Always Free Fall 2011 - California Kayaker Magazine

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Always Free Fall 2011 - California Kayaker Magazine

fordable. Many of these companies advertise in this publication,so the Advertiser’s Index on page 30 is a goodplace to start your research.Never Stop LearningThere are classes for all levels of paddlers. Just becauseyou paddle well doesn’t mean you know it all. I am acertified instructor who is comfortable paddling in all sortsof conditions in the bay and on the open coast, but thereis still much for me to learn.One day on a coastal paddle I initiated for our club, wehad an incident where someone came out of his boat ina very nasty spot in the rocks. After about 20 minutes ofsolid efforts from the group, the paddler was rescued. Afterwards,I felt I needed to be more prepared if somethinglike this happened again, so, together with a few othersolid paddlers, we contacted Roger Schumann (author ofthe Skills article in this issue) who developed and taughta white water rock garden rescue class for us. He set itup and we spent a whole day on the coast doing actualrescues in conditions that were challenging just to paddle in.Many of the local shops have advanced classes for alltypes of kayaking. Some are regularly scheduled, andsome are special classes where the school brings in a renownedexpert from outside our area to teach. And thereare also symposiums, such as the Golden Gate SeaKayak Symposium or Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium(see article in this issue), where high-level instructorsare brought in for a few days of intensive classes.Also, as classes progress so does the safety instruction.Every class should have a safety component to it.Whether it’s a river rescue class or a surf zone class, gettinginstruction on how to be safe is important.Eskape Sea Kayakingfrom Mild ...to Wild!Nature Tours • BasicSafety • Surf Skills • SeaCaves • Expeditions •Galapagos • BajaA.C.A. Certified15 years inSanta CruzPersonalized instruction withRoger Schumann,author of Sea Kayak Rescue andGuide to Sea KayakingCentral & Northern Californiawww.EskapeKayak.com831-476-5385Don’t Foget the FunAfter writing this I realized I missed an important issue:FUN. I had sent a draft to Gregg Berman, a kayakinginstructor, guide, and author of articles in kayakingmagazines (including California Kayaker Magazine) whosummed it up well: “Your enjoyment can be greater withan increased skill level, whether you want to surf or rockgarden or fish or watch birds. Learning to control your boatcan make you more efficient so you have more energywhile paddling. And wherever you go, instead of worryingover conditions or distance from shore (though some levelof awareness is certainly prudent) or whether you’ll capsize,you can play. People always remark to me how muchfun it looks like I’m having on the water, because my skillsgive me the confidence to goof off and have fun, regardlessof where I’m paddling or what I’m doing”.So instead of sitting on the sidelines, wishing you had theskills to paddle in all except the nicest of conditions, getout and take a class and become a better paddler. vBill Vonnegut is a ACA level 4 instructor who, when not teachingfor California Canoe & Kayak, loves to rock garden, surf, andpaddle on the open coast.California Kayaker Magazine 7


Planning to Capsize: The Cowboy Scrambleby Roger SchumannOne paddler doing the initial ‘belly’stage of a scramble recovery onto her sit on top kayak off ofAvila Beach, as her sisterruns the same pour overshe just ran.Photo by Vince Shaynot planning to capsize,” is a commonrefrain heard from inexperienced kayakers.On the face of it, it is a convenient attitude to“I’mtake for a paddling trip. After all, if you aren’tplanning to capsize, you don’t really need to worryabout things like wearing life jackets or wetsuits orknowing any self-recovery techniques or any of themyriad other things that those of us who plan tocapsize fret over. Think how nice it’d be if we coulduse this reasoning every time we jumped into ourcars. If you weren’t planning to have an accidentor other problem, you wouldn’t ever need to wear asafety belt, carry a spare tire, or bother with gettingyour brakes checked. But if you’re one of those worrywarts who insists on planning to capsize becauseyou think it’s not a matter of if but when, then oneof the best laid plans is to learn a variety of self-recoverytechniques. Falling into the water really isn’tmuch of a problem for kayakers. The problems stemfrom not knowing how to get back out.One of my favorite ways to get myself back into my kayakis the Scramble or Cowboy/Cowgirl Recovery. Althoughit’s not the easiest to learn—and it’s not the one I recommendstarting with for my beginning sea kayaking students—theCowboy certainly lays claim to being amongthe fastest in the West, or anyplace else. And for sit-ontopkayakers, it is the place to start.Scramble for Sit-On-Tops: Belly-Butt-Straddle MethodBecause of sit-on-top kayaks’ width and relative stabilitycompared to most sit-inside kayaks, scrambling back onboard is relatively easy, making it a good first recoveryfor this type of craft. Still, it is a good idea to practice themoves first in waist-deep water to get the feel for them,then gradually wade your kayak into deeper water, untilyou can no longer touch bottom. That way if you end uphaving any problems, you can easily swim your boat backto where you can touch ground. Note that this is also thetechnique used for much tippier surf skis. But if you arepaddling one of those, you already have the balance ofa tight-rope walker anyway, so it shouldn’t be much of aproblem.The basic technique for scrambling onto any open-cockpitcraft is the “belly-butt-straddle” method. Basically youlunge up across your seat onto your belly, then roll yourbutt onto the seat (with legs hanging out the same side ofthe kayak). From there simply spin on your seat to straddleone of your legs on either side. Sitting astride yourkayak with legs out is a very stable position that allowsyou to regain your paddle (and your composure) beforeputting your feet back on the foot braces and paddling offinto the sunset. A few of you well-balanced, agile typesmight even find it just that simple and can put this magazinedown right now and go out and try it. If it works foryou, great! If not, the rest of us will be here waiting.Ok, if you need a few more tips, here we go. Sometimesthe aforementioned inherent stability of an open-deckstyle kayak can work against you. Especially when you’vefallen off in deep water and the boat has flipped upsidedown.These wide bad-boys are often even more stable8 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


