Nelo Viper 51

It has been quite some time now since I have been yearning to get back on the water. While I was training for Abu Dhabi and a killer sea-kayak leg in that race last December, one of my favourite sessions was riding to my friends Jeff and Becky`s house and getting out for a couple of hours in his Lettman sea-kayak.

I had been keeping my eyes open for second-hand flatwater kayaks and I came across a pretty reasonably priced Viper 55. So I took the train up to the Bodensee to try it out with my friend Staffan. We were met at the train station by the wife of Beat Hausmann who took us to their lovely little kayak school on the shore of Lake Konstanz or the Bodensee (as it is know in Switzerland) The last time I had been there was on training camp in preparation for theU23 World Rowing Championships taking place in Linz Austria in 2002.

After the initial fear that I wouldnt last more than a second upright in the boat (sidenote: this fear has grounds in reality: when I was a rower we played a game one day while on training camp in Seville by switching boats with the guys on the Irish flatwater kayak team. They managed to sit upright in our single sculls no problem, but as soon as we pushed away from the dock in their teeney weeny skinny excuses for boats, in fact, even before we pushed away from the dock – we were swimming) But as soon as I sat into the Viper 55 I knew it wouldnt be a problem, it was quite stable and easy to paddle and Staffan and I had a nice time paddling around the edge of the Bodensee in the pouring rain (the weather could have been nice, but we didnt really care that much)

I had made up my mind to buy that boat when Beat Hausmann, the Swiss Nelo dealer and owner of got in touch with me a few days later and said he had an even better offer just come in the door, the Viper 51, less stable, and more racey he thought it would suit me better.

The Viper 51

I have now invested in a beautiful little Nelo Viper 51. About 1 year old, not used much and in mint condition.

I hope to be a super paddler in no time at all!


2 thoughts on “Nelo Viper 51

  1. So Kanuschule Bodensee also deals in second hand boats? I’m still looking – I nearly bought a classic/vintage Struer Lancer, but that got sold before I had a chance to look at it. 😦 Being in a bit of a rush, I’m not sure I can spend too much more time looking for a good second-hand deal.

    For the moment I’m paddling with KCRJ boats (Kanu Club Rapperswil Jona) – just a bit far to go for regular paddling, which is why I want my own boat, kept closer to home. I started out in February when the water was still very cold – consequently I much appreciated the Viper 55’s they had, to be absolutely sure I don’t capsize, even when paddling in somewhat windy conditions. (Waves do pick up in even relatively light winds, I notice.)

    Thus: I’m thinking that Viper 51 of yours was indeed a great deal. 😉 I was wondering if you could tell me what the price was, so I have some better idea of the second-hand market? (Maybe via private message if you won’t want to publish that here?)

    Maybe at some point (once I have a boat) we could go for a paddle together. It could be fun/interesting (at least for me!), assuming you don’t mind me asking you a bunch of questions about your experiences while we paddle. 😉 I’m expecting paddling is the *one and only* activity in which I’m supposed to be able to keep up with you!

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