits at Holme Pierrepont after the success of the slalom course constructed there in 1986.

Things didn’t slow down in the 90s, with Dave sponsoring five of the GB Olympic Slalom Team at the Barcelona Olympics in ‘92, launching one of the first serious plastic sea kayaks, the Capella, and developing the world’s first pre-preg carbon slalom kayak using F1 technology in 1995. This boat went on to win the Slalom World Championships in ‘95 and to this day is still on show at the London Science Museum.

Dave retired in 1998 and took up flying model planes, although at the start he wasn’t particularly good, and had a bench in the corner of the P&H workshop to fix them at.

Dave enjoying retirement in the early 2000s with one of his model aircraft.

When Julian Patrick (Dave’s eldest son) left P&H to pursue his interest in the internet gaming industry in 2000, Dave came back out of retirement for a short time to help Peter Orton & Perran Shreeve run the company, but in 2001, Carole finally got Dave to retire ‘properly’ and move down to Cornwall where they travelled around in their camper van, with Dave enjoying playing golf and flying his model aircraft.

After a long and enjoyable working relationship, and out of a desire to continue the legacy of the company Dave had built, Pyranha purchased the P&H Company from Dave in 2003.

Dave will be sadly missed, and our thoughts go out to his wife, Carole, daughter, Jane, and sons, Julian & Paul, as well as the rest of the family.

A Quick Hit in Pembrokeshire

With an uncharacteristic spell of good weather, some midweek time off booked, and a willing companion, a quick trip to Pembrokeshire was called for.

My partner in crime, Adam Harmer, and I were keen to claim three of Pembrokeshire’s classic trips back to back before the weather broke. We loaded up my Cetus X and Adam’s Volan MV and drove the majority of the way after work. The ‘Park for the night’ app found us a quiet location. Adam bagged the back of the van whilst I slept under the stars in my seldom-used Hooped bivi-bag. So seldom used in fact that I had forgotten it had a broken ‘hoop’ which meant a somewhat ‘dew soaked’ night, which is the price to pay for such a clear, starry night in October when sleeping high in the Preseli Hills.

Looking east towards St Govan’s head from our lunch spot.

The first trip on our hit list was the Castlemartin coast from Freshwater West to Stackpole Quay. Probably one of the most scenic sections of coastline in Britain. A quick check that the firing range wasn’t firing, and with the tides to check which direction we’d need to take, and all was on. Our continued spell of good fortune continued when a phone call to a friend sorted the shuttle for us. Ben would pick up the van and deposit it at the end for us all whilst we were enjoying the coastline. The low swell and light winds meant that we could explore all the hidden ‘nooks and crannies’ this section of the coast provides. The firing range does somewhat restrict landing options but we managed a rocky shore landing in front of St Govan’s Chapel and I managed to get a few snaps off from the hastily flown drone before ‘restricted airspace’, again, due to the firing range, forced it back to land. After a short leg-stretch, we continued our journey to the beautiful Stackpole Quay and waiting coffee shop. Ben had indeed delivered the van and journey one of three had been bagged in perfect conditions.

St Govan’s Chapel
Not the most challenging rocky landing!

Day 2 saw us relocate to the car park just above Martin’s Haven – the next objective was Skomer and Skokholm. The tides dictated a very early start and hence a ‘stealth’ camp in the car park to be on the water at first light. Tidal planning dictated a 7 am launch, declining winter light meant that it was in fact 7:20 am before we could see sufficiently to cross ‘Jack’s Sound’ and start our anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the two islands. My calculations had indicated that we need to be on the south side of Skokholm before 9 am to avoid fighting the tide and to enjoy a tide assisted return. Despite the delayed launch, we were perfectly located on the south side at 9:10 am. So we managed to return to Martin’s Haven with the tide behind us and in time for a well-earned ‘brunch’ followed by a flying visit to a friend’s campsite for a refreshing shower to remove two days of salt encrustment. Trip two of three completed.

One of our trusty steads!

The third trip on the flying visit was out to South Bishop lighthouse and a circumnavigation of Ramsey. Again, the tides dictated an early start and another ‘stealth’ camp in the van in the car park above Whitesands beach.

