During the insanely hot and fabulous last summer, I was doing some coaching at the KajakCenter in Grebbestad on the Swedish west coast. There I got to paddle the Lettmann Biscaya LV that Mats, who runs the kayak centre, has had in his fleet for a few years now. Mats and Jochen Lettmann are long term business partners and Mats has been selling Lettmann Kayaks for many, many years.
When sliding into the Biscaya Low Volume (LV) version for the first time, it felt a bit like coming home. The seat was very comfy and the lower deck suited my 1.62 m above the sea, perfect. Over the years it hasn’t been easy to find boats with great performance for me since I was only given 162 cm to play with. Usually the decks are way too high to have some kind of decent paddle technique. It’s quite often my shoulders would feel like porridge after only having launched a few minutes earlier due to the insanely high position with the paddle being needed not to ware out my thumbs when I felt them banging on the sides of the boat. This usually resulted in a number of bad words escaping my mouth that would make my mum use my real name (Ulrika) instead of my nick name (secret for those who don’t really know me that well), which she always did when I was a child and had done something naughty. Calling out my real name, I knew I was in trouble…
Teaching in the Biscaya LV soon became a pleasure. Despite it’s length (5.35m), it’s a joy to manoeuvre due to the semi rounded hull that gives a bit of a more unstable feeling in during the first few seconds, compared to the flat hulled Nigel Dennis Romany boat I’m used to and to the Arrow Nuka I’ve paddled for some years. But was so easy to get the Biscaya LV where I wanted it to go with just a little bit of edging and some smooth, good looking, paddle strokes. Adding to the fact that it’s been outfitted with a very comfortable seat, it was a pleasure to paddle it last summer.
So when things changed with Arrow Kayaks, who’s been supporting me for a few years, Mats and Jochen Lettmann came up with the idea to support me with a brand new boat and I just couldn’t refuse their offer. After having spent an evening and a night on the ferry to Kiel, Germany, with a bunch of happy pensioners who drank more than apple juice I can tell and doing a 500 km drive to Moers outside Dusseldorf from Kiel, I picked up the Green Pea (no, I will never grow up and stop naming my toys) only to drive another 1000 km to North Wales where she would be touching water for the first time.
Having paddled a white water boat for a week in Slovenia with the guys at the Prijon Sport Center, just before picking up the Green Pea at the Lettmann factory, it was a bit of a weird feeling to be in a sea kayak again, when me and my dear friends, Justine and Barry launched at Menai Bridge that rainy and grey morning. But the Green Pea didn’t disappoint me at all. She seemed to be happy in the fast flowing water underneath the bridge pillars on the spring tide and so was I. I can’t wait do some camping trips with my new boat, cause I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome touring boat. And I’m sure we will have many great moments together on the water.
A big THANKS goes out to Jochen Lettmann and Mats Torvmo, who are the gentlemen that have given me the opportunity to make friends with the Biscaya LV. And should you be interested in learning more about this boat (it comes in different sizes of course), don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mats at the KajakCenter in Grebbestad. He’s more than happy to help you out and match you with the right model that will be suitable for you not to hurt your knuckles. ;-)
If you click the pictures, they will be presented in a light box.