New P&H Cetus LV

Monday, 24 May 2010
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White Squall Mayhem - Photo Credit: Bitgit Kuhle

This weekend was a very busy weekend for me. Up here in Canada, it was a long weekend as we celebrate the Queen’s birthday by not going to work.

On Sunday I drove up to Parry Sound to visit the annual White Squall Open House. As usual, the day was filled with clinics and general mayhem. Erik Ogaard and I taught a session about fooling around in your boat which was basically just a group of us challenging each other to the craziest possible trick like sitting cross legged on the front deck or crawling up and kissing your bow. It was a very good example of high class instruction if you ever needed one.

For the thinkers out there, there is a method to our madness as it’s a good way to get scared students comfortable with their boat and the water. It’s also a good way for intermediate students just to work on balancing and yadda, yadda, yadda… You get the picture. It really was just fun.

To be honest, the real highlight of the weekend for me was taking possession of my new P&H Cetus LV earlier today. I’m pretty honored that P&H has taken me on as a team paddler as I have loved their boats for a very long time.

In my opinion the vast majority of major sea kayak manufactures today are riding on their coattails of successful boats from 10 years ago. Outside of minor outfitting tweaks, they are really not innovating or pushing the sport in any type of new direction. It’s nice to see that P&H is willing to try out new designs through the Cetus line or even the upcoming Delphin which has the rough water paddlers all excited.

Ok, rant over.

[flickr photo=4637177569]Today I got to try her out on the water for a couple of hours and it was fantastic. The water was calm so need to test rough water handling later. The boat easily caught a couple of good surf rides when I ran into  some motorboat waves and comparing it to my other boat, I think it’s going to be a real screamer on the waves.

The Cetus LV is very responsive when it’s put on an edge. During the 10km paddle today, I hardly had to use corrective strokes as steering duties was pretty much handled by edging alone.

I was very pleased to discover that the skeg went up and down with ease. I know that P&H has had a difficult time getting their skeg system sorted out with many users complaining of very stiff lines but it looks like they finally got the issue sorted out. If you are having skeg problems with your boat, they have info on their website on how to fix it.

The fit on the boat is very comfortable. The thigh braces are low but not low enough to feel like I am paddling with straight legs all day. For me, the fit was very similar to my current workhorse of 7-8 years, a Current Designs Slipstream.

So, we will see how the boat handles over the long term. As you can see, I ordered a black/red combination so it’s going to really show scratches. I don’t really care. In fact after one day of paddling, the hull is covered in them. To me a scratch free boat is basically an unpaddled boat.

Thanks to Birgit Kuhle for the photo of me at White Squall.

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David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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