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Design & Illustration

Kanumesse in Nürnberg September 18-20

Seabird stand

My cooperation with Seabird Designs is over – our views on quality, customers and service differ too much.

These large expos are often a mix of good and bad. Good is new contacts, renewal of old, new and exciting gadgets and products, an overwhelming view of the state of the business, while decidedly bad are are the dry air and the intrucive background noice in bad acoustics, too many encounters where lack of a common language prevents interesting discussions and now and then over-ambitious vendors with well-rehearsed sales pitch – and of course the odd exhibitor, beliving that musik from a turned-up loudspeaker will cover up for the lack of news and enthusiasm.

After three intense days at Kanumesse i Nürnberg, it was nice to come home to my quiet den.

the biggest and one of the most elegant and spacious stand

The Greenland style line
(Photo: Vitek Jindrle)

I helped out in the Seabird stand – probably the biggest and one of the most elegant and spacious – mainly to tell about the development, technique and use of the kayaks I desinged for the company: among other Black pearl, Qanik, Wave and Salt.

Wave and Salt – airfreighted from China

Just in time for opening the first Wave5.5 (a stable surfski for those who does not feel at home in the narrow competition models) and Salt 51 (a fast training and touring kayak designed to the international touring boat rules) arriver by airfreight fronm China – both exceptionally well built and with a finish that would have justified double the selling price.

I had the feeling that Black Pearl, Qanik, Wave and Salt for many of the visitors were among the most interesting news on an expo that otherwise were quite lame in innovation and news. Some new ideas were to be found, e.g. a sit-on-top freestyle kayak (just a scale model yet). But often the news were simply updates on existing products: new colors and graphics, or a kayak rooftop carrier with slighly lowered wind resistance and wind noice (Thule) or a 50 gram lighter paddle (Robson). And of course some rather freakish products: what about a bike attached to two inflatable pontoons and with a propellor instead of wheels – for whom and why?

A modern SOF...

One of the more exciting innovations I found in Greenland Kayaks stand: traditional SOF:s with a new twist – a silicon-treated combination of cotton, Dynema and Cordura , where the cooton provides look and feel, the Dymena strength and the Cordura durability. The material allows elegant sewn-in hatches, pockets for pump and other gadgets, and printed graphics. An elegant development of an old concept.

A different deck view (Photo: Vitek Jindrle)


Sealectdesigns deck plates Another bright idea is Sealectdesigns deck plates. They look like the Beckson pry-out plates, that many builders use on the strip kayaks, but with a smart lever for opening. Available in black and white and with the lid in smooth, clear or textured, and in 6" and 8" sizes.

I came home with a few samples of Keel-Eazy: a self-adhesive, durable keel protection tape for use on most hull materials, including wood strip (here is a test). I will apply them to my Black Pearl and Njord and will report back.

A large portion of the expo was spent on SUP (stand up paddling) – a kind of activity that, with the help of tremendous marketing is catching on. It is promoted like this: suits old and young, a health promotimng sport in fantastic environments, a fantastic way to enjoy nature, a chaleenge to master new skills, improved balance, less stress, excercises muscles that protect vital, social interaction etc. To me this could be attached to a great variety of activiteies – not the least kayak paddling. Yeah, that is perhaps fine, but it doesn´t do anything for me...

I got a microphone... Of course the expo sported a quite big inddor pool, where most of the time something was going on: demos of equipment or crafts, testing of SUP-boards and the like. On monday afternoon I donned my tuiliq and showed the Black pearl LV there. Since there has been some show rolling through the years (e-g by Freya last year) I tried instead to talk about and show how handy, comfortable, easily controlled and manoevered a small responsive Greenland style kayak can be for paddling, bracing and rolling. I believe it was appreciated, since the south of Germany is an orthodox whitewater district, and that for many visitors the Greenland style paddling still was new and exciting.

