Sarah Outen meets Nelson
The ALAW is a high performance sea kayak with an easy going nature, designed for medium to larger size paddlers.
Ontwerp / Vaareigenschappen
The ALAW emerged from the Rockpool factory as the first of a new generation of high performance, fast and comfortable sea kayaks. It is a refined mid-volume sea kayak which combines good levels of speed, manoeuvrability and stability. This is a boat that happily fits into the role of touring weekend boat but has a liking for playing around in the surf and tide races. The ALAW introduced the concept of a cockpit with a raised knee position to the world of sea kayaking. Similar to that seen in the designs of racing kayaks this gives a more comfortable, ergonomic and powerful sitting position than other sea kayaks on the market.
The hull configuration gives high forward speed due to its long waterline relative to the overall length. The hull shape maintains good directional stability when moving but the flatter centre section and chined hull gives good manoeuvrability in confined spaces and tight turns. The ALAW is designed to have neutral directional stability in most wind conditions and requires minimal use of the skeg. The bow has good shape and volume to maintain a dry ride through choppy conditions. One of the first things you notice when paddling the ALAW is how dry the ride is when paddling out from the beach through surf. The buoyant bow is nicely balanced with a fine stern to give a gentle ride over large, steep waves. This fine section in the stern also allows the ALAW to stay flat and accelerate nicely when catching a wave without the nose tending to bury. The ALAW surfs well, catching waves easily and then with responsive but stable handling when tracking across the wave.
The fullness of the centre section gives confident and predictable edging with plenty of stability even when under an extensive lean. This is a boat that can be confidently edged and indeed should be in order to get the best from it. During a lean the stern progressively lifts from the water, increasing turn rate. When combined with the hull chines this gives a surprisingly fast turning boat.
The rounded sections of the hull give a cushioning effect in waves while the chined section aids surfing and maximizes top speed in downwind situations.
The ALAW has a unique and distinctive deck shape which sets it apart from other sea kayaks. This deck shape was designed primarily to improve cockpit ergonomics. The comfortable seating position is arranged around a relatively elevated knee position which aligns the legs and feet in a less stressed and more comfortable position. This position also allows for better paddling technique; bringing the legs further into play and encouraging the paddler to rotate more to give a stronger, more efficient paddling stroke.
The combination of padded backrest and choice of seat widths makes the ALAW a most comfortable kayak for extended use. The cockpit rim is keyhole shaped with integrated thigh braces. The combination of the elevated knee position and integrated thigh braces combine with hull secondary stability to make the ALAW a responsive and precise kayak to edge and turn. In addition, the raised cockpit helps shed water in rough conditions, keeping water off the spraydeck.
The ALAW is fitted with the Rockpool Kayaks designed adjustable plate footrest. This is angled for a strong natural ankle position which allows the paddler to finely adjust their leg alignment. Matched with the adjustable seat this places the paddler in a dynamic, comfortable and more efficient position for paddling.
The seats are moulded GRP shells which are adjustable front-to-back at 10mm intervals. The adjustable seat and footrest are mounted on internal hull fixings without drill holes. This relieves the cockpit rim and deck of unnecessary stress and provides a variable seat position for increased feedback to the paddler. The foam hip pads, located within neoprene pockets, may be foam shimmed to fine tune hip fitment. The backrest integrates with the seat to prevent diving while entering.
The low rear deck and flexible back strap makes the ALAW easy to roll. Fittings are incorporated to carry split paddles on either the front or rear deck. All deckline fittings are recessed for a neater, smoother look and to make life a little easier during rescue drills.
The overall visual appeal of the ALAW is unique and stylish. It is a statement of power, gracefulness and individuality. This sea kayak delivers performance, control and comfort.
Length (cm) 521 Width (cm) 53 Front hatch (liters) ± 80 Cockpit (liters) ± 167 Rear hatch (liters) ± 58 Day hatch (liters) ± 30 Diameter front hatch (cm) 24 Diameter rear hatch (c,) 24 Diameter day hatch (cm) 19 Oval rear hatch No Knee tube / Deck hatch No Variable skeg Yes Manufacturer Rockpool Kayaks Herkomst Verenigd Koninkrijk Shipping weight (g) 0.0000