Has anyone here paddled the new Rockpool Alaw sea kayak? I am looking for a playful boat for coastal playing, surfing and day tours, and the Alaw really looks hot in the This is the sea 2 DVD. I have seen the rewiew of the kayak here on Paddling.net, I just wondered if any more paddlers have tried the boat? I have a CD Extreme for touring, so the Alaw is just for play
Differnt boats open up new worlds
Although I have not had the opportunity to try it, I would guesss from its designer and the statistics that it is a very very different boat than your extreme, a boat I have paddled along with very many other boats. I do have an acquaintance who paddle it and found it quite good, but was not entirely convinced it "inspired confidence in him", but otherwise was a fine and interesting boat. He felt that it might need a skeg, despite the advertising that it is neutral. Not a criticism, just a preference.
I reviewed your bio and you have allot of experiences and perhaps an enjoyment of very fast boats. The extreme is really a quite specialized boat, something you may know quite well of course. Although very fast and a very very good expedition boat where speed is important, it is surprisingly spare in cockpit room, and it not noted for qualities of playfulness.
I would think that if you have enjoyed other boats that sacrifice some speed for the purpose of a trustworthy boat that can edge extremely and be made to turn and play in rough conditions, this boat may live up to its promise and take its place among others, i.e., the Romany, Explorer, etc. Just where it sits is beyond me, as few have been in it and imo this takes some time to be tested by a large variety of paddlers so we get a perspectie of who the boat works for, who it does not, and why.
I will stay tuned and thanks for the post. Sorry I can't add much yet!
Thanks for your answer. You are rigth about the Extreme being very limited in cockpit space, the seat fits me nice, but I have to lenghten the wires to the sliding foot pedals at least 5 cm to be really comfortable. I might as well do as Eric Nyre suggested, put a Seal Line system in the boat. I guess the Extreme HV would fit me better (I am 6` 4" and 230 lbs), but I like a kayak that fits tight.
I really like the Extreme for touring, but it certainly is no playboat:-) But as I wrote, I want another kayak for playing. A sensible choice might be the plastic CD Sirocco, but the Alaw really has wetted my appetite:-)
Welcome, agree! and what about?
You are welcome. I too am wanting to try this boat. Here is a web site that had some information on it in case you had not seen this.
Also, I am a fan of the Extreme and totally understand your enjoyment of it (I am 6’3" myself!). Have you considered three other boats that are incredibly playful. Each is quite different in purpose but has very playful qualities and is different than your extreme.
- The boat with the most similarities but still very much more playful, even sexy, if you will, is the Valley Aquanaut. It is, like your Extreme an expedition boat, it too, is quite fast, and unlike your boat, it is quite a bit more of a playful day boat that can be made to be edged extremely with confidence and to carve beautiful turns and in the most wild conditions. IMO it is one of the worlds better if not best all around day/expedition boats, not as specialized as your Extreme but as I said an amazingly versatiile expedition and play day boat too.
- The Avocet. Faster than the Romany or Romany HV, extraordinarily edgeable, carveable, and playful in waves, ledges, and rocks, affordable in plastic form if you wish, great fit and well outfitted. One of the most respected boats around for dealing with big condtions and surf and rocks etc.
- Finally a quite different boat and type of playfulness. The Outer Island by Impex. An 18 footer, very low rocker, turnable by extreme edging but not playful as the others in that regard, but Extremely low overall volume and very low windage, and yet the larger taller paddler can fit well in the manner you like. The boat has an unbelieveable amount of both primary and secondary stability, predictability in transition, very very fast efficient boat in both calm and large seas. Tracks almost magically in ferocious seas. And incredibly playful in terms of greenland rolls, bracing, sculling, and such. This is the boat intermediate paddler learn advanced bracing and even hand rolling in.
OK, that was sheerly for the fun of saying it hope you think of these if you have not and otherwise just great to share ideas around the world with other enthusiasts!
The Avocet is very playfull and also features in "this is the sea 2" it is the all yellow kayak paddled by Sean Morley in some of the footage.
clearly the parts where Sean paddles his Inuk is much more interesting. Or is that just me?
