Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Around the Capes, Surfski for Fun....

My mate recently bought himself an elite Think Uno Max, a ski which feels like it has an outboard attached on flat water, but requires dedication to paddle in the rough stuff.

Without a background or any particular interest other than as a participant in surfski racing, I've come to regard skis as a great tool for a workout, a fast & uncomplicated craft for a couple of hours of hard paddling, with the added bonus that in any sort of following conditions they are absolutely, entirely brilliant. This kind of scenic and, due to nearly 6km of unbroken & unlandable cliffs, committing paddle is one I'd normally reserve for a sea kayak, but with Steve keen to get out & mix it up in his new ski we decided to have a crack.

A superb Sydney winter afternoon beckoned us out to sea, virtually windless. We set up a car shuffle, and left the sandy beach at Gunamatta Bay in mirror calm. Progressing around the point named after George Bass & Matthew Flinders, we then struck out across the 7km expanse of Bate Bay to Cape Bailey, an imposing sandstone wall that marks the southern edge of the Capes cliff line. A punchy but small groundswell was almost unrecognisable until we hit the line of Capes, where it threw back the sort of typical rebound that Sydney paddlers know so well.

About halfway down Steve had a lapse in concentration & did one of those slow-mo capsizes that I'm sure we've all experienced. In the cold water he had two 'nearly' remounts, and considering the looming sunset & our exposed position I suggested an assisted rescue, it was mid winter after all! He climbed back on board & took off towards Cape Solander, me struggling to foot it in the Fenn Swordfish, but doubtless feeling a little more stable.

As we rounded Cape Solander, the setting sun cleared the cliffs & put on a show to remember. Forgetting for a moment the surf ski mantra of speed & heart rates, I had to stop & get a pic or two, and I'm glad I did. 

We eased past Cooks Landing & into Silver Beach to finish up a cruisy 16km, 90 minute paddle.

Steve learnt a few lessons, first & foremost to get out & practice his remounts, but otherwise did incredibly well considering his limited sea paddling & the demanding craft he has chosen. You always wonder when someone dives into an elite ski whether they'll be committed enough to master it, & I've no doubt this was the right boat choice.

A brilliant winter afternoon ski paddle for fun & fitness, along one of Sydney's most picturesque cliff lines.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tiderace Pace 17S - Fast Touring for Smaller Engines

We're a few days away from landing our first Tiderace Pace 17S, the first fast touring design to reach our shores aimed at smaller paddlers.

It promises much, filling a gap in the market that has been wide and barren since the Taran revolutionised fast expedition paddling.

Wisely, Tiderace haven't messed with the length, but instead have chosen to make the boat slightly narrower, and with cockpit fit-out & ergonomics suited to paddlers substantially lighter than the entire current range of fast expedition boats can offer.

Like all Tiderace boats it's been designed by Aled Williams, a guy with peerless kayak design pedigree, and even though it's only been out a few months the feedback from overseas has been very positive from the people it was aimed at, lighter folks!

If you've always felt like you were swimming around in your expedition boat this may well be the kayak that consigns the foam fitout blocks to the bin forever.

Get in touch either Rob or Mark to arrange a test paddle.

You can read the full specs on the 'S' HERE

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The EK SkegFoot Foot Plate System

Hot on the ‘heels’ of the BigFoot system we have developed the SkegFoot; a footplate based on the same design features but without the pedals on top of the plate. It is also a little wider to deal with the broader foredeck that is found in a lot of the more maneuverable boats.

Ideally suited to boats like Tiderace Xcite, Xcite S, Xtra, Xplore and most of the Valley kayaks, it is a simple matter to fit as the fixing screw holes are spaced the same as for the existing factory fitted tracks. 

It works in much the same way as a bulkhead footrest allowing a wider range of positions for anchoring your feet so you can transfer the power from your legs and trunk more effectively. In particular the SkegFoot will allow you to move your feet closer together for better alignment of hips and knees. Better alignment can, in turn deliver more power from your core and better posture without compromising the connection between your body and the boat. The advantage it has over a bulkhead footrest is the obvious one, adjustability; but it also means your boat is a more appealing resale one day in the future, without having to find a buyer with the same leg length as you!

