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Thread: Latest outing with new Gumotex kayak

  1. #1
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    Default Latest outing with new Gumotex kayak

    I don't know why but I could never get away with a hard shell kayak.

    I always ended up in agony from my chronic back issues so avoided them like the plague. Even sit on tops had me knackered after three or four hours, so why I can paddle my gumotex solar 410c all day is a mystery to me but one I'm happy with nonetheless

    I've been a bit distracted of late and when there was nothing else to do, the wind or general weather condition's made it a non starter to go paddling but anyway, the other day I decided to go for it, packed the car and took off.

    Here you go, cracking conditions with a fair old breeze but not that cold;

    This was silver bay which was nicely sheltered.


    This was heading back down the lake, strange but when you consider inflatables are supposed to be hammered by the wind, I seem to be making good progress



    cheers

    Steve
    Last edited by rancid badger; 21st-September-2017 at 03:37 PM.


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

  2. #2
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    Forgot to add; I was using a "MUVI" npng go-pro alternative. A LOT cheaper than a gp but a bit erratic in the sound recording department, the first 5 or 6 clips just had an odd buzzing noise which slowly dopplered down to nothing, most strange but you do indeed get what you pay for so.............


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

  3. #3
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    Glad to see you're still getting out and about Mr.b
    There's a Bluebird in my heart

  4. #4
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    Nice one Steve.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  5. #5
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    I think you might be winning me around to a gumotex.

    Have you paddled a packraft before? Curious to how diffrent they feel to paddle.

    I have a packraft, but hardly ever use it as most of what i want to paddle is lochs and sheltered coast lines. I just dont enjoy paddling the packraft on flat water, especially if its windy at all.
    Been looking at buying a sit on top or canoe on and off for the past year or so, but from watching your videos and bit more research, it seems the gumotex's are a bit more enjoyable to paddle, despite being an inflatable also.


    Is there much diffrence in what wind/weather conditions you would tackle between an inflatable or your rigid canoes?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trig View Post
    I think you might be winning me around to a gumotex.

    Have you paddled a packraft before? Curious to how diffrent they feel to paddle.

    I have a packraft, but hardly ever use it as most of what i want to paddle is lochs and sheltered coast lines. I just dont enjoy paddling the packraft on flat water, especially if its windy at all.
    Been looking at buying a sit on top or canoe on and off for the past year or so, but from watching your videos and bit more research, it seems the gumotex's are a bit more enjoyable to paddle, despite being an inflatable also.


    Is there much diffrence in what wind/weather conditions you would tackle between an inflatable or your rigid canoes?
    I've never paddled a packraft but did come close to buying an alpacka last year but decided they were too expensive and in any case, really not what I was looking for. I'm pretty sure packraft type boats are more suited to flowing water or shorter water crossings than covering miles under actual paddle power. Nothing wrong with that but not what I was after. They definitely have a valid place among serious paddle craft, they're small pack size and light weight making them invaluable for certain types of adventuring or expeditions but also for casual pottering and exploration-just take a look at some of "Crows" bloggs and you'll see what you can get up to with an alpacka for example.

    I always notice how alpackas etc "nod" as they are paddled, even by apparently skilled and experienced paddlers, I guess this is due mainly to being short in length.

    The Palava was good when I got it (still is of course), it paddles, to me anyway, exactly like a canoe with a single blade but you can easily pour on some power with a kayak paddle if you want or more importantly need to, in changeable conditions.

    The Solar is something else again however. It tracks well with its 5 section hull forming a keel along with a detachable skeg which slots into place on the rear of the hull. It's not quite as stable as the Palava presumably because its a fair bit narrower. The real clincher is the half decent speed you can achieve in a fairly straight line, much quicker than any open canoe I've paddled ( with a single blade anyway) and leaves the palava coughing dust so to speak

    Neither of these boats is realistically "back packable", the palava is 17kilos and the solar is about 15kilos if I remember the figures right. Manageable but I wouldn't want to carry either for more than a few hundred yards in their packs.


    On the weather question:

    No, not really.

    I never deliberately set out into conditions that are already challenging to be honest but the conditions on lakes and lochs can change with little warning and quite often the forecast wind directions and strengths are miles out in reality.

    I wouldn't take either of my gumotex boats (Or anything other than a decent sit on top or kayak) on open coastal water in anything but flat calm. Sea lochs would be okay up to a point but I'd be wary of exposed areas and wouldn't paddle more than maybe 100-200 yds offshore but that's just me and knowing (and setting) my own limits I guess.

    I'd happily consider either of my boats for the likes of the Shiel circuit with no reservations at all. (indeed plans are already afoot for next season)

    Probably not much help really

    cheers

    Steve
    Last edited by rancid badger; 22nd-September-2017 at 07:23 PM.


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Pirate View Post
    Glad to see you're still getting out and about Mr.b
    Thank you.

    I've been out a few times this year, I just tend not to bother posting up the trips so much now that turdbucket has pulled the plug. It takes literally hours to upload a 5 minute video to youtube with the broadband speeds we get here and it's just not worth the effort posting without some visual media in a trip report or blogg or what have you.

    I rather like the pump hull emoji !

    Thanks also to Mal too by the way

    best wishes

    Steve


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

  8. #8
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    Yeah,i did originally buy the packraft for river trips and to combine with hillwalking, but i never really got into it, much prefer paddling lochs etc. So i bought entirely the wrong craft, seemed a good idea at the time
    When its loaded with my backpack on the front, the side to side isnt really too bad. Biggest annoyance is the speed. Im not looking to go super fast, but when people walking along the lochside can easily keep up or overtake you, thats a bit slow for my liking, and sanity.