There’s us just in the bottom of the shot

We couldn’t afford any light delays this time as calculations indicated that we needed to be at the lighthouse for 9 am after which the tide would be against us. So we launched at 7 am in the gloomy twilight, through a few small breaking waves and on to a stunning flat sea, the twinkling lighthouse our distance target on the horizon. As we reached St David’s head we had increasing daylight which allowed us to settle into the ferry glide down and across to our first target, Careg Rhoson. A quick upping of the pace as we neared this target got us nicely into the eddy behind the collection of islands. The majority of the hard work done, we now dropped down with the tide passing Daufraich and its infamous ‘sump’, (not the place you want to take a sea kayak!) to the north coast of South Bishop where the tricky steep steps and only landing spot are located. But would the swell allow us to land? Many have paddled out here and then not been able to land due to the swell and strong tidal flow. But our luck once again held out and a tricky but straightforward landing saw us on the dry land of the island at 08:45hrs. I’m not sure who was most shocked, us when we bumped into the lighthouse keepers who had arrived the day before, or them when two heads appear up the ‘condemned steps’ just in time for a breakfast cuppa.

The ‘condemned steps’ leading from kayaks to the lighthouse.

After a hastily drunk brew and tour of the lighthouse, we refloated. I had a minor hiccup resulting in a slow-motion capsize whilst relaunching from the rocky steps, which was the only break in our luck for the whole trip, but nothing other than pride was damaged. We ferry glided the early flooding tide to round the south end of Ramsey and float through the Bitches, where we enjoyed a quick play, before landing once again at Whitesands for a well-earned bacon butty. The early finish also meant we could be home in time for some bonus ‘brownie’ points with our respective loved ones. Three classic trips in three days in Perfect conditions. October in Pembrokeshire delivered. The weather did indeed break the next day with force 6+ winds racking the whole west coast of Wales.

Photos and text – Sid Sinfield

Looking back toward North Bishop, Careg Rhoson, and Daufraich from inside the lighthouse.

How to Buy a Canoe or Kayak in 2022

We’ve been making canoes & kayaks for over 50 years, and every year, sales begin to slow as the winter approaches. That is, until last year.

We saw the necessary re-arrangement of workstations to ensure a Covid-secure environment for our staff as an opportunity to also improve the efficiency of our factory layout and processes – a good job, as following the easing of the first national lockdown in June of 2020, we saw a surge in demand of more than double that additional manufacturing output we’d unlocked!

We worked hard to meet demand, anticipating the usual slow-down of winter, except… it never came. We were delighted to be able to retain full staffing levels throughout the winter of 2020, and yet our lead times were still growing, even with these sustained production levels.

Now approaching the winter of 2021, demand for our canoes and kayaks remains phenomenal; we’ve never seen so many newcomers to the sport, and we couldn’t be happier about that!

The problem we face is certainly not one we’re going to complain about, but we want to be open with you and help ensure you’re fully aware and able to avoid disappointment when purchasing a canoe or kayak in the coming year, whether it’s your first or your next.

A month or so ago, we invited our network of specialist dealers to place pre-orders for 2022 production; the response was overwhelming, and we’re now deep into planning our production schedule for the coming year. What is abundantly clear, however, is that we cannot possibly make as many canoes and kayaks as have been ordered.

It’s important to note that these boats have all been sold into our dealer network, and the vast majority are still available to purchase by you once they arrive with those dealers.

Global shipping is wrought with delays, and the reason dealers have pre-ordered so much stock is that demand has been exceptional and sustained, so it is still important to place your order early to ensure you have your boat in plenty of time for the adventures you have in mind, but there’s no need to panic.

We have received numerous emails from paddlers lately asking when particular models and colours will be in stock with dealers, and the truth is, we don’t know. Our small team is focused on producing and shipping orders to arrive with dealers as close to their requested delivery date as possible, but the difficulties with shipping add a generous helping of uncertainty to this schedule, and only the dealer will know which boats are available or have been pre-sold.

For maximum success in securing ownership of a new canoe or kayak in 2022, our advice is to contact your favourite dealer early, be aware that it may not be possible to get your first choice of colour, and be prepared to wait a little longer than usual.

We really, truly, sincerely appreciate your interest in our canoes and kayaks, and we cannot wait to make a LOAD more friends on the water in 2022!

