-- Last Updated: Jul-05-13 4:01 PM EST --
After a few weekends of flat water to get used to the thing, went to the URI Bay campus (RI) today. This is one of may favorite places, being near the mouth of the bay (Narragansett). Conditions were perfect: 2 foot ocean swell, light winds, a foot or too of chop, some breaking waves. Ran north towards Jamestown bridge, then back south to the URI dock.
This boat is a blast to paddle. It's as stable as a sea kayak, and can handle any conditions (the boat not necessarily the paddler). On sea kayaks, I always found the up and down motion of long swell at the bay entrance to be disconcerting .... made my heart race a bit. I don't get that feeling at all on the V8, and the motion today was certainly present.
No skirt, pump, and paddle float, or having to think about getting back in in rough conditions: you can get back on the thing in a few minutes without fuss. I have not rolled it or fell out yet, but did practice getting back on board. It's a snap.
Plus it weights just 34 pounds. I can carry this thing one handed, no shoulder strain. Today carried it right from the parking lot (upper one too) to the water, and right back when I was done.
I'm finding it a very liberating feeling, perhaps like some people feel when skinny dipping (can't say myself, never done that, but just say'in ....). Sorry for any mental pictures and scars that may have left ... then again no one here knows what I look like, so maybe not so bad...
I'm not doing this for speed, just fun and exercise. But the boat is fast, at least as fast as my Nordlow. Faster I think when I get into a good pace.
Got a low angle paddle to replace my Shuna. Don't want a wing, don't want the strain. This boat does not cause shoulder pain, and in fact I think the seat action somehow fixed a bad back! (No kidding! Slipped getting out of a shower almost 3 months ago, and had lower back pain that was not improving. Was about ready to get it looked at this week, but noticed it felt better after paddling the V8... paddled yesterday, and woke up this morning to no pain!)
Some differences to a sea kayak. 18 feet of water line and very little rocker ... this thing won't turn nearly as fast as my Nordlow. Especially when the bow is plowing into wave. Or if the wind is on the beam. Sweep strokes don't do all that much. Not much to edge, but there is secondary. However in seas, edging also brings water into the cockpit. It has a drain, which works as long as you have some decent forward speed.
The rudder is under the back deck, so when riding the crest of a wave you can turn this boat pretty past. It responds to the rudder in most conditions well, at least conditions I have been and am likely to be in. There are 2 other rudder options for more surf and bigger conditions. Broadside to a strong wind, however, it can be hard to turn upwind: that bow has a lot of area to get caught, and the little rudder does not provide much leverage in those conditions.
Different muscles in play, and at first found it hard paddling for an hour. Like doing sit ups. Groin muscles also very soar at first. This has improved, and now an hour causes no pain or need for a day or so to recover.
Hope this is useful for others thinking about these kinds of boats. I have yet to see another one on the water, but the folks at Charles River say skis and paddle boards are outselling traditional sea kayaks these days.
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Glad you like it!|
Posted by: Kocho on Jul-05-13 8:44 PM (EST)
Posted by: nebeginner on Jul-05-13 9:40 PM (EST)
Yes, just starting to get a sense for that, and getting a good rhythm. Can really feel a difference when I get that right, but it's not natural motion yet. Seems like when I'm in the right form, I can plant the paddle by my feet, more so than with a sea kayak. Could be in part the Sweede form, and deck cut away ... but it seems that there is also more of a forward lean in a ski vs. a sea kayak. Is that right?
I use an ankle leash|
Posted by: Kocho on Jul-06-13 10:16 AM (EST)
No way it would slip off and it has a quick release at the ankle. But only use it because that is what I have ... Mine is not coiled and tends to be in the way after a remount, and i need to fiddle with it a bit to move it away from under my heels, so not the best. I think a coiled leash to the PFD would be better, attached to the rear bungees perhaps? Or to the front attachments point? I would be interested what others use...
Posted by: Kocho on Jul-06-13 10:25 AM (EST)
I can understand. Use whatever feels best. I've used a single blade in the V10 Sport a few times and it really makes it ridiculously easy on the arms to paddle it. I lose may be 1mph in speed but still fast enough. I've also used a Greenland paddle just to see how it works and it works just fine.
Tried the large rudder this weekend|
Posted by: nebeginner on Jul-14-13 9:44 PM (EST)
Came in the mail this week, put it on Friday night. Managed to paddle twice this weekend, one in pretty flat conditions, and today in 2 foot swells, light wind. This rudder definitely has more bite to it, and the boat feels more responsive and seems to have a smaller turning radius. The wind wasn't as strong so I didn't get a chance to see how much leverage it has sideways to a decent wind. Thanks for the recommendation!
I just got a V6 today.|
Posted by: Yanoer on Jul-06-13 12:20 AM (EST)
It weighs in at 39 lbs in the Performance construction (only construction offered) and it's got hatches and bulkheads.
V6 looks and sounds like a nice boat|
Posted by: nebeginner on Jul-07-13 11:47 AM (EST)
Posted by: poleplant on Jul-12-13 9:13 AM (EST)
Hey nebeginner that was a nice write up. informative and personalized to make it comparable to my experiences. good job
Posted by: nebeginner on Jul-14-13 9:39 PM (EST)