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Showing posts from November, 2014

Test Paddling the Trident Ultra 4.3

I can count the times I've encountered towering waves that broke over the deck of my kayak on one hand (probably with fingers to spare).



There was that time on the Columbia when Fred capsized at its confluence with the Deschutes (for one).



And then there was that time I made my exodus from Long Island into something of a wind tunnel on the east side of WillapaBay. In both cases my 12.5 foot Tsunami was as stable as an ocean liner, giving me an opportunity to adapt to new conditions without a punitive preliminary dunking.



The Tsunami 125 has been a patient, forgiving tutor. However, while one is actually in it, its two storage hatches are inaccessible, so things you might want (like cameras) are either in the cockpit with you, or lashed to the deck. Do you need to change lenses in the middle of the river? Not unless you like to juggle delicate equipment over the abyss of no return. What if you also want to learn how to fish? Now you have to figure out how to pack fishing poles and tac…

Test Paddling the Tarpon 140

Usually, when a person insinuates that they've outgrown their kayak, they mean they've become so technically experienced and skillful that they've exhausted the capacities of their particular model and are ready for a more advanced craft. But in my case, I've literally outgrown my kayak (thanks carbohydrates and saturated fats) so that when I set sail now, it looks like I'm the commander of a submarine.

So last week I reserved a Tarpon 160 for a test paddle, thinking that, hey it's November, and the Columbia River Gorge up around The Dalles ought to provide the ideal choppy-water test environment.


But not only did I have to settle for a Tarpon 140, about the only wave I saw all day was the three or four that were produced from this tug and barge assembly.


The Tarpon 140 is a 'sit on top' kayak which I guess is kind of like saying it isn't really a kayak. What it looks like it has going for it is a back deck (not pictured) that looks like it could easil…