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 RAPID


ADVENTURE KAYAK


Our entire back-issue library now available, $4.95 per issue. One-, two- and three-year subscriptions starting as low as $17.95.


1] CANOEROOTS AND FAMILY CAMPING


Did you miss an issue of Canoeroots and Family Camping? Order it online, $4.95 per issue. One-, two- and three-year subscriptions starting as low as $17.95.


KAYAK ANGLER


Kayak fishing is the absolute best of both worlds. Order the premier issue of Kayak Angler today, $4.95. Two-year subscriptions $17.95.


INSIDE OUT BY CONOR MIHELL The Nordkapp RM BY VALLEY SEA KAYAKS


THE FATHER of the British-style sea kayak movement in North America once scoffed at plastic boats. In the early 1980s, Stan Chladek brought Valley Canoe Prod- ucts and the holier-than-thou attitude of the British Canoe Union to a small paddling shop just outside of Detroit, Michigan. Chladek’s mindset was that if a sea kayak wasn’t made of layer upon layer of fibreglass and coated with scads of gel coat, it wasn’t worth paddling; rotomoulded polyethylene boats were nothing but “coffins.” Isn’t it iron- ic that Chladek’s beloved Nordkapp is now available in plastic? Te Valley Nordkapp is among the lon-


gest running sea kayak designs, created in 1975 by Briton Frank Goodman. Somehow, Valley has managed to maintain the same sleek and sexy lines while morphing the Nor- dkapp from a tippy, expert-only missile to an intermediate-friendly—yet still expedition- ready—cruiser. Along the way, it’s been pad- dled to the ends of the earth, from Norway to Cape Horn and everywhere in between in swell, surf and piss-on-a-platter calm. Te Nordkapp RM mirrors the dimen-


sions of the latest composite version. It sports large oval hatches fore and aft, a re-


32 ADVENTURE KAYAK | SUMMER 2008


tractable skeg and moderate stability, which all told make it easier to pack and more ma- noeuvrable and stable than earlier models. Yet as its pedigree implies, the RM is still nimble in rough seas and handles better as the load becomes heavier. Paddled empty, the Nordkapp RM feels


bigger and more secure than its narrow beam and shallow depth imply. It’s dry in choppy waves due to its flared, voluminous bow and catches waves predictably in a fol- lowing sea. Like most British boats, course corrections are best made with hip-initiated turns; the RM is quite manoeuvrable when paddled on edge and will complete a 360- degree turn in half-a-dozen well-executed strokes. It becomes bomber stable right to the capsize point and cruises easily at seven or eight kilometres per hour when loaded down for a long trip. Plastic prejudices aside, the construction


of Valley’s plastic sea kayaks is impressive. Te hull is rigid and tough, yet noticeably lighter than its counterparts—even lighter than many composite Nordkapps. Per- formance-wise, even scrupulous Chladek would agree, the Nordkapp RM will never be left for dead in the water.


 2] 1] SISTER SHIP


Only the crisper lines of fibreglass are missing from the Nordkapp RM when compared to its composite brother. The boat shares the same peaked foredeck, functional deck layout and compass recess.


2] SHOOT FROM THE HIP


Valley’s new seating system has more bells and whistles than their former, fibreglass design. Thigh supports are adjustable to offer a comfort- able, performance-oriented fit for paddlers of all sizes. Time will tell how well the plastic seat and customizable, padded hip pillars will stand up to heavy use.


3] STIFF LOWER LIP


The Nordkapp RM’s hull nearly matches the rigid- ity of composite boats due to Valley’s unique tri-layer laminated plastic. Bulkheads are welded in place and contoured slightly to make them extra strong and watertight yet flexible enough to protect the hull from stress damage upon blunt impact.


SPECS length ........................... 17 ft 9 in (541 cm) width ............................ 21 in (53 cm) depth ........................... 13 in (33 cm) cockpit size .................. 29.5 x 16 in (75 x 41 cm) weight .......................... 56 lbs (25.5 kg) MSRP ............................ $1,775 US


valleyseakayaks.com 3]


Ten years of archived back issues now available, $4.95 per issue. One-, two- and three-year subscriptions starting as low as $17.95.


4 » ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL


It took designers a while to figure out that small and large paddlers will have vastly different experiences paddling the same boat. “It used to be that if you were in the middle of the curve you got a boat that fit really well,” says Day. “But if you were on either end you got something that wasn’t fun to paddle.”


