Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Men Who Paddle Pink

Here's that sneaky Current Designs Suka still teasing me by staying well out of my reach and it's in pink (some would call it magenta). Pink would so clash with my red PFD.

I've heard this boat is hard to demo and finding it so for me, but those who have give it good reviews. I'll catch up with it eventually. Smaller paddlers seem to have to work harder to meet up with their boats.

Suka means fast in native Alaskan (Inuit), so of course, I'm going to like it. I'm also admiring the secure hatches on the Current Designs boats and other boat models after easily popping off the super soft and sticky Kajak Sport rear hatch on my new Maelstrom Vital and piercing a big hole in it at the same time with my kayak knife (still secure in its plastic sheath on my PFD) while practicing a simple cowboy scramble re-entry up the back deck in calm water.

I sat there straddling my fantastic new boat on a beautiful day thinking, "Great, I've rescued myself, and seriously compromised my boat! My secured kayak knife easily pierced my hatch cover like butter when I pulled myself up over and across it and I didn't even feel it. Good thing I noticed it. Wow. I've done this maneuver on other boats no problem and no damage. If I was out camping for a few days or alone for a day paddle in rough water or heavy rain, what the heck would I do? My rear compartment would fill up with water. With my Maelstrom boat, do I need to bring spare hatches or plastic and duck tape for temporary repairs every time I go out? All the gear in my rear hatch would be wet too."

I also sat there for a while longer suddenly remembering all the boats I've seen, and also owned that had very secure hatches. "Hmmm, so that's why! Who would think this could happen!"

The manufacturer (Kajak Sport) says their rubber hatch covers are "extremely durable". I beg to differ. The really soft ones don't seem to be! They are super easy to put on and take off though! The Maelstrom boats have oval rear hatch covers. You might want to take note of the model number because you may have to buy a new one just like me, which cost $67.

I've never had a damaged hatch cover before and certainly don't feel very secure with these. You can't repair them either, only temporarily patch them up until you get home and order a new one.

So now my attention is suddenly turning to hatch covers. The ones on the Suka are looking pretty good to me right now. I wish I could buy something sturdier and more secure at least for the back hatch of my Maelstrom. In the meantime, I bought a soft round rubber key protector and attached it to the tip of my kayak knife sheath to make it less pointy.

Happy paddling and finding your perfect paddle mate(s)!
The Baffin Paddler

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why am I the Baffin Paddler?

People keep asking me, "Who is the Baffin Paddler?"
I'm not sure either. But here's a clue.

I may add more to this page as I find out. I hate definitions.

People say now that I own a Maelstrom Vital 166, I'm no longer the BaffinPaddler. Is that so?! We'll see about that.

I still own a Boreal Baffin. It's the first boat that made me stop, wonder, think, and want to learn more about paddling. I really had no choice either. The Baffin is a great boat, but it weathercocks so badly in wind, any wind, big or small, that I had to learn strokes and edging quickly. I hate the skeg wheel on it too, so I made peace with this boat by taking up a Greenland paddle. The Greenland paddle allows me to quickly and seamlessly adjust my strokes to compensate for the weathercocking of the Baffin and stop fiddling and cursing the skeg! And the Baffin is a great boat for rolling, except for me.

See, the Baffin has done so much for me and my paddling. I've had such great times with it in all kinds of water and it's also annoyed the heck out of me. A balanced relationship for sure!

But, my new Malestrom Vital 166 is the boat that gives me hope for learning how to roll. There are things I like better about one boat or the other. Sometimes when I'm out on the water, I find myself wishing I could fuse certain aspects of them together and create one perfect boat. But, I'm still the BaffinPaddler. And I'm still looking for that perfect boat. The looking and the journey are part of the fun. There's still so much to find.

Some people also ask me, "What is your blog about? Recipes?"
Yep, that's a remark from a guy. Ha! Come find out. But if you do have any good kayak camp recipes, send em to me. I'll create a Kayak Camp Recipe section on this blog just for the guy paddlers! Maybe even publish a book, so send me pictures of your successful and not so successful creations and the rights to publish them too. Then I can pick out what you can cook for me! I can't camp cook (yet) and will rely on you to do that for me!

Don't you just love people!

If you want to hire the writer for your event, website, or blog contact me at or

Happy paddling and looking for your perfect paddle mate(s)!
The Baffin Paddler

P.S. Hanging out sideways in a sea kayak is one of my favorite things to do. Don't ask me why. If the boat does not hang out sideways well, it's not for me. The boat should tease the water and want to play! Despite all that, I don't like whitewater boats at all! It's long, sleek, and fast for me.

Another Maelstrom Vaag gets a Vital Playmate in Newfoundland

Here's a sweet baby blue Maelstrom Vaag hanging out in beautiful Sandy Cove, Newfoundland and it just found a slinky black Vital paddle mate. The two paddle best together I think. I can attest to that. My white and blue Vital paddles sometimes with a red Vaag.

Although I find it odd to be seeing so many black kayaks out there. I'm so fond of the lighter brighter colours. Anyone ever see a pink kayak?

Happy paddling and finding your perfect paddle mate!
The BaffinPaddler

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Miska and Kelty

Guess who they belong to. Does it matter? Aren't Huskies just plain intriguing? OK, some are cuter than others! The Ottawa MEC Paddlefest blog post may reveal who they belong to.

What will I find at the upcoming Toronto MEC Paddlefest? Maybe a Suka? A boat or a Husky of the same name?