Got home yesterday from yet another trip to China and the company manufacturing the kayaks and surfskies for Axis – this time to check new plugs for surfskies and to test the first finished kayaks.
The factory is located on the beach of one of Chinas popular tourist spots – a reservoir dam that through strict environment policies is clean and beautiful in spite of industrial centra and hotel complexes around the shores.
The lake did not offer any testing in waves, but what we could test was very satisfactory – the kayaks were fast, quickly accelerating, turned as easy as a playboat with or without the rudder and we sat comfortably in the integrated surfski-style seat. A few minor adjustments were necessary: the rear edge of the cockpit rim did not have the correct profile (an English-Chinese misunderstanding ;-), the correct sealing was not available for the test, causing a few drops of water when submerging the hatches and the SmartTrack rudder will be fitted when available instead of the Navigator used for the test.
Adding sealing strips
Precision in hatches and rims, and a superb overall finish
Rudder up and turning on a dime...
Superb acceleration and a good turn of speed
Here is a short video from the testing
The two first surfski plugs were nearing completion and we could check lines, hardware positions, the cockpit configuration and comfort.
"What happens if?" – one of many profound discussion with the production engineers
Sveinung from Axis tries the cockpit
On the paddle photos the colors are standard black, blue and orange from the color shop at the factory. Here is a sample with our preferred colors: bright orange and an anthracite gray. A brighter blue will also be used in the production.
The finish on the plugs, molds and kayaks are extremely good with an impressive care spent on all details, visible as well as hidden. Our suggestions for adjustments or new ideas, were taken very seriously with long discussion (an impact analysis) on the possible consequenses to catch and eliminate everything that might become problems later in the process. It felt slightly slow and tedious at times and I got a mental image of an attitude, slightly different from our western quick-fix oriented way – but above all it reinforced the impression of a company with high standards and pride in their work. I wish our government in Sweden was as careful with the impact analysis when new intrusive laws are hastened through the legislative process ;-)
Kina is a very nice food country. Many delicious meals and sometimes unexpected experiences – such as the cocks head, complete with beak, comb and curdled eyes that appeared in an otherwise delicious chicken soup (Sveinung was quick with the camera) – obviously just plucked, chopped to pieces and dumped in the pot ;-)
Nowhere else have I had such good tasting tea as in Chine: regardless if it is green (most common), red (what we call black) or black (fermented and long-stored).
Breakfast on the last day at the resort
Rural Chinese houses look like dollhouses from behind the car window on the highway
Internet in China was a disappointment. Facebook is not available, internet searches are censored and very slow even at five-star hotels and quite often timed out. During the visit my entire inbox was emptied, and approx 10 unanswered mails disappeared. They seem to have been deleted, but not to the wastebasket! I do not know if I have inadvertently hit some to me unknown key combination or if there was an external cause.
Did you mail me during last week and have got no answer – please try again.