Thursday, 23 October 2014

Pyranha 9R Review.

Fast just got fun!

The Pyranha 9R is the newest boat from the Angry fish guys. Primarily designed as a white water race boat, it is fast, but as everyone who is paddling it discovers it's also very fun.

We lent our demo to local paddler Amy Elworthy to have a paddle on her home run - The Upper Dart. Amy paddled it in Europe earlier in the month and was surprised by it, she needed to check it out on more familiar turf to get a second opinion.

Heres what she had to say:

"Having turned up in Austria without a boat I was handed the new Pyranha 9R to paddle. Many thoughts entered my head including how am I going to paddle something I'm not used to, and this is meant to be a race boat, right?! I’ll never feel comfortable in something like this going down tight technical rivers…. I couldn't have been more wrong if I’d tried….
The 9R is so smooth, so fast and so fun! It feels so familiar yet is nothing like I have ever paddled before.
On returning to the UK and with perfect flows on the Dart I went out to play armed with the 9R and the Burn to see how they would treat me on a river that I knew.

Entering the top ledge at slab fully covered flows, The bow of the 9R riding high and dry.

In high flows the 9R is so responsive and fun, it seems to fly through and over everything. In lower flows you do need to work slightly harder to move it around the river, but not so much that it’s too much effort.  It’s for the paddler that wants more than just to get down the river. For me I love the fact that the more effort I put into paddling it, the more I get rewarded with.

Heading in to the guts of Euthanasia
If you’re not paying attention the 9R does like to track in whichever direction you left it going, so in that respect it does keep you on your toes. However I don’t see this as a bad thing and it could also be
that I need to get used to paddling something new!
The Burn is a great boat to paddle, it’s comfortable, moves around the water with ease and responds well to every paddle stroke and every directional change. It paddles with little effort and is definitely great for the tight technical low volume rivers that I find myself on a lot in the UK. If it wasn’t for the 9R this would be my choice. I feel that the 9R has so much more to give, it makes you work harder but the end result is worth every bit of extra effort.
The 9R is definitely not just a race boat as I originally presumed; it’s a fast fun white-water kayak that really bought back a lot of fun and excitement to my paddling over the weekend."

Absolutely flying out of the bottom of Suprise Suprise / Pandoras box.
So as you can see, more than just a race boat. Come and find out more for yourself by booking a demo.

The Pyranha 9R is available in 3 new colours, Red/white/grey, Blue/white/lime and Yellow/white/jaffa

To book a demo call 01392 219600

Pyranha Kayaks 9R - More Info

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

October Product Highlights - Watershed Ocoee

Watershed Ocoee

This month we are highlighting 2 products that no paddler should be without, a good helmet and a reliable dry bag. In this post we will be looking at the Watershed Ocoee in detail.

£59.99 throughout October, Normally £69.99. 
Scroll down for details

Watershed have been making bags in the USA since the 1980's, over the years their bags have evolved but one thing has remained: they are still made and designed by whitewater boaters, who care about gear that works.

There are 3 key features that make Watershed bags stand out over the rest:

1) The Closure

All Watershed bags feature their patented ZipDry® closure.
100% waterproof bag

Similar to a heavy duty freezer bag, the full-length opening is watertight to below 90m.

Watershed Ocoee Large Opening

Opening and closing is quick and easy, with no rolling required. The lengthwise design means you have access to everything at once. No need to unpack the whole bag in the dark to get to the torch in the bottom!

2) The Fabric

The Ocoee, along with the rest of the Watershed range, is made from polyurethane-coated nylon. This means it is super strong, with 5x the abrasion resistance of PVC fabrics, yet still super flexible.
UV stable, environmentally friendly, chemical resistant, it never cracks or fades and does not go stiff in cold weather. The list of advantages goes on and on!

Watershed ocoee review

3) The Details

The Ocoee is covered in clever features. 4 chunky attachment points mean the bag will stay with anything you lash it to. Radio frequency welded seams means there is no stitching at all on the main section. The handles and buckles are attached to a separate panel with military spec stitching, which is then welded to the main body to keep it intact.
Large Attachment points on the watershed ocoee
Simple compression straps mean you can get the bag as small as the items you are carrying, reducing bulk, as well as leaving a smooth bag that will stay closed in all situations.

watershed ocoee details

Throughout the summer, both of our instructors will take their ocoees along on every course. Here is what Liam has to say about his:

"After more than one case of going to retrieve my first aid kit/spare jacket when needed and finding them both damp and mouldy, I invested in a Watershed bag. Now, this is the only dry bag I fully trust. I use it almost daily throughout the summer and it has stood up well to abuse. I completely trust it to keep my expensive DSLR dry. The convenience well outweighs the cost"

AS Watersports using watershed ocoee

Watershed Ocoee being used review

Optional Extras

Watershed make a couple of accessories to turn the Ocoee into a fully waterproof camera bag.

