Posts Tagged ‘Kayaks’
I’ve just received a message, in Swedish, from Skim Kayaks stating that they’re suspending production and sales because they’re having problems making ends meet economically.
Its sad because the boats are fantastic. I have paddled a Skim Distance around Sardinia, and will take it around Sicily in March, and I have recently bought a Skim Dex for use as a guide kayak in Venice, where its combination of speed, agility and stability makes it the perfect boat for paddling in Venice.
Here’s the message in my unauthorised translation from Swedish:
We take a break
We started Skim Kayaks in 2002 with the ambition of building and selling sea kayaks which we found missing on the market. And which we believe other paddlers found missing too. The goal was produce boats locally and as environmentally friends as possible, boats with characteristics and details meant to make it more fun and safer to paddle in all sorts of weather, all year. Boats that we ourselves as paddles felt we could grow in.
Seven years and many Skim Kayaks later we feel happy, and a little proud, that we have reached our goal. The only goal we haven’t reached is the economic. It is hard making a living making kayaks in the way we wanted. We have therefore decided to take a break and think hard about what we can do to build the boats we want to build. In a way that doesn’t conflict with what we think is important.
From now on it will not be possible to order a Skim Kayak. While we ponder what to do with the boats we have, we will continue to sell kayak accessories that we use ourselves and that we think is good. You will find that on kayaksaker.se. See you there.
Göran Pehrson och Anders Nyström
and here’s the original Swedish text:
Vi tar en paus
Vi startade Skim Kayaks 2002 med ambitionen att bygga och sälja havskajaker som vi saknade på marknaden. Och som vi trodde att några andra paddlare också saknade. Målet var att på ett så miljömässigt sätt som möjligt närproducera båtar som hade egenskaper och detaljer som skulle göra det roligare och säkrare att paddla i alla slags vatten, året om. Båtar som vi själva som paddlare kände att vi kunde utvecklas i.
Sju år och många Skimkajaker senare känner vi oss glada, och lite stolta, över att vi nått det mål vi en gång satt upp. Det enda som inte riktigt nått ända fram är det ekonomiska. Det är svårt att leva på att bygga kajaker på det sätt vi tänkte oss. Vi har därför bestämt oss för att ta en paus och fundera noga på hur vi ska göra för att kunna bygga de båtar vi vill bygga. På ett sätt som inte tummar på det som vi tycker är viktigt.
Från och med nu kommer det därför inte gå att beställa en Skimkajak. Men medan vi funderar över hur vi ska göra med de båtar vi har och de båtar vi vill ta fram, kommer vi fortsätta att erbjuda kajaktillbehör som vi själva använder och tycker är bra. Dom hittar du som vanligt på kajaksaker.se. Vi ses där!
Göran Pehrson och Anders Nyström
I just noticed that Skim Kayaks have a new model out, the Skim Dipper. They haven’t put up much information about it yet, except that it is 536cm long (17ft 7in) and 51.5cm wide (20.3in). There are some photos linked from the front page.
I think it will be a welcome addition to the Skim family, suitable for those who want a more spacious boat than the Dex, but find the Distance too long to handle.
Here in Italy the Distance has another problem, which has to do with its handling on cars, not on water. Italian transport regulations only allows cars to transport objects shorter than 130% the length of the car, which means that to put a Skim Distance of 588cm on a car, the car must be at least 453cm long. Most Italians have shorter cars than that, so a Skim Distance is simply not an option here for most people. They can’t take it anywhere. The Skim Dipper might well be (if only you could get a Skim kayak here in Italy, which you can’t).
Photo from Skim Kayak’s web site.
It is a Rockpool Menai 18 and Mike Webb has outdone himself. Many Rockpool kayaks are spectacular, but none is as beautiful as mine
I ordered the Menai 18 last summer, and it was my intention to use it for the journey in Sardinia this autumn, but it wasn’t ready in time. The boat was delivered to Kajakhotellet.dk while I was away, and only now have I had the time to unpack it.