Många nyfikna...
(Photo: Peter Sandström)

(Photo: Vitek Jindrle)

Looks familiar?
Slooooooow roll with control (Photo: Peter Sandström)

A buyer from a Spanish distributor tries out the Discovery
A buyer from a Spanish distributor tries out the Discovery

As usual I came home with a stack of business cards and folders and I may find reasons to write more, when I sorted out the goodies...


Ja, Greenland Kayaks koncept känns ju väldigt trevligt. Kultur, hantverk, nutid och tradition i optimal mix. Undrar hur deras kajaker är? Har googlat men inte hittat några recensioner eller liknande...

Ja, jag blev också nyfiken, men det gavs inte tillfälle att prova. Den kajak som fanns med på mässan var bara som hastigast hoptråcklad...

Hej Björn Thomasson.

Det var for mig (personligt) fantastisk at møde dig på Kanumesse,og vores snak om Seabird Expedition og Northsea gav lidt og tænke over.

Nå jeg til sommer køber en ny kajak bliver det selvfølgelig en Seabird og vores snak gav nogle tanker for et andet valg af kajak(måske)

Hilsen Aksel

Håhå jaja... Var hittar man inte nya avnämare? Och vad kan man inte hitta på? Tack för informationen Björn. Den där duken du skriver om som är en blandning av bomull och några andra mystiska benämningar - var får man tag på sådan?

I grunden tycker jag en kajak ska få vara en kajak. Det kan vara en baidarka också. För några dagar sen kunde jag ge mig ut på en kortare tur. Litet regn OCH små plogar av flyktande fåglar. Det är ju det här, denna intesiva upplevelse av naturen, som kajaken är så bra till.

Nyss kom med posten två kataloger med grejor man ska ha med på turen. Det fanns allt möjligt till hm, rätt höga priser. Det som slår mig är hur mannekäng-aktigt allt verkade. Jag har länge kört med träram för den var billigast att göra. Och Don Jensens (ledsen att han inte finns längre) fantastiska ryggsäck utan pinnar eller stag, den stagar sig själv när den är packad (jag har ett ex själv) den tillverkas igen i USA. Det mest geniala och det enklaste jag kan tänka mig. Tänk enkelt och upplev naturen som den är.

Jag tror inte att den speciella kajakduken går att köpa – inte än så länge i alla fall. Den är framtagen som en del i Greenland Kayaks utveckling av sitt traditionella kajakprojekt. Och jag kan gissa att den blir rätt dyr.

Hallo Björn!

Ich bin aus Bulgarien, hier haben wir ein Distributor für eure Kayaks und ich werde einen kaufen. Aber ich interessiere mich welches model ist besser für mich. Ich bin neuer auf Kazaks und werde nicht so sportlich fahren, sondern werde ich Kayakturen und Eintägliche Spaziergangen machen. Ich bin 97kg und suche Komfort und Stabilität. Bitte, sagen Sie mir welches Modell ist besser für mich - Discovery, Victory oder Expedition (HDPE oder HV).

Vielen Dank!

Grüße aus Bulgarien

Dipl.Eng. Stanislav Traikow


Deutsch habe ich kaum in den vergangenen 45 Jahren gesprochen, mehr als manchmal ein Bier zu bestellen, aber hier ist ein Versuch ;-)

Es ist schwer, Ratschläge mit so wenig Hintergrund-Informationen zu geben. Aber der Victory ist vielleicht ein wenig zu groß für Ihre Anforderungen – im grund konzipiert für lange Touren mit viel Zeug. Der Expedition und der Discovery eignet sich eher für Tagesausflüge.

Im Wahl zwischen den Expedition und den Discovery ist es meistens darüber, was Sie priorisieren – ein manöverbar und leicht zu handhaben Kajak, das gut funktioniert für die meisten Zwecke (Discovery) oder eines, das schneller und für längere Strecken ausgelegt ist (Expedition). Discovery hat etwas weniger Primärstabilität, aber das ist in den meisten Situationen ein Vorteil.

Zwischen Expedition HDPE und HV gibt es kein unterschied, abgesehen von ein paar Sachen auf dem Deck.



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