Donnerstag, Februar 14, 2008

The epic story continues... (updated)

Epic kayak co-owner Oscar Chalupsky insisted in putting me in the kayak matching the epic wing blades I used and loved for all my sea kayaking trips: the epic 18x performance sea kayak

How could I resist to try, and to get some personal private lessons on an effectice forward stroke from the world champion?

I love speed and the rough stuff, and I am as ambitious about new experiences in sea kayaking as Oscar is to share his long-time racing experience - a good match!
So I was the attentive student, and realized I had to work hard on my forward stroke.
I should use my legs more, which are positioned best unlocked and held together in the epic 18 kayak. And I should use more body rotation.
The mean thing about this lesson was I wasn't allowed to use a spraydeck, so Oscar could *see* what I was (not) doing with my legs... :-)) - at least he expected them to stay together!!! :-)))))
I developed my stroke in sea kayaks where you mostly paddle with the knees spread wide and locked under the cockpit rim. I more or less worked with my upper body only, legs locked, with few rotation.
I was used to no rudder, to edge the kayak and to shift the paddle for directional control. The coordination of leg movement and NO unnecessary rudder movement with the toes was a bit tricky at the beginning.
My forward stroke was self-taught, and I have never worked with a good instructor with a racing background in a kayak allowing this knee position and using a rudder.
Paddling this "semi-racing" style is a complete new experience, fun and - faster!!!
But you can lock your legs just conventionally, too, so picking the position matching the water conditions and your skills and ambitions is an advantage of the epic 18.
However, I felt somehow *fast* with my self-taught stroke for a female late-beginner sea kayaker though - but it doesn't hurt to become even more faster! :-))

Pictures by Alex Craven, Hamburg

I was allowed to take a demo epic 18x performance kayak home for some more paddling, and I will decide the next days how I'll feel with it. If I am happy with it for future fast paddling, I'll get my own one soon! Special black carbon ultra light version for sure...

Picture by Paul Caffyn, New Zealand

At least I decided to tie myself a bit more to my loved epic wing blade not to lose it again on any trip!

Picture by Paul Caffyn, New Zealand


Blogger Michael said...

Freya, I will look forward to your comments about the Epic 18! I own a QCC 600X which has a similar hull shape to the Epic boats, and about the same length as the Epic 16. I find it fast and a great touring boat capable of stowing lots of gear. Enjoy your 'new' boat!

4:25 nachm., Februar 15, 2008  
Blogger karel said...

Sounds great,going even faster.

3:36 nachm., Februar 16, 2008  
Blogger Lato said...

Hole morgen mein EPIC 18x in Berlin ab. Bin schon sehr gespannt auf meine Kajakausflüge am Wochenende. Dein Beitrag macht ja Lust darauf und die Bilder sind auch nicht schlecht ;-)

1:31 nachm., August 21, 2008  

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