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Thread: Gumotex Palava

  1. #1
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    Default Gumotex Palava

    Maker's Spec

    Length 3.80m
    Width 90cm
    Packed Size 55x40x25cm
    Weight 20kg
    Max Capacity 240kg
    Main Features 3 Main air chambers, deck lines, leg straps, wooden seats. Foot pump and ruck sack included.

    Maker's Write Up
    The Palava is an inflatable canoe for paddlers who prefer to paddle Canadian canoe style, however kayak paddles can be used. The Palava is paddled in a kneeling position with a sling seat for comfort. This position enables the paddler to have good contact and control over the canoe. The load carrying capacity of the Palava allows you to take everything (except the kitchen sink) when you go off on camping trips. Best-paddled on flat water, bays, estuaries, lakes, ponds and rapids upto grade 2/3.

  2. #2
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    Default Gumotex Palava inflateable

    Hi

    I have just bought a Gumotex Palava inflateable. The reason was for space and ease of carry for travelling. I wnet to the os outdoors show and took a good look at all inflatables. I had intended on getting the The Colorado but on closer inspection decided to go for the Gumotex Palava.
    The gumotex is longer and because the paddling position is the same as a traditional open canoe theres plenty of space for your kit if you want to do an over night camp. Due to the sitting position in the Colorado all the space is taken up as leg room. Both were very well made and will go on grade 3 WW. although the Gumotex can do grade 4.
    The gumotex is made of the same material as white water rafts used by commercial rafting companies which proves how strong they are. i'm not sure of the materials of the Colorado.
    If i remember correctly The Colorado RRP is 399 and the Gumotex palava is 529. However i got mine from Desperate mesures in nottingham. They did it for 425 plus i got 2 paddles and 2 bouancy aids half price.
    On top of that they did next day delivery for free.
    The Service i got was fantastic and there staff test all canoes that they sell. so they have first hand experience

    the Gumotex doesn't look as pretty as The Colorado but is more robust.
    we have been out twice now and loved it.

    Hope this helps Good luck
    Garreth

  3. #3
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    Default

    I guess the Gumotex Palava is probably closer to the solid body in as much as it is paddled in a kneeling position, but the missus wanted a more comfy sit down and as an Electrician I spend enough time on my knees so I can't say I argued.

    I paid £299 for my Colorado (from Adventure Supplies UK), so it seems I got a good deal. It should get its first dip this weekend. I'll send pics and feedback as and when I can.
    Last edited by Dave07; 12th-April-2007 at 09:01 AM. Reason: posted in wrong place

  4. #4

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    Hi guys, i'm new to the forum myself having just bought a sevylor colorado for a bit of leisure on the local canals or lake. However I think later on I may well get a better inflatable as the colorado doesn't track too well at all (slightly improved now i've added 2 fins to the tracking runner at the back). I'm also not really a fan of boston valves or PVC inner chambers. Can anyone tell me what the quality of the nitrilon construction and valves is like with the palava? Also i'd really like to know how the tracking of the palava is, as it looks like there is nowhere to attach a fin or skeg?
    Thanks for any replies in advance and happy paddling.

  5. #5

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    I have a Gumotex 'sunny' rather than the 'Pavlova' but I'm pretty sure the material and valves are identical. The valves can be a little bit fiddly but if you pump the canoe up well the valves are fine. they also hold air well and the material is very well made and tough from my experiances.

    I've had my boat for about three years now and been out about two or three times every week. It lives in my car boot and has been generally used and abused. It regularly gets ground over river beds and sandstone/ concrete. It has also been rammed full speed into a concrete canal side. It has only a few surface marks, not really even scratches and has held up better than I could ever have expected. My boat has a skeg which I never use but I don't know if this is an option for the one you are considering. If my boat is anything to go by they are very well made and fast in terms of inflatables.

  6. #6

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    Thank you very much for your reply Aardvark, the sunny does seem quite similar to the palava so I would imagine both perform about the same. It's good to hear that they are very tough, my main consideration tbh. How does the sunny fare with tracking when it hasn't got the skeg, does it go in a straight line on the thin canals or are you constantly correcting it?
    Thanks again and please can anyone shed any light on the palava, especially as it has no skeg ?

