T H E G R E E N L A K E P A D D L E R
TWO GREENLAND STYLE KAYAKS ON A BIG DUTCH LAKE
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TRYING OUT SOME UNDERWATER MOVES
Rolling the two Black Beauties isn't hard to do... the boats follows their underwater orders
willingly. The BP needs a slightly better technique to recover to the upright, ephasis on
slightly. The differences in hull shape and what that does for rolling becomes pretty
obvious, the stronger banana shape of the TG plays a big role in this. The Tahe
feels just a bit more fluent compared to the Black Pearl, hard to put in words
actually. The Black Pearl feels more " square " in its behaviour, probably
caused by the larger width of the hull and the lower front deck.The Tahe
Greenland is the true winner but Seabirds Black Pearl is excellent too.
Rolling made me sick in no time, I've attended several Greenland rolling lessons and
most of the time I went home with a concrete head that lasted for at least two days.
Despite the discomfort, I couldn't resist to attain many more pool sessions but
now prepared myself by taking a specific homeopathic remedy to combat
sea sickness. And guess what, it seemed to do the trick most of the
time but not always. Finally a breakthrough solution came along,
with the help of a thick rubber headband to protect my ears
I managed 50+ rolls in an hour's time, without dizziness
and problems later on. No more " Roll Sickness ''
and best off all: Without pills ! No more brick
in the head what a revelation. Wow!
For a Greenland style roll impression have a look at
Unfortunately the water in Holland is to murky to
make any interesting underwater recordings.
Neoprene head bands for rolling. In fact cut-outs from an old wetsuit.
These make all the difference, for me at least.
Floating about as a cooldown is a more relaxed exercise in the TG, I think because
the coaming reaches a little further out to the very side of the boat and the shape
of the front deck, that forms a higher bulge for the kayak to float on sideways.
TG coaming ring reaching 1cm nearer to the side of the kayak. A little mishap
occured as the back strap mounting point suddenly tore out. I figured it was
a good idea to anchor the rear part of the back strap in another way. Now
it is hooked up to top of the rear bulk head which I reinforced locally.
Just to make sure, the coamong ring was also beefed up as you
can see. I found it a bit thinly made for a high stressed area.
BP's and Tahe's coaming width inside measures 40cm.
Early Tahe Fabrications featured a backstrap mounting point like this.
As the coaming ring is constructed rather thin, it was prone to rip and
so it did. Tahe made a modification in later produced kayaks and
now this area is beefed up with extra material. ( see red line )
Tahe back band and seat where removed, as well as from Black Pearl.
I did some destructive '' research " and it turned out that the seat of
the Tahe was made of crap quality chopped strands fibreglass,
it snapped willingly when I flexed my muscles and swung the
hammer. The seat of the Black Pearl was something else,
a tough Aramide lay up and a strong nut to crack indeed.
Sorry, no images of all that, too graphic for the viewer.
... Sigh ...
Now they are no more around ... good for me, makes my rear end happy!
I've installed a homemade back band as you see below, much better.
The BP has a few cm deeper seating position, 18cm vs 16cm, so there is a higher
coaming to crawl over in case of doing a layback roll. A stiff plastic back band
makes that a totally comfortable action as my back is now supported by two
points: the strap and the coaming ring cusioned by my suit. Now there is
no more need for the white foam padding you still see in the picture.
SAME WIDTH ... BUT
In practice Black Pearl's cockpit workes out a little wider than the Tahe offering.
Not much, but that in combination with the removed seat allows me to sit off
centre to compensate the kayak for wind drift. The Tahe leaves me less
room to do that. If I want to cant the Tahe over I have to muscle it.
But then again all depends on your own anatomie of course.
Lengthwise BP coaming is 57cm, TG measures 54,5cm.
Red in the drawing are two lines holding the back band in the right angle. Purple
are the alu strips running towards the foot brace stick.This setup allows you
to press your behind hard into the back band and lift your bum from the
bottom of the kayak to ease a layback or just to de-cramp your legs
without the help of your hands, while you are speeding along
NO NEED TO USE MY HANDS
Also worth noting: When I want to regenerate or relocate my behind, after sitting for
some time or doing a roll, all I have to do is lean my elbows on the coaming ring
and bend over. The higher the coaming the easier, so having no seat is better.
This trick works out more effective when I am sitting in the Black Pearl kayak.
TOUCHING TOES, LEGS FLAT ON THE BOTTOM?
The low front decks on these kayaks are good for a traditional look, but for
somebody who has problems touching his toes it becomes a challenge
to perform a forward finishing roll. I can do this better in my old Brit
boat. On longer trips the low front deck can become a bit of a
hamper as your legs are pretty much fixed in position.
BP ( HV version ) is even lower than the TG.
HARD TO GET IN : SANDPAPER TO THE RESCUE
There is actually a little trick to '' space up '' the entrance, and that is to sand
away material from the coaming ring underside, which is a sharp hard
rim preventing a larger person from entering. I gave it a good
rub with course grit sandpaper to form a higher " arch"
Secret tip: Squirt some shampoo on the inside, makes entering a lot faster!
Taking a break and watch the clouds roll by. When a proper backband is
installed and adjusted correctly both kayaks can be rolled painless.
Question for the manufacturers of these boats: Can you make us
a cockpit rim that conforms to the shape of our back spine?
Till this day that seems to be impossible to accomplish.
OR IS IT?
Something funny happened the other day, after a storm I found a boat
washed up on the shore, a small boat, a kayak to be precise. A plas
tic kayak and guess what, its made in such a soft plastic material
that rolling in that boat is painless even without a back band.
The thing is: this boat was not even meant to be a roller.
Washed on the beach one day; an ACE VOYAGER. This boat's cockpit is
soft as is the rest, made out of HDPE or jerrycan plastic. The boat is
ok for flat water but in choppy wavy water it is a real disaster.
Thing is: even this thing rolls ... and ... soft on the back!
And talking about stability ... stability in Capitals.
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