My cooperation with Seabird Designs is over - our opinions about quality, customers and service differ too much.
Home again after a couple of very hectic days in Nuremberg. Kanumesse is a tradeshow for buyers, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, press and organisations. It is not a public consumer show, and therefore no direct selling. But with 270 exhibitors in two huge linked halls it is still incredible intense. Fun and inspiring for the duration (three days), but nice to get home to the quiet and peaceful house in Lund.
I was invited to help introduce the new line of sea kayaks for Seabird Designs: Nordr. But of course as much time is spent on talking about Black Pearl, Qanik and the other, and to explain why greenland paddles is as excellent as the users claim ;-)
As last year Seabird sported the largest, most spacy and transparent stand. Too often other stands were crammed with gadgets and stuff in disorganized confusion – utilizing every square feet.
Large, light and spacy...
My new contribution, Nordr, were flown in from China the day before opening, and looked well built with an amazing finish. With no pool this year, I could only try the kayaks on the floor, but was very happy with the comfort. I think these will be best-sellers for Seabird...
My new contributions Nordr M and M2 – the two that made it to the show. Another three models will come during the winter.
Rob Feloy had two new kayaks ready for the show: Scott (presented in the Seabirds catalog). They looked nice and were very comfortable – exciting interpretations of classic brit-boats for discriminating paddlers.
Rob Feloy talking with Len Ystmark over the new Scott HV and LV. Rob's legendary Inuk will also be produced by Seabird from now on – among other things to deal with the quality problems in Nelos (unauthorized!) production.
All in all I was a little disappointed at the lack of real news and exciting inventions – instead fairly modest stretchings of well known ideas and designs.
Sara Wagner with Black Light, showed her new interesting and beautiful Rough-and-Roll – my next paddle purchase...
Sara Wagner (Black Light) with light, pretty and efficient paddles
One of the more interesting exhibitors were Neumann, showing the line of kork-core kayaks: light, strong and with a fantastic finish – and Willy Neumann himself, capturing unsuspecting visitors with an impressive, highly informative and non-stoppable stream of convincing arguments – most impressive when he walked on the foredeck of a 12 kg fitness kayak ;-)
Willy Neumann and Rob Feloy in a no doubt very profound discussion on the finer points of core materials
Close-up on the best finish of the show – sunburst-lacquer in classic guitar practice
In the Northern Light stand (take-apart carbon Greenland and Aleut paddles) Paul Diener demonstrated clever caps in soft silicone for paddles. Flexible enough to fit all types of inuit paddles, they are intended to protect the tips of fragile carbon and cedar paddles during transport and when used in rock gardens, shallows and in icy waters. They are available in a lot of colors, but I favored the off-white version, reminding of a classic bone tip – east Greenland style.
Caps for paddles ;-)
...fits perfect on even fairly wide paddlkes like the Seabird
By Chris Reed in the Chillcheater stand I looked at the hatch covers in Aquatherm – not new but interesting. They fit f x the hatch rims from KajakSport and other manufacturers, and may be a light and elegant alternative for wooden kayaks. They can also be purchased in custom sizes – trace the rim size and attach the drawing when ordering.
Reeds' hatch cover in i 8"
Reeds shared stand with KeelEazy, providing a very tough PVC tape, for protecting the keel and stems of kayaks and canoes. Available in different colors and widths, it is a self adhesive tape on roll, precut strips or in kits together with cleaning stuff for better adherence. I get a lot of questions about reinforcing the keel on wooden hulls: with metal profile (heavy, and with screws penetrating the laminate), more glass cloth (risk of delamination with a too stiff laminate), outer wooden keel strip (loss of maneuverability) etc. KeelEazy is one of the best ways: light, easy to attach and with minimal influence on performance.
A lot of interested and interesting visitors, meetings with new and old friends, and a lot of orders on kayaks for the coming year – a very good show for Seabird Designs.
Thumbs up for a very good show – Aljona and Len, Seabird Designs.