In July I was on a brief visit to Canada and Michigan where I participated in the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium.
On one of the tours I was on there was a beautiful three-part almost golden Valley Pintail, and the owner, a local coach named Belinda, let me have a go in it in the waves.
It was such a fantastic boat.
A few weeks later, again back in Venice, I spotted a notice on a British blog that Valley Sea Kayaks would terminate a bunch of older Valley models, including the Pintail:
Valley Sea Kayaks have just announced that they are intending to rationalise their range of sea kayaks. … The result of this rationalisation process is that certain models are to be discontinued permanently.
The last date for placing orders with Valley is the 31st of August this year so anyone considering purchasing one of the soon-to-be discontinued models has just over a week to make a decision and place an order.
I wrote to them, and Joshua from Valley answered by email:
Yes this is true, the Pintail will be discontinued at the end of this month.
So, I had a few days to decide if I wanted a Pintail or not.
There’s no Valley dealer in Italy, which complicated matters a bit, but in the end I ordered a Pintail through Kajakhotellet in Copenhagen, and they were very fast in getting the order in before closing time.
Hopefully I’ll get it in the colours of the ancient Venetian flag, which is orange and wine red, with lots of glitter, so it’ll be really flashy when I’m paddling down the Canal Grande at sunset
I had already started to gloat just for the anticipation of it
Then, just the other day, Anders of Kajakhotellet posted this on my Facebook:
Hi René, just wanted to let you know that we talked to the Valley Sea Kayaks guys at the Paddle expo in Nürnberg, and your new Pintail (in Venice colours) is the last Pintail in the world!
They threw in a Kevlar keelstrip just to celebrate…. and then they chopped up the mould
So apparently my Pintail will be the very last ever made.
It will be a historic boat in a historic city.