Behind the scenes – KASK Kayak Fest 2017, Ponui Island

For something to go like clockwork…first you have to wind up the clock! And keep on winding it. Last March Shaun Maclaren and KASK President Tim Muhundan had a powwow, and invited six others to a meeting on 6 April, so they could share their vision of “taking the KASK forum to another level, catering for confident paddlers, at a unique location in the Hauraki Gulf”. Within two hours we were revved up and ‘on-board’, each with a ‘portfolio’ and jobs to do.

L – R in photo: Chris Breen – Deputy Chair, finance; Jim Hawkins – sponsors; Nick Webb – program; Shelley Stuart – catering; Shaun Maclaren – Chairman, logistics, safety; Ruth Henderson – program, instructors; Pauline Ross – finance, marketing, registration; Tim Muhundan – KASK President, marketing, registration.
Rotoroa Island was visited and discounted; Ponui seemed ideal and despite some foreseeable challenges, (no roads, no power…) was quickly settled upon. It was game on.
Throughout the year we met every month, mainly at each other’s homes – from Howick in the east, to Hobsonville in the west and even paddled over to Kawau Island in the north. Timelines and agendas were made, problems were solved, and disagreements resolved, minutes recorded, duties and deadlines were met.
By early December we had a formidable line up of instructors and program available on-line, some keen sponsors and a healthy number of registrations. We combined a second reconnaissance on Ponui Island with a Yakity Yak club trip as a trial run and subsequently tweaked a few things.

January and February passed in a blur of paperwork and lists: noteworthy was Shaun’s epic Event Safety and Risk Plan at 33 pages long; the equipment list which grew and grew – from extension cords, to sledge hammers and whiteboard pens; and the people lists –attendees, car-park attendants, pub quiz groups…
Twenty four hours before the first participants set out from Kawakawa Bay, the event organising team, plus one honorary member, Shaun’s wife, Glenda Ray, arrived with truck and trailer, fizz boat and kayaks.

Pictures being worth a thousand words – best let them speak…and yes, that is donkey shit being shovelled…

and, no I do not know how many journey’s the fizz boat made carrying warratah stakes to loud speaker systems to stacks of chairs.

Sand bags were filled to muffle the generator noise,

projectors and sound systems were installed.

Goodie Bags were filled,

rules and regulation obligations…from marking out a helicopter pad to filling in a hazard board… were met.

By Friday lunchtime we were ready – the new KASK flag was raised… we waved and called out a welcoming “Haere mai” as each pod reached the shores of Ponui Island.
Soon the grass and foreshore was covered in colourful tents and kayaks…and queues formed as people added their names to activity lists. The games had begun.
Forty eight hours later, it was “Haere ra”. Pods departed, the catering truck (this time without hiccup), the play-boats, the skin-on-frames and a swag of gear was loaded onto the barge

…and the clean-up began…white-tack, staples were removed, posters rolled…

a dozen dunnys and every metre of the grounds were scoured…

On Monday morning we left one of the jewels in the Hauraki Gulf, pristine.
The past twelve months have been a great journey…if you get ‘shoulder tapped’ for the next event; grab the opportunity to work with a diverse bunch of people to create something for your kayaking community.

May 2016 e-Newsletter

In this month’s KASK e-newsletter, we’ve got some exciting announcements from KASK about our paddling event and the latest survey results and news.


We are excited to announce that the registration for the 25th annual KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum is now open. We can also reveal the location: It will in Ponui Island, a treasure island in the Hauraki Gulf!
The event has a new name: KASK Kayak Fest 2017 – Ponui Island

You can register here: Registrations
More information here: FAQ

The 2017 event will be unique, memorable with plenty of opportunities to paddle, share ideas and learn on and off the water.  KASK has never done an island destination before. Imagine landing with your kayak to be greeted by wild donkeys and sleeping in a tent while kiwis forage around you at night.

