Thursday, 29 April 2010

Perseverance... needed not only for building paddling skill but also for finding the right gear! Living far from any gear retailer it is a slow process of ordering, trying on and returning.

Old faithful can't carry a radio adequately.

Continuing my search for a BA I have rejected the Reed. Great radio pocket, space for flares in the back pocket or hand held in front, resonable fit due to good adjustment but when closed the 2 pocket zip pulls catch under my arms and would add to the wear and tear on my drysuit (which is already lathered with seam grip).

Looks like I'll have to go a better fit but with much less capacity for carrying things. Ideally I want to be able to carry radio, knife and flare and strobe without things poking in my eyes or ears, or having to resort to carrying them in my teeth.

Thanks to Karitek and Lomo for their patience.

Next task is to find a deck. Only recently did I realise how long my cockpit is compared to other boats. Blithely hopping in and out I have been encouraging other people with longer legs to do likewise, without really appreciating the advantage of having an Isel. Even the Menai has a smaller cockpit.

After shredding a couple of cheaper neo decks I thought it time to invest - except I have not yet found a reinforced neo deck big enough. I want to get something that is protected around the coaming for practising rescues and repairs.

As for boots - the return of the lonely lomo boot meant NK had a spare pair, which I have acquired.

Tried and tested.


  1. Hi, I also paddle an Isel and recently purchased a Lomo Neodeck II in the bigdeck size - fits my Isel very well and looks robust enough to survive lots of practice rescuing folk on club nights... I also have a Seal neoprene deck with D-rings for a map case size 1.4 which is stretchy enough to fit both a Valley keyhole cockpit and the Isel... but it's getting worn. My third is a Reed deck, large keyhole size - good for trips, not so good for doing rescues. Hope this helps...

  2. Many thanks for that. I had a Lomo Neodeck II home and tried it wet sitting in boat, but it was ridiculously tight, couldn't get it closer than 5cm to rim. I did ask Lomo if they thought I might have had the wrong size...
    I am trying their regular neoprene deck next...

    If I ever have my boat far south enough I might try again.

  3. Just got the regular Lomo neo deck home and it fits fine. It looks tougher than my old neo deck so maybe it will last.

    I will try the reinforced Lomo deck again when I get a chance, just in case...

  4. Hi,
    Did you ever get around to trying the Lomo Neodeck II again?

    I'm thinking of getting one to replace the deck I currently have. Its now worn and isnt keeping the water out anymore.

    I've dealt with the boys at Lomo recently and they seem to be a good bunch of people. I'll stick with them if the deck is good. What I've bought from them so far seems to be of good quality and value.


  5. Hi Paddy,

    No I haven't tried it again. The regular lomo big deck is fine. If I am doing a lot of rolling I think it does let in a bit of water from the sides.

    I have gone all Greenlandic so my newest deck purchase has been a tuilik. Again it is REALLY tight - have to stretch it to the max to get it on but keeps the water out!

    I think Lomo gear is good value and the big deck has worn really well, so I'll just get another of those in due course. I use my old decks for coaching rescues if I'm likely to be resting plastic boats over the cockpit over and over again. I think too that my technique for emptying boats has changed so I'm using my boat as a lever rather than sliding boats over my cockpit so I am less likely to make holes.

    All the best!