hull up than they were hull down, so flipping them backupright can be a challenge. The trick is to use the pushpullmethod. You need to grab the far side of the kayakfrom underneath (a thigh strap or handle makes a nicehandhold) and pull it toward you as you simultaneouslypush up on the near side.Once the boat’s back up, kick your feet up to the surfacebehind you, so your body is planing out to the side,perpendicular to your kayak and lunge your bely acrossthe seat. Keep kicking as you pull the kayak under you. Ifyou can get up onto your elbows, you’ll probably find thatyour life jacket won’t get in the way as much.Now that you’ve slithered yourself far enough across yourboat that your belly is on the seat, you can begin to rollyourself carefully onto your back (roll your butt towardthe back of the boat), being careful to keep your balance.Then straddle your kayak with both feet in the waterfor added stability. While practicing in calm water, youmay not find it necessary to straddle your kayak and betempted to skip this step. In rougher conditions that arelikely to tip you over, you’ll be glad you spent some timepracticing the straddle portion of this technique.If you find the whole belly-butt-straddle technique prettyawkward at first, practice it several times in shallow wateror even on shore, until your body begins to understandthe balance points, before you move into deep water.When you can do it fluidly in the deep, then start challengingyourself in choppy water (near shore in case youhave problems) such as the kind that is likely to capsizeyou in the first place.Scramble Tips for Sit-Inside Sea KayaksMaking the scramble recovery work for closed-cockpitkayaks is a bit more challenging, and is not a good placefor beginning kayakers to start. The first solo recoverymost sea kayakers learn involves something called a“paddle float recovery”. If you haven’t yet learned thepaddle float recovery, put the magazine down, pick upyour phone, and call someone for lessons. The scrambleis unlikely to work for you without paddle float recoveryexperience, especially in the type of conditions you’llprobably end up needing it.The scramble—any solo reentry in fact—is also not goingto work in deep water in a whitewater kayak or many“recreational” type kayak. You’ll need more of a touringstylesea kayak with secure hatches and bulkheads frontand back (and/or enough flotation) to keep your kayakwell above water even after the cockpit is swamped. Ifyou are not sure, wade your kayak into water no morethan knee deep, tip it over so the cockpit floods, turnit back upright, straddle the seat and sit down. If waterstarts pouring into the cockpit like an overflowing dam,then you can forget about deep-water solo recoveries inthat boat—unless you are able to add enough float bagsto give yourself at least a few inches of freeboard (theamount of room you have before your kayak starts flooding).Above and below:Step 1: lunging your belly up across the back deckCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 9


Steps 2 & 3: straddle back deck and then scrambleup to the cockpitSteps 4: while using a sculling brace for balance,drop your butt into the seatPaddling with your feet out to the side to quickly getout of dangerous watersThere are four main steps to completing a scramblerecovery: 1) lunge your belly up across the back deck;2) straddle the back deck; 3) scramble over the cockpit,and; 4) drop your butt into the seat and put your legs in.I’ve found that most students, however, seem to havemuch more success if they practice these four moves inreverse order at first, starting in knee deep water.So starting with number 4, straddle your kayak, then sitdown in the seat and put your legs in. A lot of people findthis a lot harder than it sounds when the kayak is floating,so you might even try it on shore a couple times atfirst, to see if your cockpit is big enough—and your legsflexible enough—to still get your feet into the boat onceyou’ve already sat down in the seat. If not, you mightstill be able to do a modified version of this recovery(described below), but you won’t be able to get your feetinside without some help.The trick to keeping your boat steady enough to get yourlegs inside, especially when you try it in bumpy water, isto use a sculling brace for support while you do so (scullingbraces were talked about in the Skills article in theSpring 2011 issue of California Kayaker Magazine). Theability to scull for support during this maneuver is the differencebetween taking it from a flat-water balancing trickto actually being a viable rough-water form of reentry. Sopractice a sculling brace while putting your feet in, even ifyour balance is good enough that you don’t really need toin flat water.Once you can get into your kayak in knee-deep waterwithout tipping over, go back to steps 2 and 3. Straddleyour kayak and sit on the back deck, then scrambleover the cockpit. Keep your weight low to do this, leaningonto your elbows and sort of “inch-worming” yourselfforward, like shinnying up a tree. There are a few tricksto this movement. One is keeping your paddle in yourhands, blades flat and ready so you can slap a brace ifyou need to; another is keeping your feet down in thewater like outriggers, kicking in circles to help you keepyour balance. In general, you want to move slowly andsmoothly until your butt is hovering over the seat, thendrop it quickly into the cockpit as you simultaneously slapa brace with your paddle and start sculling for support toget your feet in.If you end up back in the water, don’t give up. Often peoplewho at first seem to have no balance at all are able tofigure this out after five or ten minutes practice. An especiallyeffective way to find your balance, is to spend a fewminutes paddling around in the shallows on your backdeck, placing your feet on the bottom whenever you startto lose your balance. After a few minutes, most peoplefind that they are able to paddle forwards and backwardsand turn themselves around only touching their feet occasionallyon the bottom.The next step is to wade your boat about waist deep,and lay your belly across the back deck, right behind the10 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


cockpit, with your belly button centered over the midlineof the kayak. Lift your feet and rock your kayak back andforth. Notice how raising your head and arching yourback can help keep you from doing a face plant on the farside of your kayak and kicking your feet out behind yougives you a little extra support. Now gingerly rotate yourhead toward the cockpit, spinning on the axis of yourbelly button, until you can lift your foot over the deck andstraddle your kayak. Now sit up. From here it should beeasy, you’re back to the scramble-and-drop-your-butt-inthe-seatmove you’ve been practicing all along.Now it’s time for the crux move, step 1: swimming uponto your kayak from deep water. First try it in chest deepwater, so you can cheat a little by jumping off the bottom.Eventually, however, you’ll need to try this make-or-breakmove of the scramble—lunging up onto the back deckwithout touching the bottom. With your arms stretchedout in front of you across the back deck like Superman/Woman, grab the back of the cockpit with one hand andwhatever you can with the other hand (hatch cover, etc.).Now kick your feet out behind you and lunge up acrossthe back deck until your belly button is in place on themidline as it was in the previous exercise. If you fall backinto the water, try kicking harder and think more aboutpushing the kayak down and pulling it under your belly.If it still didn’t work, you can keep trying or resort to thePlan B technique.Roger Schumann is award-winning co-author of Guide to SeaKayaking Central and Northern California and Sea Kayak Rescueand the owner and lead instructor of Eskape Sea Kayaking(www.eskapekayak.com) in Santa Cruz, CA. As an ACA-Certifiedinstructor-trainer, he’s been teaching classes and leadingexpeditions for over 20 years on our local shores and beyond--from Alaska to the Galapagos and from Baja to Brazil.Photos not otherwise attributed are by Sandy Rintoul-SchumannYou can see a video of Roger doing a quick cowboy scramblein choppy water under the Golden Gate Bridge at youtu.be/wElZ4z14VWwAnother video, not by Roger, which shows the Cowboy Scramblewith some narration can be seen at:youtu.be/dCDyq4KWBVgPlan B: Scrambling Over the SternPlan B takes advantage of the fact that the further backyou go on your kayak, the lower and narrower it gets, andthe easier it is to get up onto the back deck. Some peoplehave better luck starting at or behind the back hatch. Othersmay need to climb directly over the very back of theirstern (though rudders can get in the way). One downsideto the Plan B approach means you’ll have a lot further toscramble to reach the cockpit.Putting It All TogetherHowever you can get yourself up onto the back deck,spin on your belly button to straddle the kayak and putyour feet in the water for balance, then scramble up tothe cockpit, drop your butt in the seat, and use a scullingbrace to get your feet in. Once in, you can use your pumpto empty out the water and then continue on your trip.If you can’t get your long legs into your small cockpit, youcan still paddle with your feet hanging out the sides. Thisoften comes in handy as a quick way to get out of hazardousareas, as you can paddle to a calmer area whereyour partners can help you finish the recovery.So the next time you go paddling, plan to capsize. Andthen see if the scramble is about the quickest way to getyourself back into your kayak.vCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 11


