Mittwoch, Januar 31, 2007


What is an RRDD?


Where can you get that?
Nowhere. It is special-order-limited edition-handmade...

Where can you see it?
At the TITS III launching party at Canoecopia - and then probably on the web somewhere...

The Creation of the Underground Rolling Factory

The "crème de la crème" of Dutch sea kayaking in one pool - teaching the teachers in the night session

I was teaching in Holland last weekend - here are some links about it.

I would like to thank Hans Heupink, who invited me and did a great job on the organisation, and my co-teachers Gerard, Nico, Sien and Govert, as well as Axel, Tom and Dick helping out to "entertain" the students while not being supervised by me.

"Hands up" or he'll kill you...Govert in danger...

Sien on the rescue...

I was glad that it seems as everybody liked it, and will be happy to show up again some times, then probably with a roofrack full of "Underground" rolling kayaks (I've got a big roof...)

Actually, the idea of the

"Underground Rolling Factory"

was born that weekend, as my partner Greg Stamer wasn't able to show up, and I had to organize my teaching time for about 55 students that weekend... my co-teachers did a great job! Thanks again!

Hans and I having everything under contol :-)

But - this week I'm extremely busy with re-opening my icecream-shops this Saturday, so the enrolling of that vision will be done on the next week's post.

The "Underground Rolling Factory creating conference" in my van, with Gerard Joling, Axel Schoevers, Nico Middelkoop, Tom Steenbergen, Dick van Zanten, me and Hans Heupink taking the pic

Dienstag, Januar 30, 2007

Digging in the Underground...

Yeahhhhhh! Aled is probably one of the few Greenland kayak builders who is able to PADDLE, too, and damn good!
And nobody can say my new Rockpool Underground isn't tested well!

Have a look at this little video, taken by Justine Cugenven for TITS III...

Canoecopia coming soon!!!

Well, for those who don't know yet, the Canoecopia show 2007 is up soon!

There is a list of great guest speakers , all of them will be part of the best Canoecopia ever!

I'll do a pool demo on Sunday, together with Greg Stamer, hopefully not having too much of a hangover after the Saturday night's TITS III launching party! :-))

I'm proud and honored to be chosen to be part of the
women's paddling paneel, too , and you have the chance to ask on that whatever you never dared to ask me :-)

For those who were in doubt: Yes, I'll bring my new Rockpool Undeground Greenlandstyle kayak! It will be displayed besides the rolling demo, and you can have one of the first close looks at it!

Btw, I might bring more than one kayak on the plane, if anybody might be seriously thinking about getting one - well, this is the chance! Low shipping costs, and - EARLY ! Take your chance to be one of the first owners! Right after the official launching...
I'll travel to Anglesey on about 22nd February, try it, check it, and pick some up! I'll write about my impressions soon.
But I already know the answer...that's what we were all looking for! :-)))

Montag, Januar 22, 2007

Underground specs


I've got Aled to measure our baby:

4,97 m or 16'4'' long,
49 cm or 19,25'' wide,
25 cm or 9,7'' front deck height,
12,5 cm or 5'' back deck height.
No weight yet.

So, if you consider this still a "high" front deck...whoever is that flexible to stick his head undeneath the front bungees and is able to fw/ fw handroll it, can tell me, he wants a lower front deck. :-))

Anyway, as it is a fibreglass kayak, similar to a stitch and glue there is wayyyyyy more room inside for heavy guys or "female" thights as there are no ribs and masik. For rolling I would use a foam masik.

Even heavy guys up to 90 kgs will *fit* in it, and with the slightly higher volume as my Qaanaaq SS they won't paddle as much a submarine then :-)It's probably a kayak for day trips and considered only for max 80 kgs-persons, and for rolling fun. Just light persons would be able to fully load it and still paddle it nicely. But there is still the idea of making another slightly bigger size...

Well, and for those who are into numbers and want to compare: My Qaanaaq SS is4,80 m long, 48 cm wide, 24,5 cm front deck height, 13 cm back deck height.

So to compare by numbers and what Aled has told me(who is probably the only one who has really "paddled" both so far): The longer hull makes it appearing even more slim and sleek and probably faster, the hull edges are sharper and easier to edge, with a touch of the typical Rockpool hull stern (which still makes a skeg a useful item...), and with a bit less rocker. It should be more stable and better to paddle in side wind (with the skeg anyway).

The Qaanaaq SS is weathercocking like hell and a good balance act in rough waves, which I usually reply with a spare GP stuck under the front bungees, used as an outrigger rudder. But even for installing that you won't take a hand off the paddle in rough conditions :-))

So for sure he had a close look at my Qaanaaq SS designing the Underground. And I appreciate he took the best and left the rest. Out came a fibreglass Greenland kayak which is a real fun toy for paddling, rolling and day trips.

It has only one disadvantage :-) : To maintain the Greenland style look, you are asked to order deck and hull in the same color...or have you ever seen a Greenlander painting his hull different than the deck??
The deck outfit will be Greenland-style, too. So small bow and stern loops for the paddle tip, two bungees (no, not five...) across the front deck and aft deck. That's all.


