Whilst Blue Coast Adventures is not a conventional kayak shop we are always on the lookout for the best and most innovative kayaking equipment to suit the needs of the discerning paddler. Our own paddling equipment has been acquired over many years of trial and error and is extremely personal. However, we very often see paddlers whose equipment is not well suited to their physique or paddling style.
Small paddlers in huge kayaks will always struggle in a strong wind. Small people with long paddles or huge blades on small shoulders can all make things harder than they might be. Since we are buying gear for our coaching and expedition customers to use we are also able to sell the equipment that we choose to use ourselves. This means that we can explain why we like it, what could be improved and you’re free to work out what will work best for you.
When looking for a manufacturer of well-made kayaks for our expedition and coaching use we quickly beat a path to the Lettmann factory in Moers, Germany (https://lettmann-shop.de/en/). Their boats are extremely well built with tremendous attention to detail. Lettmann is a family firm with roots in Olympic competition paddling. Three generations of the Lettmann family work there and they are super knowledgeable, friendly but most of all produce world class kayaks and paddles.
We find that the Lettmann sea kayak designs work particularly well for their chosen purpose. Each kayak is made to order and there are three grades of construction from glass (DCS), to carbon (LCS) and finally the top end, vacuum bagged carbon (VCS). If your budget is limited the DCS glass construction boats are a good option and are great to paddle. The LCS boats are lighter and a bit stiffer and the VCS boats are even lighter and stronger. You can specify a day hatch of different sizes (we recommend 200 mm), a long or a short sweetie hatch as well as add a fitted compass. We recommend having the toggles at either end fitted through a hole rather than being glassed into the boat. This way the string can easily be replaced if it chafes or wears. The foot rest consists of an adjustable plate on an aluminium track so you can work through your feet without having to assume the pose of a frog. The seat is comfortable and well padded, especially at the sides.
We are able to supply any of the Lettmann range of sea kayaks and paddles in Sweden.
Take a look at their web-site on www.lettmann-shop.de to see the full range of kayaks and use the configurator to select your favourite colours for the hull, the deck, the cockpit rim, the seams and the deck lines. You will need your German translation for some of the terms but it’s relatively obvious.
In 2023 we will have demo boats of the Skinner, the Biskaya LV and Biskaya MV and the Adria available for you to try, either from our base in Söderköping or from the island of Harstena in the St Anna archipelago. Get in touch if you’d like to try them out. We are very happy to arrange a demo paddle to let you experience these fantastic kayaks boats with no obligation at all to buy. If you are interested in a boat then we can help you decide on the right specification for your needs and are happy to supply a quotation. Each boat is made to order and you can specify the exact positions of the bulkheads as well as the colours of the hull, deck, seams, deck lines and cockpit rim. The price of your boat will depend on the full specification and the exchange rate at the time of ordering but the tables below can be used to estimate a price.
Lettmann charge a price for the basic kayak and then extra for the additional features that you add to your boat. Our preferred specification for the Biskaya in skeg form has as an extra a 200 mm day hatch (to either left or right) and a sweetie hatch, laminated bulkheads, toggles mounted through holes in the bow and stern. The option for a two coloured deck can also look rather neat.
If you order a kayak from us, we will collect it from Moers Germany and deliver it to your home address in Sweden (if you’re within 200 km of Söderköping) or you can collect from us.
The Biskaya is available in three sizes, LV, MV or HV to suit the small, medium sized or large paddler as can be supplied with a standard Kajak Sport skeg or the unique Lettmann skeg/rudder system.
This works as a skeg until it’s fully down but becomes a rudder when all the way down. This is useful for those who have trouble with edging as their main way of steering and is protected from damage when coming ashore, once the skeg is retracted.
We will have both an LV (low volume) and an MV (medium volume) Biskaya available to try in 2023. The LV is 535 cm long and 53.5 cm wide and the MV is the same length but 54 cm wide. An LV Biskaya in DCS construction weighs approximately 25 kg, an LCS boat 20 kg and a VCS boat 19 kg. The MV Biskaya is about 500 g heavier in all constructions.
