Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Catching Up: What's New with CWK

2019 has thus far been a year sadly lacking in new CWK blog posts. Other priorities have pulled me away from posting, and unfortunately, from as much kayaking and waveski surfing as I'd like. Additionally, the purchase of a new vehicle (I swapped out my short bed truck for a small SUV with roof top crossbars) has resulted in a bit of a learning curve to define the best loading/carrying options for my gear. In light of those realities, I decided to post a quick update on 3 topics in development, and to give some insight into what I hope will become more detailed future posts:

1. Attending the New England Paddle Show 2019. I attended the New England Paddle Show at the University of NH this year - for the first time in several years. I was accompanied by my friend Gary, with whom I reconnected recently after many years of taking separate paths. Gary was researching what turned out to be the purchase of his first kayak, and I hope to post in more detail my thoughts on these shows; what to consider when attending one, what gear you might want to purchase there vs. what you might research for a later purchase, what information can be obtained from manufacturer's reps, etc. This topic warrants a full post and will require some due consideration on my part. Look for it soon.

2. Adjusting to Rooftop Carry on a Shorter Vehicle. I learned the hard way that my tie down system was insufficient for my touring kayak when a bungee broke and the front end of my 'yak lifted out of the J-cradle and slid down the side of my Subaru Forester - on the highway at 65 mph! Fortunately, some additional securing held it onto the vehicle, and I was able to safely pull into the breakdown lane and re-secure the 'yak to the cradles (with one minor scratch to my paint). It was unnerving, to say the least, and forced a reconsideration of what anchor points I need to safely secure 2 kayaks for highway travel. I am learning quite a bit about what works and what doesn't, and this adjustment deserves to be fully described in a post of its own - also on the project list.

3. A New Addition Has Been Welcomed to My Kayak Collection. In keeping with my penchant for procuring vintage kayaks for specific uses (clearly an illness at this point), I finally got my hands on a much heralded surf kayak I have yearned to obtain for several years: a Cobra Strike SOT. This is a plastic SOT model that surfers speak of in high regard, and I had the opportunity to surf one years ago (thanks Mike from Jenness Beach, NH if you ever read this). A very rare used model (nobody ever sells these boats) became available  close to my location, and I picked it up at a bargain price. It did need some TLC, however, and I am in the process of getting it serviceable and making some minor upgrades. It should be ready to surf within the next couple of weeks, so I will be due for more than one post on this subject. It will be interesting to contrast my 2 vintage surf craft (the Walden Milo Waveksi vs. the Cobra Strike), and to see how they operate in different conditions. I'm looking forward to the adventure.

3 VIEWS OF MY NEW (used) COBRA STRIKE (stripped down):

If you've been checking this blog for new posts, I apologize for being absent for a while - but it looks like I have some some valuable topics lined up, and maybe some useful insights to offer.


TB on the Water