There is a finite range of adjustment on the footplate so it is best to email us with your boat model when you order, if it is part of our current product range then we will be able to advise straight away of compatibility, but in most cases it will just be a matter of bedding the skegfoot side rails in sealant and fixing them through the existing holes drilled for the original factory fitted tracks.

Most similar model kayaks from other manufacturers should also be compatible with the SkegFoot and so far we have been surprised with just how many different boats these plates will fit. The bolt holes are set to match the Yakima, KajakSport & SmartTrack spacing, which tend to be the industry standard.

All BigFoot and SkegFoot plates come with long width-adjusting screws to accommodate those who want to custom build a bigger full foot plate to fit over the existing one. These long screws will easily hold plastic, marine ply or alloy sheet material up to 12mm.
We feel that the SkegFoot is a tangible improvement over the current small surface-area pegs that are fitted as standard to most skeg boats. It is a simple, sturdy retrofit component locally built and designed to improve comfort and performance when used with sound paddling technique. Most importantly, the design is based on hard-earned experience and the feedback of hundreds of local paddlers and it has been field tested in real sea kayaking conditions.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Which Surfski for Me?

Surfski paddling on the new breed of ocean racing skis, has moved very quickly in recent years from the exclusive domain of elite surf lifesaving athletes, to one where even the most modest of recreational paddlers can now enjoy the rush of chasing a wave in these sleek boats.

The turning point, without question, was the breakthrough Epic V8, released in 2010 & offering a super stable ski, and genuine performance for paddlers entirely unskilled in the sport of ski paddling. The attraction was easy to identify. These craft are light in comparison to most kayaks in the same price range, simpler to paddle with a very responsive rudder, with the advantage of hull speed for fitness, and stability for the fun part of the sport on open water. If you're not looking to journey or develop kayak-specific skills, they're a very uncomplicated & accessible craft.
Other manufacturers have followed on with their own more user-friendly designs, so the picture for a prospective buyer is now much more clouded, for anyone attempting to weigh up the relative merits of different skis, in different stability & performance categories.

To simplify, but by no means comprehensively define these different skis, we've put together a guide to the boats we have both paddled enough to gain a good appreciation of the attributes of each, and also sell as part of our stable of skis from the leading brands Epic, Fenn, Think & Vajda. We have demo boats on hand for most of the designs summarised below if you'd like to give one a try in live conditions.
photo by Alan Coker (www.allancoker.com)
Note, our impressions of these boats are based on our own paddling. Both Rob & I consider ourselves competent enough on each of the skis listed to paddle them well in moderate conditions, so we're not speaking from the perspective of elite ski paddlers, more for the viewpoint of enjoying the skis in the conditions for which they were designed.
We have coached & instructed scores of paddlers over the past couple of years specifically aimed at making them competent enough to enjoy open water in their ski, as opposed to shaving a few minutes off their race time. In many cases our views vary slightly from the manufacturer's own spiel; we're attempting to simplify this at-times confusing market place with a simple statement about how each ski differs, from our brand-neutral viewpoint.

The sorts of typical conditions I enjoy paddling are summarised in the short video below, to give you an idea of where we paddle these skis & the kinds of adventures you can have! It's not a race, it's not scary, it's just great fun, accessible to all with the right boat & a bit of dedication.

Broadly, the sport has evolved into three categories; Entry Level, Intermediate, and Elite:

Entry Level Skis
With the starting point that surf skis are designed for moving water, each of these ski designs combine varying degrees of glide and 'run' in the following seas in which they excel, with stability to allow the less experienced paddler the opportunity to get to know the dynamic environment of the ocean.