For our own use we love the Biskaya as an expedition boat. It is intuitive to paddle with a light and responsive touch with just enough rocker and plenty of speed. The boat is very well mannered in waves and sits well on the water. The large bow and stern hatches make it easy to pack tents and other larger items. The sweetie hatch in front of the paddler is surprisingly long, we’ve started putting a storm cag in there as well as the obligatory sweeties.
|Biskaya in skeg form||Construction type||–||–|
|Prices* (Swedish Kronor)||36,734||45,451||52,299|
|Laminated bulkheads||850 each (2,550 for 3)|
|Toggles through holes||500|
|Silva 70 P compass||1,100|
*Including Swedish MOMS @ 25%
It’s available in one size and has a surprisingly large carrying capacity.
The Skinner is 560 cm long and 54 cm wide. A Skinner in DCS construction weighs approximately 25 kg, an LCS boat 20 kg and a VCS boat 19 kg.
This has become the boat of choice for both Therese and Kevin for paddling in St Anna. It’s great fun to paddle being both fast and easy to turn on edge.
The Skinner is a modern take of a Greenlandic design. It’s a long supremely elegant kayak with a Swede form hull, widest behind the cockpit and a finely tapered overhung bow and stern.
The Skinner is very fast and responsive and turns remarkably well on edge. In waves and chop the fine bow and stern soak up the energy and the boat maintains its speed whilst others around you start to bump and slap.
For the Skinner we don’t normally include the day hatch as we like the large rear hatch space and find that the longer than usual sweetie hatch is great for on the water needs.
|Skinner in skeg form||Construction type||–||–|
|Prices* (Swedish Kronor)||38,135||46,851||53,700|
|Laminated bulkheads||850 each (1,700 for 2)|
|Toggles through holes||500|
|Silva 70 P compass||1,100|
*Including Swedish MOMS @ 25%
The Adria cockpit is slightly longer than that of the Biskaya or Skinner so it’s easier to get into or out of this kayak. As on all the Lettmann kayaks the thigh braces can be moved to fit the length of the paddlers legs.
The LV Adria is 500 cm long and 57 cm wide and the MV is the same length but 58 cm wide. An LV or MV Adria in DCS construction weighs approximately 24 kg, an LCS boat 20 kg and a VCS boat 19 kg.
New for us in 2023, and the latest sea kayak from Lettmann, the Adria is smaller and more nimble than the Biskaya or Skinner. Adria is 500 cm long and 57 cm wide as an LV (low volume) or 58 cm wide as an MV (medium volume). It’s surprisingly fast and very easy to manoever. The design includes a round bow hatch and a large oval Kajak Sport rear hatch.
Adria is only available with the integrated Lettmann Skeg/rudder system. As the pictures below show the hull has a small amount of rocker and a stable mid-section.
|Adria in skudder form||Construction type||–||–|
|Prices* (Swedish Kronor)||37,823||46,540||53,389|
|Laminated bulkheads||850 each (1,700 for 2 or 2550 for 3)|
|Toggles through holes||500|
|Silva 70 P compass||1,100|
*Including Swedish MOMS @ 25%
Paddles are a very important but often rather neglected personal choice. As your connection with the water your paddle is at least as important as your kayak. The construction material, blade shape and size, shaft length, shaft diameter, feather angle all deserve consideration so it really matches your needs and you can paddle smoothly for a long time without risk of injury.
Euroblade or Greenland paddle
In our eyes both Euro-bladed and Greenland paddles have a place on our kayaks and we love to use each to its advantage. The Euro-blade gives us great acceleration and is most useful when rock hopping, playing in conditions and needing to handle the kayak with speed and power. By contrast, the Greenland paddle is smooth and silent, much kinder on the body but has less acceleration than it’s Euro equivalent. We use our Greenland sticks on long touring days on easy to moderate water or when we are rolling lots, they always float ready to roll. On a tour we’ll often change between Greenland and Euro-blade paddles on the water as the mood takes us. Of course, not all Euro-blade or Greenland paddles are equal and there are some shocking examples of both on the market. We therefore sell the paddles that we know from experience work well for us and our customers.
