In May I bought a Ferrari Red and white Rockpool Taran. I test paddled it twice as you may have read. No problems. The boat is challenging and requires a much higher level of skill and fitness to master. However, neither of these requirements are standing by me at the moment. I am actually afraid of the Taran. It is certainly a beautiful boat but since owning one, I’ve been terrified by its level of difficulty. The other weekend I paddled in the Assateague all day without anything more than a numb foot. The next day I took the Taran out and was exhausted after 2km in flat water. This boat needs you to use core muscles you probably don’t have and a paddling posture only Olympic paddlers possess. It has no initial stability so you have to put complete trust in the Taran to not drop you in the drink because it has great secondary stability. You lose a lot of energy just coming to terms with the twitchiness of the boat but after a while, when you are knackered, you just let go of the panic and the boat starts to respond. By then, though, I am totally spent and just want to go home.
Since taking the Taran home, I have had little time to paddle and my paddle fitness is minimal. After bragging that I will humiliate the ski paddlers in the Klan, my short and unseen forays onto the water are now the source of jokes and innuendo among my Klan family and they have taken to calling my boat “Nessie”. Naturally, they will pay for their insolence but not for a little while yet. I will master this damn boat. When I was sulking about this situation someone said “what do you expect? You have just bought Casey Stoner’s Moto GP bike and you’re expecting to ride it like him”. True. One small step at a time. This boat flies when you hit your stride and by mid-summer I will be in control of this wild stallion. (another Ferrari motif). A narrower arse would be good.