Day attributes the advent of different-sized whitewater kayaks to a


similar, more recent trend in sea kayaks. Rather than simply lifting or low- ering the deck as they’d done in the past, sea kayak designers are now building entirely different boats for small-, medium- and large-sized pad- dlers. “We change the boat in all dimensions with the idea of preserving the same performance,” says Day. “We do it right from the outset. The kayak might have the same name, but it came from a different mold.”


MAGAZINES > FILMS > BOOKS


Geographic Expeditions Council, The Dangerous Archipelago expedition finds Jon paddling through


the Tuamotu Atolls in French Polynesia. $19.95 US


5 » THE BRITISH EMPIRE


OCEANS 8: THE LOST COAST OF GABON SEA KAYAKING WEST AFRICA BY JON BOWERMASTER Accompanied by photographer Peter McBride and two Gabonese eco-guides, we circumnavigated Gabon’s national park, Loango. Along the way we encountered river-swimming elephants, mana- tees, tarpon, surfing hippos, gorillas and more. By trip’s end it was hard to decide which were the most beautiful, and the most difficult, parts of the


expedition, but it was eye opening, for us all. $19.95 US


KAYAK FISHING—THE ULTIMATE GUIDE BY CAPTAIN SCOTT NULL AND JOEL MCBRIDE Kayaks are easy to paddle and can get anglers into new and otherwise inaccessible waters. The Ultimate Guide to Kayak Fishing is the most comprehensive DVD on the subject, following Scott Null and Joel McBride through all the ba- sics that will give the new kayak angler a solid foundation of skills and concepts, and allow a


safe and comfortable entry into the sport. $26.95 US


KAYAK FITNESS PRODUCED BY JAMIE MCDONOUGH SHOT AND EDITED BY AMMEN JORDAN


The Kayak Fitness on-land work out program is designed to develop the ultimate kayaking body by targeting the main muscle groups used for paddling: back, chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, forearms, and abs. Using the latest in DVD tech- nology, Kayak Fitness allows you to create your


own workouts and sequences. $24.95 US


OCEANS 8: AROUND TASMANIA SEA KAYAKING AUSTRALIA BY JON BOWERMASTER


Drawn by its mysterious history and wild and rugged shores, the remote and little-known Aus- tralian island of Tasmania proved to be perfect coastline for us to explore by kayak, stopping along the 600-mile route to visit with fishermen


and historians, sailors and Aboriginals. $19.95 US


OCEANS 8: THE DANGEROUS ARCHIPELAGO SEA KAYAKING FRENCH POLYNESIA BY JON BOWERMASTER


Sea kayaks allow Jon and his team—comprised of some of the world’s best photographers, filmmak- ers, scientists and navigators—to reach the corners of the world rarely seen. Sponsored by National


SUMMER 2008 www.adventurekayakmag.com/0039 F &Jetsam lotsam


All segments of the sea kayaking market are now drawing on the original ideas of Frank Goodman, Derek Hutchinson and other visionaries—features like bulkheads, rubber hatch covers, perimeter decklines, recessed fittings and toggles, day hatches and gracefully upswept bows. It was a sign that the trend had become pervasive when many manufacturers began dropping the term “British-style” to describe their skeg boats, and an unspoken testament to the acumen of the early sea kayakers on the other side of the pond. “These are all useful features,” says Greseth, “they look good and are func- tional. Brit boats are just cool.”


OCEANS 8: A SLOW BOAT TO SOMEWHERE EXPLORING FRENCH POLYNESIA BY JON BOWERMASTER Ride along on a rustic, and rusting, Polynesian cargo boat as it makes deliveries to 21 of the globe’s most isolated coral reef atolls in the


heart of the South Pacific Ocean. $19.95 US


PACIFIC HORIZONS BY BRYAN SMITH Blending wildlife, people, places and action-packed kayaking, Bryan Smith takes us on an unforget- table journey documenting impressive tidal race surfing, the Orca whales of the San Juan Islands, the Bunsby Islands off the remote coast of Vancou- ver Island, “commando kayaking” with Greenland rolling and ropes gymnastics champion Dubside,


and the wind and waves of the Oregon coast. $29.95 US


RECREATIONAL KAYAKING WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND HOSTED BY KEN WHITING SHOT AND EDITED BY CHRIS EMERICK


Recreational Kayaking provides new and devel- oping paddlers with the skills and knowledge necessary to comfortably and safely enjoy kayak- ing.