Ergonom Pro Sea Carbon LCS 70.
(Price 6900 Kronor inclusive of MOMS)
Therese and Kevin have both been using the small bladed Ergonom Pro LCS Sea 70 light paddle from Lettmann for the past four years and we offer them to our coaching and expedition customers to use. Read more..>
Each half of this all-carbon euro-blade paddle is made in one piece and it comes with a crooked crank shaft, with a much longer holding section than other well-known makes. An easy to adjust central locking “vario-joint” allows you to change the feather or make the paddle longer or shorter whilst on the water. Without the join of conventional paddles, the blade and the shaft are super strong. The blade has a foil shape with built in buoyancy that helps it to float at just the right height when you paddle. There are two blade sizes, large or small (both the same price) and the paddle can be ordered with the adjustable shaft length of your choice.
We have these available for demo so do get in touch if you’d like to try them.
Lettmann Liberty LCS 70 light paddle
(Price 6800 Kronor inclusive of 25% MOMS)
The Liberty LCS 70 light is a straight shafted all carbon paddle with a particularly refined blade shape and a lovely feel in the water. The paddle is available as a large (570 x 160) or a small (570 x 145) size. The slender blade shape and foam cored blades make this a smooth and enjoyable paddle to use. The Liberty paddle in small size has a weight of 850 g with a vario -joint and has become a firm favourite with smaller paddlers on our tours.
New for 2023 we will be selling Gearlab paddles in Sweden. Having paddled many hundreds of kilometers with one-piece wooden Greenland paddles it took a while for us both to shift to accept a carbon shafted stick. Initially the Lettmann manufactured Blacklight paddle was our favourite. However, as this was discontinued in 2022, we’ve had to look around for one to replace it. We didn’t have to look far as several of our paddling friends in Sweden were already using and raving about the Gearlab Kalleq.
Kalleq …. means “lightning” in Inuit
(Price in Sweden: 5600 kr. Inclusive of MOMS.)
Both Therese and Kevin have been using the Kalleq for about a year now. It is beautifully finished, has a wide blade (8.8 cm) for it’s length and is remarkably powerful for a Greenland paddle. The Kalleq has some really useful design features too.
It comes as a two piece so it’s easy to transport, stow on your bow and switch with the Euroblade whenever you like. The joint is firm and positive with no discernible movement and no corrosion potential on the spring. Whilst the paddle itself is made of carbon fibre the tips are of plastic and can easily be replaced. There are small white or blue dots on the shaft where your hands go so you can feel your hand position.
Kalleq comes in three sizes, short (210 cm), regular (220 cm) and long (230 cm).
Kalleq comes in two colour choices, white matrix (left) or bluefin (right) and we will stock both of these in both short and regular lengths.
The Kalleq paddle weighs 700 +/- 30 g
Akiak …. means “bravery” in Inuit
(Price in Sweden: 5000 kr. Inclusive of MOMS.)
Akiak is said to be the world´s most popular Greenland paddle and comes in two colour variants, satin red (left) and satin blue (right).
There are two sizes of Akiak, regular (220 cm) and long (230 cm). Both have an 8.4 cm wide blade.
In 2023 we will stock the regular size in both colour options
The Akiak paddle is a two piece and weighs 910+/-30 g
Ipik …. means “sharp” in Inuit
(Price in Sweden: 5848 kr. Inclusive of MOMS)
The Ipik is probably the most elusive of all Greenland paddles. We think of it as the Unicorn of paddles, often talked about but no-one we know has ever seen one yet.
There is one sizes of Ipik, regular (219 cm) and long (230 cm).
The shaft is oval shaped and there is a shouldered loom, said to enhance control in lumpy conditions.
The Ipik paddle is a two piece and weighs an utterly staggering 595+/-5 g
As soon as we can get hold of these super light beauties we’ll be able to try them out for ourselves and offer them to you. At the moment they are pre-ordered.
