Despite the Easter weather, characterised by snow, strong winds, and cold temperatures, we were finally ready to test the prototype of our self-built wooden kayak. After five months of hard work and applying the final coat of lacquer, we couldn't wait to take it out on the water. Even though the conditions were not ideal for a test paddle, our curiosity got the better of us. We were joined by our good friend Christian Remøy, who would take pictures and provide feedback on the kayak.
We chose a picturesque local harbour called Borgundgavelen as the testing location since it was the only viable option on such a day. Questions raced through our mind. Did the kayak turn out the way we had envisioned? How would it perform in the water? What would it feel like to paddle? What about stability and rolling?
As soon as Edd sat in the kayak, he received instant feedback. It was like activating sensors. First, we had to adjust the seat slightly forward to find the perfect balance in the kayak. Then, we started paddling around. It turned easily, but it became clear that we needed to install a retractable keel to improve directional stability. Initially, we had considered testing it without the keel, but it quickly became apparent that it was necessary.
Edd performed a storm roll with the kayak, and it resurfaced smoothly. He also tried a few other tricks, which went well too. However, to truly test the kayak, Edd knew he had to venture out into the waves. That's where it belongs.
After the first test trip, we can conclude that this looks promising. Despite challenging weather conditions and some adjustments that need to be made, it seems very promising. We look forward to continuing the testing and fine-tuning the design. Building our own kayak has been an exciting journey, and this initial test trip has given us even more motivation to continue.
Stay tuned for more updates and our experiences throughout the building process!