First Look: Kokatat’s Idol Drysuit
When Kokatat announced plans to make a drysuit that converts into a fully-functional drytop last year, they turned some heads. But many paddlers were left asking the obvious question: Will it work? In theory, their recently-released Idol drysuit offers some compelling advantages. No more trying to decide between a drytop and drysuit when packing for a cool, shoulder-season trip. No more having to ask your buddy for a zip or dealing with a bulky front-zipper that encourages water travel down your sprayskirt tunnel. And (joy of joys!) easy field access should that particularly menacing rapid you’re scouting stir your bowels with unrelenting urgency, for, as the video puts it, the Idol’s “entry zipper and relief zipper are one, allowing men and women to have front and rear relief.” In practice, it’d be nice to know a little more. How hard is it to convert the suit? Will the zipper get in the way? How much maintenance does it take? And, most importantly, is it dry? This video begins to answer all of these questions, and Kokatat’s guarantee that the Idol will remain dry for the life of the suit helps seal the deal. All of which leads us to the next
Photography From Your Kayak: Capturing The Moment
Making photographs from a kayak can be a bit complicated, so before spending thousands of dollars on equipment only to find it flooded with seawater, it’s worth taking a moment to figure out what your goals are. Do you simply want souvenirs from your trip or the ability to capture stunning nature pictures? Your choice will dictate the type of camera you will carry and the level of protection it needs.
Inside the Lumpy Waters Symposium
This video follows two participants in the 2014 Lumpy Waters Symposium–Kelly Yelverton and her mom, Eileen–through the three-day paddling event held every fall in Pacific City, Oregon. Put on by Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, the symposium brings hundreds of sea kayakers together each year to hone their paddling skills and practice safety techniques with coaches from around the world. From Eileen overcoming her fear of the ocean in expedition-paddler Helen Wilson’s precision and control workshop to Kelly pushing herself in Sean Morley’s advanced longboat surfing class, Lumpy Waters offers something for all levels of paddlers. –Read more about the 2014 Lumpy Waters gathering. –Look for a sea kayak symposium near you: Sweetwater Kayaks Symposium: Saint Petersburg, Florida – February 27 – March 1, 2015 (www.sweetwaterkayaks.wordpress.com) Storm Gathering Symposium: Trinidad, California – March 6-8 (www.greenlandorbust.org) Baja Kayak Fest: Ensenada, Mexico – April 18-20 (www.bajakayakfest.com) Rutabaga’s Door County Sea Kayak Symposium: Rowleys Bay, Wisconsin – July 10-12 (www.paddlers.com) Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium: Grand Marais, Michigan – July 16-19 (www.downwindsports.com/glsks) Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium: Nova Scotia – September 25-28 (www.bofsks.com) Lumpy Waters Symposium: Pacific City, Oregon – October 16-18 (www.lumpywaters.com) Sea Kayak Georgia Skills Symposium and Ocean Gathering: Tybee Island,
Behind the Lens: Jason Davis
"On the other hand, I can see where somebody might look at the shot and assume it isn't real. Sean almost looks like he's being levitated off the water and the shape of the wave itself is pretty weird. It just doesn't look like most kayaking pictures and you can't piece together what was happening by just looking at the image."
Paddling the Grand Canyon’s 277 Miles in 37 Hours
On the morning of January 7, 2015, after 12 hours and nearly 100 miles of hard paddling, Ben Orkin dropped into the Grand Canyon’s Crystal Rapid. Aware of the massive hydraulic that makes Crystal infamous to Grand Canyon boaters, he hugged the right bank, leaving a wide margin between himself and the rapid’s meat. But when he looked back upstream to check on his paddling partner, Harrison Rea, he saw an 18-foot fiberglass sea kayak cartwheeling end over end in Crystal’s biggest hole. “I knew something wasn’t right,” says Orkin with some understatement. The pair had launched at 9:15 p.m. and paddled through the night, determined to continue nonstop for 277 miles and become the fastest non-motorized boaters to traverse the Grand Canyon from Lee’s Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs. The time to beat was 36 hours and 38 minutes. Orkin and Rea were on track to finish in about 36 hours. And then came Crystal. It wasn’t the first time that Crystal played the spoiler in a Grand Canyon speed run. More than 30 years ago, with the Colorado flowing at an unprecedented 72,000 cfs, three men put on the canyon in a wooden dory called The Emerald Mile,
On Sale Now: March 2015
Rediscover North America: A Gulf-to-Arctic Canoe Expedition
Last year, our readers were so impressed by the Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition–a four-month, 2,600-mile canoe journey across Canada’s Northern Territories–that they voted it the Expedition of the Year at the 2013 C&K Awards. But for expedition-member Winchell Delano, crossing Canada’s far north from the Pacific Ocean to the Hudson Bay wasn’t enough. He is planning to go even bigger in 2015. Starting in January, Delano and five other paddlers (John Keaveny, Dan Flynn, Jarrad Moore, Adam Trigg, and Luke Kimmes) will canoe from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean over a period of nine months and cover a distance of approximately 5,200 miles. We caught up with Delano to get the details of the Rediscover North America expedition. C&K: Just the map of your expedition route is mind-boggling. Where did this idea come from? Winchell Delano: Part of your Expedition of the Year award included a $2,500 grant towards a future expedition. That is probably where everything started; that is, the incentive to plan something. Once the drive to plan the trip was in place, our goal was to try and surpass the previous undertaking in both distance and duration. In order to do so, we decided to orient