  7. #7

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    The sunny is only about 13 feet long and paddles well both solo and tandem. I generally kneel and using a single paddle correction is needed every stroke in terms of a J or canadian etc to travel in a straight line. I think you will find this on most boats this length, even with many of the shorter plastic boats.

    Having said all that it has quite low freeboard and is much less affected by the wind than other boats. I also think that I have progressed better in terms of paddling technique due to the need to correct more and hence you get more practice per mile than if I had a bigger boat, if you see what I mean!! I do also borrow some 16 ft plastic boats frrom time to time and they feel very slow to react and very easy to paddle in a straight line in comparison, I guess in ideal conditions they track better.

    In the end I love this boat and it is the best money I think I have ever spent, if it did develop a problem I would replace it without a second thought!! Hope that helps.

  8. #8

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    Has anyone had any experience of the newer sunny model (with litepack interior) ? Or the litepack boats in general from gumotex, I notice one is even litepack on the outside (twist). How do they measure up to the old gumotex boats in general, any opinions on this litepack stuff ?
    Thanks in advance.

  9. #9

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    I haven't had any experiance of the newer material but I love the old lay-up. The weight boat I have is not a problem and the main concern I have is that they have reduced the strength on the inside. I often canoe with a dog in the boat and I'm not sure how this would wear with the newer model. Hope this helps.

  10. #10

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    That is exactly my concern too Aardvark tbh, it looks like I won't be able to get a hardshell so i've decided on a sunny. The litepack interior looks pretty flimsy though compaired to the older models, and after ringing round about 30 shops it seems nowhere sells these anymore. I reckon i'll just chance buying the newer one as the sunny seems the best all round inflatable I could buy. I'll try lining the floor with thin camping mats or something and see if that makes them a bit tougher. Thanks for the reply again Aardvark

  11. #11
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    Yoshi

    You can get the older model from Ebay Germany,

    http://search.ebay.co.uk/search/sear...trypage=search

  12. #12

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    I have been thinking about upgrading my Sevylor Rio to a Palava, but just wanted some opinions on how well it tracks when paddling solo. The main reasons for me wanting to change boats is I want something I can paddle more "traditionally" ie, kneeling down and with a single paddle, plus the extra space would be an added bonus.

    Is it worth buying or should I just stick with my Rio?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoebike View Post
    I have been thinking about upgrading my Sevylor Rio to a Palava, but just wanted some opinions on how well it tracks when paddling solo. The main reasons for me wanting to change boats is I want something I can paddle more "traditionally" ie, kneeling down and with a single paddle, plus the extra space would be an added bonus.

    Is it worth buying or should I just stick with my Rio?
    My husband and (then 17 year old) son have paddled Palavas solo. Hopefully here are links to videos of them.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=N9k76WlzNc8
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4L_9bxaV5D0

    The first one my husband is using a 'J' stroke and son is using a 'goon' stroke.

    The second is my son again using the 'goon' stroke.
    Hope this is helpful.

  14. #14

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    Thank you, those video's have pretty much answered everything I wanted to know! I'm sure i'll get one now.

    Many Thanks!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoebike View Post
    Thank you, those video's have pretty much answered everything I wanted to know! I'm sure i'll get one now.

    Many Thanks!
    Cool! We think they are great! Hubby says they are easy to transport and fun on the water.

  16. #16

    Default gumotex palava

    Hi, I'm a new member, I've just bought a palava myself, having saved up all my christmas and birthday money (I was 36). Having read the post from canoe bike and one from somebody else much earlier on, about ebay Germany, I thought I would add my two pence worth. The company arts-outdoors that you can find in ebay Germany supplied the boat that I have just bought, not only was it cheaper by about 100 quid than anywhere in the uk, but the guy that I dealt with 'Jan' was just about as helpful as anybody can be.. As I had been saving for such a long time I was determined to get my moneys worth, this reached the point where I had looked at so many websites my wife was considering filing for divorce on the grounds of neglect. But after exhaustive research, and countless questions back and forth to my new friend 'Jan' I entrusted him with my savings and was overjoyed when the parcel arrived at my door 5 or 6 days later, I think the postage was only about 10 euros aswell. Trouble is I haven't used it yet, I'm afraid I'm a fair weather paddler, and It's been too cold thus far, but I really can't wait.