Making Tracks to TAKSBy Dave JarrellTrinidad BeachHave you ever wondered where your kayakcame from? For some, the answer is “itcame from that company in England.”But where did they get that boat? “Theydesigned and manufactured it.” So, where did thedesign concepts come from? The answer is that thedesign concepts for all of today’s kayaks availablethese days originated centuries, if not millennia ago,in the Aleutian Islands and Greenland. The commonancestors of the varied cultures of the Arctic regionsmigrated east from Siberia ages ago, taking theirboat building skills through Alaska, across Canada,to Greenland, adapting their boats and paddles tofit their new environments. Today, kayaks from theeastern and western limits of this spectrum appearso different that, other than being essentially coveredcanoes, one would not necessarily assumethat they had a common background.For me, a hobbyist kayak builder, this is fascinating stuff,and I’ve learned a bit about the history of these crafts andthe cultures through my activities. So, it was exciting tolearn that the 2010 Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium(TAKS) was scheduled to take place in October in Trinidad,CA. A visit to the TAKS website stated that the focusof the three day symposium was:“…celebrating the making of, use of, and history of,traditional Arctic kayaks, Umiaks and other relatedskin-on-frame, strip built, or stitch and glue vessels…Enthusiasts of the Greenland paddling techniqueat all skill levels are invited to explore the waters ofTrinidad Bay or beyond.”The schedule included harbor paddles, rolling instruction,guest speakers, a Greenland ropes gymnastic demonstration,and other activities. My memories from priorvisits promised a beautiful, rock-strewn coast.On the long drive from Sacramento to Humbolt County, Ikept my eyes peeled for other cars with shiny translucentboats strapped to the roof, wondering if perhaps therewas a Skin-On-Frame Woodstock in the making. Alas, itTraditional skin-on-frame kayaks12 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


was not to be. While interest in traditionalpaddling and boat building ison the rise, it’s still a niche activity. Inall, about 35 paddlers participated.I arrived at the TAKS base camp, BigLagoon Campground, a little beforedark on the day before the event,and was greeted by the organizerof TAKS, John Petersen. John is ahighly skilled artist and paddler whomakes exquisite traditional-style kayaksand paddles of differing types. Inthe past, John made annual pilgrimagesto Washington to partake in theSouth Sound Traditional Inuit KayakSymposium. During one of the longdrives back, with fellow skin boatbuilder Wolfgang Brink, they hit uponthe idea of holding a similar event inCalifornia. And so, the first TAKS washeld in ‘06 at San Simeon.The ‘10 TAKS officially got underwayon Friday morning at Trinidad Harbor.A wide variety of kayaks stretcheddown the beach, many of which werehand built by their owners. It was akind of Inuit Concourse D’Elegance,with folks wandering along the shore,admiring the various types of kayakson the sand. There were a numberof low volume, hard chined WestGreenland boats, round bottomedAleutian style Baidarkas (Russianfor “Little Boat”) with bifurcatedbows, and wooden boats built bythe stitch and glue and strip methods.There were also a number ofcommercially produced sea kayaks,but the emphasis was more on thepaddling side of things than any testof ideological purity. Some paddlerssported Tuiliks, the buoyant, loosefitting combination dry top/sprayskirt traditionally worn by Greenlanders.The one paddling tool that wasnearly universal at TAKS was the GP,or Greenland Paddle. Almost all ofthe participants used these narrow,long-bladed skinny stick, which mosthad carved themselves.Trinidad Harbor is sheltered by apoint that makes it ideal for a relaxedsocial paddle, and the rocks andsea stacks dotting the bay give theopportunity to explore and play. Localguide and traditional skills torchbearerMichael Moore graciouslyserved as tour guide throughout theChecking out skin-on-frame kayaksCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 13


Dubside demonstrating the ropesweekend. On day one, he led usdown the coast, winding through thevarious features for a couple of milesor so; a harlequin duck was spotted,as well as the ever present harborseals. We then did a little surf landing,had a snack, and headed back.On the way, a tricky pour-over wasgoing off at one spot, and the moreadventurous lined up to boof overthe rock and almost certainly practicetheir combat rolls.After lunch, it was time for rollpractice and lessons. Any discussionof “Greenland style paddling”will quickly head towards rolling. Inmodern kayaks we learn to wet exit.But coming out of your boat in Arcticconditions is a death sentence, soGreenlanders developed a large arrayof rolls. Some finish on the backdeck, some on the front, with andwithout paddle in hand. They vary inorder to be prepared for the numerouscalamities that occur through roughconditions and angry sea creatures.We were fortunate. The conditionswere calm, and the sea creatureswere fairly oblivious to us. But mostimportantly, we had the benefit of beingtutored by Cheri Perry and TurnerWilson, two highly regarded Greenlandstyle paddling instructors. Theyhad come from Maine to help uskeep our heads above water. Theyworked with practitioners of all levelsfrommore accomplished paddlersworking on advanced, competitionrolls, to those just getting their feetwet. One high point of the weekendwas seeing a friend get her first unassistedroll while working with them.For the truly “rolling impaired”, aT-Rescue technique specific for skinon-frameboats (which do not havebuilt-in bulkheads) was demonstrated.Saturday morning saw us back inthe water, with rolling again on theagenda. This time, it was a competition,with paddlers showing theirskills through more and more difficultrolls, until only one roller remained.That was Cheri Perry, who outlasteda talented field that included Dubside,an American famous even inGreenland for his rolling prowess.Following the competition Cheri andTurner led a group up the coast forsome surf zone pointers, anothergroup found the roughest wateravailable for playing, and yet othershung out in the harbor with theporpoises and sea otters. One of themany good features of TAKS was theflexible schedule; everyone was ableto proceed at their own speed andcomfort level.After lunch, back at Big Lagoon Campground,Dubside gave a demonstrationof Greenland rope gymnastics.Simply referred to as “the ropes”,they consist of two long ropes hungtogether loosely between two treesthat are about 20’ - 25’ apart, andaround 3’ above the ground. Thegymnast twists feet and hands intothe ropes in different poses, and thenmust spin around 360 degrees bothfront ways and backwards. The posesincrease in difficulty, and pointsare awarded accordingly. Dubsideshowed us a number of the moveswhile giving their names in Greenlandicand telling of his experiencesin competitions in Greenland. Havinggiven one of the simpler moves awhirl, it’s difficult to determine whichis harder—spinning around on theropes, or pronouncing the names ina language that is so different fromours. Dubside, who is in terrific condition,has mastered both.Evenings saw group dinners andslide shows. On Friday, we had a14 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


