Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where's This All Headed?
Yesterday, Jeff showed up for the Sunday paddle in an Impex Rapier, and Doug grabbed this shot. This boat, which won the affection of Greg, a traditional paddler and boat maker (on the other side of Jeff) who tried the boat and loved it. So much, in fact, that he was soon happily rolling it in the freezing, bacterial-infested waters inside the breakwater.

As Jeff aptly points out, this boat is a log that wants to roll all the time. He also indicated that when paddling in conditions one cannot let their attention wander for even a moment. Almost 18 feet long and all waterline, this sucker is built for speed. I suppose one would want one for racing. But touring?

There is also the Force 3 and 4 which has a tad more beam but is also on the finicky side. More and more we see these boats with less wet surface and unique stability. I imagine they have less packable space and wonder what the market is for these little wonders.

Obviously, most of us day paddle most of the time and, for that, we want a fun and responsive boat. Still, my day paddles take me out into all sorts of conditions, and I want a boat that will bring me home safely. Rolling is fun, staying upright when one wants to is essential. I wonder where this is all headed.

PS: I am on the road and will be absent from this space for a few days.

Paddle safe...


Greg Fojtik said...

Hi Dick. I'd just like to make a few corrections. The boat is a Valley Rapier 20. It's all of 20 feet long and somewhere around 17.25 inches wide. It is an absolutely gorgeous ride, though totally rudder dependent, as the fastest boats generally are.

teletwang said...

Fast, responsive, fun, easily remounted - that's the beauty of the ski. While I like to roll almost as much as the next guy, I feel much safer in hairy conditions on a ski, especially if I'm paddling alone. A remount is easy even in windy or lumpy conditions. I would have a much tougher time doing a reentry and roll/pump out in the same conditions in the event of missing rolls and having fatigue set in.