A paddle design I’ve exclusively used the past 3 years. The first prototype I built and used during the summer of 2013. It performed well but due to the materials used; maple, alder and pine, was slightly on the heavy side ( 1500+ gms), but booy, oh boy is it robust!
For the coast of Finland kayaking trip in 2014, I built a second prototype from lighter materials (total weight in the 950g range): Western Red Cedar (WRC), nordic pine and alder. I’ve used that paddle now for two consequetive summers and some 2500+ kms of touring. It still needs improvement but still its the best paddle I have made. While its not the lightest paddle out there, it IS strong enough for touring/expedition use! NO question! It has slight flex, just enough to let you know there is flex, But it is sturdy for serious heavy duty use! I’m not sure it will withstand the greenland definition of a multi-use-dependable paddle = “one can use it as a pull up bar”, but it’ll come very close!
The dimensions of the paddle prototype# 2 are: Length 220cm, Loom length 55cm, Blade max width 92mm. The loom cross-section is a mix between a Tri-oval and egg shape, kinda asymmerical oval. The loom cross-section dimensions are: width 28mm and thickness 32mm.
Marko, who will be paddling the Finnish coast during the summer 2016, asked me to make him a similar paddle with slightly tweaked dimensions to suit him. Here’s a quick and dirty photo-album (part 1) of “How, what and possibly why?”
Part – 2 will follow once I get the paddle made… and mayhaps later of how it all worked out? Or did it?
Paddlingwise, year 2015 was kinda lazy. Not as much touring as the previous two years. I spent only about a total of 5 weeks “out” kujuking. The trips weren’t as long as I’d hoped either, but still 2015 had some definite highlights.
Paddling around the Åland isles was one definite highlight, another highlight was getting started in kayak sailing!
Paddling in and around Åland had been something I had been putting off for some time now. Mainly due to the fact that the isles “were out there”, at least from my limited experience/perspective. After reading and hearing many trip reports, not to mention photo blogs of said isles, I decided “what the heck” and went for it. It was a great trip, at times somewhat demanding due to weather conditions but we got through. Lotsa places seen and explored, yet (thankfully) many more left to be explored at later tripS.
The second “super-duper-I’am-So-EXCITED-I just can’t hide it!” highlight of the year was: kayak sailing!!!
Kayak Sailing had been something I’d read and heard about and always thought that “maybe some day” I’ll give it a try. Then with some coaxing from Gnarlydog, (it really didn’t take that much), I ordered my first kayak sail , from Sea Dog Sails, and that “some day was” here ! Its been great ever since! Kayak Sailing has brought many new aspects to sea kayaking. With some 360 kms of sail assisted kayaking/sailing logged for year 2015,n salt waters as well as fresh, it is safe to say I will have a sail installed on all of my kayaks eventually! One might be as bold to say that kayak sailing is just about the best thing to do with one’s pants on!
Whenever there are fair winds to enjoy – Up goes the sail! 😀
Learning to sail in slightly rougher conditions, has been very rewarding and helpful in finding ( some of ) my limits.
Didn’t build that many new paddles but just enough to keep the interest going. A couple, (well a bunch really) of prototypes are on their way for 2016 paddling season as well.
Kayak building was quiet, but I did manage to build one kayak. ‘Viatrix‘, a Guillemot designed Night Heron “Stitch and Glue” kayak, was first afloat almost as soon as the waters were free from ice, also she was the first one to have a sail installed on her. On her own a very fine kayak for waves and light touring BUT excellent fun with a sail !! Best overall kayak I’ve built thus far…
Already many new kayaking adventures are on the drawing board for 2016 (and beyond) ! Here’s hoping that I will learn to be a bit more diligent in my blog postings as well….