Is it possible to improve Yakima..??

As usual, there is room for improvement. ;)

In the wintertime, wearing my Chotas, the right position for my feet, is somewhere between the last notch and the natural stop made by the front mounting-bolt.

Last possible OEM position

Last position, on the bolt
Voila - a new position !

How to store your spare split-paddle.

This has been an ongoing test and trial issue:

I have had balls on the bungees, to allow the paddle to slip under. These balls had to be redicoulus in size to let me push the shafts underneath - the blade was not a problem.

I have had plumbing-pipes attached to the bungees. Even the smallest (>2feet) surf forced the paddle AWOL.

I have had hose on the bungees, to make an open loop. This did not let me slide the shafts (easy enough) under the hose.

Went by one of GnarlyDog posts, to get some inspiration - and to exclude some solutions. The result was that I stuck to my plumbing, but fixed them much more sturdy. The reason I have them so long, is that I do not want to scratch the deck more than needed, sliding the shaft through the pipe, before I can get the blade under the bungees, and be course my splits aren't the same length...

My 'active' paddle slides nice and easy under the over-all bungee. The ball makes it even easier.

Well - this is how it looks at the moment. Next step will probably involve some epoxy and fibre-glass work...

Like a virgin...

...yes, I am referring to myself.! It almost felt like that again, this being my first time on the water, since surgery in my right shoulder. :-)

Condition chosen can be seen on the picture.

Jeff Allen t(hr)owbag - alterations

As genius as this system is, there is always room for improvements. I think ;)

From left: I have changed the fix-point of the rope, from the bottom of the bag, to the D-ring in the opening. This way I do not have to rely on my flacky brain, to remember what to do, if I want to use the bag as a drogue.

Center: I made a different 'knot-system' on the carabin. The standard knots had no chance in hell to slip under the decklines, needed be.

Right: I need/like/prefer to have something very distinct to grab, when releasing.

The rope is fixed by sewing, under the heat-shrink-tube (what ever it's called in English. Someone?)
Later on I will mount a float of some kind, ca. 4m from the carabin.
I left the rope/knots in the very bottom of the bag, to maintain the standard attachment of the plastic carabin.

Other than the changes shown above, I have also shortened the belt, to be only 5'ish cm 'too long'. My  changes are, for me, improvements. Other people may have other preferences. The important thing is that we all look at our gear, with a skeptical mind, and go out and use the shit - the only way to find out what works for you, and what does not.! This also gives, that I might change back, or change something else, later on - after more trial and use.

I am aware that I will have to keep an eye on wear and tear of the rope, having it directly on the steel.

I am not the only one to alter systems. Here is how Søren Brink alters his Palm tow-system

Rolling practice...

...should be done in 'conditions'. Don't we all tend to practise in pool and flat water conditions.?

Therefore I am happy to say that I headed for the beach today - on this windy day - with a clear intention to do some rolling.

This did of course not keep me from playing in the waves, now I was there. :-)
I was on the water from 16 to 17. Waves may not be as high as they would have been at Gl Agernæs, but more predictable, than Gl Agernæs sometimes are.

Surf at Gl Agernæs

The weather forecast said it would be windy - it was.!

Jepsen, Katrina and I, were on the water roughly from 16 to 18:30 - so yes, there was a reason for the struggle we had to get 'out there'.
It wasn't the largest or best of waves we have had at Gl Agernæs, but still there was a few good surfs to run. The wind had changed some in direction over the afternoon, so the waves hadn't built up their best - a bit confused now and then. Intermediate to rough conditions, I'd say. Occasional 1 1/2 meter waves. I was even pushed over once.. 8-O
We practiced rolling and self-rescues in conditions given.
I remembered Simon's word about using low-brace instead of high-brace - some of the time... Tried to stay high, not locking the bow in the through, and no skeg.

More and more happy about my NordLow - it acts as supposed to. Though I could feel it was as light as can be... Little tender... 


So much for 'Cold-hawaii'.! Far from cold and far from Hawaii. Amazing one can have weather, and conditions, like this 1st. of October.

