Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tiderace- 2010 On the Ground.

The latest versions of the Tiderace line arrived here yesterday.
The 2010 models continue the evolution of Tiderace boats with the 'Infusion' process now employed for construction. Resin Infusion is a process by which vacuum draws resin into a dry fibre laminate in a one sided mould. A rigid or flexible film membrane is placed over the top and sealed around the mould periphery. Resin infusion is considered a “Closed Mould Process”.
The benefits of resin infusion when compared to non-vacuum bag curing of composite laminates include;

- Better fibre to resin ratio
- Stronger laminate
- Low void content
- Reduces operator exposure to harmful emissions
- Reduced resin usage due to pre-compacted fabric

In basic terms, for the user, it translates to stronger and lighter boats.

From Aled... "The Xcite is the product of many years of development in pursuit of building the ultimate ‘advanced boat’. We define an Advanced Boat as one which does not intrude into paddling performance: a boat which turns when you want to turn, accelerates when you want to go faster, remains stable and composed on the water when things get a little scary and surfs a wave just as you imagined."

Tiderace Boats are available to demo anytime. We will also be hosting a Tiderace Demo & Owners meet on Tybee in late March /early April. Details to be announced soon. .

Photos of current inventory will be posted here later.

Editers note.
In an earlier post we mentioned the 2010 Tiderace models were a 'pre-preg' construction. This is not the case. We were mistaken and sorry for any confusion or emotional stress this may have caused.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Art & Bike Ride = Double Happiness.

A message from the Savannah Wheelies

This Friday 1/29, we roll from the Jepson Center with 2 art/tech stops on the way as part of the Telfair’s PULSE festival.

Come to the Jepson early to see Copyright Criminals at 6pm.

Ride at 7pm. We will cruise through Medeology Collective’s Interactive Installation in York Lane on the way and finish at Matt Hebermehl’s wall blast at Atwell’s on W Broughton. We will follow up with some socializing at T-Rex Mex. Don’t miss it!

Helmets opptional, Lights essential.

And now for some Single blade action....

And some cool paddle cam action...

....we love junya, too

Thanks to Jim for the links.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Local Paddlers in Film Fest.

Coming to Savannah - Jepson Center

MOUNTAINFILM ON TOUR February 12th and 13th, 2010
The City of Savannah Tourism and Film Services Department is pleased to announce that the Telluride MountainFilm Festival On Tour will be showcasing their best films in Savannah on February 12th and 13th.
The festival features short films dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.
For more information on the Telluride Festival event please visit:

Where & When:
The Jepson Center for the Arts
207 W. York St. Savannah, GA 31401

Friday, February 12, 2010
Program: 8:00pm – 10:30pm

Saturday, February 13, 2010
Program: 3:00pm – 5:30pm
(Family-friendly material with adventure, environmental, and cultural films for all.)

Cost: $10-Adults $5-Children

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Surf Jam 2010 -Details Leaked.

This years October Surf & Jam will once again be hosted by SC&K ,with chief sponsorship from Saltwood Paddles. The event will also be a fund raiser for a local charity.

" As well as offering a wooden shafted paddle or two for prizes we hope to give away a kayak" said a spokesperson not permitted to talk in public. Attendance is expected to exceed 23 entrants with many more watching.

SC&K will be following up the Surf Jam with a Sea Kayak Surf Jam later in the winter.

"The Sea Kayak Surf Jam will be a two day event with classes and instruction by local coaches on day 1, followed by competition /jam style event on day 2". Judging will be by 'vox populi' with score cards given out to spectators on the beach.

"The only person we will be flying over from Britain will be the DJ." said the unofficial spokesperson.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Next Pool Session: Saturday, Feb. 6th

The winter pool classes kicked off this weekend and were a great start to the 2010 paddling season.
Outside conditions were cold, wet, and not condusive for practicing support sweeps, sculling draws, braces, and sculling for support. Of course the pool was the perfect place to do this and more. Four came for an instructional refresher, and two made use of the shallow end for some upside down greenland style ww boat crossover time.
Thanks to Ben L. for the loan of the ever fantastic Pyranhas.

