First Time Out

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11 years 8 months ago #13865 by sAsLEX
First Time Out was created by sAsLEX
A week or two ago I was looking at getting a multi-sport kayak as a mate has decided to do the C2C and the kayaking part looked like fun!

Then I read this www.fergskayaks.co.nz/home/kayaks/articles/surfski-vs-kayak/ and looked around Auckland and decided a surf ski would be better suited.

After some research on here I decided I would get a lesson at Fergs to give it a go, however the weather has put that off with strong westerlies meaning today they yet again put off the lesson :(

With the afternoon off work I found myself at the local Fenn warehouse to kick some tires and look at the boats, within no time Oskar said he would meet me at the beach in an hour to give them a go.

With no surfski experience I took out the XT first, with some gusting wind trying to upset me a bit I found the XT very comfortable and had my feet in the boat and chugging along nicely within a few strokes and even got the venturi gurgling away. I tried sitting stationary and rocking the boat around and leaning around a bit under way and was all very comfortable.

Back up the beach and swapped for the Swordfish, noticeably thinner and snug in the cockpit, but still felt ok at rest with feet over the side and was able to get feet in within a few paddle strokes and not fall in. Cruising along the boat was definitely tippier and my hips were rocking a bit as I tried to get used to this, and it liked to sit slightly lent over, but I managed to stay upright and paddle along just fine (took one swim when a gust and paddle on the off side were poorly timed).

Whilst more comfortable in the XT, I am going to get the Swordfish as soon as my roof racks arrive for the car. I think the XT would get boring too fast!

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11 years 8 months ago #13868 by Love2ski
Replied by Love2ski on topic Re: First Time Out
Good work.

I started about six weeks ago on an xt. Im ok in small swells and the flat, but I take a swim 3 or 4 times in moderate swell.

I am 45 and a long way from being fit. But I can feel myself improving.

Unless you are already an accomplished paddler, I would try the skis in moderate cross swells. I thought I would go the swordfish, but fortunately dean gardiner was pretty direct about that. I am glad he was because I think i would be limited to flat water for a long time on a swordfish.

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11 years 8 months ago #13874 by dkjens
Replied by dkjens on topic Re: First Time Out
I got an Orca Bourbon this August but have only been out a few times. I have a little ocean kayak experience from this year only and I find the Orca quite tippy. I've never paddled with my feet out but I have saved myself with the paddle a few times and just maintaining upright in calm waters take quite an effort. My lower back gets tired and sore quite fast and I don't know if it's from the seating position or from me working my hips as much as I do.

The water and air temps are already around 8C now so I'm a little hesitant in going out any more, even in my wetsuit, but I also did live in Los Angeles for 25 years and really miss the higher temps ha ha.

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11 years 8 months ago #13882 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: First Time Out
Relax and trust the boat.......

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 8 months ago #13892 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: First Time Out
It will be totally different on your first paddle from Okahu bay Alex, I often get back on land there feeling like a total beginner. :pinch:

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11 years 8 months ago #13907 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Re: First Time Out
I guess it all depends on what type of water you plan to paddle in. If you want to stick with fine weather paddling, then sure, take the swordfish straight away.

I often wonder how our Cape Town conditions differ to other parts of the world - I am at that point making the jump to an intermediate boat, and yet there are some days when the wind is blowing 30knots+ and I'm really glad I'm in my stable Genius CLK.

So for me, my aim is to be able to paddle in any conditions that my group goes out in - and for that I need to maintain a more stable ski.

If it was just paddling in small swells, minimal wind, sunny skies, I guess its time I start looking at an elite boat...

YMMV but if its just about going out in nice flat conditions, then stick with the swordfish. If your ambitions are to do some crazy downwinds, or longer cross-chop trips (10 - 20 km), then I suggest you consider quite carefully.

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11 years 8 months ago #13908 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Re: First Time Out
PS sounds like you are having a ball either way - so keep it up! B-)

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11 years 7 months ago #14177 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic Re: First Time Out
Second time out on my new Swordfish today, yesterday was interesting with some chop sending me swimming fairly regularly, and without having practised remounts in deep water I was staying shallow where the waves were starting to kick up which didn't help. I spent a fair amount of time with one leg dragging in the windward/ wave side to keep CoM lower and get used to the boat.

Lesson learnt: Brace with the back of the paddle, not sure if this is correct but it seemed to work better.

Went out again today and the sea was a lot calmer with only some small wind blown waves. Spent most of the time with both feet in the boat using the rudder how you are meant to, leg drive happened every now and again as I got confident. Found looking at feet instead of horizon helped stroke but not balance... Near the end I figured I possibly have the foot plate a bit close and will measure and adjust that next time out (Every time I tried to measure out in the chop I just fell in , but I think I have well more than a fist space). Managed to catch one small downwind run, got the scuppers gurgling away for at least ten seconds....then fell in. I was far more comfortable into, and side on to the wind/waves and fell out a lot more going downwind.

Lesson Learnt: Impact of the rudder on balance and how you can use the rudder to right or lean the boat, having to think a bit about this at the moment but it started to get a little more natural near the end.