Vajda Raptor (ABS Plastic)
An entry level ski made from a tough, durable & incredibly stiff thermo-formed ABS plastic known as Styrolite. A flat planing hull provides stability, while the narrow forward section of the boat provides a close catch & excellent ergonomics. Features the same durable snap closing KajakSport hatches that feature on Rockpool & Tiderace expedition kayaks, ensuring a rear hatch seal with integrity, and enough capacity for a long weekend away camping. Suited to slightly lighter paddlers, with a weight range up to about 95kg. 
Length 534cm
Width 53cm
Weight 20kg
Paddler Weight 55-95kg

Epic V7
The new Epic V7 sets a new standard for rotomold performance. It is lightweight, extremely efficient, and easy to handle. The V7 is outfitted with the same high quality fittings as every surfski in the Epic lineup, including the carbon fiber footboard and pedals and the hugely popular Epic designed bailer. In addition, it features an aft storage compartment with a lightweight hatch. 
Length 520cm
Width 54cm
Weight 20kg
Paddler Weight 65-110kg
Fenn Bluefin
A super stable, heavily rockered ski designed to catch waves & run on the sea. If you're looking for the perfect boat to get you out into rough water & actually riding waves, there isn't a better boat on the market to inspire confidence & do what a surfski is supposed to do. You can see a video of the Bluefin in action HERE
Length 590cm
Width 53cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 70-110kg
$2600 (Fibreglass - 17kg) $3100 (Vac Glass 14kg) $3500 (Hybrid 12.5kg) $4200 (Carbon 10kg)
Think Eze
Unquestionably the best entry level ski on the market for smaller framed paddlers. Short, nimble, light & quick for it's length, with Think's renowned disciplined seating position. 
Length 520cm
Width 51cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 50-85kg
$2995 (Performance - 15.5kg) $3995 (Elite 12.5kg)

Think Ace
Along with the V8 the base line ski in the market, designed to be easy to paddle for even the greenest paddler. Features carry handles, and also the lightest ski for the price. 
Length 522cm
Width 53cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 75-110kg
$2995 (Performance - 15.5kg) $3995 (Elite 12.5kg)
Vajda Hawx 52
A cut above the pure entry level skis, but one you're not likely to grow out of as you improve. The fastest of the stable boats, with Vajda's excellent carry strap system & peerless European build.
Length 553cm
Width 51cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 65-95kg
$3490 (Racing - 14kg) $4690 (Elite 11kg)
Epic V8
The ski which single-handedly broadened the sport of surfski when it was introduced a few years ago. Stable, solid on the water, and built to Epic's exacting standards. The easiest surfski to paddle on the market. You can see a video of the V8 in action HERE. 
Length 549cm
Width 56cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 70-110kg
$3195 (Club - 17kg) $3995 (Performance 15.5kg) $4995 (Ultra 12.5kg)

Intermediate Skis
Intermediate level skis by definition should look after a paddler with good technique, allowing them to get the boat out into more challenging water and enjoy it, rather than dread it. Fast enough to ride ocean runners but without the sheer glide of the elite skis, these are designs that are sympathetic enough to allow a good percentage of improving paddlers to graduate into.
Fenn Swordfish
A dynamic, nimble, surfing ocean ski in the Fenn tradition of producing skis that are meant to be in waves. Now with an improved seat & 'hump' position, manufactured in South Africa. The Swordfish is a unique ski, with performance just below the true elite level, whilst maintaining stability to burn. You can see a video of the Swordfish in action HERE.
Length 610cm
Width 45cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 70-110kg
$2600 (Fibreglass - 17kg) $3100 (Vac Glass 14kg) $3500 (Hybrid 12.5kg) $4200 (Carbon 10kg)
Think Evo II
A n extremely well reviewed surfski, with almost universally approval for the intermediate paddler looking to progress to the ocean. Considered to be as fast an any in the genre with excellent glide, and all of the extras that come as standard on Think surfskis. 
Length 625cm
Width 48cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 65-100kg
$2995 (Performance - 15.5kg) $3995 (Elite 12.5kg)
Vajda Hawx 46
Alone as an intermediate ski for the lighter paddler, and a logical step up for smaller framed paddlers from a design like the Think Eze. Stable even for top heavy blokes, and proven to be among the very fastest of the intermediate skis on the flat. 
Length 588cm
Width 46cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 55-90kg
$3490 (Racing - 14kg) $4690 (Elite 11kg)
Epic V10 Sport
Like the V8, a trailblazer into intermediate skis when originally it was an elite ski or nothing. Now even more stable, big & buoyant & as reassuring in the rough stuff as any design ever was. 
Length 600cm
Width 48cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 75-110kg
$3195 (Club - 17kg) $3995 (Performance 15.5kg) $4995 (Ultra 12.5kg)