    One further tip, e-mail him personally don't buy straight from ebay, and you can ask him for his best price, to include any extras you might want aswell.I just checked my invoice it was 540 euros, which was significantly better than anywhere else, and as I said the service was faultless. After all that, you've probably bought one already, anyway hope that helps.

    Please pray for good weather for me for next week as I'm hoping to take it out for it's maiden voyage on the little ouse with my wife and daughter, fingers crossed .

  17. #17

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    I have had my Palava for a couple of months now and it has pretty much met my expectations with a few exceptions...

    It's a nice size, plenty of space for day touring and i'd imagine a few days camping. It generally tracks very well when paddling solo with a single bladed paddle (much better than other inflatables I have used, but can't compare to a hardshell).

    Due to it being quite narrow and you sitting quite high up it doesn't feel as stable as my previous Sevylor Rio, any sharp turns and you feel like your going over.

    Like most inflatables its quite hard to paddle into the wind and any sudden gusts from an angle can send you spinning in circles.

    It doesn't take to long to inflate, but due to its size it takes a bit longer than most other inflatables. One of my favourite things is how quick and easy it is to dry and pack away. The canvas outer shell on my old Rio took ages to dry out, so once I got home i'd have to pump it up again to let it dry properly... The Palava can be dry in seconds if you use a towel and is then easily folded up into its quality bag (which can also be used as a large dry bag once your on the water).

    The boat does scratch very easily, you wouldn't believe mine was only a couple of months old and only so far used on a calm canal. Not so bothered about the lighter surface scratches as its only cosmetic, but some are quite deep and I wonder how long it will be before I get a puncture...

    I'd highly recommend this canoe, it must be one of the best inflatables on the market, although I still find myself wanting a second smaller/lighter boat that I can use for quick after work paddles in the summer as I feel the Palava is better suited for longer trips.

    Edit: Here is my boat in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZEoBCuixBk
    Last edited by canoebike; 11th-April-2008 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Added video to canoe review

  18. #18

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    To answer Yoshi's question

    I have a couple of Gumotex Twists that use the new packlite material -

    It is quite thin compared to the material on my Solar and is really only suitable for very light use where there are no rocks.

    It takes a while to dry and attracts the dirt

    Having said that it should be fine for the inside surface of a bloater

    It should make the whole thing much lighter as my Solar is a heavy old thing.

    My girlfriend and daughter love the Twists but they do need a skeg to prevent them going around in circles!

  19. #19

    Thumbs up Yummy Gummy

    Further to my message last week, took the palava out on the little ouse (between snow showers) paddled a couple of miles from thetford to santon downham without a hitch. It was great, loved the boat, and the river. I'm by no means an expert on canoes, but it did everything I needed it to, we weren't in a hurry however...

    Lots of room, very comfy, manoueverable, all round very pleased, can't wait to go again

    Russ

  20. #20

    Default czech boats

    Hi, I am new to this forum, also to paddling as I'm considering to buy an inflatable boat. After circa one month of browsing the web I found plenty of pages (this page is one of them-and I like it a lot) and plenty of boats (stern, sevylor, gumotex....), finally I thought I've found the one I want and that was "palava" (so I don't have to look at toys anymore ). But then again I've found this page: http://www.hgsport.cz/catalogue/cata...ats-67.html#L3
    (it's a Czech web shop-EN version) where you can find boats from other Czech manufacturers - not just gumotex. So I considered again and came to this: palava is a great boat but for bigger load or for WW the new BARAKA from gumotex is better suited or you can look at RIO (WW 4 - http://www.kutlici.cz/ just in czech) or YUKON (http://www.robfin.cz/en/ EN version). For pics of boats: http://www.cvok.cz/index.php?content=_fotogalerie
    Czech travel agency where you can see plenty of ordinary people in PALAVAs, RIOs and ORINOCOs in action (just in czech) here and there also from the bottom side.

    So I hope this will help someone, my personal favorite is the RIO (not the one from Sevylor).



    and this is the new baraka from gumotex also for ww4


    Last edited by mayo; 16th-May-2008 at 11:01 PM.