smorgasbord of culinary delightsby way of a pot-luck supper. Whilewe don’t find historic referencesto Greenland style martinis, Georgiana’sdelicious kelp pickles fit the“traditional” billing.TAKS wound down Sunday morning,with people packing for the trip home.There was an informal discussion ofboat building methods and materials,and a great deal of admirationof John Petersen’s workmanship onhis selection of boats, paddles, andcarvings. This was really the essenceof the TAKS experience—a kind of3 day Show and Tell, with crowdsgathering to see Ralph Johnson’selectric bilge pump equipped skinon frame, Bruce Hale’s hand carvedwing paddles, and Andrew Elizaga‘sornate wood work. It was a smallbut passionate gathering, with a lotof excitement in being able to share aninterest in ancient crafts in modernways. vDave Jarrell lives in El Dorado Hills andworks at California Canoe & Kayak. Hefrequently paddles on the local lakes,although he goes to the coast wheneverpossible. He has built a stitch and gluewooden kayak and two skin-on-frames,and “went over” to the Greenland paddlea couple of years ago and has no plansto switch back.P A D D L E S P O R T S“on your way to Tomales Bay”The next Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposiumwill be in San Simeon, CA onOct 14-16. Information atwww.shamankayaks.com/shaman/taks/Classes • ToursSales • RentalsW W W . C L A V E Y . C O M409 Petaluma Blvd. SPetaluma, CA 94952707-766-8070Results - continued from page 5Teams - Men Open1 Dwelly Chiropractic2 VITEK Vikings3 Three to FearTeams - Family1 fatrher and son2 Team Stassi3 Club 146Teams - Juniors1 Mass x Acceleration2 Space Monkeys3 Team 757Teams - Women Open1 Last Babes Standing2 carpe diem3 G.S.DOJ ONE (2)Teams - Women 40 & older1 Usual Suspects2 Dash-Spin-Row3 Go Grannies Go!!Teams - Women 50 & older1 Fast@502 Fifty Butt Fine Transformed3 Sixty ChicksTeams - Men 40 & older1 Team 7002 Team 7013 The Unusual SuspectsTeams - Men 50 & older1 Ca State Parks2 New Oldsters 33 Old & UglyTeams - Men 60 & older1 Victor’s Team Serene2 Pacific coast Bldg Prod.3 TriKokotUS Surf Ski ChampionshipsThe 2010 US Surf Ski Championshipstook place in San FranciscoBay on August 12-14. Top 3 finishersfor each category are listed below—full results can be found at www.ussurfski.com.Long Course Women1 Michele Eray2 DeAnne Hemmens3 Kristen PodolakLong Course Senior Men1 Robert Barry2 Greg Barton3 Philippe BoccaraLong Course Open Men1 Dawid Mocke2 Matt Bouman3 Sean RiceLong Course Masters Men1 Tommy Karls2 Oskar Stielau3 Patrick HemmensShort Course Grand Masters1 Larry Bussinger2 Roger Dunn3 Duncan HowatShort Course Master Men1 Tony Hansen2 Dan Coupland3 Kevin CullinanShort Course Open Men1 Tim Overland2 Cory Lancaster3 Graham WeertsShort Course Senior Men1 Craig Tanner2 Bob Lambrose3 Jim MicheaelsShort Course Women1 Gwyn Howat2 Linda Warren3 Debbie ArthurMen Doubles1 Dawid Mocke/Sean Rice2 Dave Jensen/Barry Lewin3 Don Kiesling/Robert BarryCoed Doubles1 Patrick Hemmens/DeAnne Hemmens2 Morris Arthur/Debbie Arthur3 Kristen Jacobson/David JacobsonCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 15


Have a photo that shows the beauty of kayaking or otherwise makes people think?We’d love to see it. Send submissions to editor@calkayakermag.com.Include the background story and what camera was used.16 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


Opposite Page: Rounding the first turn at the 2010 US Surf Ski Nationals.Photo was taken from the Golden Gate BridgePhoto by Nicholas GoldenCamera: Nikon D40Below: Hole surfing on the Tuolumne River. The silky effect comes from taking the photowith a long exposure (1/15th of a second) with the camera mounted on a tripodPhoto by Michael PowersCamera: Canon EOS 20DCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 17


Norwood navigating TerminatorRapid, Futuleufu River, Chile.Photo by John CornwallIfirst met Norwood Scott at a kick-off party forthe Tuolumne River Trust’s ‘Paddle to the Sea’event. In street clothing, he comes across asthe guy next door. But others mentioned that heis one heck of a white water paddler and very activein promoting paddling opportunities. He definitelyseemed like he would be an interesting person tointerview. And he was.CKM: How did you first get into paddling?NS: I first learned to paddle over 30 years ago at CampMondamin in Tuxedo, NC. Mondamin has always had avery strong paddling program; even my dad learned topaddle there and he is now 85! I think I was around 11years old when I started. Some of my teachers includedJohn Dockendorf, Barry Cox, Morgan Anderson, GordonGrant, and Fritz Haller.CKM: What type of paddling do you like?NS: I enjoy many types of whitewater paddling: expeditionaryself-support paddling, creek boating, play boating,slalom, surf kayaking, and wildwater racing. In 1997 I wasfortunate enough to pair up with Charlie Albright as mywildwater C-2 partner. We represented the U.S. Canoe& Kayak Team at the World Championships in Garmish,Germany in 1998 and Vazere, France in 2000, and thenagain at the World Cup Races in Kernville, CA in 2003.In addition to whitewater paddling, I enjoy multi-day seakayaking adventures and outrigger canoeing, when I’m inthe pacific islands on business.CKM: Most memorable moment paddling?NS: That’s really a hard one to answer. I have so manymemories and am creating new ones all the time. Oneof my most memorable moments was being pulled overby the Nepalese Army for driving on Election Day inthe western Dolpa region, which at the time was underMaoist control. Apparently, it’s illegal to drive in Nepalon Election Day because they want to limit the numberof individuals voting at more than one polling location. Ifthey allowed driving, some individuals could vote up to15 times in one day. So we learned the hard way that thelaw applies to foreigners, as well as Nepalese citizens.We were escorted by armed military police an hour anda half back to town and thrown in prison. It was just plainscary; a worst nightmare situation in a foreign country. Acouple of hours into it, we were playing hacky sac withthe guards. Luckily, we were able to apologize our wayout of the situation with the local Commissioner and wereback in a lodge by dinner… eating more dal bhat.CKM: Favorite place to paddle?NS: My favorite place to paddle so far is the Futuleufuin northern Patagonia. Once there, access is incrediblyeasy, water quality is superb, scenery is magnificent, andthe quality of the rapids is world class. After three weeksin Chile I returned home relaxed and in great shape!CKM: What is your favorite place in CA?NS: I have two favorite places to paddle in California; theSouth Fork Yuba from highway 49 to Bridgeport and theCherry Creek section of the Tuolumne outside of Groveland.These are class V stretches of rivers that I know byheart, and have even raced on occasion. It’s just pure fun18 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