Elite Skis
As the classification suggests, elite skis for paddlers with an elite attitude to developing & maintaining their rough water skills. Nowadays almost universally stable enough for an average paddler to handle on dead flat water, but require dedication to master on moving water, let alone in the dynamic environment of the sea.
Think Uno Max
You only have to sit in the Uno Max to appreciate the pinpoint ergonomics, this boat just feels fast. As stable as any of the elite designs, with an incredibly disciplined feel on the water. Sea Rice's craft of choice as he powered his way to the World Championship.
Length 645cm
Width 43cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 70-110kg
$2995 (Performance - 15.5kg) $3995 (Elite 12.5kg)
Think Ion
A buoyant and dynamic ski which feels light on the water & accelerates beautifully. Sits with the Epic V10 just below the stability & ability of the true elite skis. 
Length 642cm
Width 44cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 70-110kg
$2995 (Performance - 15.5kg) $3995 (Elite 12.5kg)
Epic V10
The ski which popularised the ocean racing genre, with plenty of glide, predictable, stable for it's minimal beam & designed for the rough stuff. An icon with a new configuration, bailer, and shape. Probably the most user-friendly elite-level ski doing the rounds. You can see a video of the V10 in action HERE. 
Length 650cm
Width 43cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 70-110kg
$3195 (Club - 17kg) $3995 (Performance 15.5kg) $4995 (Ultra 12.5kg)

Epic V10L
A stable elite ski for lighter paddlers, reconfigured to drop off the wetted area & increase overall acceleration. A very different animal to the original V10L, hugely popular with smaller-framed, skilful paddlers. 
Length 615cm
Width 44cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 50-85kg
$3195 (Club - 17kg) $3995 (Performance 15.5kg) $4995 (Ultra 12.5kg)
Epic V14
Along with the Think Uno Max a true elite ski for elite paddlers. Used to great effect in flat water races like the Hawkesbury Classic where it can generate K1 speeds with higher comparable stability, but in the purest form an ocean racing performance beast for paddlers with advanced skills. 
Length 640cm
Width 43cm
Weight See Below
Paddler Weight 65-110kg
$3995 (Performance 15.5kg) $4995 (Ultra 12.5kg)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Tiderace Evoke - Rob Mercer

Some thoughts on the Tiderace Evoke, and a video of him surfing it on some fun waves last week.

"When tiderace themselves described the Evoke as offering: "world class rough water handing and light touring in a compact ruddered format to sit nicely at the professional end of the recreation market." there was none of the usual jostling at EK Central to be first in country to jump in this cute, short, wide boat.

After all words like "recreational" teamed up with the overall dimensions we would usually associate with a fishing kayak had us thinking of the Evoke as a reliable and seaworthy little ruddered boat best suited to entry level paddlers; a valuable niche but with nothing much to offer us personally. Eventually when all the other new toys had been passed down the line and my regular favourites were out on test paddles I decided it was time to give the Evoke a run.

Not surprisingly I found it was an easy boat to push along at sea kayak cruising speeds and very capable at catching runners. When you look at the plumb bow it probably has one of the longest waterlines for any boat in its class and although it seems heavily rockered for a cruiser this doesn't seem to slow it down much in open water and waves, and the hull just feels efficient. The big surprise however, happened for me when i finally pulled up the rudder to catch some small surf and suddenly found myself in one of the loosest tracking but responsive and lively sea kayaks I have ever paddled. 

Since then I have surfed it, paddled rock gardens in it and covered some decent miles in the company of fast tourers up to a metre longer and not found the boat lacking. At 85kgs and almost 1.9 metres tall I was expecting the boat to be a squeeze and i am certainly on the longest setting for the foot pedals but I could still pack light for a few days without overloading it.

