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C is for cookie, S is for Surf

Posted Mar 01 2008 12:00am

images © rowland woollven. all rights reserved.

The sea is foaming like a bottle of beer
The wave is coming but I ain’t got no fear
- weezer

I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to say the stars aligned or “it takes a village”. . . (and a ghost writer. . .)  But whichever way you look at it, it took a few friends and providence to bring you this heads up look at the new Romany S RM from Sea Kayaking UK. . . (or NDK to the rest of us). . . THANK YOU GUYS!!!

I knew Nigel Dennis had been working on the Romany S & the S rm for some time. I saw a proto-plug when I was over last spring actually. The Romany S of course was designed to fit bigger paddlers, however the new flatter hull makes it another one of those fun playboat type sea kayaks. Still roumors of the plastic NDK had been around for some time and many of us were wondering if it would actually happen. So. . . Surprise!!  No doubt when I heard they were finally in production I was anxious to get some info out to you. Nigel had been out of the office and of course I was in a hurry! That’s where the fun started. Getting information was a bit like Roger Rabbit trying to find Eddie Valiant. . . “So I asked the newsboy. He didn’t know! So I asked the fireman, the green grocerer, the butcher, the baker, they didn’t know! But then I asked the liquor store guy… he knew.. . “

In the end with the help of Axel Schoevers in the Netherlands, Rowland Woollven in the UK, and Ryan Rushton of Geneva Kayaks in Chicago I can share this advance look.

The Romany S has some unique features. . .

A Glass Cockpit Rim – Screwed in from the sides with sealant all around. Both Axel & Rowland said it would make for a really bombproof spray deck fit.  It was the first thing I noticed from the pictures.

A Glass Seat – Again screwed-in from the sides and supported by foam underneath.  With what looked to me like a nod to Rockpool the seat is adjustable and has a similar molded back support.  You may remember in my Alaw Bach, I found this worked so well that I took the back band completely out.

A Kari-Tex Skeg System with all options available.  The Kari-Tek skeg has had rave reviews and it took some ingenuity to get it into a plastic boat.  It offers the same skeg slider and inlay-box.  Axel says, “ it looks rock-solid and watertight by design.”

In addition there are more deck fittings for more gear placement options, foam bulkheads and a new plastic footrest system as well.  I don’t have the exact measurements but the glass Romany S is 16ft long, and 22” wide.  If any one wants to add more info just “comment”. J 

Coming up with pictures was even more daunting.  As I mentioned the folks at Seakayaing UK have been really occupied recently and it seemed no one else had photos.  This is where providence comes in.  I got an email from Rowland saying “look what turned up on a beach near me today!”   So we can thank Rowland for the images. 

Right this moment somewhere out in the Atlantic there is a container full of NDK boats on it’s way to the states.  Ryan tells me that some of those new Romany S rm boats are on their way to Geneva Kayaks in Chicago.  For the moment he’s the guy to call if you want to pre-order, but keep in mind that production is just gearing up.  For my part I don’t think I’ll get a chance to paddle one until the Windy City Symposium June 6th-8th. .  Hear that Ryan!???  Now don’t go selling ‘em all.

Here’s some more pictures.  If you could do me a favor, please don’t copy and post them all over. If you could just refer people here I’d really appreciate that.

* all photos by rowland woollven. used by permission. thank you.

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