The Ocoee Duffel Liner is a foam lined bag complete with zip, handles and compression straps. The interior is lined with velcro (the soft side) to work with the divider set. They have a layer of 1/2" closed-cell foam all around to create extra protection for cameras and fragile items. Designed to fit perfectly inside the Ocoee, but can be used on its own out of the bag.
100% Dry camera bag

The Ocoee Divider Set sticks into the liner using velcro, and can be moved around to make the perfect fit for your camera and accessories. Constructed of fleece and padded closed-cell foam, they will stop your expensive equipment bouncing around.
waterproof camera bag

Submersible camera Bag

The Ocoee is available in 2 colours, both in stock now at AS Watersports.

watershed ocoee dry camera bag
Normally £69.99, we have got a special offer on throughout October, at just £59.99 including Free UK Next day delivery*. This deal is for October only, while stocks last.

Buy Now

Watershed Ocoee

Watershed Ocoee Liner

Watershed Divider Set





Want the same great features, but a bit more space? Check out the Chattooga:

Watershed Chattooga


*Free delivery is for the UK mainland only. It excludes highlands and islands. Next working day delivery via courier, excluding weekends and public holidays. The special offer is valid from 01/10/2014 to 31/01/2014 in store and online

Friday, 22 August 2014

World Record Rowing - Ocean valour

Here at AS Water sports we like to support many different charity events and causes. Some big, some small, local and international.
This time it is a bit of both. Local people on an international scale.
One of the participants in this fund raising challenge is none other than upcoming extreme kayaker, Dartmoor local and friend, Tom Rainey.
Read this to find out why we wanted to get involved.

In May 2015 Tom Rainey and Sam Coombs will spend up to 3 months rowing across the North Atlantic to raise £250,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity. Tom and Sam, as Ocean Valour, will be the youngest ever team to row from the mainland USA to mainland UK, and they will be entirely unsupported.
The pinnacle of ocean rowing, this trip has been attempted by 60 crews, completed by only 22 and with 5 crews lost at sea – meanwhile there have been over 5000 successful summits of Mount Everest, and, by comparison, over 170 crews have attempted the southern Atlantic crossing with the majority succeeding.
In 2012, just before Christmas, Tom lost his father, Luke Rainey. As a passionate sailor and wonderful father he taught Tom a great deal about life, the ocean and to respect his environment. His death was due to a brain tumour and it rocked Tom and his family to the core. But, thanks to the Brain Tumour Charity they were provided with the help and advice which gave them an invaluable port in an otherwise un-weatherable storm.
Having spent their lives on the sea, having represented GB sailing around the globe, and studied the marine environment at university, Tom and Sam have an intuitive understanding and respect for the ocean and how it is being profoundly affected by debris.
The North Atlantic garbage patch is an area of man-made marine debris. It stretches hundreds of square kilometres with over 200,000 pieces of debris per square km – plastics which never dissolve but only break down into micro-plastics which seabirds mistake for food.
Parents inadvertently feed their chicks bottle caps and lighters, mistaking them for their natural diet. Full of man made garbage, and with no room left for food, they starve to death. Worldwide, up to one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from eating plastic.
By recording the positions of this area of garbage, the pair hope to raise awareness of the state of the oceans and what can be done to save them before it is too late.
Surfers, ultra-marathon runners, international sailors, extreme white water kayakers, Tom and Sam know what it is to undertake an expedition, but this is their first one of this magnitude. Their endeavour is a remarkable one, It is the essence of the indomitability of the human spirit. Old school adventurers, with true grit and determination, pitted against the challenges of mother nature; waves equivalent to a 7 story building, icebergs, winds in excess of 80 mph, in freezing waters and alone on a voyage of 3,800 miles.
If successful Tom and Sam will be the youngest team to complete this remarkable voyage.

We are supporting the guys with a small but vital product to make their lives at sea much more comfortable.
Gurney Goo is an anti chafing, anti blister, anti friction, anti septic lubricating gloop. (a bit like vasoline in consistency).
Developed by extreme adventure racers in New Zealand to prevent blisters, rotting feet and chafing.
Sam and Tom will mostly be using it on their botties to make the countless hours of pulling on the oars much more comfortable.

