Saturday, February 12, 2011

Black Magic- "Zegul 520" first impressions.

Well it's been quite some time since my last blog entry when Brian introduced the Tahe Greenland to our shores, actually, it was more like opening the flood gates. The arrival of his Greenland coincided with the whole Greenland rolling fad that had paddlers coming out of the woodwork, or should I say...getting into woodwork... carving paddles, skinning kayaks and learning to roll like the guys on Utube. Sadly for me the slender lines and tight fitting cockpits of the Greenland rolling machines were just not conducive to my physique. Besides, I wasn't really into the whole rolling thing, I was more interested in paddling and surfing.

At the last National Kayak Symposium held on the Gold Coast, I noticed a kayak that wasn't "quite like the others", there was something about it, I couldn't pigeon hole it as it certainly had a feel and look all of it's own. I kept going back to it for 'another' test paddle, I'm sure that some must have thought that I was hogging it. Anyhow the weekend finished on a disappointing note when Rob Mercer informed me that the kayak was not for sale as it was the only one in captivity and was required to test the waters, as it were.
Some weeks later, I was talking to Craig about his selection of Tahe kayaks that he had chosen to fill his next container, he went through the list and then..."I'm also getting a Zegul 520 and Zegul Baidarka to try". What!.. Zegul 520? I said... I'll have one, a black one! Well the colour wasn't that easy to decide on but I certainly knew I wanted the kayak.

Today I had the great pleasure of picking up my new black beauty and taking it for a spin down at Currumbin. We started off in the lagoon, Jess was trying out her new Greenland T and nailing the hand roll, as did Eddy. We swapped kayaks, paddles, we rolled, we sprinted then rolled know all the regular stuff. There was no question of a doubt that both these kayaks are thoroughbreds, they truly felt like extensions of ourselves and did everything we asked them to. The smiles on our faces said it all but all along, I could hear the surf on the other side of the could say the surf had been calling me. The real reason I got this kayak is for the surf, when I first saw it, it looked as if it was made for surfing. I was expecting it to catch waves like no other and be super agile as well.
The conditions out there were pretty good for kayak surfing, occasionally messy but all in all not too bad, I'd say about one and half meter waves at most. I soon found that the Zegul doesn't need big waves at all, it surfs with such ease and tracks so well when on the wave, it also turns very easily as well I might add. The snug cockpit is a great fit for manoeuvring the kayak in the surf and the bow didn't look like it was going to dig down the face of a wave anytime soon. Actually, on the way out, the bow lifted over the waves very nicely. Do I sound like a satisfied kayaker? There is one negative however, there always has to be. The kayak is a people magnet, not a big problem but I have to allow for that extra chit chat time with strangers on the beach while my friends paddle off ahead of me...not really a problem either as it doesn't take too much effort to catch up in the Zegul;)


  1. I also love the GT and the 520, but mostly I tour and travel a straight line. Which boat, if either, is best for me?

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  3. I think the 520 is best at going a straight line but it is not a very high volume kayak so you wont be able to load it for long trips. I would probably steer clear of open waters if in the 520. I don't know too much about the GT to comment. All depends on you weight/size/ability as well.


  4. Hello, very nice description of the kayak. One tall are you and ...the one you tested and bought is the 520 LV?
    Thank you in advance

  5. Hi Sergio, I am 173cm and the Zegul I owned was the LV. Cheers