Fluid are known for their whitewater kayaks throughout the world as an industry leader. But their recreational range is something fairly unknown to most whitewater boaters. As winter came to an end, the rain stopped and the temperatures rose, we headed out to try our hand at some bass fishing. A good mate of mines dad, Greg Walpole has a Fluid Buddy and so naturally we went out on some missions to catch some fish and have some fun.

Although we were overly optimistic in our fishing endeavors and temperatures in the large dams were too low to activate the mostly sleepy bass we had fun and I got to try out the Fluid Buddy. What a cool little boat. I found it easy to unload from the car and launching was simply a matter of getting on. Once on, it felt somewhat different to the whitewater boats I’m used to but actually quite stable and fast for its length. Even if I wasn’t fishing it would have been fun just cruising around and, well, drinking a few beers en route! I can safely report that stability is not a problem, even after a healthy consumption under the African sun. Check out the pictures. If you haven’t tried one of these boats, then do so. They’re wicked fun in the surf too. One of these days we’ll head out and get some photos of that too.

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Our first ‘Buddy’ mission was the Zandvlei, to catch some garrick. Here is Rowan Walpole preparing for battle.  Zandvlei_28_August_2010_017_E1 copy

Rowan Walpole and the Buddy. Zandvlei_28_August_2010_038_E1 copy

You can stow your gear on the stern (left hand side) or inside of the hatch in the middle of the boat. Zandvlei_28_August_2010_053_E1 copy Zandvlei_28_August_2010_054_E1 copy

Rod holders are not standard on the boat. But cheap to buy and very quick and easy to install.  Zandvlei_28_August_2010_059_E1 copy

Fluid Buddy. Zandvlei_28_August_2010_073_E1 copy

Rowan Walpole heading out for round 2 on Zandvlei…  Zandvlei_28_August_2010_111_E1_CR copyYellowbilled duck on the vlei.

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The Buddy about to launch onto the Riviersonderend.Theewaterskloof_04_05_September_2010_046_E1 copy

Rowan heads out in his Fluid Solo, while I take the Buddy.  Theewaterskloof_04_05_September_2010_048_E1 copy

Enough room for everything, plus beer (pictured).  Theewaterskloof_04_05_September_2010_051_E1 copy

Ah yes, warm sunny days with beer and fishing rod in hand. Life is good. Theewaterskloof_04_05_September_2010_090_E1 copy

Me paddling down the Riviersonderend. Photo by Rowan Walpole.  Theewaterskloof_04_05_September_2010_103_E1 copy

Greg Walpole tackles the Theewaterskloof Dam on the Buddy on a rare wind still morning. Theewaterskloof_04_05_September_2010_128_E1_CR copyGreg Walpole. We’ll go again soon when the water is warmer! Wind is just a big problem on this lake.

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Me.  Photo by Renier Bezuidenhout.Wellington_28_29_September_2010_054_E1_CRcopy Wellington_28_29_September_2010_075_E1

Me. Photo by Renier Bezuidenhout. Wellington_28_29_September_2010_087_E1copy Wellington_28_29_September_2010_131_E1Photo by Renier Bezuidenhout. And for the fishing enthusiasts, eventually I did get some early season bass, but without the boat. Stand by for more action once the water heats up more!

Specifications from the Fluid website for the Fluid Buddy:

Length: 265 cm / 8'7"
Width: 84 cm / 33"
Weight: 19 kg / 42 lbs
Paddler weight range: 120 kg / 265 lbs

And there are various colours available. Just follow the link at the end of this article.

There is also the longer Chumani, also a single seater sit on top, and then the even longer Synergy, the two seater. Then the Bamba, their full on fishing kayak, the Locomotion which are single seaters but you can join them up to create a double, or even triple kayaks just like joining the locomotives of a train! And for the kids, the Vaya. The range will be expanding in 2011 so keep your eyes on Fluid!

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Photography by: Adrian Tregoning. Unless otherwise stated.
Words by: Adrian Tregoning.