Diarise this date now!
3-5 March 2017

Update – Lynn Redz Patterson NZ circumnavigation by kayak

We at KASK have been following Lynn Redz Patterson since she started her epic journey paddling around New Zealand – it is nearly 200 days since she left Takapuna and since then she has paddled over 3,500 km. I talked to her this morning: she is in West Coast – with 3.2m average westerly swell pounding the coast, she is waiting for 2-3 day window of good weather for her next stint.

We wish her all the best for the rest of her journey. Please checkout the latest video Lynn just posted this week:

Lynn Redz Patterson just posted this video of how she spent 43 days kayaking around and through the fiords, as part of her attempt to paddle around the entire coastline of New Zealand in a kayak.

Mike Dawson needs your help – Rio

One of our fellow paddlers needs your help. New Zealand athlete, Mike Dawson has qualified for the Rio Olympic Games in Canoe Slalom. To get to the startline uncompromised he needs to raise $40,000. To help him raise the money, he has created and is selling a recipe book. Please visit his site and buy his amazing Athlete Cookbook, full of great recipes from all over the world and some stories to go with it!
We wish Mike all the success at the Rio Olympics and hope to have him talk to us about his journey at the next KASK Kayak Fest 2017 – Ponui Island on 3-5 Mar 2017, all being well.


Review of the Paddling Perfection Adventurer – By Shawn Walsh
"The latest boat to come out of the Paddling Perfection stable.  This light and responsive kayak will put a smile on the faces of both beginners and the more experienced paddlers with handling that makes it fun and responsive while still having enough room for a weekend away…."

Read the full review here.

We will be publishing more reviews by our members. If you want to submit a review of a latest New Zealand kayak or kayak related accessories, apps and gadgets, please get in touch with KASK through the links at the bottom and we will send you some review guidelines. We are especially interested in non-vendor sponsored reviews with pictures video etc.

Event Survey Results

Thanks for your input to help us improve our National sea kayaking event by completing our event survey early this month.

The respondents thought the KASK Sea Kayaking forum as it is at the moment is somewhat useful, with good objectives especially related to skills development. It needs to be fully catered and it should stay focussed on sea kayaking, aimed predominantly at intermediate paddlers and strong beginners. It should run once a year in either North or South Island and should be held in February or March and should ideally be followed by International Kayak week.
The full results of the survey can be found here.We know we have to make some major changes to the event moving forward.
  • Your responses have been really helpful to the new event team to come up with a outstanding event for 2017 that aligns with what most of the members and the paddling community want:
    – We have a name change – ‘KASK Kayak Fest 2017’ and with excellent leadership from Shaun and the event team we have a vision for the next event.
    – We are moving away from sit down slideshows to on water instructions and activities. Nick and Ruth are working hard to put together the on water stuff for KASK Kayak Fest 2017 – Ponui Island.
    – We now know that most of you are comfortable with sponsorship to help keep the registration cost down as well as what sort of sponsorship is acceptable. Jim Hawkins is looking at sponsorship – and if any of you want to help, let me know and I will put you in touch with Jim.
    – We now know most of you don’t want to pay more than $250 for registration. Pauline and Chris have been working hard crunching the numbers to come up with an early bird registration at $250
    – We now know how important catering and food is. Shelley is working hard with caterers to come up with a great menu so you can focus on having a good time on water instead of cooking!
    – Thanks for telling us how best to communicate with you and the importance of easy registration and online / credit card payment. Pauline and myself have come up with a marketing plan to keep you in the loop.

Member Survey results:

Thank you to everyone who completed the member surveyearly this year.  We really value your input and we use the survey results to find out more about our members and their needs and wants to stay relevant and to ensure that the members get value out of their membership.
"a typical current KASK member is a male, in their 50’s, owns multiple kayaks, paddles regularly throughout the year, typically doing day paddles or weekend paddles and consider themselves to be either of intermediate or advanced skill level."
 The full results of the survey can be found here.