American Whitewater President’s LetterI hope you have all had an opportunity to take advantageof an epic spring boating season and are enjoyingthe warmer summer months. I’m very pleased to havebeen elected your next American Whitewater President.Though it will be difficult to fill the shoes of Don Kinser,who has been instrumental in leading AW over the pastthree years, I am up for the challenge ahead.Norwood finding his way, Kokotahi River,New Zealand.Photo by Andy EnglandAW consists of a strong team of dedicated individuals—from our extremely effective Executive Director, MarkSingleton, to our experienced staff, knowledgeable board,and motivated volunteers and members. I’m honored towork with all of you and our stakeholders to create aneven stronger AW and continue to pursue our mission.I’m often asked what my primary goals will be for thenext three years, while serving as your president. AWis a $1.2 million organization, which represents 5,200direct dues paying members, 120 affiliate clubs and acommunity of 30,000 whitewater paddlers across thenation. I would like to increase our budget so we canhire more staff and contractors, and accomplish evenmore than our lean organization does currently.Our membership numbers have been flat for the lastfew years so this is an area that I plan to focus my attention.During our May board meeting in North Bend,Washington, we implemented a membership strategythat includes a board competition to increase membershipnumbers. I will be reporting the results to ourExecutive Committee each month during our regularlyscheduled conference calls. I’m asking for your assistancetoo—please help us increase membership.1quarter-page-CAK-20110502 outlines.ai 1 5/2/2011 3:09:56 PMIn May we started a Development Committee, chairedby Chris Hest, a California board member with extensivephilanthropy experience. Chris will be working withKent Ford and others to educate potential donors aboutour work and seek their financial assistance. If youknow of potential donors, and would be willing to meetwith them, we will offer you any assistance that youmay need. Please don’t hesitate to call on us for help.Another area I would like to see improve is our website.We recently completed an audit of our website, whichscolded us rather hard for its current deficiencies. Weneed a website that serves our mission, and is a go-toresource for all of you. If it is cost-effective in the long runto make major design changes to our website, I would liketo see that happen sooner, rather than later. This may bean expensive undertaking for AW so if you know any webdesign firms that believe in our cause and like to do probono work for non-profits, please let us know!In closing I want to thank all of you for your support. I lookforward to being your President and know we can accomplishgreatness together. Hope to see you on the river soon.California Kayaker Magazine 19


Norwood dropping into LumstonRapid, Cherry Creek, CA.Photo by Eric Petlockto move quickly down a class V riverwithout ever being really nervous. Itjust doesn’t get any better.CKM: What do you do for a day job?NS: I work for the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency, as a TechnicalAdvisor in their Pacific Islands Office.I focus on building capacity withthe local environmental agencies ofGuam, the Commonwealth of NorthernMariana Islands (CNMI), AmericanSamoa, the Federated Statesof Micronesia, Republic of MarshallIslands, and the Republic of Palau.It involves a significant amount oftravel, but someone has to do it!CKM: Congratulations on yourelection to President of AmericanWhitewater (AW). For our readerswho aren’t familiar with AW, canyou tell us about it?NS: AW was founded in 1954. It’sa national non-profit with a mission“to conserve and restore America’swhitewater resources and to enhanceopportunities to enjoy them safely.”AW is a membership organizationrepresenting a broad diversity of individualwhitewater enthusiasts, riverconservationists, and more than 100local paddling club affiliates acrossAmerica. The organization is theprimary advocate for the preservationand protection of whitewater resourcesthroughout the United States, andconnects the interests of humanpoweredrecreational river users withecological and science-based data toachieve the goals within its mission.If you want to know specifically whatAW is doing in California, please visitour Website:www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Regional/view/region/LP/CKM: What do you hope toachieve with American Whitewaterduring your tenure as president?NS: The answer to this question canbe found in my president’s letter,which was recently printed in AmericanWhitewater Journal (reprinted onprior page). vIf you arereading this...So are yourcustomers!Advertise inCalifornia Kayaker Magazinecalkayakermag.com/advertise.html20 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


Flock of white pelicansBirding the Salton SeaWe couldn’t help but become birdwatchers on the SaltonSea. It’s a major stopover for many migrating specieswintering in the Colorado Desert. Though over 400 speciesof birds have been recorded, there’s one that standsout like no other. American white pelicans fly down fromtheir Montana breeding grounds to spend winter in theSalton Sea. Somewhere between 80 and 90 percent oftheir entire population comes here to this accidental, manmadesea.Dave, Danny, and I followed their flight formations aroundthe Salton Sea. It always seemed like at least one ofus had his camera out trying to capture another flock ofpelicans soaring ahead of us.Wherever we camped there was never a short supplyof black-necked stilts, avocets, western sandpipers,great blue herons, great egrets, and eared grebes. Nearour kayaks or parading in front of our tents, they neverstopped in their search for food. It was amazing howclose they would approach once our tents were pitchedand we relaxed around camp.Save 64 % onthe Family Value ComboPlus 3 Free Giftsto every shipping address.45069TQY2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers4 (3 oz.) Gourmet Franks4 (4 oz. approx.) Boneless Chicken Breasts4 Stuffed Baked PotatoesReg. $ 139 00 | Now Only $ 49 996 FREE Omaha Steaks Burgers,a FREE 6-piece Cutlery Set,and a FREE Cutting Board.Limit of 2 packages. Free Gifts included per shipment.Offer expires 11/15/11.Standard shipping and handling will be applied per address.To order: www.OmahaSteaks.com/fvc99or call 1-877-356-7896Save$89 01Amidst the RubbleThere are remnants of various structures, now claimedby bird nests and brine. An old navy site, a test baseinvolved with the Manhattan Project and atomic testing,sits in the southwest corner of the sea. Established in the1940s, there’s not much of the base left. But there arereports that it was used for maneuvers in 1991, duringthe first Gulf War. Guano-covered pilings still stand, somewith cormorant nests clinging to the tops. A couple of oldbuildings wavered in the desert winds. There was also anold desalination plant, and live ordinance signs surroundthe site’s periphery.Another structure that, from a distance, appeared like anold oil derrick tugged on our curiosity. So we paddled outseveral miles to the middle of the sea and investigated.The platform was wooden and solidly built, but it wasn’ta derrick. Instead, it was a weather station, doubling as apopular nest site for double-crested cormorants.Kayaking by the BayAfter another long day of paddling the south shore, wepulled into Bombay Beach, stiff-legged and bleary-eyed.22 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


