Published on May 18th, 2020 | by Matt Dumoulin
The developmental road of the Volan has been a long one, and we thank the members of our global network of specialist dealers and P&H Pro Paddlers who packed generous amounts of energy and enthusiasm, and joined us for the journey…
We originally announced the concept, a complementary pairing of polyethylene and composite, lightweight sea kayaks focused on day and weekend trips, at PADDLEexpo in 2018. Whilst many have found their perfect, two-boat fleet in a combination of an Aries or Delphin, and a Cetus or Scorpio, we also recognised that not all had the necessary funds or storage space for two boats and that this new range also had the potential to fulfil the needs of those paddlers.
We soon reached a fork in the developmental road, though; one path led to a shorter design with a relatively straight keel, whilst the other’s destination was a 16’ sea kayak with pronounced rocker. We decided to explore both, with the former becoming the polyethylene Virgo , and the latter becoming the composite Volan.
The Volan is 16’ in length with a pronounced rocker profile and subtle chines, which in combination, allow the boat to swing around nimbly in the surf, and keep the weight low, reducing the effort required to move the boat around both on and off the water.
Our 50+ years of cross-discipline design experience shine through once again, including the incorporation of the innovative wave deflectors seen in recent Pyranha models, deflecting spray outwards, away from the paddler when powering through chop, and creating dynamic bow lift without excessive volume or rocker.
The Volan’s combination of a planing, mid-section hull and finely tailored chines is enhanced by decades of experience with the performance characteristics of this type of hull in the Pyranha range of whitewater kayaks, ensuring the edges are tuned to engage when desired without hindering the paddler otherwise. The hull shape and dimensions promote planing performance and manoeuvrability at high speed on a wave yet retain tracking and efficiency at the lower speeds associated with normal paddling.
In that vein, the Volan eschews the school of thought which says a sea kayak must be unstable when motionless to perform in motion, and is exceptionally stable when flat, yet comes alive at the influence of your paddle strokes or the engagement of an edge.
The properties of the Volan’s hull are amplified by our advanced construction offerings; Lightweight Kevlar/Carbon Infusion offers incredible, industry-leading weight saving, hull stiffness, and durability, for higher performance, lower exertion, and increased longevity.
In summary, the Volan’s features include:
- The renowned comfort of our Connect outfitting
- All the predictably smooth characteristics of the Cetus in a lighter, more compact format for shorter journeys and easier portaging, transport, and storage.
- Influences from the Aries, such as a wave-piercing bow, to enhance the play potential of the responsive, compact design with lower swing weight.
- A planing, mid-section hull with subtle chines, which can carve on a wave face and manoeuvred using traditional techniques during normal paddling.
- A rocker profile tailored to partner with the intent of the hull design, whilst working with the bow wave deflectors to produce a dry ride in a wide variety of water conditions.
- Exceptional stability, making a great platform for all abilities to take in the sights, whether that’s with your eyes or a camera.
- Balanced sheerline and deck profile, allowing simple trimming with the skeg to neutralise the effect of wind and waves.
- Low-profile back deck and cockpit rim for easier rolling and re-entry.
- Bow, Stern, and Day Hatches as standard, with optional Pod Hatch, allowing paddlers to choose between the weight saving or additional storage.
- The most comprehensive range of construction and custom options available. Create your own, bespoke P&H Sea Kayak on our customiser.
We’re proud to offer a performance, composite sea kayak which combines the essence of both the Aries and Cetus in a single, compact, lightweight design, making it equally competent from simple excursions over a long-weekend to a few hours of fun in the surf, and all the varied trips in between; the Volan.