We wish them both the best of luck and invite you to help them on their way to reaching their goals.
Please visit their website, Facebook page and more importantly their Just Giving page and donate a little of your dosh.  Every penny is fully appreciated and will go a long way to helping their cause.

Facebook: Ocean valour
Just Giving: Donate

Friday, 15 August 2014

Deep Water Solo climbing at the Quay.

Next weekend is the first Deepwater Solo climbing competition in the UK and its happening right here in the heart of Exeter on the canal outside the shop.

So? Well we would like to tell you about a few changes that will be happening at the shop over the weekend of 30-31st August.  

We will be operating as normal where we can. However:
  • We will NOT be doing any demos as the canal will be very busy outside the shop and we do not have access to our pontoon (being used for judging).
  • There will be no tuition or coaching over the weekend. Liam, our head coach is co-ordinating the water safety team.
  • We ask you to be patient, the shop floor is likely to be very busy with people browsing as well as shopping. We will endeavour to continue our normal service where possible. 

  • Hire: Our hire services will be running as normal but launching from a different pontoon further down the canal. Please call the shop on the normal number (below) to make your booking. 

There will be lots happening on the Quay. All the local cafes including Marmalade and Lutzy's will have special offers on their fine coffees and cakes etc. 
Come and check out the event, its fully sold out and the first of its kind in the UK attracting some very high profile national and international climbers. Check out the Facebook page for more info. 

South West Canoe Show - Coming Spring 2015

The UK's biggest free canoe show is making its return to the Piazza Terracina in Exeter in the Spring of 2015.

The show will not take place this Autumn as it has in the past due to industry changes.
The spring show will allow for more new gear and (fingers crossed) better weather.

The date will be confirmed very soon and will appear on the show website.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Get the legs out!

Summer is fast approaching. The warm winter and very mild spring we are having makes us think we are going to have a scorcher of a summer!

Good job there is some awesome new leg wear about.

The Palm Horizon Shorts replace the Gradient shorts. Not a direct replacement as they have a stretchy fleece lining not neoprene. The general consensus is that the stretchy fleece lining is more comfortable in warmer weather and when wearing for longer durations. Its not as clammy and allows the skin to breath.

The waterproof outer shorts keep the worst of the wind/ spray/ waves off and keeps the wind chill to a minimum. A nice high and soft neoprene waist band with tie up closure keeps the shorts from falling down.
The below the knee fit keeps things styling nicely. Available in Aqua Blue or Jet Grey at a reasonable price of £54.95

If shorts aren't your bag or you just want a closer fit and a bit more warmth then the new Palm Kaituna and Wairoa Neoflex pants are just the thing. 

Both of these pants are a 0.5mm 4 way stretch with a thermospan liner. The fit is 3/4 length and comes to just below the knee. 
These pants are ace, so stretchy and soft to wear. If worn in combo with the Kaituna or Wairoa top (short or longsleeve) they make a great alternative to a summer wetsuit. 
They have so many applications. Stand Up paddle boarding, board surfing, sit on top paddling, summer white water, open canoeing, sea paddling, in fact we can't think of an activity that involves water (of a slightly warmer type) that these pants wouldn't work for. Both of the Palm Neo Flex 3/4 pants are £59.95.
Don't forget they do short and long sleeve tops as well: 

Palm Wiaroa

Palm Kaituna

Its not just Palm on the leg wear frontier! 
The Sweet Shambala Shorts have been selling really fast. Why? Because they are awesome of course!
They have had some updates for this year. The neoprene inner short is now just below the knee and a nice snug fit at the cuff. This stops water jetting up the leg even if you take a swim. The fast drying outer has a really nice cut and is a good length, it comes to below the knee for that cool look. A pocket on the leg can house your car keys (no more hiding them under the wheel arch). The waist band is comfy and holds the shorts up well. These are perfect for board surfing as well.

So that's the newer stuff. We of course still have a good selection of neoprene shorts, 3/4 length neo pants and full length neo pants from Peak UK. All of these are perfect summer leg wear. Come into the store and see what fits you. 

 Check out the full range here: Peak Neoprene

For the full range of leg wear click here:  

Monday, 12 May 2014

Kokatat Meridian Gore Tex Drysuit review

We have had a good review back in from Nick Pearce on his Gore Tex Meridian Drysuit from Kokatat.
No surprises, He's loving it.
See what he has to say below:

So for the last 6 months I have been using the very well tried and tested Kokatat Meridian GoreTex dry suit. Before this suit I used a range of dry suits from the likes of Palm and Level 6.

