Thursday, September 15, 2011

Delphin 150 Surf Test

William and I took the chance to test two new P&H Delphin 150s that arrived in the shop this week. We headed to the south end of Folly and beach launched in ~5-10 knots of wind with 3-4 foot surf rolling in: Overall, optimal conditions for us to see what this kayak could do.

We shot some photos which may not be the greatest action shots...but should give a sense of the day and the conditions.

First William’s impressions —

“I found that the Delphin 150 performed nearly identically to its bigger sibling, the Delphin 155. For me at 5' 9'' and 155 pounds, it fit — I didn’t feel like I was sitting in a “Sherman tank.”as I have in the larger boat. I have loved paddling the 155 and feel it is an awesome rough water play boat. My problem has been that it has just a little too much volume for me. I sit too low in the cockpit and feel somewhat swallowed-up by it.

“The new Delphin 150 has a significantly tighter cockpit, lower front deck, and less volume. It feels much livelier to me. I was stable in the waves and really felt one with the kayak. It still had the classic edging, planning, maneuverability and stability of the larger boat. But I felt much more comfortable sitting in it.

“I was also impressed with how well it punched through the waves and the way its high rockered, high volume nose split the water and basically refused to nose dive. I came straight off the edge of several 4-footers and the nose hit the bottom and simply planed out instead of burying. The maneuverability it provides on the wave is unmatched in any other long boat I have been in before.

“I rolled it several times both on purpose and after being knocked over. It comes right over and was much easier for me to roll than the bigger boat.  I really can’t say enough good things about it and if  I decide to add a rough water play boat to my kayak stable this would hands down be the one. Great job P&H!!”

For myself, I generally agree with all that William had to say. I've also enjoyed the larger Delphin 155, and found it to be a great boat to surf, and develop surf skills in. But I've always preferred lower volume and tighter fitting kayaks — and the Delphin 150 delivers. P&H brought their white-water seat and cockpit outfitting into the Delphins, and it gives the boats great comfort, a secure feel, and surprising versatility when it comes to paddler size — we've had shop folk 5' 8'' to 6' 2'' in the original Delphin and I won't be surprised if a similarly wide range of smaller folks can make good use of the Delphin 150.

I spent less time in the boat and more time with a camera pointed at William, but my most notable impressions were of liveliness, of confident maneuverability and responsive edging on and off the face of the waves, and supremely buoyant action when punching out thru the surf, or when you felt another boat might have buried itself. This will be a great confidence builder for students (or anyone) developing their surf skills, and William won't be the only skilled paddler who chooses a Delphin-that-fits as their first choice when they go out to chase the waves.

Stay tuned for impressions form more paddlers and in a wider variety of conditions.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Kayaks Galore

Some of you may have been following and admiring P&H's awesome surf boat the Delphin 155. The only downside of this boat is it was designed for larger paddlers. We just received the new Delphin 150, which has less cockpit volume and is specifically designed for smaller paddlers. Be sure to stay tuned as Steve and I plan to sea test it tomorrow.

We also have a new Aries 155, the composite brethren to the Delphin, and a new highly sought after Cetus HV .

Be sure to come by the shop soon and check out these great new boats.

-- William

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Emergency Shelters have Arrived!

I know it's been a long hot summer but winter is right around the corner and now is the time to start thinking about your winter paddling gear. Sea Kayak Carolina is ready to assist you with all your winter paddling needs.

Speaking of winter paddling, I wanted to let you all know about an awesome new piece of gear we just got in. The Tera Nova Bothy. It is an extremely lightweight and packable emergency shelter.

They are indispensable if you participate in any outdoor activity. Originally designed in response to the need for an inexpensive, lightweight shelter, Bothy bags are increasingly used by mountain rescue teams, outdoor centres and youth groups as emergency shelters. They can be a lifesaver if you have a cold wet hypothermic paddler that you need to warm up in a hurry.

Check out this review from

They also can also provide a simple shelter for lunch stops.

Bothy bags are made from ripstop nylon and are windproof, highly water resistant and very strong.

- Creates a warm internal microclimate
- Durable waterproof seats
- 'UV - clear' windows to view the weather outside!
- Roof attachment for walking pole
- Two, four, eight and twelve person models available

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lots of exciting new gear/programs at SKC

Spring is finally here and our paddling season is off to an exciting fast paced start. We are heartened by the amount of interest our paddling community has been showing in our kayaking programs and events.
I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know of a few new happenings here at Sea Kayak Carolina. First, we are excited to have added Astral Buoyancy Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) to our PFD stock. Please stop by the shop to see some of their revolutionary new designs.

We have also added the kayak NAV-AID, a device developed by Dr. Charles Sutherland, which allows mariners in small open boats to easily accurately determine course bearings from charts in spite of weather and sea conditions. It even includes an instruction booklet on how to use it.

Finally, we have just started a new demo program for our high end Werner paddles. If you are thinking about upgrading your paddle please consider coming by and signing out one or two of our Werner paddles. There is no obligation to buy; we just want you to see the value of using a lightweight performance paddle for yourself.

Happy paddling and I hope to see you on the water soon.

-- William

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What is the big “O”?

Lots of folks have asked what the big “O” means on the Maelstrom kayaks. Mary Ross has decided to get started on her big (4-0) birthday early (it’s not until September 2011!) with the help of her Vital! But don’t tell her I gave away a Southern lady’s age, or I’ll be Yankee mince-meat!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Paddling

This time of year most people put their kayaks up for the winter and start waiting and hoping for warmer weather. For me it's one of my favorite times to paddle. There is very little boat traffic, the water is clear and its invigorating to paddle on a cold crisp day. My girlfriend Debbie and I went out just a couple of days ago and saw dolphins, scores of birds and nobody else except for one lone crab boat making its rounds. What a terrific day!

This doesn't mean you should be unprepared, however, with the water temperature hovering between 45 and 48 degrees, and the air temperature in the 40 to 50 degree range, it can be dangerous — even life threatening. Check out this cold water effects chart for more information.

Please make sure you dress appropriately with synthetic clothing. I use a three-layer approach with a tight fitting breathable base layer, a mid-weight insulating layer and a breathable weatherproof outer shell.

So don't let the cold weather stop your fun: dress correctly, take a warm drink, and extra clothes, then get out there and enjoy this awesome time of the year. See you on the water soon