$19.95 US


SEA KAYAKING WRITTEN BY KEN WHITING AND ALEX MATTHEWS SHOT AND EDITED BY CHRIS EMERICK


The Ultimate Guide to Sea Kayaking is a four- part DVD by World Champion kayaker, Ken Whiting, and expert sea kayaker, Alex Matthews, which provides both new and experienced pad- dlers with the knowledge and skills necessary to


safely and comfortably enjoy sea kayaking. $29.95 US


THIS IS THE SEA 3 This is the Sea 3 is the third in a series of award-winning adventure sea kayaking films by renowned explorer and documentary maker, Jus- tine Curgenven. This DVD includes over two hours of sea kayaking expeditions, action and wildlife from Antarctica, the Faroe Islands, New Zealand,


Wales and Scotland. $29.95 US


All prices in U.S. dollars. Pricing valid until April 1, 2008.  6 » MORE SURF SKI PEOPLE BY CONOR MIHELL Speed Queen FREYA HOFFMEISTER BEATS AUSTRALIA CIRCUMNAVIGATION RECORD BY 28 DAYS


IN 1982, Paul Caffyn claimed one of the lon- gest-standing sea kayaking titles of all time, becoming the first to circumnavigate Austra- lia’s 15,000-kilometre coastline. It would’ve been impossible for Caffyn to know that 27 years later, his 360-day journey would become a competition. Armed with a spreadsheet of Caffyn’s daily


paddling distances, the sassy and audacious German uber-paddler Freya Hoffmeister set off from a Melbourne beach on January 18, 2009, to chase the record in her Race Around Australia. On December 15, the 45-year-old Hoff-


meister completed the circle, shattering Caf- fyn’s mark by 28 days. Hoffmeister, who holds speed records for


circumnavigating Iceland (33 days, with Flori- da paddler Greg Stamer) and the South Island of New Zealand (70 days, solo), dismissed the concerns of Australian sea kayakers who said


14 ADVENTURE KAYAK | SPRING 2010


she was throwing caution to the wind on an isolated, cliffbound and surf-washed coastline that’s home to more sharks, snakes and croco- diles than people. “Tere’s no way she’ll make it,” said Aus-


tralian surf ski paddler Dean Gardiner in an online preview of Hoffmeister’s trip. To com- pound the challenge, Hoffmeister’s expedition would be self-supported; Caffyn, by compari- son, had a shore-based crew to help him land in towering surf, cook his meals and take care of his accommodations. Said another paddler on an online Australian discussion forum, “to try this without an escort boat is simply crazy.” But Hoffmeister, who in previous careers


was a successful gymnast, bodybuilder and skydiver, thrives on words of doubt. Besides the amazing stamina Hoffmeister showed in paddling an average of 55 kilometres per day for the better part of a year, Stamer says her greatest skill is perseverance.


“I think the biggest thing about her is that she


maintains her confidence and her focus in spite of what others are saying,” says Stamer. “Freya likes to do what people say can’t be done. Once she gets something in her head, she’ll do it.” On Australia’s north shore, Hoffmeister


faced the choice of paddling over 1,500 kilome- tres of crocodile-ridden shoreline or making a risky 560-kilometre crossing of the Gulf of Car- pentaria—a feat completed in a sea kayak only once before, by the late Aussie Andrew McAu- ley. She chose the crossing and spent eight days offshore,


jury-rigging paddle-float outriggers


when she became too tired to paddle. “Overall I may have underestimated a bit


the conditions out there in the middle of the Gulf,” Hoffmeister wrote in her blog, “…but at the end it was nothing I couldn’t handle.” In her media interviews and near-daily blog


postings while on the journey, Hoffmeister was unremittingly upbeat. “I’m visualizing my


final arrival already,” she said in an interview with Sea Kayaker magazine, just 300 kilome- tres into the trip. “I’m challenging myself by pushing myself to the limit, no doubt about it, and I’m out on some days when other people would have gone in already because I just enjoy it… my body won’t have any problem keeping up. A challenge is always a good time for me.” Te critics were few and far between when


Hoffmeister landed at Queenscliff in Decem- ber. Her cheery acceptance of hardship won her thousands of supporters from around the world on her website. “It is something that won’t be done again for a very long time, per- haps not even ever again,” said Hoffmeister, forecasting her success in an earlier interview with a British online magazine. “Also, people write things on the website


like, ‘You are a legend,’ ‘You are a star,’ and it is a nice feeling. Somebody has to be the guide figure; someone has to be at the front.”


