Monday, 2 November 2009

Fat Paddling....

On a really lovely spring afternoon in Sydney yesterday, I was joined by Sean Smith, the world famous Fat Paddler on a demo paddle of a couple of our boats. Sean is a real character, an ex Rugby player who has spent a bit of time lately recovering from a serious car smash that has cut short his footy, & left him in need of a new physical challenge. He set himself to do the Hawkesbury Classic, a 111km race from the foot of Sydney's Blue Mountains to the mouth of it's biggest river, which he completed last weekend after 6 months of training. He's documented everything on his excellent website,
Yesterday was all about giving our two big blokes boats a run, so we went for a paddle around Middle Harbour in the NDK Explorer HV and the Valley Aquanaut HV. Sean's been paddling with a rudderred boat since beginning his Hawkesbury Classic quest, so it was a new thing to get into a design where directional stability is more dependent on your core strength & body weight distribution, as opposed to your big toes. He got the hang of it pretty quick, as I tend to expect from people with a sporting background, and was soon getting the boats to head in the generally desired direction, despite a building sea breeze mostly on the beam. We rounded Grotto Point into some small wind chop, & Sean did what all good demo paddlers should do, & pushed the boat in bigger water past his comfort zone, into the liquid zone. I reckon you never learn much about any boat unless you're prepared to fall out of it!
After a quick rescue we rode the building wind waves back into the shelter of middle harbour & spent half an hour working on the holy grail of all kayaking, proper body rotation. All up a beaut arvo on the water with one of Sydney's paddling characters. Keep an eye on the Fat for updates on Sean's adventures!


Anonymous Sean Smith - Fat Paddler said...

There goes another bloody pair of sunglasses to the depths off Middle Head! You'd think I'd learn to fall out somewhere nice and shallow! ;)

2 November 2009 14:49  
Blogger Mark Sundin - Expedition Kayaks said...

Right, so now do you think the EK complimentary sunglass retainer was pure marketing.....?

2 November 2009 17:20  
Anonymous Sean Smith - Fat Paddler said...

I was really hoping you weren't going to bring that up... ;)

2 November 2009 17:23  
Anonymous Bryan Hansel said...

It's really fun watching Sean's adventure in kayaking. It's like going back 12+ years to when I started.

I'm up to two pairs of lost sunglasses. My last pair, I was trying to show off by doing a hand roll in a kayak that I'd never tried that in. I threw my glasses in the cockpit under my skirt. Tried to roll. I didn't come up. Tried a couple more time, then decided to retrieve my paddle. It got stuck and I punched out, and my $100 glasses went to the depth of the lake.

3 November 2009 03:09  
Blogger Mark Sundin - Expedition Kayaks said...

One of my best investments was a pair of Chums with a foam backstrap. I can surf with my sunnies on now, and haven't lost a pair for years. The strap cost me $5......

3 November 2009 08:40  
Anonymous Sean Smith - Fat Paddler said...

Your strap cost me ZERO but didn't work real well sitting on the passenger seat of my car. Why is it that every time I hear the word "edge" I mistake it for "tip over and show us your assisted rescue technique....."??

3 November 2009 15:55  

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