In 2005, the Department of Boating and Waterways erectedtwo camps specifically for kayakers looking to explorethe Salton Sea. One of these is at Bombay Beach. Whenwe landed our kayaks and hauled gear up to the camp, wewere disappointed to discover it had been badly vandalized.Spent, we camped there anyway. The camps come withshowers, toilets, shade, barbeque grills and racks for kayaks.Seven miles north is the Salt Creek Kayak Camp, andit’s still in great shape. People at the visitor center told usthat the camp at Bombay will be moved to a more remotelocation on the north shore.After many more miles of white pelicans, we were nearingthe end of our circumnavigation. We soon ran out of brinyshoreline and spotted three teenage boys casting fishinglines on a guano-covered jetty at the entrance to the statepark marina. It was a scene out of the 1940s, when theSalton Sea was the happening place to be. vChuck Graham is a freelance writer and photographer living inCarpinteria, CA. He leads guided kayaking trips at the ChannelIslands National Park, and has been a beach lifeguard for 18years. His stories and photos have appeared in Backpacker, Canoe& Kayak, Paddler, Wavelength, Trail Runner, Shutterbug andThe Surfer’s Journal. He’s also the editor of DEEP Magazine.Photos by Chuck Graham.More information on visiting the Salton Sea can be found atwww.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=639Remains of a navysite used as part ofthe Manhattan ProjectCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 23


Head to Head:GoPro HD Hero vs. Oregon Scientific ATC9KLast month, while paddling in Big Sur withsome friends, I set myself up just outsidethe mouth of a tunnel to take some pictures.Just as Gregg came through, a large wavecame in and he was flipped end-for-end backwards(thankfully he rolled right up and was fine). A photoof that would be impressive—perhaps even goodenough to show in the Center Hatch of this magazine.But all I got was a blurry shot of my spray skirt,as the camera took the picture after I dropped it tograb my paddle and brace to stay upright.In the last issue of California Kayaker Magazine, wereviewed a pair of Pentax and Olympus waterproof pointand shoot cameras. These need to be held to use, whichdoesn’t always work when paddling dynamic waters (asmy spray skirt picture proved).In this issue we are reviewing a pair of “mountable”cameras, the GoPro HD Hero and the Oregon ScientificATC-9K (ATC). These could be used as hand-helds, butare really made to be mounted to something. These aresometimes called P.O.V. cameras, as you can attachthem to your helmet and take videos while you paddle,capturing your point of view. They can also be mountedto your boat and pointed at you, so you can film yourselfin action. No matter where you mount them, they allowthe camera to capture the experience while you (hopefully)keep yourself safe.Shape and FormThe ATC is a cylinder shaped camera. The lens is recesseda little bit, providing some protection from scratches,but does not have a cover to protect it from waterdroplets (a common issue with all waterproof cameras).There is a small LCD display and a set of five buttons onthe back, with an additional two shutter buttons on top(one each for video and still shots). The back plate is thehatch that opens to access to the battery and cable connections.The front has a small LED light that changescolors to indicate the camera status. There is also a setof beeps used to signify when filming starts and stops,but these are often hard to hear. The mounting clampwraps around the cylinder and clips into either the helmetor handlebar attachment.The GoPro is in a waterproof box, with a bubble lens thatbulges out from the front. The back of the box opens,which allows access to, and removal of, the cameraitself (which is a separate unit from the waterproof box).The box has two buttons that pass through it, which areused to control all of the functions of the camera (on/off,shutter, settings, etc.) while keeping it waterproof. Usingonly two buttons does make it a bit more challenging tochange settings—for example, it takes four button pressesto change from video to standard still photo setting,and two to go back to video (where with the ATC, you justpush the correct shutter button). The only display thatcomes standard on the GoPro is a small LCD screen onthe front that shows small icons which indicate settings,picture number, etc. An LED light on the front and audiobeeps indicate the camera status, and, like the ATC, thebeeps are often inaudible when paddling.GoPro packages the camera with mounts for differentuses. Kayakers are likely to find the helmet version mostuseful. The ATC is packaged with both a handle bar andhelmet mount.The GoPro has many different accessories, includinga variety of attachment methods to allow you to mountthe camera just about anywhere. There is a kit to let youconnect two cameras together for 3D viewing, an LCDthat attaches to the back so the camera could act morelike a point and shoot, a pack to add a second battery forextended power usage, replacement waterproof boxes,and a float that adheres to the back to make the camerabuoyant. The only options for the ATC are spare batteriesand a GPS module that would slip inside the camera.UsabilityBoth cameras come standard with a wide-angle lens, withthe GoPro’s being either 170 or 127 degrees (dependingon video setting) and the ATC being 135 degrees. Thewide-angle lens makes aim less import, as it captures alarge area. Downside is that anything more than a fewfeet away looks like it is very far away.Neither camera has a viewfinder. The ATC has a laserpointer to tell how well it is aimed. This was of limiteduse, because the pointer would have to be triggered,which then would stay on for 5 or 10 seconds, before youcould take a picture or video. It would be easier to checkthe aim of the camera by looking at the LCD screen orGoPro HD Hero• Continuous intervalphotosPros• Mounts to attach toalmost anything• Wide-angle lens a bittoo wideCons• Exposed lens on boxgets scratched easilyOregon Scientific ATC9K• Remote control• Separate video andphoto shutter buttons• Resetting file names• Sticky twist knob onmount24 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


