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How I know I’m not *really* serious about kayaking…

If I was, there’s no way in Hell that I’d have gone in to work today – I’d’ve spent it on the water instead. Today was simply glorious… and the extended forecast? Rain. Straight through the weekend. Temps in the 50s, but still. Lotsa lotsa rain.

Eh. Oh well. Spring is well underway, even if the water is still really bloody cold. I managed to pick up some secondhand semi-dry gear in great condition this past winter (w00t! Craigslist!); now’s as good a time as any to see how well it works, right? That and some Capilene long johns and I should be fine.

On a semi-related note, I’ve recently learned about this new boat:
[thumbnails link to full-size image; images originally from here]

Current Designs’ 2007 Raven

Big deal, a red boat; so what. Okay, so look at it here:

Current

Gosh, it’s like a kayak, only smaller!

Yup. It’s scaled to kid size, with all the features you’d expect of a serious adult hybrid/light touring kayak. Current Designs has been offering this new Raven model in limited production for a few months; according to a factory sales rep I emailed, they’re just now gearing up for full-scale production.

In addition to this new model from Current Designs, Wilderness Systems is also introducing a kid-sized sea kayak. WS’ boat is plastic, unlike the CD boat which is composite; there’s about a 4kg difference in weight, but there is a fairly substantial price difference. The WS boat is also scaled for a slightly larger child, with a bottom weight of 28kg or so; the Raven starts at 23kg (23kg or so is where The Boy should be by the end of summer – that’s also the lower bound of most of the adult-styled floatation vests).

There’ve been a couple of niche builders out there for a while who make ‘yaks for kids, but this looks like the first time that any of the major manufacturers has decided to build a full-featured kayak for kids instead of offering a glorified recreational boat. I don’t know if this is a cyclical trend or not, but I hope it lasts a few years – the niche builders’ boats are competitive in price, but not once you add shipping…

So… Bet you can’t guess what we’ve got The Boy signed up for this summer (among other things).

Really? What gave it away?

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