Friday, March 16, 2012

SOF redux: Launch day

Freezing drizzle and fog. Basically summer conditions here on the rock! 

My SOF sat completed in the basement all day as I played lego and spent some good quality time with my oldest who turned the big 6 today. After supper I managed to slip out to trial my new creation.

I decided bay bulls would be a fitting place to launch; as it had been the epicenter of failure during my last build. Not to mention it's a nice little protected harbour; as I wasn't sure how this thing would react to any type of weather just yet.

Getting in proved to be a tad tricky. It was much like a couple weeks ago when I tried to put on size 32 dress paints....they went on...but it wasn't easy and it sure didn't look good! I held my breath looking out at the fog banks; and pushed away from the shore. 

SOF SUCCESS!! And a huge sigh of relief!

I had done it! i built a traditional skin on frame qajaq that worked! I paddled around singing and edging the kayak to some pearl jam which seems to be permanently stamped into my brain. Then there it was....absolute defeat. The music stopped. Crap!

My legs felt like they were floating....shit...the SOB of a SOF was sinking!!! I opened my ill fitting skirt relieved to find no water inside! It seemed I would have to get use to the feel of water gliding over the skin! 
Back to Pearl jam and edging!

 I dug deep pushing this kayak to excellent speeds. This is a VERY fast boat for 16 feet! 

 I pulled into the river where I could practice getting in and out. I also purposely ran her into a rock at top speed just to see what would happen. While it didn't feel nice as it slid across my buttocks it didn't even scratch the paint.

While I have a little work left to do to make this member of my fleet a workhorse; I was very happy with the little test paddle today. 

She has her flaws (Don't we all!). She also has the ability to glide at such speed it's unreal. Edges like no other boat I've sat in and paddles strait as an arrow. Rolling will have to wait until I get a good feeling about getting out of the boat if I have to. A few little tweeks to the masik, possibly a rib removal, and making a new skirt to fit better are in the cards for the following week.

On other fronts the Fedex guy and Canada post lady have been dropping off stuff to me like it was Christmas!

Big thanks to:
 Rapid media for the 4 pack of paddling magazines free for the year.
Parks Canada for all the swag and family pass to all packs Canada sites
OSOM for the Ocean paddler subscription.
Bryan Hansel over at for the awesome gear to trial. More to come on the reviews and kit.
(Paddlinglight has sponsored me now for quite some time thanks again Bryan!)

Shaping up to be a great year of paddling!! 


  1. Sounds, indeed, like a fine paddling year coming up, Lee. Swag in the mail, eh? Must be nice! :) Wind is coming up here again mid-day tomorrow so we're preparing for an early morning launch - and back in the office before we're missed. Haha. Duncan.

    1. It's been a good 2012 thus far Duncan. Enjoy the time on the water...and don't rush back..the boss already knows!!

  2. Well done Lee!

    Looks a beauty of a boat

    Kind Regards

  3. Looking good! Sounds like a great boat - well done! Can you show a couple of pictures of your masik when you are done? Thanks.

    1. thanks mac

      I sure will. I will hopefully get to fixing up a few things at the end of the week.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Bryan. Some modifications to come but i'm pleased with the overall build!