It’s time to get another canoe. Erik is comfortable enough in canoes and kayaks now, having been part of the winning team in the 2015 Pacific Cup canoe and kayak sprint races, that he doesn’t need to always be the third wheel in the canoe with little to do.
There is almost no shopping to be done, to be serious for a minute, there is practically zero competition here on the West Coast for canoes. It’s Clipper or nothing. Yes, yes, MEC sells canoes too, but they don’t have any solo canoes that match what we’re looking for.
Our keywords: #fast #straight #racing #exercise #sitandswitch #singleblade or #doubleblade #tripping
Only two fit the bill, the Solitude and the Freedom. We used to own the Solitude, and while it is a fantastic canoe, it completely sucks when the wind picks up if you aren’t carrying a huge load. It is a fantastic tripping solo canoe, and fantastic for workouts if the wind stays calm. But the minute the wind picks up it acts like a giant sail because of how high it floats. I told it to fund the Tripper, which was a necessary step to get Anita and Erik into canoeing! Good move, Jens, it worked! 🙂
Western Canoe and Kayaks, makers of the Clipper boats, lent us the Freedom to test out on a nearby pond. It is spectacular. It is just a foot shorter than our Tripper, at 16’7″, but is considerably narrower (22″ versus 35″). This width makes it an ideal boat for Erik to practice his kneeling C-1 paddling, and he can easily just keep his bum in the seat for workout days so he can focus on his stroke instead of his balance.
I’ll use it to burn calories, primarily, but I’m also hoping I can actually trip with it. If I go solo, I carry very light gear (maybe 50-75 pounds total) which will still leave me with acceptable freeboard to handle moderately washy waters. We’ll see how that works out later. Right now we’re socking up our dollars so we can buy the ultralight Kevlar layup ASAP. This fiberglass one we tested is heavy!