Purchased the WindPaddle Cruiser model to use with an Innova Helios II tandem inflatable kayak after it was clear that my attempt to attach the sail from my Feathercraft K2 folding kayak was going to negate the portable advantages of inflatable kayak. I resisted the rather unorthodox circular Windpaddle, but after further research decided it was the best fit for a kayak designed to be ultra portable and airline ready.
Took the Windpaddle to the Florida Keys last week and was quite pleased with its ease of use and performance. This sail will also see use on our canoes and other kayaks. Setup easy, deployed quickly, and came down easily (see YouTube videos on how to fold back up--that's the only tricky part). All in all, a great addition to the paddling kit.Wind Paddle – “Adventure” Mk I model is a 9 out of 10 for pure fun.
This is a very clever kayak sail that is simple to use and totally portable from kayak to kayak. Since it has no mounting hardware to worry about, I just clip it to my side deck cords or clips and if the wind comes up... I “pop” it up and I am sailing. If the wind goes down... I fold it in half and store it flat under the deck cords. Works best in winds over 10mph.
I have had this puppy for 3 months now in 25+ mph winds and I fly faster than I could possibly paddle. The real fun comes when you are going the same speed as the waves and you feel a surfing effect under the boat as you catch a wave.
I find the further forward towards the bow the sail is .... the more wind I can catch. Since I don’t use the paddle when I am under sail, I recommend you use a paddle leash, since you will need both hands to control the sail, especially when catching wind 90 degrees to the side. I also strongly recommend this for kayaks with rudders.
The biggest Kayak I have tried this on is my Wilderness Systems “Northstar” 18.5 foot, 95 lb tandem. My girlfriend ran the sail in the front while I paddled in the back and ran the rudder. We were going so fast that my paddling was slowing us down.... so I lifted my paddle and decided to “enjoy the ride”.
Although I still enjoy a calm day on the water.... I really look forward to a windy day now !!Got my new wind paddle Adventure sail last week, and have only had it out for about an hour due to uncooperative weather. Here are my first impressions, comparing it to the homemade variety of the PA sail I have. Here is the link to the PA style sail I am comparing it to....
First of all, if you are considering the Wind Paddle, get the Adventure, not the Sport. In a decent wind, the sport would get snatched out of your hand. Both sails are attached to my Caper midway on top of the front hatch. I've added padeyes on both sides for attachment points.
Conclusion... well the jury is still out. I don't think it will replace my PA style sail, but it will make an easily stowable emergency sail if I have hardware failure, and it is also wonderful to have around for guests to use, and I can use it on my OK Malibu XL tandem without any modifications.
- Deployment..... my vote goes with the PA style. The wind paddle when folded up requires me to scoot forward in order to deploy it. Also, out of the package, the Wind Paddle does not have front bungees. This makes it more difficult to pop up, and when the sail luffed, it wanted to fall in my lap. I am in the process of adding bungees up front. I am concerned that they will interfere with the WP sail filling fully with air... it sort of fills up like a shallow wind sock, and the front bungees might keep it from filling fully. Probably not enough to matter though.
- Storage on board..... goes to the Wind Paddle. It folds up nicely like a sun screen in your car. Takes up very little room when folded, only covers my front hatch. The PA type lays across my legs and makes for a busy deck.
- Maneuverability..... slight edge to the Wind Paddle. Seemed more "steerable". Frankly though, I mostly cleat the lines on my PA type sail and paddle/rudder anyway. Both can darn near get a full broad reach.
- Dousing the sail..... advantage to the PA type. I simply pull it back and fold it up. The Wind Paddle will pull back into my lap, but folding it up while underway is challenging. Perhaps I will get better over time.
- Speed.... to be determined. I need to get my wife out there so we can race them. Both sails are 1 sq meter, and both will move the kayak as fast as I can paddle in a 8-10 mph wind.
- Field of vision.... the winner hear goes to the PA type. At eye level. the window goes across my entire field of view, while the Wind Paddle is both wider at eye level, and the clear panel does not go across the entire sail.
- Ease of attachment.... goes to the Wind Paddle. It is simple, adjustable, and can be attached just about anywhere foreward there is a padeye or hatch strap. My PA type sail requires a "saddle" ( I made mine from closed cell foam) that allows for the sail to deploy fully open.
- Price..... Pacific Action new: $250
Wind Paddle Adventure: $175
PA style homemade sail $35 and about 6 man hours
The WindPaddle could be moved from boat to boat easily, with no major modification. My PA style sail seems more substantial and rugged. I like the better field of view also. Both are fun !!
You can read more wind paddle info at windpaddle.com