Romany Sport: A female perspective.
On a glorious Sunday with turquoise blue sea, crystalline sand and sun overhead there was an element of frustration – no waves to go surfing.
Not an issue as the famous Porthleven food festival was on but as its popularity has grown so has the distance that you need to walk to the carparking venues.
No problem Sam and I thought – we shall be intrepid travellers and arrive by sea, taking our trusty sea kayaks from Praa to Portleven.
Sam and I are both ladies of a certain age and size (we have a selection of motto’s – “nifty at fifty”, “comfort is key” etc) so we weren’t entirely sure about testing out the new Romany Sport, despite its glorious pink colour (….. something that would actually help you get rescued when you are upside down and not actively become a game of hide and seek in the waves).
Our pact was to each take it one direction (approx 4 miles each way) and test it according to our long-honed comfort criteria. The newly named “pink peril” came out high in nearly all categories and got a big thumb’s up from us:
Q.1 – how heavy is it? – when only one of you is tall enough to reach the top of the Berlingo then lifting kayaks on and off, particularly at the end of a long day, can be a real issue.
A – she’s not light but as she’s shorter she’s a bit easier to haul around. It is also easier to reach over to balance her on your hip while walking which was comfier.
Q.2 – how comfy is it? – size 16-18 hips don’t like being wedged like sardines in a can as this often inspires horrendous thoughts of upside down drowning.
A – 10/10 – the moulded seat is perfect. It gives real support at the base of your back as well as enabling your thighs to sit comfortably against the upper deck
Q.3 – how stable is it? A – very slightly tippy at first but only until you got used to her
Q.4 – how does it manoeuvre? – key to our trips is a fair bit of cave exploring and rock hopping.
A – she is shorter behind and has a twitchy bottom i.e. turns really easily, perfect for backing into caves and manoeuvring in gullies.
Q.5 – how does it track? – one of us is great at forward paddling and one still has a way to go…
A – not much glide, feels like you need to keep paddling to maintain momentum but because she moves more easily you can keep her online without resorting to skegs or having sore muscles on one side.
Q.6 – how much stuff can you get in it? – ease of access for snack pots/emergency gear and volume for a hoard of other stuff and exciting beach finds.
A – fine but feel we need another outing with overnight gear in to see how much she can really carry.
Q.7- how does it roll? – not something we practice often. A – we didn’t test this………will update next time.
All in all, she’s a little beauty,
Claire and Sam