The fabric: Now I have to say the first thing that you notice with this suit is when you get off the water you are dry. Not a little damp from sweat, but bone dry like I have never been before. The suit is just simply superb at keeping you dry and getting rid of all the sweat that built up inside, wicking it away out of the fabric.

The Cut: Before I got this suit I had only worn suits with zips along the back and so was a little sceptical whether I would get on with the over the shoulder zip but no such problem. I don’t even know it is there, If anything it is less intrusive than the back zip on my last suit. This also gives the up side of being able to get in and out of the suit on your own making changing a whole lot better. The rest of the cut offers you a full range of movement with very little to no restriction, the suit feels light and supple. 

The features: Compared to some of the suits on the market this dry suit may look a bit old school and simple, but in my eyes it does what it needs to very well and no more, I like this kind of simplicity. Why have loads of things that you don’t need? There is one small pocket on the chest this is the perfect size for a car key,  then there are simple neoprene neck and wrist cuffs with no tags and Velcro to catch, the Velcro flaps on the waist and ankles are simple flaps with big patches to grip to and to finish it off with a relief zip. 

The durability: I have only been wearing the suit for 6 months but I can say that it has been put through its paces and still looks like new, so ok its not beading up any more but the quality is outstanding. With having been in the rafting industry for the last 5 years I've seen loads of gear come and go but for the whole of that time Kokatat have been making this suit and it is still the leading suit for quality on the market. One final thing to keep in mind: One of my work colleagues sent his suit back in to Kokatat this winter for a service and this suit has seen 5 years of hard rafting abuse and they pressure tested it then patched the suit for him replacing the seals and socks. A few days ago we're there out on the water he said to me it is just like having a brand new dry suit again. Now if that's not service I don’t know what is.

To sum up I don’t think I can come up with anything bad about this suit, I think tried and tested and now trusted sums it up best.

You can follow Nicks progress raft guiding in Norway this summer (his adopted home) by checking out his blog: 

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Palm FXr Has Landed!

The Palm FXr is based on their hugely popular Palm FX buoyancy aid. The success of the FX is due to its low bulk cut, which allows for a great range of movement. It also features long, easy to adjust shoulder straps. This allows you to wear the PFD low, while the Palm 3D waist makes sure it stays there, even during the most turbulent swims.
Palm FXr beside the Palm FX
The FX and FXr both feature a large pocket, to carry all of your river essentials.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Kayak Fishing Demo Day

As our first demo day of the year we are pleased to announce a day dedicated to Kayak Angling.

Last years event was very popular and this year looks to be even better.

If you are only just thinking about getting involved in kayak fishing or area seasoned angler there will be something on show for you.

All the leading brands will be in attendance to show you their new boats and kit and of course for you to have a go!
So come on down and check out all there is to know about kayak fishing.


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Burn 3 Large Review.

Helen Johnson smiling after 'Euthanasia'. Photo: David Johnson
We love it when our customers really find a product they click with.  Helen Johnson recently came in and demoed the Pyranha Burn 3 Large, on the Exe Canal, then on the Upper Dart and got on with it so much Helen bought one.

I asked Helen to write a review as she is an experienced paddler who (I found out after talking to her about PFD's) is strong minded about what kit she chooses to use and why. Here is what Helen had to say: 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Burn 3 Large - First Impressions

Andrew Bonney of Gene17Kayaking was keen to get his hands on our Pyranha Burn 3 Large Demo to give it a spin on one of the West Country's finest rivers, the East Lyn.

All Photos are of Andrew Bonney and taken by Nick Pearce.

Here is what he had to say:

Friday, 13 December 2013

Which Throwline?!


We have written some thoughts on throw lines. We are well aware this can be discussed till the cows come home and everyone has their own systems. Here is a quick round up on some major differences, followed by our recommendations!

A line is arguably the most important piece of kit for a white water kayaker to carry. There is a large selection out there and each have their pros and cons, it’s as simple as that.

What line for me? This depends on your common role in a group, the type of kayaking, the nature of the rivers you commonly paddle your ability to throw etc. A WWSR course is always well recommended for new paddlers and as a refresher for seasoned paddlers. Franco Ferreros WWSR book is an excellent resource.

Two common uses of a line are:

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sunsets in the sound.

There's been lots happening over at Jemmas Super Awesome Sea Kayaking blog.

Ewart has been out on more salt water trips, this time to The Wembury area of Plymouth Sound. Take a look at the sunsets, islands and swims here:

We have supplied some fantastic looking P+H Cetus sea kayaks. 
They looked amazing, better than the photos really let on. See more here:

Jemma has also been reviewing some of the ladies kayaking gear available at the shop. 