Next Pool Session: Feb 6th 2:00-4:00 - We will have a closer look at bow rescues, powering the roll through the torso, and the Re-enter and Roll self rescue technique.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wilson & Perry Join Tiderace Kayak Team

We are pleased to announce this latest addition to the U.S Tiderace Team. Cherry Perry and Turner Wilson are widely know and recognised as among the top aficionados of the Greenland style paddling technique.
I lent my Tiderace Xplore S to the couple during their visit here to the Tybee Symp last October (And a thanks to Martha for loaning her Xcite S).Turner was quite taken with both the fit and handling of the kayak and commented "Its the best boat I ever paddle that I did not make myself".
Known for their kayak building workshops and traditional skills clinics around the globe, Cheri and Turner will shortly be taking delivery of the Tiderace Xplore S and the Xcite S.
Tiderace Kayaks are designed by Aled Williams and were originally to be called Inuit Kayaks. The boats are made in Finland to a very high degree using the 'infusion' construction technique.
To catch a class and workshops with the sustainable qaannat kattuffiats check their schedule.
The pair have just finished remodeling an old barn in Maine and look set for a great year ahead. We are sure they will rock and roll these boats to their fullist. Welcome to the team and all the best.

If you want to demo a Tiderace Kayak call us and we'll arrange a free paddle session.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pool Classes start Saturday

That's tomorrow saturday.
We have a couple of spaces for tomorrows class which will focus on strokes and balance. Cost is $50 per person or if you just want to come and practice your roll technique cost is $25. No sea kayaks allowed. We will supply ww boats and some rec boats. Let us know if you want to bring your own boat.

Next Pool class is on Feb 6th and will focus on support strokes and rescues.
Then Feb 20th - Rolling prt 1.
and Mar 6th Rolling prt 2.
Make use of this opportunity to get a jump start on the fast approaching paddle season.

Everything is at the Aquatics Center on Sally Moode Drive from 2-4pm. Arrive at 1.30 to change and gear up.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 News Round-Up.

The next big thing?...well maybe.
If I was still Program Director at Summer Camp I would be all over this 'sectional' kayak thing. This modular kayak was, once again, designed by someone with no kayaking background whatsoever. Some of the design criteria was that the kayak must be easy to store and fit in an elevator! ...Apparently lots of people who live in inner city high rise apartments are into kayaking, or at least want the 'right' to be.
The sections can be easily snapped together to make any length, or paddled individually. Group management just got a whole lot easier...what a blast!
Made by Fluid and Point 65 we think these 'units' will be their best sellers yet.

Food for thought.
The opposite of a 'sectional' is a one piece.
Question: When a Greenland paddler switches to a Euro paddle are they still using a one piece?
Answer: Yes, I am.
Whitewater paddlers and Greenland paddlers alike know the benefits of having a solid shaft between their blades and the total connectivity of use and user.
Another Question: Was the take-a-part paddle designed by a non-paddler with the criteria that it must fit in the trunk of a car and be cheaper to ship?
Or did they just say.. "Let's make an inferior paddle for sea kayakers who will not know the difference."?

Thanks to everyone who has invited us to join their 'My Face' cyber networks. We greatly appreciate the offers, but unfortunately we must respectfully decline. Not big into the whole social networking theme, SC&K much prefers the old school approach of just 'hanging out'. You are all more than welcome to stop by anytime for a cuppa and a chat about boats, paddles, music and disaster relief.

Drain love them or you hate them. I must confess my indifference, but was quite taken by a new invention now on the market I saw in Drain Plug monthly. How about a plug with the screw thread sticking up, that is the same size as your everyday disposable water bottle cap? Wow!FNORSM. I can't find the story to publish the link. Let me know if you have it.

The local Chatham County bald eagle population is slowly on the increase, we think.
We now have two nests on Little Tybee, one at Skidaway, and one at Bonaventure.