If you are a member, you would have already got an invite to take part in our AGM – which this year will be through on line meeting application. The KASK Committee will be on line on 7:00 PM, Monday 23 May and we are inviting KASK members to try ‘Go To Meeting’ just to check that you have everything set up ready for the AGM the following Monday (30 May). If you do have problems connecting please be patient and we will try to sort it out with you.

May 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm NZST

Joining KASK

You are already in our database as a paid KASK member, which is why you are receiving this email. However, if you know other paddlers / friends / colleagues who could benefit from being a KASK member, they can join using this link:JOIN

Signing up for e-newsletter
If you know other paddlers would like to receive copies of this e-newsletter, ask them to subscribe using this link (rather than simply forwarding this email to someone who might accidentally unsubscribe you from the list!!).

Getting in Touch with KASK

Kiwi Association of Sea kayakers has an active committee. The contact details of the committee members can be found here. We are always open to your comments and input and feel free to contact me any time.
Happy paddling over the winter.

Tim Muhundan
Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers
(021) 2767727

KASK Event Survey Results — 2016

The respondents thought the KASK Sea Kayaking forum as it is at the moment is somewhat useful, with good objectives especially related to skills development. It needs to be fully catered and it should stay focussed on sea kayaking, aimed predominantly at intermediate paddlers and strong beginners. It should run once a year in either North or South Island and should be held in February or March and should ideally be followed by International Kayak week.

This is according to our latest survey. Here are the complete survey results:

1. Event Objectives and vision

Q1: How do you consider KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum to be:

24% thought it was extremely important and 65% thought it was somewhat useful. 11 % thought the forum is irrelevant and had no value to them as paddlers. We asked the respondents who thought it was irrelevant why it was irrelevant and the common reason is that it is an outdated concept.

Q2: Do you think the current objectives for National KASK Forum [AGM, Skills development and social gathering] is still relevant or should we rethink the objectives?


90% of the respondents are happy with the current objectives.

Q3: Please rank the objectives below in the order of importance


60% ranked the skills development the most important objective.

However, the weighted average score showed most consider the skill development closely followed by social gathering and networking to be the most important objectives.

Q4: KASK is currently for Sea Kayakers, should the target audience be broadened to include Kayak fishing, multisport, K1 racing and white water paddling?

Q492% did not think the target audience should be broadened beyond sea kayakers.

And the 8% who wanted to broaden the audience rated kayak fishing and multisports paddling followed by whitewater paddling as the items they like to see addressed.


Q6: Do you think the name of the event should be changed?

There was widespread support for a name change – but there was a significant 24 people who wanted it to stay as “KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum”, with 6 wanting something else ranging from ‘KASK Annual forum’, ‘Sea Kayak Symposium’ to ‘KASK McKASKface’ – whatever that means. One suggested ‘Kayak the Hauraki Gulf – KASK 2017’ for the next one. We will revisit this next year since we sneaked this question AFTER the survey started, and not everyone who responded had a say in it.

Q7: At what skill level should the forum target [select more than one if necessary]


The question allowed multiple selection with Most respondents (90%) wanted the forum to target at the intermediate level followed by strong beginners (72%) and then advanced (63%). However 35% believed that the beginners should also be targeted.

2. Event Sponsorship

Q8: Sponsors – Would you be happy if KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum was sponsored?


3% were against sponsorship and want KASK annual event to remain non-commercial. The rest were open to the idea – but some had following reservations or comments:

"Depends who is sponsoring"
"Comes with strings attached. can be counterproductive for not much gain."
"As long as the sponsorship is clearly visible and does not limit presentations"
"Sponsors are good as long as they don't get exclusivity rights or are able to dictate the content"
"Yes, Happy for sponsorship. Cost to me not an issue"
"More would come from a distance if cheaper (sponsor for accom)"
"Yes. Does not have to be a related sponsor, even naming rights could be sponsored, as in C2C. Would not want the event hi-jacked by a sponsor non-related, or related to kayaking though."
"Many sea paddlers are unaware of KASK. Sponsors provide door prizes, beverages, funding, sponsor coaches and advertise KASK and its events far beyond the reach of the KASK newsletter. Pacific Paddling Symposium uses this model and sold out this year in ONE HOUR."
"Sponsors allow overseas experts to be assisted with travel"
"I want to see all the new stuff"



Q9: If you are happy to have a Forum sponsor, what are the sponsorship options you are comfortable with?

