Still the one: a five-year review on the Sandpiper
After five seasons of use, Eddyline paddler Dan Aldous is still smitten with his Eddyline Sandpiper. Dan made the switch from canoeing to kayaking in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. We caught up with Dan to find out why he refers to his Sandpiper as “the one.” For all the details on his opinions about the kayak, check out the Five-Year Review on YouTube that he created about his Sandpiper.
KM: Where do you live? What do you consider your home waterway?
Dan:I live in northern New York State...way up north. Our closest major city is actually Ottawa, Canada. The Adirondacks are my backyard. In the Adirondacks I have access to over 3000 lakes and ponds...30,000 miles of rivers and streams. The waterway that I paddle the most is probably the Raquette River. The Raquette is about 140 miles long and traverses from the central Adirondacks through several man-made reservoirs to the St. Lawrence River.
K: Why did you choose the Sandpiper?
D: I wanted a kayak that I could fit into (6’1”- 250 pounds), one that had dry storage front and rear with a good carrying capacity. In May of 2017 I traveled down to the Lake George Kayak Company in Lake George, New York. Being right on Lake George I could demo boats back-to-back. When I tried the Sandpiper, I could tell immediately as I paddled away from the dock it was different from the other boats I had demoed. This kayak glided through the water with ease. I was impressed with the balance and the agility of this kayak. The fact that it was 38 pounds, had a 350-pound maximum capacity, it was a no brainer for me.
K: What did you think when you first got it - what do you think now?
D:I really babied my Sandpiper that first summer! I cleaned it a lot and for some reason I had the line of thinking that because it was so light….that it was also fragile. As the summer moved on and I used this kayak more and more and bounced off a few submerged stumps, logs and rocks, I found that it's really a tough little boat.
K: Where is your favorite spot to kayak?
D: My favorite paddle trip is the Bog River outside Tupper Lake, New York. There is a launch point at a dam named Lows Lower Dam. Paddle upriver 3.2 miles and come to Lows Upper Dam. Carry around the dam and paddle further up the river to Lows Lake. It's a great day paddle to go up to the upper dam, have lunch, explore the ruins of Abbot Augustus Lows mansion, hike the overlook and paddle back. Or better yet, pack up the kayak with camping gear and stay at one of the primitive campsites along the river or on Lows Lake.
K: What safety precautions do you take when kayaking?
D: Anyone who paddles alone should learn self-rescuing techniques and be honest about their abilities….because help may not be around. When I started paddling a guide at a local college recommended that I learn self-rescuing techniques because of the remoteness of the Adirondacks. She took me out one Saturday morning to teach me self-rescuing techniques. I showed up wearing a t-shirt and cargo shorts ….she asked if that was what I was wearing and I said yes…..she giggled and said “OK.” I found once wet the shorts were like an anchor. There was no way I could re-enter my kayak with those shorts on no matter which technique I used. I now know why she laughed. Once I took them off, I could re-enter pretty easily. I do recommend taking self-rescue training. A beginner doesn’t think of the little things that could end up being disastrous [like always dressing for immersion].