Showing posts from May, 2010

MEC Paddlefest Ottawa, Ontario, May, 2010, Riot Aura Test Paddle

Perfect weather and a huge turnout at MEC Paddlefest 2010 in Mooney's Bay.

I decided to hang out for a while in the RIOT Aura 18. (You can get them at Ottawa Paddleshack).

As usual, I show up somewhere, and right away one thing will catch my eye and keep it.

The RIOT Aura was right there. It is a good looking, sleek, fast 18 foot sea kayak (I think it has lots of rocker, the manufacturer says moderate) that is too big in the cockpit for me and a real bitch to turn. I hear some people love them. Anyway, you can't really test much or take too many chances with what you do in the murky and questionable waters of Mooney's Bay, so I didn't do much with this kayak except enjoy its speed, and curse it whenever I needed to turn it.

I was there to test touring paddles. I love my skinny stick (Greenland paddle), except when I want to get somewhere moderately fast and keep up with others.

I finally caught up with Peter Whaley, founder of Pure Canadian Adventures and the Current …

Maelström Kayaks, Vital 166 - SOLD!

Yes, it got me! I got it!

I'll be posting more about Maelströmkayak and following reviews and comments of other Maelström paddlers.

We are the new kids on the block as these boats are fresh on the market.

I bought my Maelström Vital 166 at Ottawa Paddle Shack in May 2010. We need more choices of higher end models around here.

When will we see the Romany sea kayaks in our stores? I love the Romany S but can't find any around here in the National Capital Region of Canada (Ottawa/Ontario, Gatineau/Quebec) Cross fingers. Let's be greedy.

2012 update:Good news: Looks like Maelströmkayak will have some new kayak models coming out in 2012, the Forvag and the Flod. I can't wait to see what new features and design changes they've got!

Sad news: Kayak designers and manufacturer, Boreal Design in Quebec, Canada declared bankruptcy in 2012. Boreal Design was manufacturing Maelströmkayak design models the Vaag 174 and the Vital 166.  After the bankruptcy, Boreal Design was sol…

Maelström Kayaks

No, that's not me paddling the Vital. I wish I was that good! It's one of the Maelstrom guys.

Well, the Maelström kayaks have finally trickled into the Ottawa, Ontario area. I think there are probably only two of them around here for now and they are pretty sweet looking demo kayaks at Paddle Shack in Ottawa's trendy Westboro neighborhood. One of each, a red and white Vaag 174 and a blue and white Vital 166. (Update to this post: My paddle partner and I bought both of them after the first test paddle on the Ottawa River.)

They are play boats designed for the high-end paddler. If you aren't a high-end paddler, buying a kayak that is will help you get there. You'll have to learn how to really paddle and will have way more fun in the water!

I sat in the Vital today, on the showroom floor with foams underneath. The weather around here is emulating winter! I hope it's just a bad dream with the hail, rain, then snow and sleet (yes in that order), and cold high winds…

Paddle Photogs

Paddle photogs are the people that make me want to paddle. They take pics of places and things from a perspective that I can't see myself. They are the ones that give me that "paddle stress" to get out there and discover something new.

The neat thing about water, the thing I keep forgetting, is that the same water can look and feel so different depending on the time of day and season, the weather and water conditions, what's up with you, who you are paddling with (or not), what's happening on or near it, and what type of equipment you are paddling with.

There's nothing like being the BaffinPaddler and having so many places to paddle on my list but no paddle plans at all this season. I usually spend my winter planning at least two trips to someplace new with good paddling opportunities and other things I like to do.

I'm just sitting in this paddle vortex (no, not rapids), what I call "paddle stress", wondering what will push me to where I'm goin…