Q985% of the respondents open to sponsorship said they will be happy to have a kayaking related business to be the sponsor.

Q10: If you are happy to have a Forum sponsor, what should the sponsorship cover?

Q106% wanted the sponsorship to cover goody bags only. 6% preferred the sponsorship to cover prizes only. However, 86% said they are open to the sponsorship covering any of the items including funding and food &  beverages.

3. The Event – Pricing and value

Q11: Pricing –  What is the upper limit that you would pay to attend a 2.5 day / weekend forum? [The more you pay, the more value / food & accommodation choices you will have]


Surprisingly there was two peaks in the answers – one big one at $250 (36%) and a smaller peak at $200 (19%) followed by $180 (17%). Another way of looking at the results is that only 3% of the respondents were happy to pay $350 for registration, but 50% of the respondents were happy to pay $250 for registration and 83% were happy to pay $200.

Q12: Do you prefer KASK to provide the meals or do you prefer to self cater


8% wanted to self cater, with the remaining 92% wanted to be catered one way or the other.

4. Event location

Q13: Where would you prefer the KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum to be

Q13Nearly 70% were not fussed whether or not it was in North or South Island, with 19 % preferring North Island (and can’t make the trip to South Island and 13% preferring South Island (and can’t make the trip to North Is.).

Q14: Please rank the destinations below that works best for you in North Island [1 most preferred… 7 least favourite]

Q14The most popular destination in North Island was around Auckland. However the weighted average shows there are also some support to have that in either Upper North Island  as well as Coromandel / Tauranga / BoP.

Q15: Please rank the destinations below that works best for you in South Island [1 most preferred… 7 least favourite]

Q15Despite the cancellation of Anakiwa forum this year, Marlborough / Picton still rates top in the weighted average followed by Nelson area and Canterbury.

5. Timing of the event and the frequency

Q16: How often should a KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum be held?

Q16There are hardly any support for having two events / year – though 42% wants once every two years, and the 56% happy with once a year.

Q17: Timing – what is your preferred timing for the forum. Please order in rank of preference.


The weighted average shows that most popular time to have the forum is February followed by early March / late January.

Q18: Would you attend a follow-on event – such as an international paddling week (IKW) closer to the KASK Forum location


There is generally wide spread support for IKW.

7. Marketing and demography

Q19: How likely is it that you would recommend KASK National Sea Kayaking Forum 2017 to a friend or colleague?


This is an industry accepted benchmarking question for the event (Net Promoter® Score) – which showed we scored pretty poorly and that we have some work to do moving forward.

Demography and responses across segments

We conducted this survey using two collectors (i.e. unique URL’s) – one targeted at the paddling community via Facebook and the other for the Sea Canoeist magazine readers (mainly members). For the first 19 questions, the answers have been very consistent across both collectors or market segments. However, the marketing questions and the demography question showed a clear distinction as per below:

Q21: What is the best way to reach you about upcoming paddling events

Response from magazine readers:


Response from Facebook respondents:Q21

Even more interesting is the stated age group from the respondents.

Response from magazine readers:

80% of the survey respondents that completed the survey from the magazine link were 50-69 years old, with 20% 70+:


Response from Facebook respondents:

The Facebook respondents age profile peaked at 50-59.


This is very useful for getting our messages across about the 2017 event across multiple communication channels.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey.

Tim Muhundan / 16 May 2016

Review: Paddling Perfection Adventurer

Full disclosure, I’m not a professional Kayak reviewer, in fact when I took the new Paddling Perfection Adventurer for a test paddle it was the first time I had been in a sea kayak since the KASK forum earlier in the year.

