Saturday, April 10, 2010

More Wind

Regular readers of this blog may remember my cursing of the weather gods a couple of weeks ago. As Louise and I were approaching a period of ten days off work starting with Good Friday, the weather forecast at the time looked rather bleak. Eight days of rain, followed by a day of rain and snow. The only decent day in the forecast was April 11, tomorrow, which unfortunately was no good for us as we had already planned some inside activities for that day. So much for kayaking plans.
The weather didn't quite follow through on this prediction. It did start with the Good Friday wind storm, a once-a-decade kind of storm, but afterwards not every day was a rainy day. Just most of them. The rest were windy. And the snow came one day early. There wasn't much, and it didn't stay long. But it snowed just the same.

Today was looking like another windy day. A gusty 20 knot breeze was coming down from the north east as we met Paula at Cadboro Bay, and so despite the fact the currents were with us, for us wimpy paddlers it was looking like maybe we weren't going to cross over to Chatham Island after all as per our plan.
Cadboro Bay Pano

But even a short paddle would give me a chance to try some new gear -- my new Werner Kalliste 230 paddle...
... and my new Sanyo Xacti HD waterproof camcorder (although in the video below I misspeak and call it a Sony. Nope, it's a Sanyo).

We went along the south side of Ten Mile Point...
...but when we got to Flower Island the wind was getting worse, so we decided to move around to the light at the end of the point. There we could see that Baynes Channel was roiling and rocking. No doubt it would be fun for some kayakers (and we saw some heading out) but we followed the advice of another kayaker we met on the beach while we were gearing up who said, "I want to come home at the end of the day."

So we turned and headed back. A short paddle is better than no paddle.

How'd the new gear work? I like the new paddle a lot. I didn't feel the usual shoulder strain or fatigue out there. This paddle is slightly shorter than my other paddle, a straight shaft Aqua-Bound 240cm and after today I think that it may have been too long for me. The new Werner at 230cm just seemed to allow me to have an easier and more natural rhythm. I did notice that sometimes when I was starting off it would stutter or shudder. I'm not sure what was happening...was the wind shaking the paddle? Or did I have the paddle at too high an angle? I suspect I might be digging it in too steeply when I begin paddling from a stationary position. No big deal, it only happened a couple of times, but I've not felt that with my other paddles.
And the video camera? Another case of so far so good. For close in work and medium shots, it seems to be pretty nice. For longer zooms, well, not sure yet. Needs a little more experimentation. Check out the video below.

Trip length: 5.91 km
YTD: 29.71
More pictures are here.


  1. That was quite a stiff north wind. We went out in the afternoon and did cross Baynes (it was reasonably bumpy!) Sunshine was nice though.

  2. Lila, you know where to find it!

  3. I recently upgraded to the Kalliste from a Camano though it appears you went bent shaft. I stuck with the straight. Fantastic paddle! How do you like your delta? and which is it?


  4. I have a Delta Eighteen Expedition, Louise has a Seventeen Sport, and we love them! We both used to have Delta Fourteens, but moved up a couple of years ago. Never had a problem with them. The only thing I would say is don't go red if you take a lot of pictures. For some reason, the red washes out to an orangey yellow in photos taken on bright days. But otherwise, we think they're terrific!

  5. I had the same skipping shuddering feeling when I tried the crank shaft Kalliste at paddlefest. I chalked it up to being a carbon paddle blade - no flex, so you feel every bubble and vortex off the blade tip, but I'm kind of wondering if it may have just been how I was holding the paddle, because I'm used to stright shaft fiberglass paddles. The Athena did that terribly and made me wonder why anyone would buy it. Guess it's just an adjustment thing. On th upside, I noticed the strain on my shoulders disappeared with the Werner too, so while I don't prize it's raw speed, I do enjoy how comfortably you can propel a kayak.

  6. I think the stutter-shudder was due to the angle of attack, but it's hard to say. It certainly wasn't the best day for trying to assess one paddle over the other as the waves and wind were too chaotic, but you might be on to something with the "no flex" idea. It'll be nice to try it on a calm day and eliminate the weather variable.
    Speed-wise, I seemed to be able to keep the same speed, but again, a paddle on a calm day to eliminate the weather variable will be needed before I can draw any conclusions. Maybe one day soon we'll have one! :)

  7. John, I own a RED seventeen sport. I love it, with the one problem being it seems to scratch rather easily. I am curious to see how it does long term. time will tell.

    Regarding the shudder/stutter - if you watch some of the videos on my blog (I think the forward stroke video) you will see it shudder slightly. I attribute it to the buoyancy of the performance core. it is exceptionally buoyant, and with a loose (or gently) grip on the paddle, it tends to shudder slightly.


  8. follow up on the shudder. I was at the East Coast Kayak Festival and spoke to the werner rep about it. SHe said the cure is FIRMLY drive the blade - spearing is the word she used - to the full depth of your stroke, and then begin rotation and you wont have any shudder. She said it was due to the high buoyancy of the blade.


  9. Thanks for checking that out, PO. After being on flat water this weekend and still experiencing it a couple of times, I was ready to eliminate wind and waves as the cause, and blame it on the blade. It seems to happen mostly when I'm starting to paddle from a stationary position, so I'm wondering if I'm not planting the blade as well for the first couple of strokes in an attempt to do them quickly and get up some speed. I totally love this blade!
    Richard, you were implying that the blade wasn't fast...Louise might argue with you. She had a hard time keeping up with me and said, "Now you won't have any trouble keeping up with Richard!"
    I seem to be moving much faster with it. I think because the paddle is a bit shorter it's forcing me to do a better torso rotation and have better form and thus a faster speed. I can't cheat so easily with this paddle. :)

  10. I used to have a little of that shudder/stutter about three years ago, using a very different style of paddle. Now it pretty much never happens. I think you fellas are busy going "fast! fast!" and not planting the paddle and holding it firmly. Instead of a rock-hard grip all the time, the low hand holding the blade near the water grips firmly and the high hand holding the blade about shoulder level opens a little. That keeps my hands flexible and better able to grip firmly when it counts.