Happy paddling,

P&H Sea Kayaks

Product Issue Notification: Thin Cockpit Rims

We recently became aware of a number of polyethylene P&H Sea Kayaks which had insufficient thickness towards the rear of the cockpit rim and were therefore more prone to splitting in this area.

Affected batches were produced in late 2019/early 2020; you can ascertain the production date of your kayak by looking at the last 4 digits of the serial number, with the letter denoting the month (‘A’ being January, ‘B’ being February, and so on) the first number being the last digit of the calendar year, and the final two numbers being the last two digits of the US model year (changing in August).

If you believe your boat to be affected, please email help@pyranha.com with your address, the serial number, model, size, and colour of your kayak, and which dealer it was purchased from.

No other batches are affected, although it is possible that other boats may split in this region for different reasons, such as:

  • Frequently sitting directly on the back of the cockpit rim.
  • Transporting the boat with the cockpit rim against an unpadded roof rack.
  • Storing the boat with the cockpit rim against an unpadded rack.
  • Extreme or high-frequency usage.

A Cockpit Rim Repair & Reinforcement Kit is available for instances where a cockpit rim split has occurred outside of the warranty duration or conditions.

Stac Mhic Aonghais

Over the upcoming months and likely into our next summer season, I’ve decided to pursue a project around what is, in a way, what I call ‘my office’. As we are now drawing toward the end of a fourth season operating Kayak Summer Isles, in the north west of Scotland, I’ve spent many hundreds of days getting to know, sharing, and exploring these islands. It’s safe to say I know them well.

I figure the next step of really embedding myself into the islands is to spend a night on them.

Some of which I do on a regular basis with our guests, but many others (the rocks and skerries) I’ve not even landed on yet. By my count there are 17 ‘proper’ islands and 15 rocks and skerries big enough to safely camp and land on, making a total of 32 nights in the archipelago.

I won’t make them all in a season, as some will mean waiting until the bird colonies move off in winter so I won’t disturb them. What ones I can do now I hope to tackle in ‘evening blasts’ after work and before starting the next day’s guiding.

What better way to start than the iconic and rugged skerry that is Stac Mhic Aonghais.

Local legend has it, that the name comes from a man who was laid prisoner on this lonely and desolate rock. Purportedly having had ‘intimate relations’ with a laird’s daughter, he was rowed out and abandoned as a ‘time out and think about what you’ve done’. Ahh, young love.

By day 3 Angus’s captors must have felt guilty, as they then rowed out to check on him. Upon landing they were surprised to discover that Angus had gone!

Combing the island, they strayed further from their boat and with a sudden race, Angus leapt from a crevice in the rocks, hopped aboard and dis-embarked, waving cheery farewell as his captors became the captives.

Some accounts say he rowed, whilst others claim he had no oars and set adrift. Either way, he landed on Stoer Head some 30km north and survived.

The boat still remains with Angus’s relatives, and there’s been bad blood between the two families ever since . . . apparently.

I wonder if he ever managed to meet the laird’s daughter ever again?

Kayaking out in the evening, I set off from shore around 7.30 pm, with little over an hours light left in the day. I was tired from a day’s guiding but equally excited to disappear for a night’s vagabond adventure, following in Angus’s footsteps for a night on his rock.

The island is 1km south of Tanera Beag and even with the wind in favour and using the tidal eddies to my advantage, the journey took an hour from Old Dornie Harbour. The light was waning.

I’d taken my ultra-lightweight kevlar/carbon infusion Aries, as I figured it’d be easier to haul up the rocks on my shoulders fully laden with camp and cookware, but in hind-sight maybe a plastic boat that I could have dragged may have been a wiser move. Arriving at high tide, I found a crevice without swell on the eastern shore and set about navigating the 40º sloped sides with the boat on my shoulder. Delicate footsteps and my free hand scrambling brought me up to a ledge where I could at last anchor the kayak.

By necessity, I needed to return early the next morning, meaning leaving at the low tide. Before setting camp, I scouted about and picked my exit route as my prior access would be untenable at the lower tidal state. A scramble, toss, and a leap seemed likely.

The stac was largely rock, with a bristling hair of lichens adorned across the top. Around the corner, on the wind-battered western cliffs, I could hear a bird colony, out of sight but not out of sound.

