Hi all at The Paddlers,
Maybe you find this interesting and beneficial to motivate your clients to really enjoy the various kayaking possibilities.
We love adventure and see earning money as a means to enjoy and experience life in nature.
Individuals such as Mike Boon managed to do the Zambezi in one long and uninterrupted session.
We are in an age group where we, due to financial obligations, and professional work pressure cannot be absent from our work situation for extended periods of time.
Since kayaking is more of an individual exercise, we also had to utilize our extended days off for family holiday purpose.
BUT: We wanted to prove that any energetic and adventurous city dweller can experience real adventure by just applying his mind to it and actually allocate time and finances to this purpose.
We planned to kayak the whole Vaal river from its origin to its confluence into the Orange river utilizing long weekends and other weekends as time would allow us.
Origin of Vaal : From a spring just south of Breyten, close to Ermelo.
Our starting point : At the bridge of the N17 from Ermelo to Chrissiemeer. [P1&2]
Total distance : 1398 Km
Duration : 55 days
No of weekends & extended weekends : 19
Maximum distance per day : 44 Km
Maximum speed reached : 22.2 Km/hr
Altitude lost : 694 meters
The “Perception Napali” kayaks were absolutely astonishing: [P3,4,5&6]
Loadable in various positions on our vehicles [P7&8]
Fantastic space inside and on top to load all our equipment [P9-16]
Heavily laden, being pulled over logs, past, over and through various obstructions. [P17-24]
Pulled over rocks, frequently knife sharp [P25-29]
Pulled over iron edges on weirs and road barriers [P30&31]
Fitting through iron pipes [P32]
Withstanding severe bumps and various other forces applied on the kayaks during various grades of rapids. [P33-39] Some had near drowning situations to less severe consequences. [P40-43]
Stability during serious storms on Grootdraai dam [huge waves, strong wind, hail etc] [P44]
Being utilized for sailing purposes [P45&sailing video]
Allowing us to experience some of the best hobby experiences [P46-49]
Being used for various other purposes [P50&51]
Allowing us the best views for wild game [P52]
Even the helmets, bought at The Paddlers, were used for various purposes [P53]
Yes – it was hard work and some times even extremely exhausting[P54-57]
Pictures during the serious storms, rapids and other situations were not taken because it was plainly not possible during those times.
Ultimately – THE END [P58&59]
The only problems we encountered with the kayaks were the following:
The “washing machine” below the weir tore off all my “Scotties” from the hull of the kayak. The holes were fixed with duck tape.
The foot controls of the rudder were also broken off and the blade of the paddle was broken. These had to be replaced.
Another paddle was broken in half at a different rapid, was temporarily fixed and had to be replaced.
With another rapid the kayak got stuck between 2 rocks and the water pressure literally bent [kinked] the kayak in the middle, only to correct itself again later. No permanent damage occurred – amazing.
2 rudder cables had to be replaced due to excessive friction caused by sand, mud and the force that had to be applied during the process of negotiating the various rapids.
The ONLY weak point was the “safety pin” of the rudder dislodging itself on a regular basis. This pin connects the loose rudder to the back of the kayak.
The round steel shaft connecting the rudder foot control to it’s attachment on the kayak regularly dislocates and needs to be pushed back again.
In summary: it was a fantastic exciting adventure supported by amazingly versatile and quality kayaks, worth every sent they cost.
I do hope you can use this to promote your business and the product you stock.
Why would Gautengers support a Simonstown based business? Fantastic service, support and products.
Albert Thorius, Danie and Dirk Viljoen and Dewald Visser.