  21. #21
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    Has any one took one of these on white water? If so are they as good as I imagine?

    Cheers
    Tim
    Cheers
    Tim


    Paddles a Prospector

  22. #22

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    The Baraka is a very nice looking boat, it looks quite wide compared to the Palava so I imagine it might be quite stable! It also looks quite similar to SOAR inflatables!

    I have only paddled my Gumotex on flat water (canals/rivers) so can't give an excellent opinion but there is a video somewhere on youtube of one being used for white water - just found it: it looks a bit flexy...

    Edit: This is not my video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0RFRXjzYM8

  23. #23

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    It's a French test. Hope it helps

  24. #24

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    I really like the look of that Rio, Is that the model or manufacturers name? are they available in the UK? It looks great, shame I can't read Czech.

  25. #25

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    Rio is a model name, the manufacturer is Petr Kutlvaser ( therefore www.kutlici.cz I suppose ). You can have it in 3 versions ( standard, stronger bottom and long version ) http://www.kutlici.cz/vyrobky.htm#RIO . The "stronger bottom" and "longer" versions are manufactured on demand. I really don't know if this boat is available in the UK but you can ask the manufacturer : pavel@kutlici.cz .

    Pics of details (standard version):















    Note: Firefox has some problems with the pictures on the above mentioned web page (or it's me?) so try another browser
    Last edited by KeithD; 5th-June-2008 at 09:28 PM. Reason: Photos not showing

  26. #26

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    That rio looks like a good quality craft! Not so keen on the self-bailing hole though...

    I am updating my previous review on the Gumotex Palava, as my previous one was based on only a handful of outings/early impressions.

    I have now lost count of the amount of times I have used it... First of all all the negative things I originally pointed out, i'm taking away - it's perfect!

    Stability: Now I have very much got use to it, I find it very stable, even when doing sharp turns and in choppy water (wake from big boats etc..) - it feels very safe!

    Handling: On calm days it is quick (compared to other inflatables using kayak paddles), with practice goes in a perfect straight line using a single bladed paddle (but also turns on demand with ease). In windy conditions, it isn't as bad as other inflatables - I used it in 20mph+ winds a while back and it was harder work, but we still managed to keep it fairly straight (both with and against the wind - 2 people paddling it).

    Space: I find myself taking more and more stuff in it each time and there is still loads of space - ideal for camping trips (still not done one) or day touring. It easily folds away into a nice size as well!

    Set-up time: I used to use a sevylor foot pump to inflate it, took quite a while, but since upgrading to a 2 way stirrup pump its inflated in no time! Dry's out and packs away in minutes as well!

    Scratches: Previously I mentioned how easily the boat scratches - yes it does still scratch, but after seeing how the chambers are constructed they really aren't that deep, and I can't seeing it getting a puncture very easily - I scraped it over some rocks last weekend and got grounded, only very small, light cosmetic scratches like you would get on a hard shell (and it was easy to bounce my self off the rocks).

    Portage: When it is deflated it can be carried around in a rucksack/dry bag it's supplied with- although I find that this makes my back ache/straps dig into shoulders quite hard if I carry it for to long. Once inflated it is quite awkward to carry as the handles are designed for two people use - if your on your own it can be a bit awkward carrying it using the ropes on the "gunwales" - not a problem if you are just going round a lock, but for longer walks i'd recommend getting a portage trolley - easy to just chuck all your gear in the boat and push it along!

    Other notes: When paddling solo I find it easiest to paddle using the middle seat - I started off using the front seat with the boat facing the other way round, so you sit slightly off centre but the front twitches more this way, so best to stay as central as possible. I find it easier to paddle in the kneeling position, this is probably personal preference and it is comfy both kneeling and sitting. Like most canoes sitting is a bit more wobbly.

    I have made a new video - some clips & pics are old and some are new.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq-5_bAtCZ8

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    Regarding the seats, does anybody happen to know whether the wooden seat is supposed to be rigged below the PVC bracket, or on top of it?

    According to the manual it should be on top of the bracket, but first tests showed that my Palava is getting somewhat asymmetrical once Im actually taking a seat.

