Esquif have recently re-started production of their canoe range with a replacement for Royalex know as T-Formex, this is made by Esquif specifically for canoes; it’s probably the most exciting thing to happen in canoe manufacture in recent years!
I was lucky enough to get my hands on one from the first shipment into the UK and so far I absolutely love it!
I mainly paddle solo, carrying a day bag or overnight bag so I have outfitted this boat to suit that purpose. This is not a ‘how to’ instruction guide. Rather my thoughts on outfitting and explaining the decisions I have made.
The first thing I did was remove the seats & the stiffening bar, there’s no point in having two seats if I’m only going to paddle solo. I was surprised to find just how stiff the boat was even without any of the outfitting in. This T-Formex stuff seems to be super strong!
I fitted a kneeling thwart as close as I can get to the carrying yoke; this allows me to have the greatest effect on the trim of the boat as well as maximum connectivity. This gives me total control over the performance.
This is fitted immediately behind the kneeling thwart. Sometimes on a long journey I want to sit down; comfort is important during an 80km day! Because of the positioning of the two together I can switch between comfort and performance by sliding my bum just a few inches.
I used black 10mm static climbing rope tied off inside the boat with a figure of eight knot and backed up with a couple of cable ties. I keep the loops as tight as possible to avoid any potential snagging. They are just big enough to clip a karabiner through.
I’ve laced the boat along its length using black 5mm cord, I fitted four small pieces of 6mm clear plastic pipe immediately in front of the yoke to make small loops to clip gear to or to lash in equipment on an expedition.
I use 60 inch airbags at both ends and I put them in Aiguille Alpine’s Airbag Covers to protect them. These are fitted firstly by strapping them to the inside of the end loops, and then using 5mm cord I lash them into place using the lacing.
Volia! The boat is ready to paddle.
Adam Robson works full time in the outdoors specialising in open canoeing. He runs his own business Robson Outdoors offering high quality coaching and guiding across the UK and abroad. Recently his book Welsh Canoe Classics was published detailing his favourite canoe trips in Wales.