Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Kayak Rudder Related Articles and Links:

The many links below will shed some light on all kayak Rudders, regardless of brand name. All the videos are informative, even if your type, brand or model of kayak is not directly addressed. Some “brands” of rudder may have several pin lengths or rudder bracket types, to choose from, the Smart Track video will shed some light on the matter. Don’t discount information about a kayak just because it is a sit-on or sit-in hull style, the rudders are often identical.

The links above will shed on light on all kayaks, regardless of brand name. All the videos are informative, even if your type (sit-in vs. sit-on), brand or model of kayak is not addressed.

Read the articles and watch the videos at the links above. Check the links to the www.TopKayaker.com shop. Bear in mind that some categories are many pages long, and some product descriptions are quite informative. If you should need further help call 603-323-8090 or email tom@topkayaker.net.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Introduction to the TopKayaker Blog

Greetings Kayakers!

This blog is my new platform to publish information of interests to all kayakers. While the www.TopKayaker.net website (the TopKayaker online magazine) will remain a vast reservoir of information, you can look here to see new information. I will be referring to many of the TopKayaker articles, so consider it your "freshman text book".

What has peaked my interest greatly is the restoration of classic kayaks and this will one of the primary focus here. Fiberglass, composite and plastic kayak hulls are nearly indestructible. The hulls will last forever. The "soft parts" and other fittings will not. Your great grandchildren will inherit that old kayak in your garage decades from now. Who knows what they will use for a seat, hatch cover or rudder, maybe their cows will be drinking water from the hull. In any case, these old kayaks will be passed down, sold at yard sales and distributed to those who want to paddle them. These classic kayaks can be restored to full working condition, to be used safely for their original intended purpose. These kayaks were good enough for us a decade or two ago, they will be again with some TLC.

Yes, there are some kayaks that are lost cause and should be recycled or repurposed, never to paddle again. The reason for such could be many and varied. I will address this topic at a later date. For the most part, if you have a viable hull, most of the original parts, a budget, some time and effort, as well as some ability to work with your hands, restoring an old kayak could be as much fun as paddling it.

Much of what you will initially see here on this blog will be information on kayak repair, maintenance, and access to parts. In the past decade or so my work at www.TopKayaker.com (the TopKayaker online store) has allowed me to help all kinds of kayakers, customize and improve their kayaks, repair kayaks, obtain hard to find kayak parts and to restore older kayaks back into full working order. So I will be pointing your attention to the TopKayaker Shop often. I like to say that "We have every thing but the hull".

I will not be encouraging people to "Mickey Mouse" or jury rig their kayaks back onto the water. While their might be a little McGyvering and some garage engineering, I will be advising repairs that take into account safety and practical needs within the realm of the kayaking. Kayaking as a discipline has many levels in terms of the equipment used and the skills needed, not only to have fun but also to be safe. By percentage most paddlers simply want to float around on a pond, small lake or slow river, their goals and needs are simple, their exposure to risk is minimal. Other paddlers are more serious, even pro level, with more complex goals and greater exposure to risk. I will address the appropriate equipment restoration based on the type of kayak and the intent of the kayak's designer and manufacture in terms of use. In other words I will not be advising on how to strap a lawn chair into kayak, nor how to convert a white water kayak into a sea kayak, or vise versa. I will also drag my heels on the application of any motor, no matter how small. I will apply my 36+ years of experience as a paddler, in the paddle sports business, and my common sense, to all that is published here. My goal is to help you restore your kayak back to safe operating condition.

I will address some other issues of interest to kayakers here as well, such as destinations, kayak news, reviews of equipment and the history of modern sport kayaking in the USA.

I look forward to our journey together, Tom Holtey

Thursday, January 19, 2017