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Rock ‘n’ Roll 2010

08 Feb

It’s back! Kayaking’s premier event in Australia by the NSW Seakayak Club and I can’t wait. I love Rock n Roll. This is my fourth and it’s back at Bateman’s Bay. My first RnR there was a pretty solitary affair for me despite the numbers but I enjoyed it a whole lot and this year’s shindig will be better than ever. The main reason for this is that the Hunter Kayak Klan will be there in strength. So better watch out you City paddlers, the Hunter invasion will be on. Even good ol’ Gnarlydog from the Cane Toad state will be an honourary Hunter boy since he made the mistake of letting his curiosity get the better of him and joined the klan.

Naturally, I’ll give a thorough Post Mortem (maybe a bad choice of words) complete with loads of photos but a month out I’d like to get some feed back from readers as to how they feel about RnR and what sort of stuff they’d like to see happen. I know Henry van der Kolk had some interesting views about how beginners are treated and what he’d like to see. Many agree with him but he got short shrift from the committee when the issues were raised formally. His view is that Grade 1 paddlers should be given the opportunity to push their limits while they had access to so many top instructors but the committee seemed overly risk-averse and ensures beginners go on trips up creeks and fairly soft-on leisure cruises. This is a golden opportunity missed to bring some experience to these people and add strength to the club.

I also look forward to the trade shows and Expedition Kayaks will again be platinum sponsors. I hope there are other strong trade stands there. My fondness for EK is well known and the connection our klan shares with EK is very strong but the industry needs a vibrant commercial aspect and it’s pretty poorly developed. The last few years has seen the overwhelming dominance of Mirage shattered by the rampant onslaught of Impex and Valley boats from EK. Now EK has taken control of the market by getting all the boats we read about from oversees such as SKUK, Rockpool, Trax and Tahe. If I were Mirage I would make damned sure I had a great stand at each and every RnR. I would also ensure I had something new to unveil their. Peter Clark’s Kayaking World ought to do the same. This is the big show you guys and you are losing the retail war big time. Sure the Mirages will be well represented but a beginner paddler looking to upgrade their Prijons will almost certainly end up with a Valley once Rob and Mark get a crack at them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for EK but as a retailer and marketer, I can’t help face-palming at the complete disregard their competition has for basic small business marketing.

Enough of business stuff, I’m looking forward to having a go at some of the new boats on offer such as the Zegul and revisiting the Rockpool GT. If I get in early enough I may not have any need for my own boat! Hmmm, no, the Assateague needs to see the Toll-gate islands as well and my new comfort mods courtesy of Clark Rubber will be very handy here.

Zegul 550

So, how about some feedback on RnR. What does everyone think? What are you going to paddle? And will the HKK party rival EK’s traditional Friday night shebang?

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11 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Kayaking Life, Seakayaking News and Events

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Rock ‘n’ Roll 2010

  1. Mark Sundin

    February 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

    The HKK Party..? I hope it starts after the EK Party & goes laaattee…. It will be nice to have someone buy me a beer at Rock & Roll!

     
    • rjimlad

      February 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      Whoah, let’s not get carried away about the beer. We still aim to do a number on the EK reserves. BTW, we rather like Stella Artois up our way.

      What’s with the “laaattee”? I hope you don’t mean ‘Latte”. There’ll be none of that. Oh..late! Yeah we’ll go late. We might need that Latte after all given the average age of the klan.

       
  2. gnarlydog

    February 9, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Brad, some low blows to the “Holden Commodore” of kayaks there 🙂
    To me the R&R is a great mix of instructions, world class presentations and gathering of fine sea kayakers. It’s refreshing to see that the on water safety aspect of the event is taken seriously. Last but not least the vendors gear display and the demo aspect is terrific.
    Not sure if time will allow to have my prersence there this year…

     
    • rjimlad

      February 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      Sad news if you’re not there Gnarly, was looking forward to a paddle together. BTW, I don’t want to convey any disrespect to Mirage as I believe they are a great boat and a great company with an awesome reputation for looking after their customers. I just think they should be there to represent themselves.

       
  3. Owen

    February 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Brad – Like you, I can’t wait. My dilema is which boat to take, as there is only room enough on the roof racks for 1 each of Annie’s and mine. Is it the big, fast, stable, Mirage 580; or the smaller, livlier Valley Avocet? Unfortunately, my F1 “skinboat” doesn’t meet the safety requirements of lifelines, hands-free pump etc, so it will sadly stay behind. However, whichever boat I take I’m certainly excited about paddling in an area I’ve not been before, making a little pig of myself on Friday night on the EK pizza and beer, renewing contact with those I met last year together with other paddlers I’ll meet for the 1st time. (PS G’Dog – you’ve just got to get there man; you’re a legend1)

     
    • rjimlad

      February 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Take the Avocet. Rockhopping at the Tollgates will be better in it. Plus, you will not look like the other Commodore drivers.

       
  4. JohnA

    February 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I’m really looking forward to getting out on the water. I may be tempted into a Greenland for a play and I may take a ski for a quick dunking, I mean blast, if there’s one available. I like the idea of the GT, but I want to spend a lot more time in the Nordkapp before I look at it. Keen to get Julie into an Avocet or Avocet LV for a decent paddle too.

     
  5. Owen

    February 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I’m OK with being called a “Commodore driver”; but I’m leaning towards the little Avocet as I’m yet to use her in the ocean (did not have a hands-free pump until 2 days ago).

     
  6. Dennis

    March 8, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Hi, it will be my first rnr.what are the pitfalls etc to look out for?

     
  7. rjimlad

    March 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    There aren’t many pitfalls. The club is very officious and will want you to be well prepared. Make sure your boat is at least at Grade 2 preparation. If you don’t know anyone it can be a solitary affair so don’t be afraid to make friends. There will be 15 from the Hunter Kayak Klan there and we are a pretty friendly lot. Look out for my Gold Volvo 850 and I’ll introduce you to lot’s of people.

     
  8. Trent

    March 24, 2010 at 7:08 am

    It was an epic event – my first time to a club event, my first time in a kayak, in a newly built kayak with a newly built paddle. A lot of firsts there for me! Met heaps of friendly people – all it took was the courage to smile and introduce myself. I have already arranged for paddles in Canberra due to meeting people at the event. I posted a full trip report on the NSNSKC Chat Line. I plan to be at every RnR 🙂

     

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