And finally...the circus is in town. No, this time it really is. I thought The Circus died out in the last century after the raised consciousness about the welfare of wild animals performing tricks. Remember the black bear with the metal ring through it's nose dancing in the high street.? And the three ton elephant in the ring standing on it's front legs !!
Life will be no less enjoyable without animals in the circus arena. Will you just say 'no' to the frickin' Circus, and let's move on.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First Class - Surf Class of 2010.

The air temps have finally gone up a notch or ten and it feels great to get on the water after nearly a three week hiatus. The very likeable Elizabeth and Jay stopped by Tybee on their way south and we were able to get them kitted for a Surf 101. Waves were small and the wind was biting, but we were able to prep them for future better sessions down south. The avid whitewater boaters from Kentucky maintained a high level of enthusiasm throughout the class and were great first students of 2010.
Pool classes start next Saturday...still a couple of spaces open for the 23rd Jan.
The year of the Tiger is going to be fierce....let's get it on!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From A Paddler in Iraq

"Hello Kayaking Sensai's,

I had my grandmother send me Eastern Horizons DVD in the mail for Christmas. I knew that Tybee was in it, but what I didn't know was my favorite southern transplants were. It was so great to get to see some of the scenery in the film and think, "I've paddled right there." Then y'all showed up and made my day.
I can tell you this. After being here for 2+ months I have come to miss paddling greatly. During my time of seclusion from the rest of the world at Ft. Benning (where I did my basic training) the thing that was constantly in my mind and heart was the hills and woods of Kentucky. Here in Iraq, the thing that possesses my thoughts its kayaking.
My time on the water on the GA coast has become precious to me. It was there that I discovered something I can be truly passionate about in my life. Paddling. I just want to thank you both for taking me under your wing. Thank you for your willingness to show me the ways of the paddling lifestyle. I can honestly say that you guys, and the way of living you introduced me to, has and will continue to change my life.

Your Grasshopper,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Saltwood Paddle Company - Hush Hush.

Did you ever want to design your own paddle and get it made ? Well, soon you may be able to.

We are glad to spill the beans about a new paddle manufacturer soon to launch onto the paddling scene. Many of us were very sad to see the sudden demise of the family run Lightning Paddles a few years back and have eagerly awaited for a replacement...not just in body, but in also mind. Saltwood may just be that replacement.
Werner are at the top of the game. They make a fine carbon paddle without doubt, but should there not be an alternative in terms of design, construction, quality and thought.. after all, paddling is a very personal 'mind space'. Mitchell make some fine whitewater paddles, but are a little heavy and lacking a good sea blade.
"Every man paddle his own canoe" said Captain Fred Marryat.
Do we really need strange chaps in white coats writing 'paddle' prescriptions for us ?

Up until about 8 years ago Richard Davis and Mike Robinson made wood strip kayaks at their 'Carretta Kayaks' company. Since that time they have both continued to be deeply immersed in the world of wood and composite materials. Aside from an accomplished woodworker, Mike Robinson does warranty work for various kayak companies includingNigel Dennis Kayaks . He is constantly modifying and repairing a steady stream of canoes and kayaks, and just about anything else constructed of wood, carbon, fiberglass and Kevlar. Richard Davis has been living on the west coast and studying in depth modern composite matrix least that's what he told us. Apart from their skills on the factory floor, the two of them are also very well accomplished sea and whitewater paddlers, instrumental in the creation and evolution of the Southeast paddling community and industry. Mike told us they are still working out a few ideas in several areas of the paddles components, but the basic construction techniques were down.
"We hope to be able to offer a service where paddlers can send us their blade design and we'll make it." said Mike about future projects at Saltwood.

The paddles we have been demoing at SC&K are all one piece wooden shafts with carbon blades.
The lightweight shafts have an offset index board for each hand and the blades have a foam core back. They are warm to the touch and pleasing to the hands (both hands have a reference grip). They catch, they flex, they release with a pleasurable and simple effectiveness.... Greenland paddles for Euro paddlers !

