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Summary – Fast, straight tracking but still with the hint of playfulness that all our kayaks are famous for. The longer waterline, of the Etain, ensures that performance is maintained and handling remains predictable, even when laden.
Background – At Valley, we has a long history of producing expedition sea kayaks. In fact, we started this trend by designing the Nordkapp back in 1975. Whilst Expedition, Expedition-Capable and Expedition-style, are widely used to describe many longer (17’ plus) sea kayaks, it is important to understand what this term really means. Most importantly to us, it shouldn’t mean that these kayaks are only suitable for extended multi-day trips. However, it does mean they’ve got the characteristics required, if that’s what you want to do. Importantly, it’s the key characteristics of; speed, good tracking and a performance that isn’t greatly affected by variations in load, that make these kinds of kayak also suitable for a wide range of sea-kayaking activities and accounts for the popularity of this class of kayak.
Design – This kayak was designed intentionally with a very neutral hull-form i.e. Not aggressively swede-form (associated with racing kayaks) or fish-form (associated with many older sea kayak designs), this gives the kayak predictable handling and a balanced feel, irrespective of the conditions being paddled. Also having the widest point, at the paddler’s hips, you’ll also notice a real sense of connection between what you do and how the kayak reacts, making it an efficient but also rewarding kayak to paddle.
Other design features include a hull with a shallow to moderately ‘V’d’ keel for good initial stability, a long waterline length to promote forward speed and just enough rocker to give a good balance between tracking and maneuverability,
Conclusion - The Etain is designed to appeal to paddlers looking for an enjoyable to paddle, expedition-capable kayak that has a good turn of speed and tracks well. Already proven on several major expeditions, including: Justine Curgenven’s 2014 Kayaking The Aleutian Adventure.