29 October 2012
Thinking about a summary of the test-sessions, I concluded I needed more information about changing course in windy weather; especially because I improved the grip on thighs and knees.
Today it was bad, rainy weather with 6-7 bft. at sea and approx. 4-5 bft. on the Alkmaardermeer.
So I paddled for an hour in the rain looking for the windiest places on the lake.
When changing course into the wind this is very easy as the kayak wants to weathercock a bit sending you automatically in the desired direction.
When you want to turn downwind it is a bit different: first you proceed every stroke a bit to the desired course but when you are almost parallel to the waves it is less easy to turn further. At that moment the improvement of the contact for knees, hips and thighs in the cockpit is an enormous improvement. You can edge now much better when parallel to the waves; always a bit tricky position when you want to edge. Not that the turning goes very fast; every stroke a bit. I can imagine that less experienced paddlers cannot perform this yet in that position. For them there is the solution to drop the skeg completely to get the kayak leecocking for a moment: that helps.
About this subject it is not necessary to worry about the Etain because a lot of seakayaks are difficult to turn downwind in waves.
Furthermore I can repeat that, in de conditions of today, the Etain could be trimmed easily with the retractable skeg.