GoPro HD HeroOregon Scientific ATC9KMarketing Speak The incredible GoPro Digital Helmet HeroHD Wide-Angle camera captures all yourbiking, boarding and whitewater action inwide-screen, high definition format!• Shoots professional-quality, wide-angle1080p HD video at 30 frames per sec. or720p HD video at 30 or 60 frames per sec.• 170° wide-angle lens captures amazinglywide and sharp HD video• Shoot up to 2.5 hours of TV-quality videowith sound (with 32GB SD card, not included),or activate the ‘’photo every 5 seconds’’mode to capture action sequencestills• 5-megapixel sensor and wide-angle glasslens offer sharp images and smooth, clearvideo• Sturdy, polycarbonate waterproof housingprotects camera to 180 ft.• Comes with lithium ion battery, head strap,helmet strap, 4 adhesive mounts, 3-waypivoting side arm assembly and 2 quickreleaseThe waterproof, high-definition OregonScientific ATC9K Action camera capturesyour adventures with hands-free ease inplaces you wouldn’t dare bring a regularcamcorder!• Use it on land or underwater—tough bodyis shockproof up to 1.2m and waterproofto 20m below the surface• Delivers full color video at 1080 x 720pHD resolution with a 135° field of view;captures 30 frames per sec. in 1080p and60 frames per sec. in 720p• Built-in 1.5 in. LCD screen allows instantplayback and review• G-Sensor measures the G-forces encounteredduring your recorded activity• Double-sided remote makes access andrecording easy• HDMI interface makes it a cinch to transmitvideo and audio to a TV or computer• Integrated laser pointer helps you preciselyaim the camera once it’s mountedbucklesMSRP $299 $299URL www.gopro.com us.oregonscientific.comto take a short video and then lookat it on your computer. Then again,with wide angle lenses, aim is not soimportant.The extra buttons on the ATC make iteasier to use than the GoPro. Truthfully,many of the buttons on the backwere not used often in our testing, asthey were for changing settings andviewing pictures on the LCD screen.The ATC has a very useful, smallremote control. The remote control isnot waterproof, so would need to bein a clear dry bag. Unfortunately, theaudio indicator on the camera wasnot loud enough for me to tell whetherthe camera was on, so using theremote while the ATC was mountedon my back deck did not work well.It worked much better on my frontdeck, as I could see the on/off indicatorlight on the front of the camera.GoPro does not have a remote, socan only be used when it is withinreach or you have to start it and let itrun until you can access it again.The GoPro’s protruding lens is vulnerableto scratches or pock markson it, which make the water dropleton lens issue worse. GoPro recommendsstoring the camera in a softbag to help prevent damage. Theyalso sell replacement lenses or completeboxes for a nominal charge.One issue we had with the ATCmount was that sand or dried saltwould cause the positioning knob tobind. If you always use the camerain one position, this would not be anissue, but it was challenging for usas we moved the camera amongstdifferent mount locations.Both have proprietary batteries thatare recharged by a USB cable connecteddirectly to the camera. Theydo not come with separate chargers.This could be an issue on longertrips, as you can’t recharge a batteryat the same time as using the cam-California Kayaker Magazine 25


The set of pictures above show the impact of the wideanglelens The top picture is a screen capture from a videotaken with the GoPro, the middle a point and shoot, and thebottom the ATC. You can see the size difference by lookingat the yellow Cobra kayak or the Golden Gate Bridge.era. In our test, the ATC battery lasted around 4 hours onstandby and LCD turned off; the GoPro about 3 hours 10minutes.VideoThe hand-helds we reviewed in the last issue were primarilystill photo cameras, with decent video capabilities.The mountables are primarily video cameras, with OK stillphoto capabilities. They can take better HD videos thanthe hand-helds, but has only 5 megapixel photo resolution,as compared to 14 megapixel in the hand-helds.Both mountables took excellent videos. The video sampleswe too with the GoPro, no matter what settings,looked like they were taken from a wider angle lens thanthe ATC. Videos from both cameras appear wider-anglethan a point and shoot.ATC saves in MOV format, where the GoPro savesin MP4 format. Both have a maximum image size of1920x1080 at 30 frames per second (fps), with lowerresolution formats and 60 fps options. Until recently, mosttheatrical movies and TV shows were run at 24 fps, sothe 60 fps isn’t really needed right now, except for slowmotionviewing.At the largest image size, the GoPro used about 1.6 megabytesper second (mps) of video; the ATC only about 1mps.The ATC shutter lag for videos was around 1.25 seconds,where the GoPro was a little faster at 1.0 second.PhotoBoth cameras worked fine taking photos, providing imagesthat were better than most cell phones, but not asgood as the handheld cameras we tested last issue.Along with the lower resolution, the wide-angle lensesalso affected photos, with distant subjects appearingeven smaller.The ATC had a shutter lag for still photos of around 1.5seconds, whereas the GoPro was a lot faster at 0.5 seconds.The ATC offers 3 and 5 megapixel options, and threecompression settings. Unless you really need to savedisk space on your computer, we strongly recommendsetting the camera to 5 megapixel and ”fine”. The Go-Pro automatically takes pictures at 5 megapixel with nocompression options. Both save in JPG format and havesimilar file sizes at 5 megapixel (about 1.8 megabytes perphoto). Given this, it appears that the GoPro’s compressionsetting is similar to the best setting on the ATC.The ATC also creates a second MAP file with each photo,which contains additional attributes, like data from itsbuilt-in G-force sensor and GPS coordinates if the optionalGPS module is installed.GoPro has a nice option where it takes photos every Xseconds until you stop it. This feature can be used tocatch photos in the middle of action, such as the photowith the Editor’s Letter on page 4 of this issue.Neither camera has a flash, which limits how well you cantake photos in darker areas.SoftwareNo software came with the GoPro, and the software thatcame with the ATC was not very useful. But softwarewould be required, particularly with videos, even if youonly want to crop it. On the whole, we would suggestsoftware from other sources. A free option is Google’sPicassa.26 www.calkayakermag.com Fall 2011


