Thursday, July 16, 2009


Everyone who paddles soon meets other paddlers. Before long you find yourself comparing kayaks and paddles and that's exactly what I've been doing here in Newfoundland. As the Maelström Vaag is a relatively new boat on the kayaking scene, lots of paddlers have been anxious to try it out. Rick Hayes has been no different. When we went out this morning off the beach in Eastport, Newfoundland, it wasn't long before he talked me out of the Vaag. Then I discovered, not only did he want the Vaag, he also wanted to share my Greenland stick!

I got to paddle one of Rick's Volkskayaks. He was telling me that since building his first one at a workshop several years ago, he's been responsible for about 15 more being built either by himself or friends who admired their ease of construction and good handling characteristics. I enjoyed how well the 'VK' tracked and how responsive she was, at least in the flat water conditions we paddled this morning.

For his part, Rick offered me most of his material wealth if I would agree to leave the Vaag with him. Then he wanted my Greenland paddle as well! At the same time, I was starting to enjoy the 'VK' and as I paddled along, I began to think about the modifications I'd make, particularly to the deck height and layout of Rick's boat once I talked him out of it. Suddenly we weren't sharing anymore. We were lusting after each other's boats! Before doing anything too rash, we each got our own boat and paddles back, happy to have learned from sharing our knowledge and friendship.

1 comment:

Richard Hayes said...

"For his part, Rick offered me most of his material wealth if I would agree to leave the Vaag with him..."

Lies, all lies. I did offer Michael two VOLKSKAYAKs and my second-best skirt, and later substituted my best skirt, for the Vaag, but no deal...he'll be sorry, 'caused he'll have to build his own VK thgis winter, so there...

The Vaag is a wonderful boat - great mix of solid in the water, and lively and responsive. Coupled with the greenland paddle, a perfect combination - I've never felt as confident in a new-to-me kayak as I did in the Vaag. Might have to get one of Chris. my long-suffering wife, when she retires...