I’ve paddled the Menai for quite a while, because Escape Kayak Center in Göteborg, Sweden, where I ordered it, borrowed me another Menai when they couldn’t deliver as promised. Not many kayak shops can match such a level of service, but Escape is rather special. Don’t miss out on a visit there if you happen to pass Göteborg.
There’s a handful of photos after the fold (about 1Mb) …
Here are some photos of the new Skim Distance in Venice and surroundings.
The Skim Distance parked besides a very busy inner city canal.
Paddling in front of the city just east of St. Mark’s Square.
Parked on the side of the main canal at Murano.
Paddling with Maria in the lagoon of Venice near the island of S. Erasmo.
Among the multicoloured houses of Burano there was one with exactly the same colours as my Skim Distance.
Doing a slightly illegal foray into the military area of the Arsenale.
Still transgressing on military areas with impunity
My venetian friend Marco wanted to try the Skim Distance and immediately took a liking to it. The expression on his face says it all: don’t try to take it away from me!
When I started looking for sponsors for the circumnavigation of Sardinia and Sicily with Wendy Killoran, Skim Kayaks in Sweden were the very first I contacted for support. I know their kayaks well from Kajakhotellet here in Copenhagen, where I have paddled both models, and quite a few of my friends have Skim kayaks and praise them incessantly.
Göran must have seen it coming because he had the kayak with him to Orust. Its a beautiful orange/white boat and I just can’t wait to get it on the water. We had no car with us to Orust, but Freya Hoffmeister agreed to take it to Copenhagen for me. Many thanks for that, Freya!
Skim Kayaks is (still) a small company, and I am immensely proud that Skim Kayaks have chosen to invest so much in me and in our journey. My sincere and deeply felt thanks to Skim Kayaks and to Göran Pehrson for the faith they have shown me.
The Skim Distance at Stockenträffen 2007.
After the Stockenträffen in Orust, Sweden, Wendy and I went to Göteborg with Sara and Johan from Escape Kayak Centre. Wendy has agreed to do her Newfoundland presentation at Escape on Tuesday evening, so we had two whole days there.
Dubside who had been touring southern Sweden with Escape in the weeks up to the Stockenträffen, was still there for a few rolling classes.
Wendy and I stayed at the centre, sleeping upstairs on the floor, but while accomodation might have been a bit primitive, the kayaks and gear at our disposal were absolutely top class. Escape has a small fleet of Rockpool kayaks, and some NDK and Valley kayaks too, and if you need a paddle, there are both Werner and Superior Kayaks carbon paddles.
Escape is located in Frölunda just south of Göteborg, in a small leisure harbour. In front of Frölunda is a 5-6 km wide archipelago of small rock islands and skerries until it opens up to the sea. There is an amazing variation of paddling opportunities. It is the perfect area for daytrips or weekend outings.
On Monday we borrowed a couple of Rockpool boats for a short outing between the skerries. Wendy picked an Alaw Bach and I an Alaw. It was a very windy day, and the forecast warned of rain, so we didn’t plan for anything extensive. On our way out we had a force 5 headwind, Wendy almost got hit by a little ferry and it started to rain. We had expected a bit of easy paddling back with a good following wind, but as the rain stopped so did the wind. It was, non the less, a very nice day and a good little paddle.
We did some shopping for Tuesday’s trip, and then we all went to a local restaurant, with Sara, Johan, Dubside and the two Escape regulars Peter and Kalle.
Tuesday we left earlier for a daytrip. Wendy took the NSK Greenlander Pro again, so I got to try the Rockpool Alaw Bach again. It is such a wonderful little boat, a fiberglass invitation to play and have fun:-)
The day was completely opposite the previous. Bright sunshine and little wind, so we had quite an easy paddle. We saw Eider ducks, Canada geese and herons. On our first break on a little beach we were greeted by a couple of sheep, and later we even paddled with sheep. How many can say they have done that? The man on the barge insisted that the sheep didn’t get sea sick
Our plan was to have lunch on the Greater Fox Island (Stora Rävholmen) where the skerries meet the sea, but we missed the bay we had been told was the best place for the stop. We did find a very nice place for our lunch anyway, carrying the kayaks up on the rocks.
