The original plan for today was paddling along the coast to the so-called sandmotor: A project in which an enormous amount of sand (20 million m3) is used to create a peninsula reaching into the sea for almost 1km.
For kayakkers this is a new experience where other waves and currents can be expected. I was eager to inspect these new conditions.
Unfortunately the wind had been very strong the whole week resulting in a very disturbed sea. Because today was also windy (predicted 6-7bft) and because thunderstorm was predicted, Hans and I decided to paddle on the river LEK. We expected nice waves with the wind blowing against the current.
First we paddle against the current. Again I like the stability of this kayak and I feel quite at home in the strong wind, blowing against my left side.
The rudder does its job perfectly but I noticed that I had to steer about 20 degrees higher up to follow the desired course. This is a bit more than Hans' kayak Tahe-Greenland, which steers up approx. 10 degrees.
When I lock the rudder the 18XS weathercocks significantly and I had to work hard to keep course. It could be done, but is not advisable for a beginner.
After our pause we return, now being pushed by the current of the river. What a pity: the waves are much lower than expected.
As we paddle on the north side of the river, the 18XS is easier to steer because we catch less wind over there.
We also exchanged paddles. Two paddles contrasting 100% with each other: a carbon Greenland paddle versus a carbon Epic MidWing. When I used the midwing Hans' kayak was no match. But when I took the GP, I could keep up with Hans, but not more than that. It was not easy to paddle faster than Hans, now using my midwing. The GP paddles conveniently OK, but there is no secret reserve to speed up anymore. This proves that, although a GP is a good paddle, that a wing is much more efficient. More proof is that when Hans took his Werner-paddle he paddled immediately 1 km/h faster. For me, paddling a fast 18XS but with a greenland paddle, that was hard work. Personally I concluded that I still love a conventional- or wing-paddle more than a Greenland paddle because I like it to have some reserves to speed up easily. With a GP I can go rather fast but cannot speed up any more like with a wing. On the contrary: certainly a GP performs very well in heavy weather. The choice is personally.