Gear

Sorry it’s been so quiet over the past couple of weeks. Life has been way to busy to do any writing. The above image floated across my desk today and I couldn’t help but post it. If these sleeping bags were available today I would get one right away (for the kids of course. Yes, for the kids). Photo credit: voicesofeastanglia.com
Delta Kayaks unveiled a brand new sporty boat at Outdoor Retailer last week called the Delta 15. Not much is known about the new model as I can’t seem to find any information from Delta on either their website or Facebook page but from the video that Adventure Kayak magazine put together you can see that it’s a boat that might actually fit smaller paddlers. It’s also their first boat to come with a skeg option (Several models come with a skeg option) but looks like the stern if molded for a rudder option as well. One thing that caught my eye is a newly designed hatch cover system that looks to be inspired Rubbermaid tops. I’m keen to learn more about how the system works but from what I see it’s already a huge improvement to their current system of rubber gaskets or neoprene covers. I think the design of the boat looks promising. On the outset it looks considerably smaller in volume then other boats models. I will be honest with you in that I’ve never been a huge fan of their designs as I have always felt like I was swimming in them. Even their smallest touring boat before this release (the 15.5) was way too wide and deep for my liking. Then again, I see the boats all over the water so it’s clear that people love them. If you are in the market for a thermoform boat this could be the one for you. I will say that nobody manufactures thermoform boats quite a well as Delta does. I’m looking forward to seeing the actual boat measurements when they are published as well as learning more about the new hatch design. Update: I discovered that the boat’s beam is 22 inches.
I love the Outdoor Retailer trade show. It’s that time of year that the dam bursts and companies start unveiling all the new gear that will be on the store shelves next season. This past weekend Necky Kayaks pulled back the curtain and showed the world their newest boat, the Elias. The Elias is based off the same lines of their highly successful female focused boat, the Eliza. Necky describes the Elias as: An agile, playful and responsive touring kayak. The Elias takes its design cues from Necky's popular women's specific Eliza kayak, with a slightly longer and larger hull designed to appeal to a broad variety of paddlers. At fifteen and a half feet, the Elias is extremely efficient for a kayak its size. Its relatively modest waterline translates into less effort for the paddler at normal cruising speeds, making the Elias significantly more efficient for everyday touring than other kayaks in its class. Also available in a fibreglass and carbon layup, the Elias is ideal for day touring and weekend excursions. The Elias is available in both rotomolded plastic and composite layup and is 15’6” long with a beam of 22.25”. Similar to the Eliza series, the plastic boat is only available with a rudder while you have the option of a skeg if you purchase the fibreglass or carbon layups.
P&H Kayaks unveiled a couple new toys at Outdoor Retailer this year with the biggest announcement being a new kayak model called the Hammer. Here is the description for the Hammer from the P&H website: The Hammer is a new generation of sea playboat that will take 'playing the sea' to a higher level. Benefiting from the expertise at Pyranha Whitewater kayaks and the influence of the P&H Delphin, the Hammer is designed for rock gardening, surfing and 'extreme sea play'. The Hammer’s planning hull, progressive rocker and unique bow profile make this ocean playboat extremely versatile. The Hammer is loose and manoeuvrable in surf and in tight rock gardens, yet tracks well on flatwater. Construction is a tough, single skin roto-mould, the same as Pyranha whitewater kayaks, and offers full whitewater outfitting including a fully adjustable seat, adjustable hip pads, thigh grips and full plate footrest. The boat is 13.8 feet long with a beam of 24.5’ and as you can see from the photo there is huge amount of bow rocker so it should perform very well in surf. I’m looking forward to giving it a try when they are available in the near future.   The other big announcement from P&H was a redesign of their skeg slider system. Many people have been complaining that the old slider made the skeg very difficult to actually use. I can agree with them. It takes far too much work to put the skeg on my Cetus LV back up I hardly ever use it. I tried out the new system a couple of months ago and can testify that it’s a huge improvement to the old sliders. The skeg is actually useable. Photo credits: P&H Kayaks
Looks like Adventure Technology Paddles is trying to steal some market share from Werner Paddles by introducing several new models aimed at the high-end market. Come Spring 2013, you will be able to see their new high-angle touring paddle called the Oracle which looks promising. They are also introducing a carbon blend shaft for all of their blades to cut down on the weight. You can get the full skinny on the new AT models below.

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