The ATC camera also has an annoyingissue on file name–wheneveryou delete the files from the memorycard, it resets the file numbering systemto start at 1 again. This increasesthe risk of overwriting older photoswith new ones. The GoPro keepsincrementing the file number for newphotos and videos.Final ThoughtsBoth the GoPro HD Hero and theOregon Scientific ATC-9K are goodcameras, and either would make agood addition to a waterproof pointand shoot. But if you want just onecamera, we’d recommend a waterproofpoint and shoot.Neither camera floats (unless you getthe Floaty Backdoor for the GoPro),so a leash is strongly recommended.As we did in our last review, we alsorecommend buying these camerasfrom a vendor with a good returnpolicy. We did not have any troublewith either of our test cameras, but itdoes seem that waterproof electronicitems do have a higher failure ratethan non-waterproof electronics.To help you decide which of thesecameras you may prefer, we haveposted on our blog (calkayakermag.blogspot.com/2011/08/mountables.html) raw images and video filestaken under a variety of conditionswith each camera.vFollow California Kayaker Magazine on Facebookfor progress updates, announcements of wheneach issue will be published, up-to-date listingson events, etc.http://www.calkayakermag.com/facebook.htmlwww.facebook.com/CalKayakerMagNews - continued from page 5Spot a Basking Shark ProjectHave you seen a basking shark?Basking sharks are true ocean giants.Reaching lengths of 33 feet (10m), they are the second largest fishin the world, behind only the whaleshark. Though basking sharks havebeen found worldwide, relatively littleis known about where they live or go.“Spot a Basking Shark” is an effortby researchers at the Pacific SharkResearch Center (PSRC) and theNational Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS) to better understand theabundance, distribution and movementsof basking sharks in theeastern North Pacific. NMFS hasdesignated the basking shark a “Speciesof Concern” in these waters, andfilling vital knowledge gaps will helpinform any recovery plan to rebuildthe basking shark population.The “Spot a Basking Shark” Projectneeds your help to fill in this missinginformation for the North AmericanPacific coast. Report sightings to heresearch team at psrc.mlml.calstate.edu/current-research/basking-shark.The web site also has more informationon these harmless, planktoneatinggiants and their biology andconservation.Outdoor Retailer UpdateThe stock market is gyrating morethan I have ever seen, our governmentcan’t seem to make anydecisions, and unemployment ratesremain way too high. But none of thiswas apparent inside a big cementbuilding in the middle of a desert thatpeople in the paddlesports industrygo to each summer.The event is the Outdoor Retailertrade show (OR), where our localshops go to get wined and dinedby all the manufacturers, who areshowing off the latest and greatestproducts.Here is some of what was new orinteresting at the show:Hides (www.hides.com) has comeout with an eyeglass retainer strapthat has an integrated pouch in theback that serves as a glasses case.They have 2 models – one where thematerial can be used to clean yourlenses, and the other of a floatingmaterial to prevent you from deepsixingyour specs.Kokatat (www.kokatat.com) hasannounced some new colors for drysuits and dry tops to watch for in2012. Definitely some fashion statementspossible based on the sneakpeak I saw.A company called Easy2hook (www.easy2hookusa.com) has a set offishing hooks that don’t require tying.Just a few twists.Point 65 Kayaks (www.point65.com),whom we featured in this OR updatecolumn last year for their take-apartsit-on-top and recreational boats, hasannounced they are coming out with a14’ modular touring kayak, which theyclaim can fit in the trunk of a Prius.And something not kayak specificthat still caught my eye wasa small, rechargeable flashlight.Now, rechargeable flashlights arecommon, but the Spotlight Turbo(www.12vspotlight.com) is rechargedwith your car’s cigarette lighter. vCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 27


Marketing Speak - What DeltaSays:The new Delta 10 is a very uniquelydesigned recreational kayakthat brings a whole new level ofinnovation and performance to thispopular market segment.With its modified catamaran hull,the Delta 10 clips along with remarkablespeed and agility whilemaintaining a very high degreeof stability and manoeuvrabilitywithout the excessive beam widthof most recreational kayaks makingit a dream to paddle almostanywhere you choose to go. Itexcels as a platform for fishingand photography and its compactsize and light weight make it anideal choice to store on the deck oflarger pleasure craft.The Delta 10 boasts a massiverear dry storage compartmentsealed by the integrated seat /bulkhead design and rear stowagehatch. This unique Delta featurealso provides excellent buoyancyfor your safety and piece of mind.Another Delta exclusive is the frontunder deck stowage pod sealedby a watertight screw on hatch tosafely store your camera and otherimportant personal items whileadding even more flotation to thebow.For your underwater viewingpleasure we’ve also added a “SeaView “window in the cockpit floorallowing you to observe the wateryworld below as you cruise yourfavourite waterway.Other features include a full complimentof deck rigging, adjustablefoot braces, super comfy seat paddingand even a convenient beverageholder. And to cap it off, all ofthese outstanding features come ina tidy and easy to handle 37 poundpackage thanks to the remarkableadvantage of our ThermoformTechnology. The Delta 10 is a veryspecial little kayak packed full offeatures, fun and performance at avalue that’s hard to ignore.Specifications:• Cockpit: 18.5’’ x 36’’• Length: 10’• Width: 27’’• Depth: 14’’• Weight: 37 lbsMSRP: $995www.deltakayaks.comMost kayaks weathercock (turn intothe wind) when exposed to windsfrom the side. This boat does notcome with a skeg or rudder, both ofwhich compensate for weathercocking.We paddled it in winds to 20mph,but found that it does not weathercockmuch, so it is fine without a skegor rudder. We did find that it does driftsideways due to sitting high on thewater.The kayak handled one-foot windwaves, but the waves hitting thehull did cause us to get wet from thesplash. The boat was noisy paddlinginto the wind with the chop hittingthe flat part between the catamaranhulls. This boat would not handlelarger waves, especially steep waves(which is the same as any other widekayak).This boat was very stable, with bothhigh primary stability and high secondarystability. Each of the reviewersthat tried to was able to stand upin this kayak.We did want to flip it over and floodit so we could see if someone couldget back into the kayak while in deepwater. We were concerned that withonly a rear bulkhead, it would takeon too much water to allow you to getback in.With that high stability, smaller paddlershad to work hard to get it flippedover. But once turned back upright,the kayak floats high in the water andwas stable. So with a little trainingand practice, most paddlers shouldbe able to do a paddle float or cowboy/cowgirlscramble recovery to getback in it.The downside to such a large cockpitis that we were not able to roll it. Notable to lock their knees under thedeck, the paddlers fell out once theyLooking at a sea star through the “Sea View” windowCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 29


A Kayak ForReasonsCobra Kayaks meets the full range ofon-water paddling needs; surfing fun,serious fishing, diving, touring, highperformance training and racing.Cobra Kayaks all feature polyethylene hulls for super tough performancewith a LIFETIME warranty to prove it. The self draining reinforcedscuppers throughout give unparalleled hull rigidity and a drier ride.Customize your Cobra Kayak with our Made in USA seats,paddles & a full range of assorted hatches.New Marauder includesbuilt in Bait Well!sTRiKeLength 9’ 7 “Width 27”Weight 34 lbsCapacity 230 lbssURFFish N’ DiveLength 12’ 6”Width 36”Weight 57 lbsCapacity 600 lbsFisheLiMiNATORLength 16’ 6”Width 23”Weight 42 lbsCapacity 240 lbsRACeeXPLOReRLength 11’ 3”Width 31”Weight 40 lbsCapacity 400 lbsFUNCall 888.412.6272 or visit www.cobrakayaks.comCalifornia Kayaker Magazine 31

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