This is actually third time I have been so unfortunate, to be here, when there is no surf (or very little) at all. This is what happens when the date has been set long ago.

Tomorrow there will be slightly more wind, but still the period is way to short.

Better luck next time.
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Surf Course with Simon Osborne

Though I managed to brake a rib, I had a good time, as long (short?!) as it lasted.
FB link to Simons pictures.

Going somewhere ?

30kg kayak + 40kg gear = 70kg ! (and 80kg 'pilot'...)
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Need to write on laminates ?

This makes it possible to write, with a normal pencil, and erase. I did not have any grain 600 sanding paper, but these kitchen-spunges did the job too.
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Those who don't like the Nordkapp

Those that decide they don't like the Nordkapp generally do so after 2 minutes because they don't like its apparent lack of primary stability when sitting in calm water (if only they would persist because the Nordkapp is wonderful in rough, confused water).
Quote: Douglas Wilcox

I can second this.! And add that the secondary stability does not "interfere" with your edging/leaning. It goes as far as your skills/guts wants to go. No support = no hindrance.

Practicing repetitive "draw on the move" strokes, has over the years given me a few unexpected rolls - I am sure NordLow will follow this tradition...

Should I describe NordLow in one word, it would be: "Neutral"
That be in maneuvering, forward, reverse, edging, leaning, rolling, any wind, any seastate, while coaching skills - you, the paddler, are always in charge. Other boat-designs actually needs a pressure down (Romany, Alaw, ..), if you want an edge, not here, you just think about it.
When applying a sweep you get a clear feeling that it turns around its center, not aft, not front - center. Unless off course you move your body/weight aft or front.

Having said this, it is imperative that you (and your gear) match the weight any boat design is made for. Are you in the lighter end you will find it much more unstable, than a person in the other end of the scale would.

Unfortunately many (most?) sea-kayaks are sold from their seat-comfort....

Valley hatches

This is how a Valley hatch is supposed to go on.

Unfortunately this is not possible until one sand off some 3-5mm of the hatchs lower outer edge. Before this it will not fit in between the rim and the deck. That be PE or glass deck.

I use a beltsander for the job.
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British Craftsmanship, suggestions and things to improve

Just a follow up. Valley kept their word. I do now have a brilliant looking NordLow. :-)


Original e-mail for Valley:

Dear sir/madam,

Regarding my newest acquisition, a Valley Norkapp LV

I got quite a few issues with my new boat. Some are suggestions, some are nags and some just should not be there at all.

A suggestion would be to use Kajaksport-quality rubber for hatches. So much easier in use, while still being 100% tight. And, the fit for your hatches are (still) kind of poor. It is very hard to get the hatch in place. I will have to sand of some material on these too, thought this was only an issue on your plastic boats.

Please, let me drill the holes in the bulkheads, if I want to. I would rather drill a 0,5mm than 2mm, like you did.!

Please, while drilling holes in the seat anyway, drill two holes to drain the ever being water under your buttock.

After first trip, already rust on a ring..!!

Hose on pump. What kind of 'cut' is this..??!! Must be 90° ! (Preferebly closer to the buttom.)

Numerous scratches and polyester mishaps all over... Just not good enough.!

These were just some of the scratches..!!

The out-most worst is, without doubt, the next issue..!! But also the most difficult to show on a picture. Let me know if you need more documentation.

Funny shaped bow/sheerline..!!


All these issues does not affect the ride, but sure as hell the experience.

PS - this letter will soon be to find on my blog: - feel free to respond there too, if you like.

Kind regards 
v/ steen bondo
orelundvej 18
5610 assens denmark
+45 6440 6667
+45 2927 4815
CVR: 29 12 41 83
BCU: 129361

NordLow, first trip.

We combined a tour and a nightpaddle. We spent the night on Bågø. No wonder i shivered in the morning - there were ice in a drinking bottle.
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Got myself a new kajak.

Colours are meant to act as theftprotection, and maximize visability.
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