Saltwood will be launching 1 piece straight and bent wooden shaft sea kayak paddles, along with a whitewater paddle and surf kayak paddle in the Spring.

Stay tuned for more details and info about Saltwood coming soon.
2010 is about to get interesting.

Snowy Britain.

In the middle of it's worst cold snap in thirty years the entire British Isles sit under a blanket of snow. Never seen that before. !

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 9am.

Volunteers are needed to continue trail installation work on natural walking trails in Bacon Park Forest. The work plan includes trail clearing activities and removing non-native invasive species.

Volunteers should be sure to wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes with socks, and may bring work gloves, bypass pruners and loppers if they have them. Refreshments, community service hours and tools will be provided. Onsite parking is available at the intersection of Skidaway Road and Bonna Bella Drive .

Driving directions from Savannah : Travel south on Skidaway Road past DeRenne Avenue. Turn left at the intersection of Skidaway and Bonna Bella Road (there will be a traffic light and convenience store on left). Just east of intersection look for Savannah Tree Foundation parking signs, and park in the grass lot to the left, just past the consignment shop. Bacon Park Forest volunteers will meet across Bonna Bella Road at the tables.

Sea Shepherd Scores Big Hit

The Eco Warriors we love to love scored a big hit in icy waters yesterday against the Japanese whaling fleet.
In their signature move of getting between the grenade tipped harpoons of Jap whaler terrorist and the whales themselves, the Ady Gil was almost cut in half in quite heavy seas. The very hairy incident, captured on video, was with a whaler security ship which can clearly be seen to change course towards the boat. The crew were unhurt and rescued from the Ady Gil which is taking on water and expected to sink quite soon.
Sea Shepard has been implementing Operation Matilda ever since the Japanese whaling season began in November in the cold southern oceans. Ever since this time the Steve Irwin and the Ady Gil have been shadowing and engaging the whaling ships masquerading as research vessels, constantly dogging and out-maneuvering the accompanying security vessels.

The very high tech carbon painted Ady Gil was a recent donation to the affirmative action agency just last October, after it completed a round the world high speed record attempt. The boats intended use in the front line war with marine poachers was to rapidly deploy into the line of fire between the harpooners and whale pods.
The boat was undetectable to ships radar and was mounted with thermal imaging equipment and a 10,000 Watt speaker system. Whoever was driving the Ady Gil during this devastating encounter seems a little slow on the throttle and wheel.
Although the loss of this boat is a set back to the immediate protection of south seas whales, the ultimate outcome is probably worth it's demise. Commercial whaling is a completely barbaric and unnecessary business that should have ceased over 100 years ago. The fact that it is still in operation and endorsed by governments is a sad reflection on that country and humanity.

For volunteer and job opportunities with with Sea Shepherd click through the link on the left, or make a donation of your own water may even 'go down' in the line of duty.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kayak Events for 2010

Mark your calendars and plan your trips.
A Surf competition events calendar coming soon.


9-11 Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium, San Francisco, CA.

19-21 Zoar Outdoor's 5th annual Demofest, Charlemont Mass.

23-1 Sweetwater Kayaks Florida Symposium, St. Petersburg, FL.


7 Quiet Water Symposium, Lansing, MI.

13-15 Canoecopia, Rutabaga, Madison, WI;

20-22 Northern Alabama Whitewater Festival, Short Creek and King's Bend;

20-22 22nd Annual Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival, Steamer's Lane, CA

27-29 Paddlesports 2009, The Jersey Paddler, Brick, N.J.

27-29 Southwest Kayak Symposium, San Diego, CA.


4-5 Virginia Collegiate Canoe & Kayak State Championships Fredericksburg, VA.

6 Wavechaser Nor Cal Paddling Series Relay from Berkeley, CA.

17-19 East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival, Charleston, SC.

23-26 Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo, Minneapolis, MN.

25-26 Stonycreek Rendezvous Johnstown, PA.


29-1 The River Network’s 2008 National River Rally, Sawmill Creek Resort, Huron.