Samstag, Januar 20, 2007

The virgin "Underground"

A virgin beauty in white...Prototypes look so innocent! :-)

Well, you really won't need a (wing) paddle to roll it...

I like the lines!

But mine will be BLACK :-)

I'm still waiting for measurements from Aled, too, sorry. I just know that it hasn't a *high* foredeck against all rumores. The foredeck measurement is pretty similar to my Qaanaaq SS and should make it easy to fw/ fw handroll it. It will still fit pretty much heavy guys, but I'll hope for the second longer/ bigger/ higher volume vesion for 80 kgs up-paddler soon.

That strange rumor of a Greenland style boat with a "high" foredeck might have come up because of Rockpool'l Alaw, and because the raw dyed black plywood plug had very sharp boxe-like front deck lines. The white Prototype already looks way "softer"...

Aled is gonna paddle it extensively the next days, and I'll do it, too, when I'll drive to Anglesey in February. But I trust Aled on his design, as he is a damn good boat designer/ builder AND a good paddler/ roller.

It will be available in Great Britain through Rockpool itself, for the rest of the world I'll act as the only dealer of my "Underground" signature kayak.

It will be coming in one piece AND three pieces, but shipping to anywhere will be easiest in three pieces. Otherwise the shipping costs will exaggerate the lower costs of the one piece. It will be easiest and cheapest to fly it in somewhere...I'll sell matching transport bags then, too...

But wherever I can show up with my van I can bring a one piece with me, too.

The price for the *three piece* will be ABOUT 2000 pounds GB, 3000 Euros, or 4000 US Dollars plus shipping. A one piece will be cheaper. That's all I know so far. Aled is a great boat designer and paddler, but hard to get on buisiness details :-)) Any news I'll be updating here.

So if you have any further questions about ordering, which I might know besides exact measurements and shipping costs, and are not answered on my website/ blog soon (as soon as I get the informations from Aled :-I ), please feel free to contact me on my e-mail

I can tell you, I'm looking forward to paddle it!!!!

Donnerstag, Januar 18, 2007

Italy likes it loooooong...

Stefano, Kai and Nicola presenting their Avatak paddles in my backyard

Saturdays are good for guests from all over the world...

Kai Raedish, originally a German, but married to Italy, and his friend Nicola de Florio from Italy with his son Stefano had announced their visit to show me their handcrafted
Avatak Paddles - and to leave one with me!!! Thanks a lot!!!

Well, how could I say "no" to that nice visit...I just felt sorry I couldn't offer them some original German "gelati", as my shop is still closed in winter time.

The sun came out between some gales in Germany, as Nicola unpacked his parcel of 8 beautiful handcrafted paddles in my backyard - all different traditional styles. You can best check on their
website about the variety he offers!

They are all really beauties, in a perfect lovely handcrafted style. Ok, I didn't paddle one of them so far, but will do with my new given one as soon as possible!

They do have all a pretty wide loom (what I prefer due to my high paddling style), but - Italians love the average paddle lengh of 2,44 m! As I had the choice, I picked the only shorter one for myself - still 2,24 m - it was considerd a "kiddy paddle" in Italy...But you might want to ask Nicola if he will craft one of his pretty paddles to your measurements.

Well, that common "Italian"paddle lengh is different to what I am used to, but there must be a reason for that more than about 70% Italian sea kayakers use a traditional paddle??? Maybe we are doing something wrong? :-)

Best will be to try the paddle, and to give them a visit soon...we'll meet anyway again on the Spanish Symposium.

I'll write a bit more how it feels on paddling when I get it wet!

Samstag, Januar 13, 2007

Sea Kayaker Magazine profile

The Article in 02/2007 Sea Kayaker Magazine had two pictures which I like to credit to the right photographers:
Picture left taken by
Rick Gould.
Picture right taken by
Wendy Killoran.
Thanks for both!

Donnerstag, Januar 11, 2007

From Wings came Flight 2

Another pair of "wings" that gave the Black Angel flight into kayaker's heaven is coming from

I'm glad to welcome them in my team!

Superior Kayaks is a small, but exclusive manufactury of Greenland paddles and kayaks, run by Celeste and Mark Rodgers.

black carbon Greenland paddle caught my attraction already in my early days of Greenland rolling :-) - and I loved it ever since!
It's definitively a piece of equipment I'm not travelling without, teaching and demoing rolls allover the world. And I found I was not the onlyone in the Greenland community who loves that paddle!

It's a perfect rolling and teaching tool, due to it's great buoyancy with the foam core.
It's hi-tec, smooth and BLACK, but still traditional - it's matching me perfect for my G-style tricks!
For sure a top notch guy can roll with any broomstick, but that paddle really gets you going on your first balance brace and rolls - and why making life harder as it already is :-) ??

For more informations, please check on my
sponsor's page and on the Superior Kayaks website.