Many, if not all of the possible flat spots were waterlogged with bright green algal pools. To my delight on the summit, a single large flat slab presented a near-perfect bed. Surrounded on all sides by a small rocky lip, it cradled the sense of security atop the island and granted a fantastic view. Darkness was fast approaching.

Bivi bag out on the rock, I scoffed a quick dinner, took a few photos and then settled into bed. The sound of the low swell pounding below me, and the occasional whoosh of birds flying past lulled a sense of calm. The air was warm, and as hoped for a breeze kept any midges at bay.

By 2 am, the full moon had risen, bathing the island in a silvery light, enough to see without a head-torch. 20km to my east, I could see the lights of Ullapool, home, in the distance.

The breeze had dropped, as had the swell, leaving the island eerily calm. Below me, I could hear a pshhht coming from some form of cetacean nearby, most likely a porpoise, but I liked to imagine a whale.

My alarm wasn’t necessary. As it turns out seagulls also wake with the first hint of dawn, and their calls as they fledged their roosts around the corner was sufficient to wake me. A faint orange glow was rising as I re-packed my kayak and carefully carried it down the rocks, thankful for the barnacles to give some grip.

Clipped to my kayak, I tossed it into the gentle swell and leapt aboard under head-torch. Once decked on, I turned my light off, preferring to navigate by the dawn glow. It was 5 am.

Returned to Ullapool before the day begun, I arrived home, showered and packed, ready to re-pack and head back on the water with guests. I felt satisfied like I’d stolen a secret adventure through the night, unseen and unknown until dawn. Most of all however I was thankful not to leave the island and drift north to Stoer, wondering if I’d ever return again.

If you’d like to share my island adventures as I try to camp on each follow me on @willcopestake (Instagram and YouTube) and via #summerislessleeps, or better still, join me through www.kayaksummerisles.com

We stellen je voor aan The Paddlin’ Dutchman

We zijn verheugd om aan te kondigen dat we zijn gaan samenwerken met de opkomende YouTuber, The Paddlin’ Dutchman (echte naam Lex van den Berg).  Dit om zo de meer toegankelijke kant van de sport voor een breder publiek te belichten en de reis om ‘ervaren’ peddelsport enthousiasteling te worden te laten zien!

Lex, hallo! Vertel eens iets over jezelf…

Samen met mijn vrouw en kinderen (7, 5 en 3 jaar) woon ik in Nederland, waar ik 33 jaar geleden ben geboren en getogen. Als ik niet aan het kajakken ben of video’s over kajakken maak, ontwerp en maak ik videogames. Ik werk al ruim 12 jaar in de game-industrie als Game Designer en Creative Lead en maak games die een positieve impact hebben op mens en maatschappij. Als ik tijd over hebgeniet ik van alles met het label “nerdy” (van bordspellen tot Star Wars), knutselen, kamperen en muziek maken. 

Kun je ons vertellen wanneer je voor het eerst een peddel oppakte en ‘The Paddlin’ Dutchman’ werd? Wat inspireerde je? 

Ik herinner me de eerste keer dat ik een peddel oppakte nog heel goed. Het was acht jaar geleden tijdens een vakantie in Argentinië. Mijn vrouw en ik  voeren een tandem op een prachtig meer omringd door bergen. Ik kon het varen de rest van de vakantie niet meer loslaten. Zodra we thuis kwamen meldde ik me aan bij een plaatselijke kanovereniging. Helaas – nou ja, het is maar hoe je het bekijkt denk ik – werd kort daarna ons eerste kindje geboren. Door alles wat daarbij komt kijken en “het leven” verloor ik het kajakken uit het oog. Ineens is het zes jaar later en hebben we drie kinderen. Ik had mijn gezondheid echt verwaarloosd en wilde mijn leven veranderen en actiever worden. En ik voelde direct dat kajakken mij daarbij zou helpen! Ik heb me toen gelijk ingeschreven voor een beginnerscursus. De Paddlin’ Dutchman begon vooral om mezelf verantwoordelijk te houden. Wat ik niet had verwacht, is dat ik al snel helemaal verliefd zou worden op het kajakken. Het is zoveel meer geworden dan alleen maar sporten. Het is uitgegroeid tot een groot deel van mijn leven, en ik zou niet meer zonder kunnen! 

