River kayak

December 19, 2006

My friend Yamauichi-san has given me an extended loan of a plastic river kayak.
river kayak with dent

I am very happy: it will be my surf boat (I’m only sad that it will be at least 4 months before its warm enough to surf again). It is about 3000mm long, 560mm wide and fits me quite well – tighterthan my sea kayak.

It came covered in dust with a big dent just behind the cockpit, it was also really uncomfortable with no knee brace pads. I fixed that.


I started with a hair dryer but that was just going to take ages. So I moved on to the Kerosene heater (these seem to be the standard way to heat your house in Japan).


Wait 5 minutes then pop it out remarkably pain free process. Here it is fixed (with my daughter jumping in the picture).


I then bonded some 20mm thick dense foam into the position of my knees and thighs. Ready to go, except for a spray skirt. My existing skirt is for touring and has adjustable bungees that will tighten to fit this boat but it doesn’t feel very tight and I doubt it would survive a surf roll. I am loathed to buy a new one though as I will only use this kayak for a few months before we head back to Scotland and the size is unlikely to fit whatever new boat I get…


The boat also came with a very light Kevlar paddle. 217cm long with a (massive) 75 degree feather and seriously scooped face. I’m used to paddling unfeathered paddles (and hope to move soon to a greenland paddle) so I’m not sure how useful this will be. But I’m interested to try it out and it’s a spare at least.


Thanks again Yamauichi-san


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