Apparently, all the local paddles will head for Greater Fox Island on the first weekend of September for an informal weekend camping and paddling. Nobody organises it, people just show up.
We came back just as Dubside was on his way out for his rolling class. We had a quick dinner and started getting everything ready for Wendy’s presentation. Escape didn’t have a projector, and as they couldn’t find one to rent cheaply, Johan just bought an expensive one
I had never seen Wendy’s presentation of her Newfoundland journey before, and I was pleasantly surprised. Wendy is clearly a very talented, skilled and experienced presenter. Her presentation was clear, well organised, interesting and varied, and the audience of some twenty local paddlers clearly enjoyed it immensely, and the questions and answers session afterwards took much longer than the presentation. That is always a good sign
Wednesday morning we got up, packed our stuff and got a ride to the station so we could get back to Copenhagen. Unfortunately, my cappuccino consumption during the days in Stocken and at Escape had been way too low, so I just had to get a double cappuccino to go at the station, and hadn’t it been for Wendy, who threw her massive duffelbag in the automatic doors of the train, the train would have left un schedule without me and our cappuccinos. We did get quite the reprimand from the probably otherwise nice uniformed ladies on the train, but we were on board and so were our cappuccinos.
I must remember to bring my cappuccino gear with me to Sardinia and Sicily
Wendy and I are just back from the annual Stockenträffen in Sweden. We went there on Thursday afternoon with Freya Hoffmeister in her huge van. The weather forecast had promised force 5-6 winds and regular showers, but fortunately we only got the former.
We had arranged for kayaks from Escape Kayak Centre in Gothenborg, but as they only arrived there late friday we borrowed some of Freya’s boats. She has way too many anyway It really was very kind of her, and much appreciated. Wendy got to paddle Freya’s unique Rockpool Underground prototype, and I borrowed Freya’s famous black NDK (S)Explorer, which she had used around Iceland this summer.
The little town of Stocken sits in the middle of an extended archipelago of small and large rock islands. We did a short paddle of a couple of hours to Gullholmen and back, but we stayed in the more sheltered waters as the Rockpool Underground is really a rolling boat and way too tippy to take to open sea in strong winds.
Later friday afternoon when Sara and Johan from Escape Kayak Centre arrived with Dubside, we helped unload all the boats. Escape is one of the very few Rockpool dealers in this world, and they had several Alaws, a couple of Menai 18s and a single Alaw Bach on their trailer.
Saturday we didn’t go paddling. We chatted with people in the camping, and met several interesting persons, like Erik Sjöstedt from Sweden, who brought us some very nice T-shirts from his little online shop. We also took a nice long walk on the rocks around the camping, but almost got blown away by the quite strong winds.
The symposium dinner was on Saturday evening. After the dinner we enjoyed Freya’s presention on hers and Greg Stamers circumnavigation of Iceland last month. Freya sported a very nice “Lost in Iceland” shirt, quite in line with the rather eventful start of their journey. After the presentation Wendy and I had a very nice little talk with Göran Pehrson from Skim Kayaks.
Sunday we went paddling again. Wendy paddled a NDK Greenlander Pro we borrowed from Escape, and I paddled one of the Skim Distances Göran Pehrson had with him to the symposium. We kept to the more quiet waters between the many little islands as the winds were still rather strong, but we had a very nice day on the water. On a beach we found the weirdest little café in a solitary house on the coast of Härmanö. We were astonished, but later we discovered that all the local boaters knew it well and came there often by boat.
Sunday evening we left together with Sara, Johan and Dubside, heading for Escape Kayak Centre just south of Göteborg, where we would stay the next few days.