Tow lines and Accessories
We’ve worked with Steve Whetman since he began making kayaking gear in the shed at the bottom of his garden in West Devon. Now with a larger modern unit Whetman Equipment is making what we believe are the best towing systems and sea kayaking accessories available. At Blue Coast Adventures we keep in stock the gear we use ourselves. Right now that’s the Sea-Guide, Sea Bean and Contact tow lines, Kraken crabs and paddle cuffs.
Sea Guide Tow Line (14 m)
(price 1560 kronor, inclusive of MOMS)
The 14m “Guide Tow-line” from Whetman equipment is really two tow-lines in one. A 14 m floating line main tow is clipped to the left side holding loop on the waist belt, and a shorter 50 cm contact tow is attached to the right side connecting loop. The Guide tow-line has been designed for those who tow often and has a really well-made bag, large enough to re-stow the line on the water and with flotation included. The bag has a captive O ring in the centre of the bag to which a 40-60 cm length of shock-absorbing bungee is attached. This keeps the release buckle centred when the tow is under load. A steel O ring is found at the join between the bungee and the floating rope tow line. For a short tow the working krab can be attached back from the casualty’s boat to this ring.
Kevin was involved in testing the original Guide tow-line on the north Cornwall coast and has been a committed user of one ever since. On his own Guide tow-line the working end has a 3m section of floating tape attached to the kraken krab with vulcanising tape to give a flat connection that will easily run through deck lines without snagging when released. The float is movable and close to the join with the floating line.
Sea Bean Elite tow line
(10 m price 1258 kronor, inclusive of MOMS)
(14m price 1338 kronor, inclusive of MOMS)
The Sea Bean comes in two lengths, 10m and 14 m, and is an ideal choice for the recreational paddler who may not need to tow very often. The simple no-nonsense tow-line, designed to look like a Cornish Pasty, is ideal for most Swedish waters, the bag is small and easy to wear, the line is simple and comes without a float but with a kraken krab.
This is towing system that Therese prefers to use both whilst coaching and on tour and so far it’s proved to be superbly practical and effective.
Whetman Equipment contact tow
(price 555 kronor, inclusive of MOMS)
Having a contact tow on your foredeck means you can quickly connect yourself to another boat and tow it with its bow sitting beside the widest part of your kayak and it’s widest part about level with your stern. This works well when recovering a kayak when someone has come out their boat and let go of it, or if you just need to make a short sharp push to help a paddler get past a headland or obstacle.
The Whetman MkII Contact Tow has a stainless steel buckle and you can adjust it’s length, useful if you want to drop the boat you are towing back a little. One of its other main uses (at least in Sweden) is to clip the boat to the shore when arriving into a marina or harbour. You can leave the loaded kayaks on the water and attach them to the rings that sailing yachts would normally tie onto! I also use the Contact Tow when making a short tow with my Guide tow-line. I attach the contact tow to the casualty’s bow deck-lines and then run the rope through the second krab on the contact tow and back to the O ring on my guide tow. This avoids the risk of nylon running over nylon that would occur if you ran the line directly through the casualty’s deck-lines.
Whetman Equipment Kraken carabiners
(price 190 kronor, inclusive of MOMS)
Good carabiners for sea kayaking are always hard to find. Climbing krabs are no good as they mustn’t have a tooth or they snag the line. Carabiners tend to corrode mighty fast, especially on long expeditions and the best intentions to wash them in fresh water after use.
The Whetman Equipment kraken carabiner has been designed specifically for sea kayaking and is very easy to use with one hand. It’s slender stainless steel construction makes it the most corrosion resistant carabiner yet and by far the best one to fit to your tow lines
When you carry spare paddles on your fore-deck they need to be secure in the waves but you need to get them quickly and easily if you break or lose a paddle or just want to change blades. Elastic deck bungees make it almost impossible to re-stow your paddles after you’ve released them. For years we used to cut bits of plastic pipe into paddle holders and tie them to the foredecks of our kayaks.
The Whetman Equipment Paddle Cuff does the job perfectly and is neat and practical as well as being very easy to install. Four layers of webbing keep the opening upright and clear.