My 25-year-old North Shore sea kayak is still kinda cool but it’s the brand new FalconSails kayak rig that makes it super cool! The kit is complete with the sail, a carbon fiber mast and boom, all the stays and hardware needed and very thorough installation instructions. Huge kudos also to the great and very patient support from Patrick at Falcon!
The rig is very well crafted and the the whole concept apparently carefully proven to match the construction; this is not just some DIY stuff hastily thrown together in a garage. The complete rig takes just a couple of minutes to get ready and fold down before launching the kayak and it’s even quicker to raise – and lower – the mast and the sail when out on the water and sitting in the cockpit.
The test sail (see video here) is now done and boy, was it fun! I was expecting a slightly hairy experience but my Calypso sailed amazingly smoothly and I had no problems compensating the pull of the sail with my body weight (guess that might suggest something about my own personal stats but, actually, I’m far from being a heavy weight). When the wind picked up, I was easily cruising roughly my normal kayaking pace – even when taking a break from paddling altogether! The really über-cool part is that you can definitely also sail upwind, pretty much like in a normal (very) small sailing boat. The adjustable skeg is great also when using the sail.
Summing up I can just say that Falcon has one happy customer here in the very northern Sweden. It will take some time to learn all the tricks of the paddle sailing game but I’m already looking forward to that. Most of the time the boom and the sail is pretty much out of the way for my paddle strokes so, with favorable winds, I sure can increase my paddling speed quite a bit – or save some strength for those tough future headwinds!