For a lighter paddler with a moderate load this could do some serious sea miles and do them in rough water and in great style. If you are in the market for a short light efficient tourer/day tripper that turns into a dynamic play boat with the simple haul on the rudder line then you should give it a try, but please let us know well in advance because these days it never seems to find its way from my place back to the EK warehouse!

Rob Mercer, April 2015.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

New to the EK Store – The Big Face Paddler Mirror

When world ski champion Sean Rice visited last month for a training session with the Dolls Point Paddlers, one of his mantras was to relax, let your jaw stay loose & controlled, in order to stop yourself tensing up when paddling.

It reinforced something that I have been long advocating in both sea kayaking & ski paddling, the importance of relaxing, staying calm & enjoying your time on the water. Sometimes it’s only when you point out that a jaw is clenched, shoulders are hunched, does the person alongside you in the water actually realise how tense they’ve become, especially in rough water.
Sean Rice - "Relax that jaw...!'
So how to stop this detrimental activity in the first place? Often you can see it when you play back a video of yourself paddling, many a time I’ve thought ‘bloody hell, even though I’m looking pretty damn good there, I am a little tense, if only I’d realised’.

Whilst nutting out the final engineering on the Big Foot Plate system last month, I asked our manufacturing whizz Herschel how hard it would be to mount a stainless mirror onto a Ram suction cup. He worked his magic over the next couple of hours & came up with the Big Face Paddler Mirror. Better than a GoPro because the imagery is in Real Time without the need for batteries or electronics, impossible to doctor up in post production with stabilising software, just pure, brutal honesty-on-a-stick, showing you just how well you’re doing.

Oscar & Boyan testing out the mirror at Tarifa

We thought it would be a good idea to have the mirror big enough to reflect an accurate picture of your face from forward of your legs, and wide enough to act as a rear vision mirror as an extra safety consideration. It had to be made from the same tough marine-grade aluminium as the Big Foot, yet still light enough to be a minimal inclusion onto an expensive super lightweight ski.

The optics on the mirror had to be sharp, and we went for the same mirrors used on Tuna boats in the mid-Atlantic, treated with a Rainex-like anti fog to stop water forming ugly streaks and ruining your view of yourself.

The result was our first prototype, finished about 3 weeks ago, and since then we’ve sent out demo’s to test at the Tarifa ski centre, and even had one tested in the recent King of the Harbour race in Auckland, where feedback was brilliant. Oscar took the prototype for a run when he was here in Sydney recently & had this to say:

‘Fantastic instant feedback, a great instruction tool, and the optics even made me look very passable. I think I could probably make one 35% better than this, but for now this is really excellent!’.

Herschel has the first production batch of 50 finished, and they’re now for sale through our ONLINE STORE for $79.95, with $10 from every sale going to the Derek Zoolander Center.

These first Big Face Mirrors are essentially designed for surf skis, where so far the demand has been incredibly strong, outstripping what we could even have thought possible for something as simple as a full-time mirror pointing back at you. We’re working on a range for sea kayaks, where obviously the mirror will need to be mounted a little further aft to compensate for the general eyesight limitations of the slightly older demographic.

Get in fast to grab yourself a Big Face, and lose the tension…..!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Nick Cunliffe Coaching this Friday in Sydney

The NSW Sea Kayak Club's Rock & Roll weekend is over for another year, and this year's event featured British sea kayaker & instructor Nick Cunliffe.
Having seen footage of Nick shredding tideraces & surf waves over the best part of the last decade, it was great to meet him and share some quiet chats over a cup of tea or two. Guys like Nick, through the videos of Justine Curgenven, have broadened the scope of what we can do in sea kayaks, redefining them as more than a simple craft of journeying into something we can use for huge fun.