First Impressions:

When I picked up the Paddling Perfection Adventurer demo boat just after Christmas I was pleasantly surprised at how light it was, at 20kg it’s one of the lighter boats on the market and with its low back deck it looked like it would be fun to paddle and roll. It’s also quite a short boat, at 4.3 metres in length with a 60cm beam it’s the same length as many fishing kayaks. Made of thermoformed plastic like the Barracuda boats, the Adventurer feels reassuringly stiff.

The fit out on the demo boat was really good, with a large oval Kajak Sport hatch covers on the rear hatch and a 20cm Kajak Sport round hatch on the front with a small 10cm day hatch in the centre of the cockpit at the front. It also has the same deck fittings and rudder that comes on my Reval Midi with the single rope to raise and lower it. In addition to the quality of the fittings the kayak has a decent set of bungies over the cockpit for securing items in easy reach and grab lines fore and aft of the cockpit which made getting in after a wet exit easy.

The one quirk I did notice is that the cockpit coaming is smaller than the rest of my boats, it’s a similar length but slightly narrower than those typically found on QK and other boats. This did mean that my normal skirt was a bit of a loose fit, it was ok when I was rolling the Adventurer in the pool, but I wasn’t comfortable taking it surfing with the skirt being so loose. Luckily I have a slightly smaller skirt that the kids use which fitted a bit better even if it was a tighter squeeze for me.


The Adventurer uses the same hull as the Star Kayaks S14 which I have paddled a few times at KASK forums, the first time when it was a prototype boat and last year in its finished form. I really liked the handling of the S14, for a short boat it had good speed and manoeuvrability, but I just couldn’t seem to get comfortable in the Star modern layout, so I was really looking forward to the Adventurer which takes this hull and marries it to a traditional sea kayak deck. I was not disappointed.

The narrow cockpit coaming does make it feel like a tight squeeze to get into the boat, but once you’re in the cockpit is roomy and comfortable. The foot pegs are easily adjustable and the rudder toe activated. One nice feature is that the rudder cables are self-adjusting which makes this a great boat for families where it will be used by different people. I’m 185cm and there was plenty of adjustment left in the foot pegs and plenty of room between my feet and the front bulkhead. The day hatch is easily accessible from the cockpit although it is a bit small for lunch, it will fit a small sunscreen and a hat as well as your mobile and other small items you may want on the water. Personally I would prefer the hatch to be a bit deeper so that it would fit a bit more into it, but it was useful as a place to put my sunnies and hat when I was surfing and rolling.

On flat water the Adventurer is nimble and with the rudder down it tracks well, even in my unfit state I managed good speed and made quick work crossing the Raglan Harbour so that I could play in the rock formations on the other side. Lifting the rudder, the Adventurer turns on a dime, responding well to edging and bow rudders to speed turns around the rocks, this is a boat that feels made for rock gardening nimbly shooting through chutes and turning in tight gaps. The incoming tide meant that there was some wave action to make it a little more interesting.

After I had finished playing around the rocks I headed for the harbour mouth to do a bit of surfing on the Raglan bar. Here the short length proved to be both an asset and a liability. With a strong incoming tide, the short length meant that I had to work harder to make any headway against the current, but once I made it through the chop and surf it was quick to turn and got up to speed with relative ease and surfed the following seas really well. In order to get out to the surf zone I took the Adventurer right through the middle of the bar, the sea was choppy with waves coming from all directions although no bigger than about 70cm, the Adventurer handled these seas really well, never feeling like it was going to tip me out or submarine even when waves were breaking over the bow. In the surf line the boat was great fun, quick to turn around to catch a wave, the kayak surfed well in the relatively small conditions and was a lot of fun.


After about an hour and a half of this I headed back to the car, with a following sea I made really good time back to the boat ramp and here my tired muscles really appreciated the light weight of this boat as I carried it on handed up the beach and got it up onto the car with a minimum of fuss.

Before I took the Adventurer out to Raglan I did put it through a rolling session in the pool where I did a series of rolls on both sides. The boat rolls well, although the roomy cockpit is a bit too roomy for my liking, I spent the latter half of the session working out how I would add some padding to make me fit better. This isn’t a criticism of the Adventurer however it’s more a comment on how I like my kayaks to fit, something that’s extremely personal.