Waar heb je ontdekt waar en hoe je kon beginnen?

Ik ben altijd een grote fan geweest van “introductiecursussen”. Ik heb veel introductiecursussen gedaan, van boogschieten tot klimmen. Het is een geweldige manier om iets nieuws te ervaren en te ontdekken of je het ook echt leuk vindt. Het is daarnaast een geweldige manier om nieuwe mensen te ontmoeten in dezelfde fase als jij. Het voelde dan ook heel logisch om te beginnen door een introductiecursus te volgen. Een zoekopdracht later had ik een cursus geboekt bij onze plaatselijke kanovereniging KV Waterwolf. Ze hielpen me met alles wat ik nodig had en leerden me de basis. Na de cursus ben ik lid geworden en nooit meer weggegaan! 

Hoe snel heb je je eigen uitrusting gekocht en waar heb je die vandaan? Waarom heb je de spullen gekozen die je hebt gekocht?

Eerlijk? Waarschijnlijk te snel. Mensen die mij een beetje kennen weten dat ik nu eenmaal van spullen hou. Ik ben wat je noemt een echte “gear head” en dus heb ik altijd graag mijn eigen spullen. Maar dit betekende wel dat toen ik begon ik concessies moest doen vanwege de kosten. Ik heb meteen geïnvesteerd in een goed zwemvest, maar het overgrote deel van mijn uitrusting is al meerdere malen vervangen. Het kost ook tijd om erachter te komen wat je wilt, nodig hebt en leuk vindt. Soms kost dat een paar pogingen, dat is nu eenmaal hoe het gaat. Ik zou mensen daarom ook altijd aanmoedigen om open te staan voor nieuwe dingen ​​en af ​​en toe te experimenteren met een andere uitrusting!

Mijn spullen haal ik eigenlijk altijd bij Kanocentrum Arjan Bloem, een begrip hier in Nederland. Zijn winkel is als een gigantische snoepwinkel! En ook al heb ik alle gangpaden al duizend keer gezien, ik kan er nog steeds uren doorbrengen!

Wat waren je ambities in het begin en hoe zijn deze bijgesteld naarmate je serieuzer werd over het kajakken?

D ambities toen en nu liggen mijlenver uit elkaar! Zoals ik al eerder aanhaalde, begon ik met kajakken om gezonder te worden. Maar eigenlijk veranderde dat al zodra ik het water raakte. Ik werd verliefd op het gevoel van vrijheid, het ontdekken, de techniek die erbij komt kijken en het één zijn met water en natuur. Vanaf het moment dat ik wat vaardigheden begon te ontwikkelen en nieuwe technieken leerde, wilde ik eigenlijk alleen nog maar meer leren en nog beter worden. Ik merkte dat het leren van nieuwe vaardigheden en technieken me hielp om zelfverzekerder en comfortabeler in mijn boot te zitten. Hierdoor ging ik zelfs nog meer van het peddelen genieten! Dat was iets wat ik met anderen wilde delen. Ik wilde andere peddelaars ook die vaardigheden leren om hen te helpen meer zelfvertrouwen te krijgen! En dus probeer ik terwijl ik zelf groei en leer, dat door te geven aan anderen.

Op welke prestatie ben je tot nu toe het meest trots? Wat heeft je geholpen bij het leren?

Zonder twijfel het leren eskimoteren en het maken van mijn eerste “combat roll”. Leren eskimoteren gaf me zo’n vertrouwensboost. Het heeft me echt geholpen om me meer op mijn gemak te voelen om nieuwe dingen te proberen en mezelf te pushen, vooral op wildwater.

Aan de andere kant was leren eskimoteren een heel andere ervaring. Het kwartje wilde gewoon niet vallen. Tijdens mijn eerste paar sessies had ik niet het gevoel dat ik vooruitgang boekte. Ik snapte er gewoon niets van! Nadat de lessen waren afgelopenkon ik nog steeds niet eskimoteren en bleef ik met een hoop frustratie achter… Maar ik moest en zou het onder de knie krijgen. Dus in plaats van wachten op nieuwe lessen nam ik het heft in eigen handen. Ik vroeg op een middag een vriend (en wildwater instructeur) om me te helpen. Het begon waar ik was gebleven, maar binnen het uur was ik aan het rollen! Uiteindelijk denk ik dat zijn andere benadering  van lesgeven ervoor gezorgd heeft dat het kwartje viel!