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11 years 7 months ago #14181 by [email protected]

Lesson learnt: Brace with the back of the paddle, not sure if this is correct but it seemed to work better.


Yep, mostly you'll use the back of the paddle, but you can also use the front of the blade too... ("high brace" I think in kayaking terminology.)

Your paddle is vital to staying upright - while it's anchored in the water you can use it balance. I see so many people remounting without holding their paddle across the boat, which is a recipe for falling off again. You should have your paddle across the boat, in both hands, ready to brace as soon as you get upright.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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11 years 7 months ago - 11 years 7 months ago #14243 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic Re: First Time Out

robin.mousley wrote: Your paddle is vital to staying upright - while it's anchored in the water you can use it balance. I see so many people remounting without holding their paddle across the boat, which is a recipe for falling off again. You should have your paddle across the boat, in both hands, ready to brace as soon as you get upright.


Learnt that a few times now! Have been leaving the leash to deal with the paddle and keep it close to hand as I get used to getting back on the ski, so far I am not an ambi-side straddler, but getting the hang of the side straddle from the left side of the ski.

Been out a couple more times and loving it!

Fri night at Taka there was a little swell running so I spent the time going in and out through that and managing to catch a few runs on the way in. Whilst there I adjusted the cockpit length and it has made a dramatic improvement in the feel of the boat.

Sat morning was a fair bit rougher, getting out through the surf with waves breaking on the ski is fun! The conditions were a little above my skill level and at one point I fell off broaching and then watched the ski scoot into shore..... I also managed 34kmhr according to the gps on the phone(I doubt that speed though). Have sent an email to Carbonology wrt getting a surf rudder.


I have the ABC dvd and the Surfski with the Pros book to start refining my technique.
Last edit: 11 years 7 months ago by sAsLEX.

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11 years 7 months ago - 11 years 7 months ago #14314 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic Re: First Time Out


Another 5 odd km tonight in fairly benign conditions www.mapmyrun.com/workout/201557609

Lesson Learnt: Sit up! Noticed I was crouching quite bad, especially when trying to catch swells, and this was not very efficient paddling and made rotation very awkward! On sitting up everything seemed to get easier, from balance to cadence to rotation! At this rate I think the Tuesday night races might be within my capability in a week or two!

Also my Fimo bullets seemed to work, but need to get some consistent speeds on some flat water to be sure
Last edit: 11 years 7 months ago by sAsLEX.

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11 years 7 months ago #14318 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: First Time Out
Did the Tuesday night races on my 5th paddle, swum three times, only learnt to remount the night before :laugh:

That green bullet looks to be too far away from the venturi.

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11 years 7 months ago - 11 years 7 months ago #14346 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic Re: First Time Out

Kayaker Greg wrote: Did the Tuesday night races on my 5th paddle, swum three times, only learnt to remount the night before :laugh:

That green bullet looks to be too far away from the venturi.


Wasn't stuck on yet in that pic, they are both nearly touching at the base.

On another note always nice to have an Olympic Gold medallist and her friend come over and check your right when your floundering about trying to get back on your ski! And even better when you manage to nail it and finally make it look easy after falling off three or four times trying to remount!

Lesson: Point the ski into the wind/waves before trying to get on, a beam sea just isn't helpful!
Last edit: 11 years 7 months ago by sAsLEX.

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11 years 7 months ago #14347 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: First Time Out
Lucky bugger I so want her signature on my ski!

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11 years 3 months ago #15856 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic Re: First Time Out
Well a few months have now passed and I have been regularly attending the Truesday night races held off Takapuna beach here in Auckland. I am still finishing last, however can now see the people in front the whole way though :laugh: and have not been rescued/pulled from the race by the director for safety reasons since my 2nd race....

connect.garmin.com/activity/286258486 Race 17
connect.garmin.com/activity/283466841 Race 16
connect.garmin.com/activity/280622004 Race 15

I am now comfortable even in reasonably large seas and chop, and seldom go for a swim, except once I get a bit tired.

Have been practising downwind by doing in/outs when conditions allow, and am getting the hang of that

connect.garmin.com/activity/284135481

However when it gets a bit bigger I am still struggling to jump on to the run

connect.garmin.com/activity/285232559

Next challenge is the upcoming King of the Harbour race, 23 or 29 km downwind within the Hauraki Gulf/Harbour

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11 years 3 months ago #15860 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: First Time Out
Good work, its hard being at the back all the time and the progress seems painfully slow, but its still fun getting out on the water and having things to work on keeps paddling interesting.

Good luck if you race this Sunday, been thinking on it but I want to do more paddling this weekend than waiting around for Sunday arvo to race.

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11 years 3 months ago #15861 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic Re: First Time Out

Kayaker Greg wrote: Good work, its hard being at the back all the time and the progress seems painfully slow, but its still fun getting out on the water and having things to work on keeps paddling interesting.

Good luck if you race this Sunday, been thinking on it but I want to do more paddling this weekend than waiting around for Sunday arvo to race.


www.kingoftheharbour.co.nz/

6 April.

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11 years 3 months ago #15862 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: First Time Out
Yeah I know, but thought you might be doing this too.

pocockpaddlingcoaching.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/new-race.html

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