Showing posts from 2017

Dagger Axiom Review

The Axiom is a planing hull slicey-stern design from Dagger Kayaks. A lot of what I like about it could apply to any slicey boat, so I'm going to split the review into two parts: one part about slicey boats in general, and the other about what's specific to the Axiom. I should also preface this review with a note that slicey boats aren't right for every situation or every paddler. This review is basically aimed at a time-traveling version of myself from the past. I'm imagining a creekboater that hasn't really thought about getting a slicey boat. If you're a beginner or intermediate paddler, or an older paddler who has the skills but not the desire to crush hyphie lines, then there are still plenty of reasons to consider a slicey boat. I'm just not going to discuss them much here in this review. Slicey Boats A lot of advanced paddlers really enjoy paddling slicey boats. If you ask why, they always seem to reply with something along the lines of "it&#

Fitz to Smith Bump and Grind Edition 2017

A few years back we did our first top to bottom Slave River Run as a duo double date with our good friends John and Gen.  It was a special trip.  Since then, we have tried to do a top to bottom every year.  I think we missed last year, but the year before that we had a nice trip with Leif's mom and boyfriend Rob.  We just finished our top to bottom for this year dubbed by John Blyth as  Fitz to Smith Bump and Grind Edition 2017. Yellow Route map by John Blyth, annotations are my own. Although the trip is becoming more 'normal' for us and it is easy to become jaded or to think that there is no new story here, I realized that our adventures with our northern family and friends and our adventures as a new family of three is worth writing about.  Sure, the trip no longer carries that ring of doing something new which is always a great motivator for sharing the story.  However, the newness is still there in other ways, the spectacular scenery is still there, and the

Impressions of Colombia

Somehow this post never got posted a few years back.  So here it is a belated re-count of our Colombia trip from 2015. I've been wanting to come to Colombia for about five years or so.... For this trip I didn't bring a camera, not even a cell phone camera.  The photos that you see here are compliments of Kent Bretzlaff or Leif.  Although I do miss having those photos to flip through to remind me of moments from the trip, I found that not having a camera along on the river and on the trip in general was really nice.  I was taking this trip for myself; it was personal and I didn't feel the need to record it.  Well, I guess I'm sort of recording it by recounting my memories here. Taking a paddling to trip to Colombia isn't for everyone.  If you are looking for a South or Central American paddling destination to maximize your paddling days you might want to check out Ecuador, the Veracruz region in Mexico or Pucon, Chile.  In Colombia be prepared to spend more

Nomad (Newmad) Review - First Impressions

The original Nomad was a successful boat for a inordinately long time. I think that the two big parts of what made it such a hit through several generations were: how easily it boofs, and how fast it was. You could lift that bow up over anything, and it was also reasonably fast for when it was introduced. As times changed, the standards for speed also changed, so it eventually fell behind. Of course, this is all guesswork on my part, because the old large nomad is nowhere near large enough for me. I paddled one a couple times, but it was hilariously undersized, and I spent a lot of time chest deep in the water after boofs. Well, enter the New Nomad (the Newmad). There are three sizes, and the large size is great for me. I'm 6'7", 220 lbs, 36 inch inseam and size 14 feet. I as able to hop into the large with my shoes on and make no special modifications to the outfitting. In fact, my footpegs aren't all the way forward, there is an extra notch available, and I was a