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The Hammer from P&H is not a new idea with other boats available over the past few years as Rockhopping boats designed for exploring cliffs, gully’s and caves, being responsive and manoeuvrable in tight situations.
What the hammer has done is brought the safety, no creek paddler would hit a big river with basic plastic footrests and no hip pads so why do it in some of the biggest seas? P&H have taken what they know from building successful creek boats with the Burn arguably the best selling boat of the past 10 years. The format is the same a short 13’8 day touring sea kayak add a lot of rocker now make it safe, by adding full connect 30 outfitting gives you comfort and security like know other its like paddling a Jed in the big sea, having the trust and knowledge that it will always come back the right way means you can push it out if your comfort zone.
The Hammer is a cross between a stretched Shiva, an old school master and a delphin, firstly the rocker profile, its huge! Bring back the days of learning to paddle in masters one sweep will send you 180 degrees add another for a full 360, it handles like a Shiva being able to pull and pry the front end into position lining up with whatever’s coming, then when it hits you powering through, the flat mid section allows the boat to lift and paddle with ease without being slow or sluggish in any way, I put it up against the Islay 14 speed was the same but the Hammer was far more manoeuvrable.
Drop the skeg and the super loose hull straightens up and runs true even in windy conditions with tide running across, its like magic, the new P&H skeg trigger is another piece to marvel at, firstly its up on the deck right in front of you with easy reach when you need it then the adjustable system is so easy to use even while wearing pogies allowing you to adjust with ease to any height,
Once you have a rockhopping safety induced kayak then add P&Hs traditional side 4 Hatches, deck lines and classic P&H toggles to give you a sense that this is a sea kayak and not a river boat that works in the sea.
The hammer in any following sea will lift and surf with out effort its part if the boat, the only point to note this is not a dry boat, any oncoming waves will splash out from under the bow and generally over you but if I’m heading out in a playboat of the sea I’m not expecting to stay dry!
The hatches are well sized using round hatches which are very dry even in tough conditions, and once loaded the boat still feels like the same menace, it just doesn’t want to sit still its urging you to get closer to the rocks closer to where the sea breaks closer to its sweet spot,
The Hammer is by far the most fun Sea Kayak I’ve paddled and cant wait for more time out in it, weather it be as a day tourer a bug water surfer or a roaming rockhopper its a versatile boat which will still work as a fast river tourer.