My friend Bob giving my Betsie Bay Manitou a skills run through.
Trying out different boats is popular with my kayaking friends. I found a vintage Betsie Bay Manitou for sale in the early fall. The Manitou is one of the first 10 of that model made by Al Anderson from Betsie Bay kayaks. New Manitou’s weight less than 35 lbs. My vintage version is about 45 lbs., heavier than new Betsie Bay’s but lighter than my other boats.
The Manitou is a larger volume greenland style kayak. It’s 22 inches wide and 18 feet long and it built with more depth for larger paddlers which I really appreciate with my size 13 feet. The Manitou has become my favorite kayak to paddle. It’s fast and very maneuverable for an 18 ft kayak. A little lean and it responds quickly. The Manitou is almost an equal in speed to my Current Designs Extreme.
My friend Bob likes to roll. He wanted to put the Betsie Bay to the test of his rolling and bracing skills. The Manitou was a little too roomy for him but he gave the boat high marks for it’s rolling and maneuverability. Check out some of the photos I snapped while Bob was playing.
Rolling and Bracing Slideshow
For another view check out the video of Bob playing in the Betsie Bay.
Bob Kriese testing out my new to me Betsie Bay Manitou with some rolling and bracing at Sunset Park in Kimberly on the Fox River. The underwater shots show that this water doesn’t have the best clarity for filming under water rolls.
The Betsie Bay Manitou is a fantastic kayak to paddle. It has excellent speed, turns and maneuvers quickly and has a simple comfortable fit. The Manitou is a greenland style kayak. Bob is using a carbon fiber greenland paddle made by Superior Kayaks.
Have you tried Greenland paddling? Last year, after watching a new paddling friend paddle right by me with his hand-made skinny stick I was intrigued. How could that thin piece of wood propel a kayak through the water?
I didn’t get to try the Greenland paddle that day. After I got off the water I was very curious. When I got home I was excited to do some research on Greenland paddles. After a lot of exploration I found a lot of great information and decided to carve my own Greenland paddle.
I followed the on line guide, Making a West Greenland Paddle by Chuck Holst. Chuck’s guide is extremely helpful and detailed.
Next I discovered this video on carving the Greenland paddle by Matt Johnson. Matt’s video walked me through each step.
I found a nice cedar 2 X 6 at Home Depot and got to work. Creating my first Greenland paddle was a lot of fun. I took my time, double checking each step and learning as I went. I had never tried one of these Greenland paddles so before I finished it I took it out for a short test paddle. It was different and within minutes of paddling on our small lake in town I was hooked. I’ve turned into a Greenland paddler. Paddling with a beautiful piece of wood that I made myself is a real joy.