    After looking at the picture posted earlier in this thread http://www.gumotex.cz/sys.php?action...c=picture/shop (however a different boat type),
    I came to the conclusion that this might make the Palava even more stable.
    But Im not sure whether that would tear off the brackets.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Tiefenrausch; 4th-August-2008 at 04:48 PM. Reason: adding further text

  28. Default

    Never mind, tested it today and it worked beautifully...

  29. #29

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    I have the seats on top of the brackets (shown below). Would you be able to take some pictures next time your out to show how you have it as I am not quite sure what you mean? - You have the seat underneath the bracket so it is inbetween that and the canoe? (Link in your previous post doesn't work).


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiefenrausch View Post
    Regarding the seats, does anybody happen to know whether the wooden seat is supposed to be rigged below the PVC bracket, or on top of it? ........................After looking at the picture posted earlier in this thread
    The photo you refer to shows the seat rigged between two "PVC brackets" .....



    ............... although in some shots you can't see the bottom bracket so it seems to be below it.
    Keith

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiefenrausch View Post
    Never mind, tested it today and it worked beautifully...
    Interested to try this now, as I know what you mean... A bumpy stretch can end up with the seat not sitting level and I think this would fix it.... hmmmmm....

    Would like to think that the forces 'pulling' the seat patch from the sides is the same whether the seat is on top of or below the flap...
    Gumotex Palava

  32. #32
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    I was enquiring about these boats a canoe shop recently and he made a call to gumotex re availability of the Barakka as they are apparently hard to come by. The news that came back wasnt good. It would appear they are about to increase prices on both the barakka and pavlova by about 200 each something about exchange rates and some other mumblings

    That would make the Barakka about a grand.

    Nice boat but not that nice



    .

  33. #33

    Default palava

    This is a original picture from gumotex, it should answer the question "what is the right position of the seat".


  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
    I was enquiring about these boats a canoe shop recently and he made a call to gumotex re availability of the Barakka as they are apparently hard to come by. The news that came back wasnt good. It would appear they are about to increase prices on both the barakka and pavlova by about 200 each something about exchange rates and some other mumblings

    That would make the Barakka about a grand.

    Nice boat but not that nice



    .


    The baraka's price in Czech republic is 21900 Czk (including 2 gratis paddles at hgsport.cz), exchange rate is 1GBP=30,96Czk so the price is 707,4GBP if you buy in CZ. Don't know the price in UK

  35. #35
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    5p short of 800 at the moment in the u.k but if they do put it up to 1000. I really cant see anyone buying it here for that price. Buying direct from Czech Republic will incur additional taxes as not part of the EU. I havent done my sums but I reckon there is a good chance it would still be cheaper to ship order and ship from Czech rep.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
    5p short of 800 at the moment in the u.k but if they do put it up to 1000. I really cant see anyone buying it here for that price. Buying direct from Czech Republic will incur additional taxes as not part of the EU. I havent done my sums but I reckon there is a good chance it would still be cheaper to ship order and ship from Czech rep.

    Sorry my friend but CZ is in the EU, try this http://www.hgsport.cz/catalogue/items/460.html
    Don't know if they ship to UK but the price could be better.

    Just clicked the link, it shows in czech, you have to click the small red EN positioned on the picture in the top/right corner.
    Last edited by mayo; 16th-August-2008 at 03:06 PM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayo View Post
    Sorry my friend but CZ is in the EU,
    Sorry Mayo I dont know why I thought otherwise. For some reason I thought it wasn't

    DanDan

  38. #38

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    I've had a go at soloing them now, very easy to paddle.
    It gets a little more interesting in strong winds, but it was very high on the water and I wasn't very experienced at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by canoebike View Post
    Scratches: Previously I mentioned how easily the boat scratches - yes it does still scratch, but after seeing how the chambers are constructed they really aren't that deep, and I can't seeing it getting a puncture very easily - I scraped it over some rocks last weekend and got grounded, only very small, light cosmetic scratches like you would get on a hard shell (and it was easy to bounce my self off the rocks).
    Thats very good to know. It's a little worrying paddling next to a bramble bush.
    Lone wanderer. Random ponderer.

