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IN THE HATCH BY MICHAEL MECHAN


SEA KAYAK SUPPLEMENTS


PERFORMANCE ENHANCING GEAR 4 3 SEALS 2 1 K O K ATAT


1WOOLCORE www.kokatat.com • $74


All-round has its place, but Kokatat knows that sport-specific gear allows for better paddling performance. Cut and sewn with paddler ergonomics in mind, these base layers aren’t run-of-the-mill long johns. The bottoms feature a gusseted crotch for comfort while seated and added height in the rise so your lower back stays covered when you lean forward. The tops have slightly shortened arms to accommodate wrist gaskets and a collar that won’t interfere with a neck gasket. A short-sleeved version will also be available. New for 2012, WoolCore base layers are made from a blend of 100 percent recycled polyester for moisture wicking and durability, and Rocky Mountain grown, extra-soft wool for comfort and warmth.


SALUS


2UNGAVA www.salusmarine.com • $149 CAD


Ungava is an Inuit term meaning “towards the open water”—a fitting name for Salus’ new, full-featured touring vest. The Ungava has a traditional center front zip entry, a Dry-lex breathable liner and roomy upper body for a comfortable fit. Look closely and find plenty of small details that make a big difference in performance— reflective trim and accessory loops improve visibility; a left-hand drop mesh pocket and right-hand zippered pocket provide storage; and its carabiner attachment point, lash tab and quick- release belt make it rescue ready. Fleece- lined hand warmer pockets are perfect for defrosting hands that have been exposed to too much open water. Plus, like all Salus PFDs, it’s made in Canada.


3ATHENA www.sealsskirts.com • $100


Hot on the heels of women’s-specific paddles, dry wear, PFDs and boats comes the Athena sprayskirt—another practical and pretty piece of gear paying homage to the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage and heroic endeavor. Seals has offered custom- built skirts for nearly 30 years, but the Athena combines everything a woman wants in a ready-to-wear package. A floral print, 3.5- mm neoprene deck available in a range of attractive colors is mated with a watertight, easy-stretch bungee and a low-fit neoprene tunnel cut for a lady’s figure. The six-inch high tunnel is a full three inches shorter than a standard skirt, which means petite women can wear it around their midriffs as intended, rather than in an anaconda embrace around their busts. Chests everywhere will breath a sigh of relief. —VM


KEELEAZY


4KAYAK KIT www.keeleazy.com • $70–$78


Installing a composite keel strip on a kayak requires patience, knowhow and some compromising—gel coat can be finicky and reinforcement adds noticeable weight. KeelEazy offers a simpler alternative in the form of an easy to install, peel and stick PVC strip that is far more durable than glass or Kevlar strips, weighs significantly less and slides easily across other boats during rescues. KeelEazy’s Kayak Kits come in 16- and 18-foot lengths, and are available in black or white. The strip will adhere to composite, polyethylene and ABS. Tips: Separating the backing from the adhesive is best done when the strip has been cooled, so throw it in the freezer before installation. Use a heat gun to contour the PVC around curved surfaces. Also, rounding the strip’s corners during installation will lengthen lifespan.


Watch a video review of the gear at Adventurekayakmag.com/0042 or download the Adventure Kayak app.


New for 2012! S18R


Stellar Kayaks & Surf Skis offers a full line of light-weight Touring Kayaks and Surf Skis. Touring Kayaks:


S18 S16 S14


Recreational Kayaks:


ST17 S12


Surf Skis: S2E


SE/SEL SES SR


For more information, please email


David (david@stellarkayaks.com), or visit us at www.StellarKayaksUSA.com


Kayaks & Surf Skis


Light-Weight, Fast, Stable & Durable Kayaks, Surf Skis and Paddles.


S18R - The Next Generation of Performance.


The Stellar 18’ Race (S18R) was born from a simple desire to go fast and with a fair hull and long waterlines, it is a racing machine. A narrow catch, a full footbrace and our advanced lightweight laminates boost your performance even further. Similar to the rest of the kayaks at Stellar, the S18R is an uncommon blend of stability and speed.


With the deck rigging and 2 water tight storage compartments, this boat is also a very capable kayak for touring as well as racing.


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