Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mine is Lava, Her's is Emerald

After working hard (massage therapy & yoga) for the past couple of weeks to get my back functioning properly again we headed to the MEC Paddlefest at Willows Beach on Saturday. Last year we paddled to the event from Cadboro Bay but this year we were tasked with setting up the SISKA tent so we hauled all the display material in our truck with no kayaks and only the tie down straps. :-)

Arriving bright and early we located the designated SISKA spot along the upper walkway and went to work on getting everything ready. When it came time to put the pop up tent up we recognized that we had left the banners at home so Robyn went to get them while I finished off the set up procedure. The weather couldn't have been any better as we were blessed with a clear blue sky and almost next to no wind. What more could you ask for?? A kayak??

When our 10am crew came along to relieve us of our duties at the tent, Robyn and I ventured onto the sandy beach to check out all the demo kayaks and the ones designated for the MEC / P&H Kayaks Silent Auction. The one condition of the Silent Auction was that you had to take the kayak home with you right from the beach. Sure enough there was a brand new Emerald P&H Delphin 155 along with a few other plastic kayaks of the P&H brand that we were interested in. This might be an interesting day :-)

Robyn located the Coffee Demonstration which she was really wanted to check out as it provided options from the typical dehydrated brands we have been using on our kayak camping trips. No more out of a jar coffees for us in the future, only freshly brewed from now on.

Taking Rowan's Sterling Reflection for a test ride.

While was Robyn was doing her thing I went over to the Ocean River / Sterling Kayaks demo's and took a spin in Rowan Gloag's (The Hurricane Riders) Reflection. I was so amazed at how it handled even on flat water but I got the sense that this kayak really wants to go downhill on waves. :-) It was a great opportunity to paddle such a well known kayak. Yes I want one ..... sometime down the road. It was good to see John, Louise, Paula and Bernie of Kayak Yak checking some of the demo's out and I did a double take when John and Louise took a couple of Sterling kayaks out for a spin. Good for you guys!!!

The next kayak that I wanted try was the new P&H Hammer. At only 13.6 feet it is a hybrid between a white-water and sea kayak. My first impression was that it was super stable and with a simple single forward paddle stroke it could be turned 180 degrees. Performing bow rudder turns I was able to do U-Turns around the marker buoys almost by just touching the tip of my paddle blade in the water and applying and edge. My overall impression was that it was a fun kayak to play in but is probably suited to big rock garden surge channels and surfing.

After my play time, Robyn and I headed over to the Silva Bay Kayak Adventures tent where Hilary Masson and her mom Pat did an amazing job on showing the crowd how to make ling cod ceviche. After sampling the ceviche we decided that we would make a batch for ourselves for dinner that night which we did and it was really quite easy and tasted amazing! Another new kayak camping food to add to our list of possibilities when out on the water. Of course ... I still have to figure out how to catch fish or crabs first.

Robyn in a P&H Scorpio
Next it was Robyn's turn to test ride a few kayaks. She also took the opportunity to speak with P&H Rep Matt Nelson of Body Boat Blade, James Manke of All Things Qajaq, Rowan and a few others about the differences between the P&H kayaks. They pretty well said the same thing about each kayak which reconfirmed our thoughts as well. The MEC Paddlefest was the perfect opportunity to try the different versions of each one and it was evident while I watched her from the beach that she was very comfortable in the Delphin 155. That was it ..... time to start the bidding process.

Robyn test rides the "Emerald" P&H 155 Delphin

The rest of the afternoon we hung around the beach and at the SISKA tent while we waited for the Silent Auction to close at 3:30. As the time got closer to the end of the bidding process it really started to heat up. Even though the bids on the Delphin went a little higher than I thought it would, Robyn made one last bid with a few minutes left and then we held our breath waiting. One by one each kayak winning bid was announced and the Delphin was third up and Robyn's bid of $1050 did the trick. Retailing new for $1695 this was a great deal for a kayak that had only been used the day of the event and only had a few minor scuffs to show for it. Nice!!

So Robyn's previous purchase of the Lava Delphin 155 is now officially mine and her's is the Emerald Delphin 155. Now you know why we didn't bring our kayaks to the Paddlefest and only brought the tie down straps. :-)

Now the big question to consider when we head to the water.... "What kayak do you want to play in honey??"

2013 Paddle #43 Testing Kayaks
Distance:  Not really worth counting
YTD:  232.56 nm (430.70 km)


  1. Did you like Hammer? I have a like NEW one for sale in the Seattle area.

    1. Hi Mark, although I have tried the P&H Hammer it's not the boat for the type of kayaking I am doing right now. I think it might a great surf/whitewater boat as it turns on a dime. A fun boat but not for me.

      I saw your post on the WCP as well.