Waren er al kajakkers in je omgeving, of heb je juist nieuwe vrienden gemaakt door middel van kajakken?

Ik kende eigenlijk niemand die ook aan kajakken deed. Maar ik heb zeker door het kajakken een aantal levenslange vriendschappen gemaakt! Het is ook iets wat ik erg waardeer aan de peddelgemeenschap; Het is een grote familie en iedereen is altijd erg behulpzaam.

Wat zijn nog vaardigheden die je wilt leren en reizen die je wil maken?

Qua vaardigheid ben ik nog steeds bezig om het eskimoteren te perfectioneren (en eerlijk gezegd is het al een paar maanden geleden dat ik voor het laatst heb gerold)! Zo heb ik bijvoorbeeld alleen nog maar in mijn wildwaterkajak geoefend. Dus nu ik de Virgo peddel, kan ik niet wachten om eindelijk te beginnen met het oefenen in een zeekajak! 

Voorlopig wachten we nog steeds op het openen van de grenzen met Duitsland, zodat we weer wildwater kunnen varen. Gelukkig valt er nog genoeg te ontdekken hier in Nederland, en kijk ik echt uit naar het kajakkamperen en kajaksurfen deze zomer!

Wat zijn jouw tips voor nieuwkomers in de sport?

Zorg dat je comfortabel wordt met omgaan! Ik heb gemerkt dat veel mensen een angst ontwikkelen om om te gaan. Deze angst weerhoudt ze er vaak van om nieuwe dingen te ervaren en peddelvaardigheden te ontwikkelen. Het oefenen met uitzwemmen (altijd veilig en met hulp natuurlijk) en wennen aan zwemmen zal je helpen om meer ontspannen en comfortabeler in je kajak te zitten! 

Bedankt Lex! We kijken uit naar je avonturen in je Virgo…

Zorg ervoor dat je je abonneert op het Paddlin’ Dutchman YouTube-kanaal, zodat je deze avonturen kunt volgen!

Business as Unusual

It has been a challenging year, but there are positives to be found, not least a wider appreciation for the great outdoors. We are eternally grateful to the staggering number of people who have given the clouds a silver lining for us by choosing to find an escape in a Venture, P&H, or Pyranha canoe or kayak.

Right now, our whole team is focused on ensuring we can meet this overwhelming demand, but we must ask your mindfulness and understanding of the challenges we face, and the steps we have taken to manage those.

Stock Availability

Following the initial interruptions of early lockdowns, we have been working at full capacity over the last 12 months to both catch up and meet the surging demand; a highly unusual situation, as demand would usually drop with the temperature over the winter months, and we would slow production as a result.

We have trained additional staff, reconfigured machinery, and re-organised processes to increase the number of boats we can produce in any given week, but at some point, we must give ourselves a break and go paddling. The pandemic is sadly also not yet over, and occasionally some of us have had to isolate to protect our colleagues and the wider community.

Our lead times are currently therefore longer than usual, but comparatively bearable in relation to the industry as a whole; if you’re considering a purchase, our recommendation to avoid disappointment is to contact your nearest dealers early to find out what stock they have available or incoming:

Pyranha Dealers | P&H Dealers | Venture Dealers

Shipping Delays

We are not alone amongst the many industries which are experiencing exponential increases in demand and significant backlogs resulting from lockdowns, and the global shipping network is seeing the compounded effects of this as they attempt to handle the resultant increased movement of materials and goods, whilst having to manage the same Covid-related impacts and restrictions themselves.

Of course, Brexit and the Suez Canal blockage could not have been more inconveniently timed, but we are now seeing the dust settle on these challenges. Unfortunately, shipping costs, durations, and complexities overall have not settled down, and reliability is not yet 100%.

We will do everything in our power to get product to you on time, but due to this unpredictability, we will unfortunately be unable to guarantee lead times or delivery dates for the foreseeable future. Similar to availability, please be sure to plan ahead, confirm your order with a dealer as soon as possible, and keep in contact with them for any updates as we will ensure they have the same information we do.