Don't forget we have a 15% discount sale on Palm gear in the shop and online at the moment.
 So get in there quick for a Christmas delivery. 

 Palm winter discount offer

X League flash back.

Nookie used to run a regular freestyle league at the River Dart Country Park back in the middle of the last decade (makes it sound so long ago!).

Usually the event was held in the Anvil play feature created by the weir within the park grounds (at the take out for the Loop).

The format was either a jam session or timed runs about a minute or so I think. It was definitely long enough to get knackered and a pasting, usually both.
At low levels the hole was pretty retentive but great for all the hole moves of the time, cartwheels, splits, loops, space godzillas etc. The phonix monkey was yet to be deployed.

When the levels were low or there wasn't many paddlers the ramp came into play. About 2 cumecs of water shot down the rickety ramp which gave you quite a lot of speed but the kicker was harsh and to get a nice flight was pretty tricky. Cue lots of face planting, hard landings, nasty high brace scenarios.

We have some more photos some where. We will try and dig them out.
Ewart loads up for a massive freewheel back in the day..

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Triumphant in South Georgia

We have had some nice pictures in from Neil Bowler. He bought a Perception Triumph 13 from us a little while back.
I think this could be one of the coldest places we've seen a Sit on top!
All photos property of Neil Bowler.

Location: South Georgia
Boat: Perception Triumph 13


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Meadfoot, London Bridge and Dolphins

The English Riviera lived up to its reputation as a very nice place to be.

A leisurely paddle around the Torbay area a couple of weekends ago had fun paddling, rougher than expected conditions and a surprising and delighting sighting of a large pod of Dolphins.

Thatchers Rock nearest and the Oar Stone in view as we set off. 

 Max and I took Mitch out for a paddle in what we thought were calm conditions. Launching from the eastern end of Meadfoot beach in Torquay we paddled out towards Thatchers Rock and the Oar Stone. Thatchers rock is about a km from where we launched and the Oar Stone is about another 1.5km again but both are pretty close to shore. Around the back of the Oar stone was a bit more exciting than anticipated, a dropping tide, some pushing swell and a good dose of side wind meant that there was some good size waves and roughness on the seaward side of the Island. " That was a bit more than I was looking for" came from Mitch's mouth as we came out of the rough water and into some calmer stuff. You should get out more Boss.......

Dolphins play in the swell between Thatchers Rock and the shore. 

Paddling back towards Meadfoot from the Oar stone we stopped to play in a small constriction between the rocks where there was a bit of swell running into a nice flat bay area making a bit of a wave to surf in on.
Whilst Max was jumping back in his boat from taking photos I saw a fin poking out of the water. To our delight (and Jemma's dismay when we text afterwards as she didn't come out to play) 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

More Brewer reviews!

We have just had a good and honest product review on the Astral Brewer shoe come in.
Nick Pearce is a raft guide, safety kayaker and expedition paddler who works his summer months in Voss, Norway and had some Brewers off us at the start of the Summer. Like most working river professionals his kit takes a bit of a hammering averaging at least a years worth of us mere mortals use in under 6 months.

Check out what he has to say below.

For the last 3 months I have been using the new Brewer from Astral. Not being some one that is a big fan of their life jackets this is the first Astral product that I have owned but was happy to take the chance on them with the high quality of construction and finish that you see in the rest of their products.

So first up the river shoes look cool you almost feel bad wearing them on the river as they look more like some thing

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tried and Tested: Astral Brewer Shoe

Our staff are active paddlers, this series of articles is for us to tell you our personal opinion on some of the kit we have been using.

For the most this will be equipment we (personally) have bought for ourselves, which normally means we already think highly of it, but this is our chance to tell you how it's holding up and what we like or don’t like about the product.

River footwear is an underestimated bit of kit in general. I do get annoyed when paddling with people and they're hobbling around on the river bank in neo socks. I want to know they can run over rough ground and wet rock with confidence when I take my next swim or that if we have to walk out, they have kit up to the job. So I have always been an advocate of good footwear on the river

I've been using the Astral Brewers since January. I was guiding out in Ecuador with Small World Adventures last Winter and had to do a lot of walk ins, a lot of running down banks and a lot of white water safety rescue practice. I was stupid enough not to bring a brand new pair of river shoes out and after a while mine died, so I was left with none.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen the show is soon to begin!

And here we go, its show time again. Keep up to date with all the news on the show site and facebook by following the links below.