Getting used to the Etain (Valley) - testsession 1

18.07.2012
Shortly ago Leo bought an Etain and gave me permission to test her. Thx :smile:

To get used to his kayak, I paddled on a Wednesday-evening a short trip in heavy weather: 5 Beaufort SW and heavy rainfall.

Underneath my first impressions:

The stability is very good: it feels pleasant and trustworthy. Also when paddling parallel to waves.

The seat is comfortable but for my knees the knee-grip under the cockpit-rim is unpleasant because the kneecap fits in a groove which is too narrow. It is certainly necessary to apply some foam there.

When paddling with the wind directly from behind, the Etain is a little bit course-unstable; trying to wander off course slightly. (even with the skeg is dropped completely).
When the wind comes not from straight behind, but under an angle, the kayak is perfectly balanced and easy to trim with the retractable skeg.

It can be mentioned that when waves come rolling in diagonally from behind, the course the kayak is following, is almost not disturbed.

Paddling in waves when the wind is blowing from aside, the kayak weathercocks only slightly and is easy to trim with the skeg. When the waves are lower in these winds, the kayak weathercocks a bit stronger but still very normal.

The Etain is very course-stable and thus less maneuverable. But it can be mentioned that the kayak responds well to sweepstrokes and edging/leaning. Not that the kayak turns quickly, but every stroke a bit of the course-correction you want to make. This kayak is made to paddle straight on and eat up miles; like a big ship on the wide, lonely sea

Finally I would like to mention that, in the short waves this evening, the Etain paddles very dry with minor spray on the front deck.

To be continued.

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