2 25th Ann. Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race, Memphis, TN,

7-9 Mid-Atlantic Kayak Festival & Demo Days. Annopolis, MD.

8-10 Reno River Festival, Reno, NV.

9 36th Manasquan River Canoe & Kayak Race, Howell Park Golf Course.

15-16 The Kayak Fishing Classic, Ft. Myers, FL.

15-17 Adirondack Paddlefest, Old Forge, NY.

15-17 HRL Paddlefest 2009, Denton, NC.

15-17 River Rage, New River, WV.

18 Paddle & Portage, James Madison Park, Madison, WI.

21-26 Immersion Sea Kayaking Skills Symposium, Kachemak Bay, Homer, AK,

22-25 17th Annual West Michigan Sea Kayaking Symposium, Big Blue Lake, MI,

22-24 CKS Festival, Buena Vista, CO,

23-24 Yampa River Festival, Steamboat Springs, CO ,

23-24 Buena Vista Pro Rodeo, Buena Vista CO.

25 Gunnison River Festival, Gunnison,

25 Third Annual Paddling Life Pro Invitational, Steamboat Springs, CO ,

29-30 Canoe Poling National Championships

30-31 US Team Trials Glenwood Springs, CO.


30-7 National River Cleanup Kickoff Week, (865) 558-3595,

4-7 Teva Mountain Games, Vail, CO,

5-7 Maine Canoe Symposium, Bridgton, ME,

12-14 Wenatchee River Festival, Leavenworth, WA.

12-14 Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, CO.

12-14 Animas River Days, Eureka, CO

12-14 MEC Toronto Paddlefest, Toronto, ON Canada.

11-12 New England Intermediate Rough Water Symposium. RI

17-21 FIBArk,, Salida, CO (719) 539-6916,

18-21 Fiddlers on the Trent Festival-Musical Canoe Run, Frankford, Ontario,

19-21 Payette River Experience, Garden Valley, ID.

20 2nd Annual Jackson River Paddle, Clifton Forge, VA.

20 4th ann. White Water Race and Jazz Festival, Wingfield Park, Reno NV,

26-28 Gunnison River Festival, Gunnison,CO, http:///


1-5 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National Championships, West Forks, ME. 207-285-7356

2-12 Great Hudson River Paddle (150-miles; 3 community festivals), Hudson River Valley Greenway,

11-12 Potomac Fest Potomac, MD.

30-2 USA National Wildwater Championships, Deerfield River/Zoar Outdoor Center, Charlemont, MA


13-16 Ladies of the Lake Sea Kayak Symposium, Houghton, MI.

31-6 ICF Freestyle world Championships, Thun Switzerland.


5 214th Annual Deb martin Memorial Slalom Race, Greys River, 303-733-2471

5-6 Ottawa Rodeo, Beachburg, Ontario Canada

13-14 Blackwater Challenege, Watertown, NY

19-20 American Whitewater Gauley Fest, Gauley River, W. Va., 828-713-5825


28-31 Sea Kayak Georgia Skills Symposium

30 Tybee Island Surf Jam.

29-7 Nov Calusa Blueway Paddle Festival

Newbie looking for Stable Wreck Boat: Must be under 10'', and fast,very stable for paddling lakes and rivers, interested in running Class IV whitewater and maybe ocean too. It needs to be light too and have a large seat for my big butt.
How many cupholders does a good stable boat have? How hard are these to lift onto my motor home? Can't spend more than $500 for both boats for the wife and myself. Where are some good paces to fish and drink alcohol while paddling?
DO I need a wet suit?

A joke...
Saturday morning I got up early, put on my long johns, dressed quietly, and slipped quietly into the garage to put the kayak on the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour. There was snow mixed with the rain, and the wind was blowing 50 mph. I turned on the radio and discovered that the weather would be bad throughout the day. I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. There I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, "The weather out there is terrible."
My loving wife of twenty years replied, "Can you believe that idiot husband of mine is out kayaking in that shit?"