    Interesting info about the gumotexs though, thanks for that.

    Shiels a nice looking trip, i actually just watched a video earlier of someone doing it in a Zpro inflatable.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trig View Post
    Have you paddled a packraft before? Curious to how diffrent they feel to paddle.
    I paddled a Gumotex Safari for several years on the Thames and backwaters around Oxford. (Sold it to make way for a folding kayak, now gone.) After I moved to Dumfries, and I knew for sure that light weight and packability were the most important features for me (no car) I bought a packraft, but sold it after 3 outings. Partly that was due to the limitations of my local stretch of river, and the effort it would take to go anywhere more interesting. But if you can disregard the weight and (comparative) bulk, the Safari was a far better boat. Being a self-bailer, it had to raise the paddler above the water level, so it had an inflated floor with an inflated seat on top of that, and felt much more solid than the packraft; true, the packraft has an inflated seat, but it rests on a "hammock" floor. If the packraft went into shallow water, I'd feel it with my bum first of all. The Safari would ground the bow first. The relatively higher air pressure of the Safari had a lot to do with it. 3 psi (if I remember correctly) is better than the basic bladder-boat Sevylors, and a lot better than the inflate-by-mouth packraft, which felt bendy and floppy. (I've noticed with interest a modern trend to drop-stitched inflatables that will take 8-10 psi.)

    The Safari, being a couple of feet longer than the packraft, was a lot less prone to the side-to-side effect of a double paddle. Also, since I was sitting higher, I could keep the blade closer to the side tube. I admit, the Safari was no speed merchant. I could usually keep up with people walking along the riverside. But I went out once with some kayakers in plastic hardshells of about the same size as the Safari, and struggled to keep up with them. However, in the packraft with its yawing, and the "sea anchor" of the underwater bulge where the seat was, I wouldn't attempt to maintain even a leisurely walking pace.

    Conclusion: Packraft if you want to paddle water where you have a long walk to reach it, or if you are going down a river where the current will do all the work. If you're dependent on your own paddling effort to get where you want to go, use a longer and higher-pressure inflatable.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trig View Post
    I think you might be winning me around to a gumotex.

    Have you paddled a packraft before? Curious to how diffrent they feel to paddle.

    I have a packraft, but hardly ever use it as most of what i want to paddle is lochs and sheltered coast lines. I just dont enjoy paddling the packraft on flat water, especially if its windy at all.
    Been looking at buying a sit on top or canoe on and off for the past year or so, but from watching your videos and bit more research, it seems the gumotex's are a bit more enjoyable to paddle, despite being an inflatable also.


    Is there much diffrence in what wind/weather conditions you would tackle between an inflatable or your rigid canoes?
    Most Gumotex boats are fairly low profile so catch less wind than many other inflatables. I have paddled mine in winds of around 25 mph. In those sorts of conditions they feel fine, but you're pretty aware that if you fell out and weren't tied to the boat then it would disappear down wind pretty quickly.

    The Solar that 'rancid badger' (steve) now has is one of the faster inflatables out there. Don't get me wrong, it's not lightning fast but you should be able to keep up with plastic boats of a similar length. I read an owner's review of its predecessor the Sunny where the guy claimed he had no problems averaging 3.5mph and could get it up to a top speed of 5.6 mph.

    Steve's also right about its packability. Once you're knocking on for 20kg it starts to become quite unpleasant if you're walking any sort of distance, although a better rucksack than the supplied dry bag would probably help.

    Gumotex's Twist 1 might be worth a look. It's only 7.4kg, packs down small and comes with a skeg to help with tracking. There's info and a vid of it being paddled here http://www.gumotexboats.com/twist-n-1-green. It's only eight and a half feet long, so it will inevitably be slower both than the Solar and the Safari. (I have an old Safari and it's a bit slower than the Sunny/Solar but not catastrophically)

  11. #11
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    (apologies for semi derailing your thread, but then we are in off-topic )
    Alright, thanks. They certainly sound far better than to paddle than what i was imagining.

    My only problem is i still cant choose what im better with.
    Im more inclined to coastal paddling,not always sheltered, which id rather a sit on top for. But then i cant really be arsed with the roof racks and loading etc that entails. Which is what makes the gumotex type so appealing to begin with. But then if its bad weather and i wouldnt go out on the inflatable, i likely wouldnt chance it on the sit on top either. But then conditions can change when your already out, so id be more confident in the sit on top.

    Suspect i may have to flip a coin on it.


    Side question -- Would the material of a gumotex withstand dog claws?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trig View Post

    Side question -- Would the material of a gumotex withstand dog claws?
    I think it would (the standard nitrilon - I've no experience of the modern lightweight version). I grounded my Safari on gravel frequently, tied it up to metal landing stages, bounced it off rocks and branches, without leaving a mark on it. (I tried to avoid broken glass and barbed wire.) If carrying a dog, though, I'd probably put a bit of non-slip mat on the floor, which would make the dog more comfortable as well as protecting the boat.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  13. #13
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    The rubberised material is very tough but I wouldn't know for claws. I personally probably wouldn't want to have a dog in my boats these days, I'm pretty sure the claws wouldn't actually puncture the boat (very confident actually) but I'm equally sure they would leave scratch marks and scuffs that in turn would pick up dirt leaving the boat looking a mess in short order and potentially weakening the material.


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

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