Sunday, October 31, 2010

Surf kayaking video - Bakkum last week

Video by Wieger, kayakers in the clip: Wieger, Anoushka, Chris (no Hans... ;-()

Anoushka is regularly sending invitations to join the surf sessions in Bakkum. Alas it's a relative long drive from Woerden to Bakkum and in the weekend there are too often too many obligations/excuses not to go paddling - so it's a long time ago I surfed in Bakkum. The last time I did was quit memorable..

This week Anoushka attached a link to this nice video in the mail. I love to share it. It's so tempting! I want surf! Next time, no more excuses: I join the enthusiast friends in Makkum!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rolling in Heerhugowaard

Kayakclub Ossa: 2 weeks ago Freek, Andre and I were invited to do a rolling clinic - Greenland-style - in Heerhugowaard. We enjoyed working with enthusiast and talented participants. Thanks to Ria for the organisation! More pictures and videos in the Picasaweb Album of KV Ossa.

Monday, October 25, 2010


David Fincher's film, about the founder(s) of the social-networking website Facebook, makes its début in the Dutch theatres this week, on October, 28th. I expect to welcome my 200st friend on Facebook before the end of the week...

It took some time for me to discover and understand the idea, the benefits and the fun of Facebook, but during the last months I started to appreciate the possibilities of this social medium. In the beginning I was puzzling what was the surplus value of the Facebook account above the weblog. I am still not quit sure, I associate it with keywords like easy, fast, responsive, interactive, common interest, personal, network, sharing. But also issues as privacy, big brother, flood of irrelevant notifications, commercialization, desultory, ego-trip do come in my mind. I have a tendency to look for rational arguments for what I am doing: I am the kind of guy that studies the manual first before he starts playing with a new toys. I want to read a quality city-guide before I start my journey... Regarding the world of computers and the Web2.0 however, I am beginning to realize the need for a different approach: the system of just trying, let it go, see what it brings... This is no plea for naivety nor simplicity: a sound suspicion is at its place regarding the (intentions of the) Zuckerbergs, Pages and Brins, Gates and Jobs of this world! Said this, I enjoy my Facebook community. It's a great way to stay in contact with relations all over the world. In recent times I am more frequently posting and commenting and am getting more responses on the Facebook account than on this weblog. Consequently the character of this weblog changes: more accent on timeless items and less on spontaneous mind-bubbles.

I digress. Sorry. After this (too long) introduction: I started writing todays' post to bring attention to an initiative of a good kayak-friend and colleague in the Dutch seakayaking commitee Ad Moerman. Ad is pushing a new platform for Dutch seakayakers: De digitale hangplek voor zeekajakkers. Despite the archaic title and the connotations which Ad uses for this platform (hangplek = meeting place to chat and hang around, dorpspomp = parish/village pump) it is really Web2.0: an application that facilitates interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Or to put it simple: Ad has created a Facebook-group for active seakayakers in the Netherlands: Voorwaartse Slag!!! All that's needed to join is a Facebook account - don't be too afraid for mr. Zuckerberg!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A dedicated weather-widget for seakayaking in the Netherlands

One of the "lessons learnt" in the Dutch seakayaking-incident last June regards trip-preparation: the importance of a proper orientation on to be expected conditions of weather, wind and waves. It may sound all very obvious, but it proves to be neglected easily... Standing on the beach, sheltered by the dunes conditions may look harmless, but what can you expect some miles out, a few hours later?

Axel has designed a helpful tool for Dutch seakayakers: "Vaarweer" - a weather widget that gives direct access to actual weather reports, wave statistics and tidal predictions for the most popular paddling destinations along the Dutch coast. I've put a link to Vaarweer in the lists of boormarks on the left side of the Kajakwoerden-weblog. Axel says (invites you to...) that (provided you are a bit more handy with internet-applications than I am..) it's also possible to integrate a Vaarweer-widget on any website.

Compared to 10-15 years ago there is much easier access to more, better and more specific information about the weather. Now it's about the skill how to interpret this amount of information!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Drysuit neck seal repair

As I put on my drysuit last Tuesday-evening, the neck gasket tore. First I was a bit disappointed because I was so excited to do a rolling session with a new kayak that I am reviewing at the moment. The vulnerability of the latex-seals of a drysuit is an issue, but don't dramatize it: unless your planning a long swim- or diving party, even with a broken neck gasket a drysuit offers quit a lot of protection: I put the hood of the Kokatat-GTX-Expedition-drysuit on, pulled the cords tight and could do 10-15 rolls before I noticed the first water intrusion.
Nevertheless: I want my drysuit to be dry - so it's time for a repair.

At a closer look I noticed another little tear in the top-end of the neck gasket and that the gasket is dried out at the end. So actually it's time for a replacement (the second one in 2-3 years). I am going to order a new neck seal, but first I used this occasion to check if I manage to repair the neck seal with simple means. I want to check if it's possible to do a quick provisional repair when I have a misfortune like this on a trip.

My bike repair kit stores the essentials for the repair: glue (TipTop blue- solutie/rubber glue: I use the blue professional one - but the standard bike-tyre repair glue must also do), a piece of an old inner tube to cut off some patches, and a piece of sand paper to scrape the gasket and the patches for better adhesion. The pair of scissors isn't in the picture. Repairing the gasket turned out to be as simple as fixing a flat tyre...

I applied a patch on both the inner and the outer side of the gasket...

... and cut off about 1 centimeter of the top end of the gasket (=the most dried out part) .

The complete repair was done within half an hour - I am curious how long this provisional repair lasts!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kanumesse report

The Youtube Channel of the Kanumesse lists a number of video-reports of this years show. I've uploaded a picture-report with comments of my encounters on the Playak website.

Trends I noticed on seakayaking:
  1. the increasing availability of seakayaks in multiple sizes (to fit a wide range of paddlers). After the introduction of low-, medium- and large volume versions in the (more expensive elite) series of composite kayaks in recent years, this multiple-size-idea is now also getting kind of standard with the (mass produced and more affordable) rotomolded PE-seakayaks;
  2. after a slow start the number of thermoformed seakayaks is now rapidly growing: providing a product similar to the quality of fiberglass in appearance and performance, but at a lower cost and even more robust;
  3. the sudden upswing of composite Greenland-style kayaks – 5 or 6 manufacturers presented a new kayak on the show with Greenland-inspired lines, hard-chined, narrow, low profile, small volume, long;
  4. while a lot of brands are out-placing a big deal of the production of composite seakayaks to China, European builders are focusing on the high end of the market and are discriminating themselves by using exclusive lay-ups and individually customizing their products.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Kanumesse 2010

Hans is in Germany - Nürnberg - meeting friends and checking what's new at the Kanumesse.