  39. #39

    Default Gumotex Sunny

    Hello everyone! My first post, and I'm going a little off-topic already as I have the older Sunny, rather than the 'Pavlova' as one other poster called it
    I've found the material to be very strong - I was a little unsure as to how rugged an inflatable could be, but since using several times to go down the River Ardeche and running it over rocks (or slamming into rocks), it's barely scratched.
    Windage is a problem, and I tend to use a kayak blade with mine, although a single works too, on the occasion that I use one.
    I notice they've amended the seat construction for the 2009 model, but all-in-all these Gumotex (what a name!) seem to be very well put together, relatively quick to inflate, very easy to deflate and keep clean.
    Cheers,
    David.

  40. #40
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    New video on YouTube

    YouTube - Gumotex Palava

    Wish mine would go that fast!

    Obviously no paddling hard enough!

    James
    Gumotex Palava

  41. #41
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    do all palava owners have that guitar riff in their heads as they paddle?
    out of interesdt, anyone able to point out the handling differences of palava v colorado and what you gain from the extra cost of the palavA? cheers then!

  42. #42
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    I didn't have that guitar riff in my head but I have now!

    Our Palava doesn't go that fast on flat water either but you should see it surf!



    Took it surfing this week and it's awesome...OK not as good as the
    kk's but still loads of fun, and then you can fold it up, bung it in the van and away!

    We paddle ours on the river too, as long as you use the thigh straps...you don't want to get bounced out on the frothy bits.
    Last edited by Three Coats; 30th-May-2009 at 08:48 PM.

  43. #43
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    Default Gumotex Baraka

    I bought a Gumotex Baraka last year, there's still a lot of people in the Czech Republich that take to the rivers over the summer season. I was looking for a boat that was easy to transport and could take our camping gear for a week. My first choice would have been the Palava as I've seen quite a few of them on the rivers here and even packed they only take the space of an 80l Dry pack. during the time I was making my decision gumotex came out with the Baraka, even though it was still a very new model when I bought it, i decided to take the plunge and go for the Baraka imho it is more stable than the Palava that I tried, and for me more ashtetically pleaseing.
    We've been out in it a few times now and are very pleased with it. I can paddle it on my own with no difficulties.
    There are a couple of bad points however, it's a pain to carry over any distance (packed) the shoulder straps are a nightmare and if you're having to carry the camping supplies as well it can be hard going.
    secondly scratches, the material does mark easily but when all said and done it is still very strong, we grounded ours and at that moment I thought we were going to tear it, but it held up with a few superficial scratches on the underside.
    I'll try to write a full review (with photo's) when I have the privilages.

  44. #44

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    I've got a mangled left knee and can't paddle kneeling - have to sit up. Can anyone comment on what the Gumotex Pavala or Baraka are like to paddle sitting? Canoebike (above) commented that the Pavala was OK to paddle sitting solo. I wondered if anyone had tried sitting whilst tandem (from the photos it looks like the leg room might be a bit tight?).
    Thanks.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teucer1440 View Post
    I've got a mangled left knee and can't paddle kneeling - have to sit up. Can anyone comment on what the Gumotex Pavala or Baraka are like to paddle sitting? Canoebike (above) commented that the Pavala was OK to paddle sitting solo. I wondered if anyone had tried sitting whilst tandem (from the photos it looks like the leg room might be a bit tight?).
    Thanks.
    the palava has more than enough room for sitting when riding tandem
    'solelymarine' has both the Palava and Baraka on special offer at the moment and they will always cut a deal

  46. #46

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    Thanks for the info. I did buy a Palava (eventually) and finally got it onto the water this week. Pleasant paddle on the River Lea - 2 up, both sitting. Very comfortable and a good day out. Looking forward to many more outings this summer.

  47. #47

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    Given how much this thread benefited us while looking around before eventually buying it, I better add a link to our initial impressions of the Palava.

    Nothing much to add to it - we are still rather happy with it after a season (though only used for weekend trips in Germany (*)). We've gone paddling twice as much as the last year, simply because it allows enough flexibility to decide during breakfast that we would like to go paddling today (during the main season, local rentals are often booked out days in advance ).

