Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I Love Sweden: Skim Kayaks in the Netherlands

Här kommer Pippi Långstrump,
tjolahopp tjolahej tjolahoppsan-sa
Här kommer Pippi Långstrump,
ja, här kommer faktisk jag.
The Pippi-song, Astrid Lindgren 1949

I love Sweden. Though I have never been there. But imagination can do a lot. Over the years always something with Swedish design or lifestyle fascinated me. My addiction started in the early 70's with the TV-series of Pippi, Annika and Tommy. Some highlights after Pippi were: Abba, Saab 96, Ikea, Smorebrod, Midsommerdagen, Anna, Allemansrätten, Mrs. Brundtland, the Swedish social security-model. Last year I had the pleasure to lecture a Swedish delegation from the region of Örebro about Dutch water management ->very nice people! Back to seakayaking: Swedish coast must be great, and Sweden offers some interesting seakayak-designs

I suppose I have pleased some regular visitors of this blog: since there is a link to my blog on 15% of the visitors of this blog is from Sweden. is the website and blog of Erik Sjöstedt and Pia Fransson: it looks very good, it's a pity I can't read Swedish...

And now to the motive for this post. Today I received an email from Peter Grobbee. Peter wrote that he will be the Dutch distributer for Skim Kayaks. Skim is new on the Dutch market and produces two seakayaks: the Distance and the Dex. The Distance is "a long-range kayak for those who aren't discouraged by a little blizzard. The boat's length and profile give it a sufficient loading capacity in combination with seaworthiness and reliable tracking in hard wind and rough seas (=orig. Skim-text)". The Dex is "a playful and nimble kayak for day and weekend trips where high seas and surfs are more than welcome. A boat for those who appreciate contact in leans, edges and manoeuvres. Low volume. Low profile. Tight cockpit (= orig. Skim-text)."

Both kayaks offer an interesting deck and hull design and detail-solutions like an integrated towing system on the deck, intern secured hatches, "glow in the dark"- deck lines, special rescue straps for a paddle float rescue (but I don't favour the paddle float rescues with a fixed paddle...). And they look good: Swedish design (with one little exception: the racing stripes: why? Starsky and Hutch?)!
I am happy with Peter's invitation to test the kayaks: I am especially curious about the Dex. It should be a very playful kayak! Have a look for yourself on Zeekajaks Nederland.
Picture of the Skim-detail used with kind permission of Peter Grobbee.

PS: Reading this post I realize that Gro Harlem Brundtland was prime Minister of Norway, not Sweden. However: a great scandinavian lady we should honour for introducing the broad political concept of sustainable development! (she could have been Swedish...)


derrick said...

cool eh? Now we need to get 'em over to the states. I know they're working on it. You'll have to test paddle and give us a report.

Susanne said...

Me and Lieve will check Sweden out for you this summer!!!

Dancing Queen..lalalalaaa



Wenley said...

Hans, Let me know about the test. Hire me as your test dummie. I am on a buying spree. Waiting to test paddle Rockpool and Valley boats in summer, and a Qajaq Avanaq this weekend. I always liked the Distance looks and accesories. I wonder what is the hull's performance.