R&D Continues

One constant is our enthusiasm for driving canoe and kayak design forwards and in turn, progressing the sport; although some of our R&D team have been helping out in other areas of production from time to time, work on upcoming models has continued, and we’re now approaching final production on Scorch X and Scorch Small in the Pyranha Whitewater range, as well as the Leo MV in the P&H Sea Kayaks range. Contact your local dealer now if you’d like to secure yours with a pre-order:

Pyranha Dealers | P&H Dealers | Venture Dealers

Thank you, and happy paddling! We cannot wait to see you out on the water!

My Father’s Kayak Roll

Photo Credit: Don Urqhart

Fathers play such a large role in our lives, they support us through the ups and downs, teach us skills like how to ride our bike or change a tire, and while my father did teach me those things, more importantly, he taught me how to kayak. 

Throughout my childhood, I dabbled in many different sports. I played basketball, practiced highland dance, and even tried karate for a year. The sport that spoke to me the most was sea kayaking. 

When I was five, my father heard about a kids’ night run by a sea kayak tour company (East Coast Outfitters) just down the road from our house. When he was younger, he had done some canoeing and kayaking through his Scout troop. Since he enjoyed it, he enrolled me in the kids program. That summer, every Wednesday we’d rush out the house far earlier than we needed to because we didn’t want to be late for kayaking. In following years, Dad started to lead the kids club and I continued to love my time out on the water. It was clear he’d taken to the sport. Instead of driving my brother to the preschool across the bay from where we lived, he adapted his kayak to carry a passenger and began kayaking my brother to preschool when weather permitted. 

Kayaking became our family activity. We’d go surfing, practice rescues, go on camping trips all along, all while picking up new skills. When I was ten, I got my first kayak. From then on, whenever we wanted to kayak we’d head down our neighbour’s driveway to the bay and practice. Countless evenings we spent on the water practicing rolls and different strokes; all with my father coaching me.

It wasn’t just through his coaching that he supported me: whenever I needed a tow he’d offer his line, yell “Go, Go, Go!” from the sidelines when I tried to catch a wave, and reminded me to drink water on long journeys because he knew I would forget. He’d do all this and more because, while yes he was my coach, he also was my father. Taking care of me and pushing me to do my best is how he supports me.

Because we used kayaking to bond, my dad and I have countless beautiful memories from days on the water. One summer my family took a vacation to Newfoundland for two weeks. During those two weeks there were only five days we weren’t out on the water. One of my favourite kayaking memories is from this trip. 

We started our day at our campground. After breakfast, we quickly packed up and headed off to Witless Bay. We had chosen to paddle in Witless Bay because of the ginormous puffin colony that lived on one of the islands. After about a half-hour drive we pulled into the parking lot. As we were unloading our gear from the car I saw a spout of water rise up out in the bay. At first, I thought it was some heavy fog but then I saw another. At this point I pulled Dad aside, pointed it out, and, sure enough, we saw more spouts of water. He told me to be quiet and not show my mother. Our paddle to see puffins had turned into a paddle to see puffins and humpback whales. There was one downside; my mother is petrified of whales. 

We got ready to launch like everything was fine. While carrying our boats to the shore, my mother put two and two together however it was too late; we were all ready to hit the water. There was no turning back now. 

The paddle out to the colony was smooth sailing. Puffins were scattered all over the water, and the whale spouts could be seen on the other side of the bay far away from us.  My mother was able to stay calm, sort of. It was easy because we were all laughing at the puffins. Puffins can only take off if they are flying into the wind. In addition, they’re prone to awkward landings. This means they end up doing a belly flop spin-out, which is very entertaining to watch. My favourite was a puffin that skipped like a rock off of two waves and ended up being flipped by the third wave. After the third wave, it shook itself off very quickly, then whipped its head around as if checking to make sure no other puffin saw its awkward landing. 

The paddle back from the colony made this my favourite paddling experience to this day. On the way back, we noticed that the whale pod was bubble netting the entire bay. This meant that they were swimming circles around the bay to trap fish to eat. Everywhere we looked we could see a whale spout if we waited ten seconds. It was so cool to witness this natural feeding tactic in person. As we paddled back, we realized we were going to have to traverse the circle the whales had created. This made my mom nervous since on the horizon some of the pod was breaching. But, the only way home was to paddle through. 

