Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy kayak pulling... the Kayak Trolley

Borkum, 10-12-'06: in front three happy users of Freya's Kayak Trolley, followed by a Dutchman with a trolley with small wheels.

Last week Wenley asked me about typical German kayaking-customs. This year I had the pleasure to paddle quit a lot with German seakayakers. Yet I still find it difficult to tell what’s typical about German seakayaking. The British BCU approach had a strong influence on German, as well on Dutch seakayaking. I do tend to think more in terms of similarities as in differences. Besides that, I don’t like to judge all Germans (nor all British or Dutch) alike! Said that, I find it fascinating to explore how national culture typical influences individual behaviour. Wenley referred to the German “Gründlichkeit”. Kayaking with Guus (Dutch) and my German friends last weekend I noticed two other aspects I would describe as rather “German”:
  1. the interest in exploring good gear and the willingness to pay for quality. Modern design kayaks, high-tech carbon fibre paddles, Goretex paddling suits are rather common. Most Dutch kayakers use far more basic gear…
  2. the lack of scruples in using a kayak trolley for long walks during a paddle tour...
I must admit I share this fascination for good gear (some German roots left in this Dutchman). So when Freya brought along a stock of new Kayak Trolleys with in her camper I couldn’t resist. Freya’s Kayak Trolley (design: Gerard Maroske and Jochen Vetterlein) is a wonderful piece of kit:
  • saltwater resistant V4a-Steel;
  • compact package of the frame;
  • "Open-the-bag-and-pop-up" – construction;
  • all in one piece, no loose parts;
  • integrated straps to secure the kayak;
  • big wheels good rolling even on sand.
“Ieder voordeel heb zijn nadeel” – “Every advantage brings along a disadvantage”: the big wheels of the trolley are really big... They require a lot of storage place. Because I carried the outer tent of Bernhards giant group shelter in my (rather low volume) Valley Pintail, I decided to use my own little kayak trolley last weekend (I want to store all the gear inside the kayak, and don’t like to carry wheels on the deck). After 15 km’s of kayak-pulling this weekend, I must admit I regretted this decision more than once, a bit because of the discomfort (it was hard pulling, with the little wheels) but even more because of the punishing comments of Freya ;-) She says what comes to her mind!

Here is a good advice: before paddling with Freya: order the Kayak Trolley!
(Serious, when you are looking for a good Kayak Trolley, take this, you will like it!)

the old trolley in front, Freya's Kayak Trolley behind


Anonymous said...

I am embarrassingly fond of my kayak trolley. The pack size of Freya's trolley frame looks impressive, but I've not yet seen or used one. Once you've got use to a good trolley you'll never tolerate anything less.

Michael said...

Any possibility of changing the wheels on your trolley for larger ones? (Don't mention to Freya that I said that... LOL)

Freya Hoffmeister said...

I mostly sent curses on your decision to go with your puppet buggy wheels when we had to walk TWICE some distances, as you both Dutch guys couldn't make it at all through the sand!!!!!

But "Küstenkanuwandern" (coastal canoe hiking...)is sport, too...and hopefully shapes a strong, sexy butt. My lower body parts are still sore.

My wheels are a good mixture of skills for sand and storing capacibilty. There is room even in the smallest kayak, I promise you. No need to carry them ON deck.

Anonymous said...

i just found your site via frogma. i'm a new york kayaker. i like your pictures and would love to kayak nederland some day. ik kan hollandse praten maar niet goet scrijven. dag!

Hans Heupink said...

Hi Freya!
I agree there is no need to carry the wheels on deck. It takes some preparation in advance to fasten the frame and wheels in the cockpit of the kayak (see next post).
Sorry about your lower body parts...

Hi Michael!
That's a very stupid idea. Freya's Kayak Trolly is in its whole a perfect creation! Not only the wheels. I won't tell Freya about your little mistake, but...

Hi Grazie
You've noticed I have found the perfect trolley? Pack size is minimal! Btw: Can you tell something more about SKoogle? Interesting site!

Hi Will!
Leuk om een Nederlands geluid te horen uit New York. Laat het weten als je plannen hebt om in Nederland te komen kajakken. Je bent welkom!

greetings, to all of you,

Anonymous said...


If you've looked round the site I don't what else tell you. It's a little project I put online. I like reading and referring back to sea kayak trip reports, etc, but keeping track of everything using bookmarks was a nightmare. I thought a good way to index the trips was by geographical location. I also thought it would be good to have sea kayaking specific search engine. In the short time it's been online most people want to search for product information, which wasn't what I expected. To improve that, I'll need to interface to one or more of the major search engines to get good results. 'Viola!'.

Anonymous said...

I missed mentioning it, but I had the same impression. German kayakers have a sweet tooth for good equipment. Swedish and Norwegian too, I believe.