Fresh after setting a new speed record for circumnavigating Ireland in 25 days last spring with Cornwall, U.K.’s Jeff Allen, London, U.K.-based sea kayaker Harry Whelan couldn’t say enough about his Rockpool Taran. With an elon- gated keel line, foot-controlled rudder and plumb, high-volume bow the Taran is far more surf ski than typical British sea kayak; Whelan called it “the biggest change in U.K. sea kayaking.” Surf ski-shaped sea kayaks already received wide-reaching recognition when Freya Hoffmeister paddled an Epic 18X in her record-setting 2010 Race Around Australia, another low-profile, rudder-controlled boat designed by Olympic racer Greg Barton. Whelan and Allen further demonstrated the rough water pedigree of these long, slender sea kayaks by pushing their limits in strong headwinds, monstrous seas and powerful tidal rips. All the while they maintained a pace that was at least 1.5 knots faster than a traditional expe- dition sea kayak. “It meant we could paddle about 12 more miles per day,” says Whelan. “On an expedition, that’s significant.”


SPRING 2010 www.adventurekayakmag.com/0040 GREENL AND-S T YLE KAYAKING SPECIAL


LEARN the in-line tow


The problem with SAND


GPS kayak tracking


Necky Looksha V and Impex Force 5


7 » GREENLAND GOES MAINSTREAM


GREENLAND-STYLE ESSENTIAL SKILLS:


SPECIAL FEA TURE


EARLY SUMMER 2006 • Vol 6 No 2 display until AUGUST 1, 2006 adventurekayakmag.com Canadian Publication Agreement #40033446


Balance brace, roll and paddling forward the old way


KAYAKING for SURVIVAL in the High Arctic Greenlanders still hunt the hard way with kayaks and harpoons


CANADA $5.95 US $5.95 EARLY SUMMER 2006 www.adventurekayakmag.com/0041 44 ADVENTURE KAYAK | SPRING 2012


It used to be that if you wanted an authentic Greenland-style kayak, you were forced to sort through cedar at the lumberyard and assemble your own can- vas-covered craft. In recent years, however, that’s changed thanks to a hand- ful of European manufacturers producing ultra-low volume Greenland boats in composite materials. According to Thunder Bay, Ontario-based vendor and Greenland-style paddle-maker Joe O’Blenis, the trend has expanded beyond cult status. “Greenland-style has gone mainstream,” says O’Blenis. “More and more people want the gear but don’t want to build their own. It might be that they don’t have the time or space for boat-building, or they think they don’t have the skills. That’s why a market has emerged for manufactured Greenland kayaks.” Where once Valley’s Anas Acuta and Wilderness Systems’ Arctic Hawk were the only option for paddlers looking for composite boats for rolling and tradition- al-style paddling, manufacturers like Estonia’s Tahe and Norway’s SeaBird have been exporting a wide range of traditional-styled fiberglass, carbon and Kevlar kayaks to appease the North American masses since 2009. O’Blenis describes the typical buyer as a 30- to 50-year-old male or female looking to add a “sec- ond or third kayak to their fleet.”


RECREATIONAL KAYAKING BY ALEX MATTHEWS AND KEN WHITING Whether your interest in kayaking stems from the desire to get outside and spend time with your friends and family or to explore the endless waterways that surround you, this easy-to-read guide makes paddling fun and safe for both new


and developing paddlers. $14.95 US


ROLLING A KAYAK BY KEN WHITING Rolling a Kayak is Ken Whiting’s sixth book on kayaking technique and the most comprehen- sive, clear and concise guide to learning and


perfecting the kayak roll. $16.95 US


SEA KAYAKING: ROUGH WATERS BY ALEX MATTHEWS Whether your interest is paddling more chal- lenging conditions, or learning new skills and concepts that will boost your confidence for sheltered paddling, Sea Kayaking: Rough Wa- ters will take you there. You’ll find stunning photography, fun illustrations, and a gold mine of knowledge passed on by expert sea kayaker,


Alex Matthews. $19.95 US


TOURING AND SEA KAYAKING BY ALEX MATTHEWS AND KEN WHITING Touring and Sea Kayaking provides beginner and experienced kayakers with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and comfortably


enjoy sea kayaking. $19.95 US


SUPPORTING THE FILMMAKERS OF THE Order Today


their time spent on the water. $19.95 US





KAYAK FISHING—THE ULTIMATE GUIDE BY CAPTAIN SCOTT NULL AND JOEL MCBRIDE Scott Null and Joel McBride draw on their vast experience in both kayaking and fishing to give the new kayak angler a solid foundation of skills and concepts that will allow a safe and com- fortable entry into the sport. Scott and Joel also offer a wealth of tips and tricks that will help more experienced anglers get the most out of


PHOTOS: CONOR MIHELL


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