Nic & his buddy Kate Hives from the Hurricane Riders in Canada ran plenty of on water sessions over the weekend & also made themselves available to talk to one & all about their paddling, swapping stories & giving some pretty damn fine advice along the way. They're a particularly gregarious & engaging couple and were a big hit at the event.
The delightful Kate Hives with Rob at RnR 
The good news for those of you not at RnR, or even those that were & might want another crack with Nick & Kate, is that they're booking up spaces for a full day of instruction on the harbour this Friday.

Spaces are limited, but there are enough for the full day or half day courses remaining if you get in quick. Please contact Rob mercer, on 0417 227 627, or through rob@expeditionkayaks.com to book yourself in.

Here's some footage of Nick in action &b the kinds of things you can expect to learn

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Plastic Fantastic - The Epic V7 & Vajda Raptor Arrive

There can be no questioning the boom in surfski paddling over the past 5 years, driven exclusively by the innovative ski designers who have made this fast & rewarding craft accessible to all, through the development of super stable hull shapes.

Probably the only thing holding the crossover fishing kayakers, sea kayakers & sit on top paddlers back, was the high price of the mid-range skis, mostly starting in the early to mid $3000 range & rising.

Epic & Vajda have addressed this glaring lack of a true entry level, budget-priced ski with the respective recent launch of their V7 & Raptor Surfskis. Both designs are shorter than the standard skis at 5.2m and 5.3m respectively, so manageable in an average home garage, or on top of a city sedan.

They're both light in comparison to kayaks, weighing in at 19kg & 20kg respectively, and in testing both have laid strong claims to genuine surfski performance.

The Raptor is made from a lightweight form of ABS called Styrolight, whilst the Epic V7 is a rotomoulded ski, made in very much the same way as our hugely popular Valley sea kayaks. Both feature the full fit out & hardware that their more expensive higher-end models display, and you have to look hard at them pair of them before you realise that they're not composite, but instead plastic fantastic.

Both boats are now in stock, with pricing hovering around the $2200 mark.

Full specs & details on both of these entry level surfskis can be found below.

Epic V7
The new Epic V7 breaks that mold and sets a new standard for rotomold performance. It is lightweight, extremely efficient, and easy to handle. The V7 is outfitted with the same high quality fittings as every surfski in the Epic lineup, including our carbon fiber footboard and pedals and the hugely popular Epic designed bailer. In addition, it features an aft storage compartment with a lightweight, waterproof hatch.
Length: 5.20 m     Width: 54.00 cm     Depth: 35.00 cm    Weight: ~19kg    Capacity: 135 kg Storage: 100l  Material: Polyethylene

Vajda Raptor

A 20kg, 5.3m long entry-level ski designed for a great combination of stability & speed. Made from Styrolite, a lightweight ABS plastic with tremendous stiffness and impact resistance. The ski comes with Vajda's handy carry strap & points, has carry side & end handles, and a rear hatch with capacity for a light overnight trip. Quick enough to have won a recent short course Sydney Harbour race, yet as stable as the steadiest entry level design.
Length: 5.34 m     Width: 53.00 cm     Weight: ~20kg    Capacity: 110 kg  Storage: 95l    Material: Styrolite

Monday, 16 March 2015

Expedition Kayaks Coaching & Training

Many of you will be aware that EK now has both council & waterways permission to operate individual & group coaching & training on Botany Bay. 
We're also a fully accredited National Training Provider registered with Australian Canoeing, delivering training programs in the sea & flat water categories. Since launching our new training arm in October we have been busy developing a program of coaching around the most commonly sought after categories of instruction.

Broadly, these involve two levels of lessons. Firstly, kayakers looking to begin their paddling with a solid base of skills & drills so as to get off on a technically correct path, & surf ski paddlers starting out & looking for the same type of initial instructions. Secondly, paddlers of both types of craft who are looking to broaden their range of paddling conditions, by experiential coaching under more demanding sea & weather conditions.

Our coaching & instruction for sea kayaking is based on more than 25 years of combined sea instruction, with local tide & weather knowledge of the Bay & surrounds that allows us to put you into the conditions you need to get the most of your three hours on the water.