    A question came up after we went for a day paddling trip around last Xmas - how tolerant are inflatables of the winter conditions? This time around we went without a worry, due to the nice weather. With regular canoes, winter paddling is only a question of the paddlers' motivation & clothing, but is there something special to consider with the inflatables? Or is frozen ground/ice/etc. only as dangerous as any other root/branch I would encounter during summer?
    --
    (*) For our summer trip in Slovakia/Hungary, we didn't take it. The rest of the team used normal canoes, we carry too many sharp objects, plus while we happily leave the boat outside the tent in the German campings, we were worried about how easily it could be stolen...
    Planning to get my friends abroad for the 2013 summer canoe trip. Blogging the experience and process at http://blog.myrivertrips.com

  48. #48

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    It appears there is a new version of the Palava coming out. I haven't seen it for sale on any uk websites yet, but here is a link to the page on the Gumotex site http://www.nafukovacilode.cz/nafukovaci-kanoe-palava-1. It is a lot more pleasing to the eye than the old one and is lighter and a bit longer I believe.

    (ex-palava owner and allround Gumotex fan)

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddles View Post
    It appears there is a new version of the Palava coming out. I haven't seen it for sale on any uk websites yet, but here is a link to the page on the Gumotex site http://www.nafukovacilode.cz/nafukovaci-kanoe-palava-1. It is a lot more pleasing to the eye than the old one and is lighter and a bit longer I believe.

    (ex-palava owner and allround Gumotex fan)
    Free Uk delivery 1st dealer in the UK to supply
    http://www.solelymarine.com/gumotex-...-400-197-p.asp

  50. #50

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    Just thought i'd add my 2 penneth to this. We picked up a used Palava from Solely Marine a few months back; reason being we have a, nowhere to store an open, and b, transporting it on a campervan (fibreglass roof) would be risky and end up damaging 3k of roof. Initially, after seeing the literally dozens of sevylor Hudsons in use on Derwent water last year while we were there, we were going to go for one of them but after reading up on the potential issues we settled on a Palava; ours is the older 2 seat model with the trapezoid, slanted seats. The previous owner has installed a 3rd seat fitment, slightly rear of center for solo paddle, and Rob at Solely marine kindly knocked up a 3rd seat for us.I took it out for its 1st proper paddle yesterday and i'm reasonably impressed, about 5 minutes to blow up the main chambers and a few seconds for the spray decks, it didnt need topping up with air at any point during 4 hours of paddling and even with my "big boned" brother in the bow seat and me ain the stern and a day pack, it handled the 3.5 miles of canal then 4 miles of river trent well. the noticable thing is how any wind has an effect on the tracking. The big bonus for us is how quick it packs down too, undo the valves, and within 5 minutes it's all back in the pack and in the van.If space is limited then it's a viable alternative to an open, but it is limited. 2.5 people up, you'll struggle to carry any more than a day pack. 2 up and an overnight camping kit would be snug but do-able.

  51. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent. United Kingdom
    Posts
    11

