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  1. AM

    Paddling Magazine Industry Awards

    For the heck of it I went through the voting process for the Paddling Magazine Industry Awards. Of the 11 categories, only one is devoted to “touring” kayaks (a nebulous term). See the nominees below. The contest is clearly irrelevant except as a form of marketing, but it is an interesting...
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    Defeat the seat: repairing my Valley seatback

    Minicell is awesome stuff!
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    Stellar S18R test paddle

    The weight/durability tradeoff is something we all wrestle with. I drag my kayak quite a bit, but its fiberglass layup is remarkably resilient (whereas my aging back is not). A couple of years back I watched my tripping partner seal launch his fully loaded NDK Explorer off Jepther Point. He...
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    Paddleboarders in trouble in English Bay

    On the date/time in question the current flooding into the inner harbour under the Lions Gate would have been in the ballpark of 4 knots. Novice SUPers caught in that current would have been sucked into the Narrows which, on a holiday Monday, were likely teeming with powerboats, working tugs...
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    Paddleboarders in trouble in English Bay

    Here we go:
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    Paddleboarders in trouble in English Bay

    Thanks, Philip. No, I knew it wasn’t you guys, but with 30 boards in a group, I assumed it was the other outfitter. Crossing English Bay is inadvisable for most paddlers. Wind and current make it a problem for novices and deep sea traffic makes it a hazard for everyone. Cheers, Andrew
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    Paddleboarders in trouble in English Bay

    Hm, they left from Jericho? 30 in total? Philip, was this a guided group?
  8. AM

    The wondrous hull

    Yeah, I should have mentioned that my Express had a foam seat, so there was no option to slide. I’m sure that would have helped, though I don’t know if it would have completely overcome the lee-cocking. Someone who has a sliding seat in a Mariner should chime in. Certainly shifting load/trim is...
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    The wondrous hull

    I had an Express for several years and generally enjoyed it. My big complaint was the lack of a bow bulkhead and hatch (I had Steve at Nimbus install both in the stern). If I had had an Abercrombie-modified Express, I would likely have kept it. A great all round boat. However, nothing being...
  10. AM

    Camera or GoPro?

    I can see how in theory that would be a problem, but it’s not something I ever experienced. Getting a light coloured case would certainly help. The big problem with Lifeproof cases is that they last about a year before leaking, in my experience. But for using your phone hard in a wet environment...
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    Camera or GoPro?

    Just an example of why smartphone video is useful:
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    Camera or GoPro?

    I’ve used Olympus, Canon, and Pentax waterproof cameras. I have also used a GoPro. There is no doubt that for action shots the GoPro is the best (even without the video): you can mount it, set it for interval shooting, and surf a wave, enjoying the fun shots after your session is done. But if...
  13. AM

    Aquanaut Club RM , Pintail composite or something else

    I’d love a glass Pintail for day touring, but I would hesitate to take that boat out for multi-day trips, due to the lower volume and more playful nature of the boat (ie: slower cruising speed). The two boats you are considering are apples and oranges, so I guess the key is to figure out what...
  14. AM

    New (to me) Winter Project

    Beautiful boat! Looks like it will be a lot of fun on the water, once you fix it up to your liking. Cheers, Andrew
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    Video of a rock garden rescue in Maine

    Good teamwork, good improvisation. Everyone took on a role and communicated well.
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    Do we need compulsory certification for SUP paddlers?

    At least 50% of SUP paddlers hold their paddles backwards, in my experience.
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    Electric bilge pump users?

    John, I’m curious why you would go this route. It seems like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, while adding cost, weight, and the complication of extra maintenance. I’m not trying to be overly negative — I’m just honestly wondering. Cheers, Andrew
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    Rate your Ameriican made brands

    This. Body before boat.
  19. AM

    Rate your Ameriican made brands

    I know we’re veering off topic (when do we not?), but the most valuable lesson I received from an experienced coach years ago was this: “don’t baby your boat”. He was of the BCU “land in anger“ school and grew frustrated at us students because we flinched at rough landings and launching. I have...
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    Campsites at Nootka Island, Louie Bay area

    That makes sense to me. Last year, the first COVID summer, we saw a surprising number of people when we paddled around Cape Scott. The main beaches along the Cape Scott/North Coast trails were pretty crowded. Once the borders open, things should die down as people resume their pre-pandemic...