For ski paddlers, our focus isn't on getting you into the top 50 in the 20 Beaches, but rather getting you out on the water on more days than you might contemplate at the moment, by encouraging first competence & then confidence in rough water. We have seen first hand through our association with the Dolls Pt Paddlers, just how quickly a flat water ski paddler can make the jump to open water with the right guidance & skills. If shaving a minute off your 14km race time is your goal, we're not the guys, but if you want to greatly increase your confidence and enjoyment of moving water in your ski, we have all the tools to get you to your goals.

Our 'Paddling in Pairs' session is designed to make you & your regular paddling partner both safe & self reliant on the sea. It's a great option for those of us who have a buddy they spend most of their days on the water with, as it allows you to take away a set of skills & drills to work on together.

We've set up six lesson plans that have proven very popular with our students over the summer, and have now formalised them into the following program:

Session 1 - Intro to Ski Paddling
This is a three-hour class for new paddlers or those who would like to review the basics. The focus of our surf ski coaching is maximising your enjoyment of your ski. Our aim is to broaden the number of days you can take your ski out for a paddle, to build confidence in moving water.
Includes: setting up your ski and paddle, safety and basic weather knowledge, posture, hand position, bracing and balance exercises, stroke basics, the rudder, remounts and assisted rescues.
Cost; Individual Session - $160
Group up to 4 - $80 each

Session 2 – Paddling With Waves
This is a three hour class for ski paddlers who are comfortable in flat water and want to progress to areas with more exposure and a little wave action. Mark and Rob have decades of local knowledge to ensure conditions to match your abilities. This session will provide challenges in a safe and positive learning environment. The focus of our surf ski coaching is maximising your enjoyment of your ski. Our aim is to broaden the number of days you can take your ski out for a paddle, to build confidence in moving water.
Includes: Understanding wind and waves, how your ski responds, bracing, acceleration, timing, positioning on the wave, turning, remounts and rescues in waves. Botany Bay provides a fantactic learning environment for paddling skis in wind, without the consequences of serious open water.
Cost: Individual Session - $160
Group up to 4 - $80 each

Session 3 – Intro to Sea Kayaking
A three hour session for new paddlers or those at any level who would like to review their foundation skills. Starting in flat water with a gentle progression onto the more open waters of the Bay.
Includes: Setting up your kayak and paddle, safety and basic weather knowledge, posture hand position, stroke basics, edging, bracing and balance, self and assisted rescues.
Cost: Individual Session - $160
Group up to 4 - $80 each

Session 4 – Kayaking With Waves
A three hour session for kayakers who want to refine their paddling, rescue and boat handling techniques out on the bay in more exposed conditions.
Includes: Weather, rudderless boat handling, close quarters manoeuvring, rescue options, bracing, catching small waves, strategies for dealing with the wind.
Cost; Individual Session - $160
Group up to 4 - $80 each

Session 5 - Safe Paddling for Pairs
Do you paddle with a regular partner? Are you confident that as a pair you'd be capable of rescuing one another if you had a problem, or do you enjoy learning new skills together, so you can go away & practice them as part of your normal paddling routine? We have found that training as a pair is a very effective way to not only take in new information and techniques, but also to go away & work on new skills with a clearer focus on peer appraisal. In this session we focus on safety for paddlers operating as a pair, and techniques & drills which can be worked on later.
Cost; Individual Session - $160
Group up to 4 - $80 each

Session 6 – You Decide
A three-hour session for 1-4 individuals based on a specific technique/s that you want to focus on.
Includes but not limited to: Forward stroke coaching, remounts and rescues for skis, kayak rolling and re-enter rolling, Wave riding sessions, essentially you tailor the session to the skills, techniques & knowledge you feel would enhance your paddling. We're happy to make suggestions based your level of skill & ambition.
NOTE: Ski and Kayak classes will always be run separately.
Cost: Individual Session $160
Group up to 4 - $80 each

Since the training arm of business began we have been heavily subscribed & the feedback has been very positive, not only in general for our coaching & instruction, but also in allowing us to hone in on the things that paddlers most want.

You can contact Rob or Mark to book a session, or order directly through the EK Training page on ONLINE STORE .