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    I purchased a used Palava as an upgrade to my sevylor rio. The palava has a few advantages. I is a single skin craft made of 'nitrilon' similar to the material used for white water rafts. The valves are very robust, unlike some of the sevylor valves which are made with lilo type valves that are prone to split (rio has these for the floor and seat bladders).
    The rio had pvc bladders in a tough outer skin, which was externally robust, but the bladders could give way at the seams, or burst if not inflated carefully. The Palava inflates to a higher pressure so is stiffer, it is much easier to dry as it has a single skin so does not trap water between the skin and the bladder. the material itself is a reinforced rubber affair so does not absorb water. You can wipe the boat down with a towel and stow it immediately. The Palava comes with a dry-bag fitted with shoulder straps which makes carrying quite easy (though you would not want to carry it too far). Once inflated the dry-bag can be used to stow any equipment that need to be kept dry.
    I have used the Palava extensively for the last two years, mainly on the sea, from March till October. I use it for fishing and have never had a cause to worry about punctures, but common sense should be exercised at all times. I paddle solo (mostly) with a kayak paddle and the Palava makes good progress fairly easily, but don't expect it to be as fast as a rigid canoe. I am confident in gusts of around 25 mph but avoid going out if anything stronger is forecast. A few white horses is no problem for the Palava. 'Windguru' is a website for kitesurfers and is a good place to check prevailing winds. Inflatable boats are obviously more susceptible to being blown about in a strong wind, so certain precautions should be observed. Be extra cautious if the wind is blowing offshore, you wont notice the wind on the way out, but maybe shocked at how hard it is going the other way. Try paddling a short distance with the wind, then turn around and paddle against it to gauge the difficulty. If paddling out to sea you must be prepared to expend four times the effort paddling back to shore, than was used on the way out. Do wear a personal flotation device and ideally go with a companion. A mobile phone can be carried in a snap lid sandwich box. If going out alone, know your limits, let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to return.
    If you account for the limitations of inflatables, and need the advantages (interior space, storage, transport) the Palava is an excellent, rugged, forgiving craft. The kneeling position suits my aging spine. Only part of your weight is on the knees (which have a fairly easy ride on the inflated bottom), with the rest perching on the wooden seat (you might need a bit of padding on this after a few hours).
    Unless you are an expert with a single paddle, a skeg is well worth the investment. This is a strong plastic affair that slips into a patch that is glued to the bottom of the boat.
    I have had days of fun in my Palava, spending up to nine hours at sea at a stretch. I have seen porpoises, bottle nose dolphins and seals up close and am looking forward to my first sighting of a basking shark.
    If you are looking to buy an inflatable, it's definitely worth paying the extra for a Palava (over the bladder and outer cover types).
    But you can't buy mine. I love it too much.

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,133

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    25mph winds? Anything forecast over 15mph I won't go out even in my kayak.

  53. #53
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent. United Kingdom
    Posts
    11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamiemagee View Post
    25mph winds? Anything forecast over 15mph I won't go out even in my kayak.
    I did refer to 'gusts'. Better weather websites show mean windspeed and gust speed. A stated mean wind speed at the coast of 15 mph, could quite easily equate to gusts of 25mph a little way off shore.

  54. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,133

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    Very true. Wouldn't like to be in an inflatable though. Need to try a gumotex at some point.

  55. #55
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent. United Kingdom
    Posts
    11

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    I went out in my palava last saturday, to Cuckmere Haven. Went down the river and out to sea. Marvelous weather, excellent fishing, and to cap it all saw a leatherback turtle!! Duly reported it to the marine conservation society. I gather we get them visiting here occasionally to feed on our jellyfish (good luck to them). What a treat that day was.
    All in all it was yet another excellent reason to get out on the water in your canoe (like you needed a reason).

  56. #56

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    Hi, I know this is an ageing thread but it has been very useful to me and i have finally bought a Palava 400. Thanks for all your help. Its a great bit of kit and our family have enjoyed paddling in the sea at Croatia and a local lake to our home.

    I bought a skeg, but there is no place to put it. I read above that you have to glue a patch to the bottom which the skeg then slots into. Does anyone have any details about the patch? I cannot see it on the Gumotex website.

    Kind regards,

    Ringo

  57. #57
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    913

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    Solely Marine do Gumotex accessories.
    http://www.solelymarine.com/accessories-27-c.asp
    If the skeg you bought looks like the one on their list, then you only need to buy the skeg holder and glue it on to your boat.

    If you have the older style of skeg, which has 4 L-shaped brackets secured by bolts and wing-nuts, then you need a different kind of patch. In that case, tell me, because I think I may have a spare one in my loft somewhere.

    Mary
    Not in Oxford any more...

  58. #58

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    Thanks Mary - thats great. It will be interesting to know what difference it makes.

    Ring

  59. #59

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    Dealers Tip: After replacing a number of pressure relief valves under warranty only to find they have only a bit of sand in i recommend all gumotex users to flip off the top of the PRV and fit a small circle of fine gauze approximately 22mm this will ensure the valve still operates and doesn't get sand in.
    Solelymarine

  60. #60

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    Im thinking of buying a palava but id like to fit myself,partner and two girls aged 7 and 10 to paddle solely on the norfolk broads. Could this be done? Otherwise i am looking at the scout ,but ive heard its hard to control if you're on your own....and im a complete amateur! Can anyone here give me some advice?

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