A few months laster i see a similarly awesome looking RPF Shark pop up on Ebay. I really liked the look of the RPF kayaks and to my surprise the very one i had seen on Ebay turned up at the Penzance Kayak Fishing meet in Richi's van, he was the one who had brought it! Kernow had taken a look too and a few months later he had found himself a RPF Master of his own and with a few other kayak anglers getting into the kayak surfing, on wave skis or plastic sit-on-top surf kayaks, i was starting to feel the urge to get one!
The problem is that RPF's are fairly rare in the UK and finding one second hand is difficult. They are made in Portugal so getting a new one isn't too easy either. I would wait the winter to see if any came up for sale.
Fortunately an opportunity came up at work for me to demo an RPF Master! Excellent, at least i could get a feel for what i was getting into. I even purchased some equipment i would be needing for a surf too.
First up was a Palm FX - A lightweight whitewater spec PFD with a simple design that would keep me afloat in the surf zone should i end up in the water! The FX has decent side adjustment straps to provide a nice snug fit so that it won't ride up on the body whilst your getting thrown about in the messy stuff.
Pull the Yellow toggle to release the leash, Pull the Red toggle to release the whole belt...
A session was arranged with Gary and we headed to Saunton Sands (the training grounds) in Devon on Sunday morning. Its a 2 hour drive for me but the drive across Dartmoor at sunrise was worth it.
It was time to unleash the Green Machine!
Time to hit the waves!
Gary was catching a few good ones and getting thrown off too.....
Anyhow, I was quite happy getting the hang of paddling through the surf and catching waves and then remounting once off the kayak. Its a different feel to any kayak I've paddled before so it was a steep learning curve but great fun all the same. The FX PFD was great and the quick release waist-leash was working spot on even when i was being dragged along by an empty surfing kayak. I even managed to pull of a super cool reverse move without thigh straps on (on purpose of course!) - see the video!
Did i mention it was cold? Yeah, after loads of dunkings i was starting to get chilly even in the winter suit. I got proper mashed on one wave and lined the lungs with saltwater and swallowed some for good measure. That zapped the last of my energy so i called it a day.
A hot coffee in the beach cafe finished the session off nicely. It was great fun, but hard work too. My muscles are now nicely stretched after a fairly dormant winter period. Thanks to Gary for his useful tips and help with the thigh straps. I'm looking forward to the next time. I can see this being a great way to get on the water when the conditions are no good for kayak fishing!