Ok I’m highly biased as I love the Inuk. But I was happy to at least see one Real™ kayak among all the NDK playboats.
The Alaw makes a nice impression although it looks rather high volume.
I agree, the Avocet looks really fun. It`s also available here in Norway. Guess I have to try a lot of new kayaks on next summers sea kayak symposium. Thanks for your info
Yet another brit boat? The Alaw doen’t seem much different than many other brit boats. (Which might mean it’s a pretty good boat.) The cockpit might fit differently, though. I like the optional glitter finish available.
The Extreme cockpit did not seem that small to me. Harald: If you are comfortable in it, it probably is right for you!
I haven’t paddled an Outer Island but it would seem that it would be “equivalent” to the Extreme.
While I like the Extreme, I’d probably prefer the lower volume of the Outer Island.
Against the Extreme, The Avocet at 16 feet will be more different than the Aquanaut at 17’8’’. I’d suggest trying an Avocet (even the plastic one) if you want a playful boat. You might need the extra floatation of the longer Aquanaut (but it won’t be as playful).
Try lots of boats! With your nice Extreme, you can afford to be patient!
I’ve seen the Alaw Bach.
It looks like a well made craft. The chief advantage of the Alaw is the hump just forward of the cockpit. It allows paddling with bent knees – racing style.
After making the rudder cable 5 cm longer, I really sit comfortably in my Extreme, so I think this will be my touring boat for many years.
However, my brother lives on the coast of southern Norway. When I visit him for day trips we mostly play along the shore and surf if there are waves big enough.
When I play I like to carve turns by leaning the boat, and this is just what it seems the Alaw do so well. I am also interested in the sitting position with knees a bit raised, it really looks comfortable.
Now I am thinking so much about this that I just have to try the boat and see:-)
Thanks for all cool answers, I really like paddling.net!
Have you looked at the Guidebook Community Pages? It seems as if several of the paddlers there have paddled (and purchased their own) alaw.
Also - if you’re considering preholiday shopping in Sweden - you could stop by Escape Kajakcenter in Gøteborg - they have them.
I promised your brother a year ago that I’d bring down the Romany for him to try. Please say hello from me and tell him that I haven’t forgotten! I will call him the next time I’m in the area.
Although I’m extremely happy with my current kayak, I would love to paddle the Alaw and see how it stacks up. Will anyone in the U.S. be selling these kayaks? Thanks.
Last I heard
via email with Rockpool a few months ago was that they were talking with Tom Bergh about handling their boats.
Tom hasn’t mentioned anything about it, so I’m guessing there hasn’t been any agreement reached.
The boat’s appearance in TITS 2 might should generate more interest.
TITS 2? I’m afraid to ask…LOL
rockpool in US
No resolution for US sales, as of a couple of weeks ago. But they’re working on it.
Thank you all for your interest in our kayaks.
We have one Alaw Bach on demo with BodyBoatBlade in WA.
"This Is The Sea 2"
It took me a few minutes to figure it out, too.
US East Coast?
Thanks for the tip, but BB&B is on our ‘Left’ coast.
Will any of your demo boats be available in the Northeastern U.S.?
Thanks for your response, Aled. It’s nice to know that the kayak designers monitor this message board. Since you sell your kayaks through Knoydart in the UK, is there any chance you might sell in the US through Great River Outfitters in Wickford, Rhode Island?
Will email Shauna and Leonne immediately. Or maybe I’ll just paddle over there this weekend.
about 15yrs ago ( or so) at A.S.S.C. I watched you run into the sea with a Romany over your shoulder. Somehow, in full stride, you slung the boat into the water and hopped into it and began paddling as if it were all one motion. It was as cool as anything I had ever seen. I never could come close to figuring out how anyone could possibly do that. Is there video of that maneuver anywhere on the internet that you know of?
Thanks. P.S. Also, Jason told me you stood up in your boat while front surfing at The Bitches and drank a Coke. Jason’s got some fantastic stories but I tend to think that one is pretty accurate. Cheers.