Load Carrying:

I didn’t get the opportunity to take the Adventurer on an overnight trip and I was originally a little worried that a small boat like the Adventurer wouldn’t have the load carrying capacity needed to be a useful overnight or multiday boat. So to test this I did a test pack for an overnight trip and the hatches proved to be extremely roomy, the rear hatch in particular is cavernous, perhaps not as large as the beachcomber but as big as many of the larger boats out there.

Final Thoughts:

The Adventurer is a great addition to the national fleet, and could be a great addition to your fleet if you’re looking for a lightweight multipurpose boat. Its stable enough that beginners will like it, but versatile enough that experienced paddlers will enjoy it. It handles well and really wants you to expand your paddle stroke repertoire to get the full benefit of its nimble hull.

The Adventurer is nippy enough to keep up with your friends when you’re out on a day paddle and roomy enough that you can take those extra comforts with you that make overnight kayak camping so much fun.

While I was paddling the Adventurer I came up with the perfect tag line for the boat “The heart of an S14 and the soul of a sea kayak.” And that’s what the Adventurer is, a great sea kayak that you should try and take for a paddle sometime soon.

About the reviewer:

Height 185cm

Weight 94kg

Normally paddles: Tahe Marine Reval Midi rudderless

KASK Member Survey results – 2016

A typical current KASK member is a male, in their 50’s or 60’s, owns multiple kayaks, paddles regularly throughout the year, typically doing day paddles or weekend paddles and consider themselves to be either of intermediate or advanced skill level.

This is according to our latest member survey from over hundred responses. Here are the complete survey results:

A. The responses

  1. Out of the members who responded, 75% of the members were male.


2. Majority of KASK members (70%) were in their 50’s and 60’s. There was a clear lack of twenty something paddlers in the responses.


3. Most of the KASK members live in the big population centres of Auckland and Canterbury, followed by a sizeable chunks in Wellington, Waikato, Northland, Nelson, Bay of Plenty and Tasman.


4. Over 70% of the respondents admits to having multiple kayaks, with 20% owning five or more kayaks:


5. 80% of the paddlers said they paddle regularly, with 20%  admitting to paddling rarely. We drilled further into respondents who paddle rarely and their responses can be seen under section B – the story below the main results.


6. Most respondents prefer day paddles with friends and family. Nearly half of the respondents also like weekends paddles with overnight camps. Only 25% love expeditions and long distances. Interestingly, only 8% of the KASK members admitted to kayak-fishing paddles.


7. The majority of the KASK member-base rated themselves as intermediate or advanced paddlers. Experienced intermediate paddlers made the bulk (>50%) of the members who responded. 25% of the respondents considers themselves advanced paddlers capable of all sea conditions with or without others!


8. KASK members take rescue practice very seriously – with 85% practising at some stage – most at the beginning of the paddle season. However 15% admitted to never practising their rescue techniques.


Continue reading “KASK Member Survey results – 2016”

Review – Wilco Waterproof Pouch

The Hutchwilco bag, made of PVC gives Waterproof protection for mobile phones, handheld GPS, car alarm remotes etc. Comes with two Minigrip seals with roll-over protection. Designed to hang around the neck.

Pros: PVC is clear and see-through and allows sound to get through for in-bag operation. Value for money. Love the double seal. Better than old school ziplock bags and drybag style pouches. Floats with air in the bag.
Cons: Bulky (compared to device shells like Otter case), The PVC is not optical grade – so photos taken while in the bag didn’t look good (compared to Lifeproof case). Lastly, I dont know any sea kayaker that wears their phone around their neck!

Special thanks to Maritime NZ, who sent KASK 100 of these bags – we will be giving them away in coming months at various events and competitions.

Checkout the hot discussion going on in KASK Facebook Group on Smartphone bags and have your say.

Tim Muhundan
Jan 2016