Thursday, 21 June 2012

First Skis of 2012

Not that sort of skiing though. This sort.
Mark Schroeder in his Red 7. Pic Mark Sundin. 

A subset of the NSWSKC has formed around ski enthusiasts – the ski bums. The inaugural paddle was scheduled for Monday the 11th, the Queen’s Birthday weekend ( god bless you , ma'am).
The wettest June Monday in 40 years*.
Look mum no cockpit. Pic Mark Sundin

The group of six or seven rapidly shrank to four: Mark Sundin (who lent me an Epic V*), Mark Schroeder, Tony Murphy and, well, me, never been in a ski before.

Pic Mark Sundin

Rose Bay, out to the middle of the heads, back in to Balmoral for a coffee, then home to Rise Bay again.
Between the heads. Pic Mark Sundin

The Epic was fast but stable, pooh-poohed by the cognoscenti for its excessive beam and unwanted stability. Seemed pretty damn good to me, picking up my wing blade again for the first time since the ’10 Hawkesbury. Compared to the sea kayaks I know and love it is much faster. Much faster. 
Pic Mark Sundin

Rained all morning, then rained a bit more. Wasn’t too cold but just very bloody wet. On the way back at Nielsen Park I swapped with Mark Schroeder, to try his Red 7. Eeek! Very tippy, and of course the natural response is  to paddle like hell, but that just makes you moving fast and still tippy. Someone – don’t know who, couldn’t look over my shoulder – called out that the stability was all in the catch, which suddenly made a lot of sense of an otherwise alarming experience.
Tony in/on  his Stellar. Pic Mark Sundin.

The paddle became the anchor to brace against, which meant of course as soon as you stop you are buggered.

Mark Schroeder. It really was that wet. Pic Mark Sundin. 

Enjoyed it enormously, it hasn’t stolen my heart from Greenland but it was very good fun. I can see I’ll be doing more of that.

 *That’s a made-up number. 

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