When we were about to enter the circle, my father told my mother and I to paddle parallel to the circle in order to enter at the right spot. We did this for a bit but adjusted our angle as we observed my father to do so. My mother and I were behind him when we did this, but we figured the coast was clear since he was making the adjustment. We paddled forward for about ten seconds when the colour of the water about 15ft in front of me changed to this beautiful blue green. The coloured water began to rise and before I knew it I was staring a giant humpback whale in the eye. My mother and I both let out a scream and the whale slipped back under the water after catching its breath. 

My father held in his “I told you so”. 

While it was a terrifying experience in the moment, having that magical moment to connect with such a beautiful creature is something I’ll cherish forever. The rest of the paddle was easy and the whales even became more interactive with us. A calf swam beside us, with the mom following closely behind. The whales were singing and you could hear their song, and when we left their bubble net we had two whales wave us goodbye. 

This magical family experience paddle would not have happened if my father hadn’t planned this adventure and as well as our initial times in sea kayaks, beginning our passion for being on the sea. Sorry Dad, it was scary but I don’t regret not listening to you on the water that day. 

A Different Type of C-to-C

My father has been my best friend on the water since I began kayaking about 15 years ago. He taught me the basic skills I needed to get to the point where I am today and, while I may have a different coach now, I’ll always be his kayak partner. He helped get me to where I am today and I will continue to push myself to bring him pride. 

Because of my father, I grew up being a part of the sea kayaking community in Nova Scotia. This led to me to be inspired to further develop my skills through Paddle Canada certifications and personal coaching. Achieving Level One coaching certification and joining Christopher Lockyer’s Committed to the Core Sea Kayak Coaching team, have been the highlights in my kayaking development. All made possible, because of my dad.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the sea kayak community functions like a family does. We take care of each other, support each other, and push each other to become the best paddlers we can be. This was never more evident than in 2018 when my dad was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer which resulted in his left lung being removed. I was so touched by the supportive nature of the sea kayaking community. Since the initial diagnosis, our family has received endless support from the paddling community; drives, emotional support, and just being there for my dad, my brother and I. I truly cannot thank everyone enough.

The ol’ one lunger and I still get out on the water together. Even though he has one lung, he can still out paddle me if he really wants to. 

With the pandemic, getting out on the water became more complicated. I live with my mother and he lives on his own. So for a while last year our kayaking had to be put on hold. Luckily, we were still able to salvage last season and make the most of it. 

In March of this year we found out that his cancer had metastasized in his left frontal lobe meaning he would need to be treated yet again for cancer. He received his treatment and is now in recovery. The frontal lobe of our brain is responsible for personality traits and how a person acts but let me tell you, the tumor hasn’t changed a thing because he’s still as hungry as ever to get on the water. 

At this point we don’t know what the future holds, but what I do know is that I love my father and we love kayaking. I also know there is endless support to be found in the kayaking community. 

For Fathers in Kayaking

Happy Fathers’ Day, first and foremost. Kayaking is challenging, but raising a kid is a whole different level of difficulty. So thank you to all the fathers who give up time on the water to spend time with their families. 

I’d also like to give a special thanks to the people I like to call my “Kayak Dads”. These men are people who have heavily influenced me as a paddler and provided support and guidance when I needed it. So, Dwight, Daniel, Steve, Don, and Paul, thank you all so much for being there when I needed it. I’d also like to give a huge thanks to my coach and mentor, Christopher Lockyer. A thank you isn’t enough to make up for the time you spend helping the kayak community. It’s truly inspiring how committed you are to your endeavors, you show what it means to be committed to the core. 

And last but not least, Happy Fathers Day, Dad. I am so grateful for everything you have shown me. Thank you for getting me involved in this sport from a young age. It has become my obsession the same way it is for you and I’m so glad we can share experiences on the sea. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have you as my dad and no matter what you’ll always be my kayak partner. Go Team Dauphinee!!

So, fathers who kayak, let me give you some advice. I know how hard it is to be away from your family when you’re on the water, so bring them with you. The little ones, the partner… heck, even bring the dog if you want! It is a great way to bond and, if you’re lucky, you may get to form the same connection my father and I have.

Page 2 of 90

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén