Something New, Something Blue, Part Two

November 12, 2014

Back in March of this year, I had the chance to paddle a P&H Hammer in the tidal flow of Surge Narrows, comparing it side by side with my P&H Delphin 155. In short, I disliked the Hammer. I could not get it to hold a line when paddling up an eddy, the bulbous and boxy hull felt like a chore to roll, the foot plate did not feel right and on and on. I did not understand the boat.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” — Andy Warhol

Then in June, I attended a kayaking course at Skookumchuck taught by Costain Léonard and Rowan Gloag. It was there that ideas about rough water kayaking were shared, techniques learned and a new foundation applied. The change was on.

Recently at Jordan River, I jumped into my friend’s Hammer and quickly found that a few things I was attempting to do in the Delphin, were now second nature to me in the Hammer. I had a very different experience than back in March.

What does my new Hammer offer me that the Delphin did not?

In reality, not much. Both kayaks come from the same production facility in Cheshire, England. Both carry about the same amount of camping gear for surf expeditions and both are outfitted nearly identically. The Delphin is a bit faster on flat water but I simply prefer the Hammer in steeper, more aggressive surf.

The big difference between the Hammer and the Delphin is me.
I look at a wave differently these days so I made the change.