Thursday, 29 October 2015

Bring Back the Flair! - Tom Rainey

I’ve only just returned from my trek across the Atlantic, but I’m already dreaming of my next paddle on the water. Since being on solid ground all I’ve dreamt of is kayaking. But, due to not doing it for a while, I have a lot to work on before I can hit up rivers such as the Little White in the US or the Teigdalen in Norway.

I am starting from scratch. Back to basics, and making it as hard as I can for myself. That means no big volume boats, no super forgiving displacement hulls, but sharp whippy boats that teach you the fundamental basics of white water kayaking.
You know the dart. But how well do you really know it?
Everyone in the South West likes to comment on what level they’ve run the dart at. But why does that matter? I’ve seen logs go down it at 7th step! And logs are terrible at fine art kayaking.

You want to impress the girls? Carve some lines, make ridiculous break outs, treat small drops like 60 footers and peel out into the flow and boof them like no mans business.

Small hole, deadly consequences.
Summer 2012 – I thought that I knew what it took to run a big drop. But I underestimated the basic, simple and vital tools to run a waterfall. The small hole at the top which you can see me goating my way through led to what was a catastrophic crash down one of Norways most notorious drops – The Teigdalen Double Drop.

What I’m trying to say is, forget the photo glory of flying off waterfalls if you haven’t mastered the small stuff.

So, what’s my advice?

Re-think how you view the river. Instead of crashing down and feeling success having mainlined the rapids, why not look for a new line you’ve never tried before?

It must be nearing a 300+ runs down the upper dart for myself, but every time, I look for a new line. That’s only recent, but it’s a way of trying to better yourself each time.

Reconsider how you view the river – change your perspective!
Re-invent your mindset – Try to have the most fun out of your paddling, and by that I mean make up crazy moves. Bring back the flare and grace of old school kayaking.

Most of all – look at the elders who taught you to paddle (that’s if you’re a young gun reading this). Most of the more experienced paddlers I speak to come from a slalom background that taught them balance, fine paddle placement and edge transfers as well as how to read the water impeccably.
Relish nailing new moves and new lines that have escaped your view

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bouyancy aids for summer, 8 of the best

Wow, there is just so much good kit around at the moment. All our stocked brands have really raised the bar with the 2015 offerings.

To help you out we have selected eight of the best PFD's available in store that are great for summer use.
Not just summer of course but as the white water season slowly fades away ( apart from you lucky folks chasing the sun and snow melt across Europe) our paddling changes so our kit needs to reflect this.

Some of these are new and others have had a facelift or subtle tweaks to recharge them.
Old boy and kit junky Ewart gives us a run down:

In we go in no particular order.

1, Yak Kallista.

The cheapest PFD on the list, our go to every day recreational PFD. Its the PFD we chose for our hire business and basic tuition.
Why? The construction is solid, bar tacked shoulder strap for extra strength, super soft foam that is really comfortable and moulds to the body well. A non intrusive cut that allows for easy paddling. shoulder, waist and chest strap adjustment and only £54.95! Junior, s/m, m/l, xl and xxl

2, Palm FX.

The FX has been around for 3 years in its current guise. It doesn't rest on its laurels and keep proving itself as one of the most versatile buoyancy aids out there. Low cut foam that hugs your body, a massive pocket for all your ice cream and beer money. Oh and possibly some safety essentials like a phone and Sun screen. (don't giggle, the sun is on its way) xxs, xs/s, m/l, xl/xxl

3, Yak Galena.

Nipping at the heels of the FX the Galena is the new kid on the block. This PFD is so fantastically light I just don't know how the do it. Well actually its down to the layered foam inside and the Fusion fit technology. This wrap around foam and figure fitting padded mesh panels in the front and back.
Pocket wars! This front loading pocket certainly competes with the FX and might actually be bigger. Max says "nice colour!"  Three colours to be exact. Red, Blue and bright neon green.
 s/m, m/l, xl  £79.95

4, Astral Sea Wolf.

We have had this in store for about 2 years now. Its a quiet one, a bit like a Wolf bit it definitely has bite!. Max has had his for a while now and loves it. Again its light weight, ideal for the warmer weather and has a low profile fit. Its the little things about this PFD that make me love it. The sneaky pockets on the side panels, a fleecy hand warmer in the front with the Clam shell pocket on the front. Ok so you expect this kind of stuff but it will also take a chest belt (chest harness what ever you want to call it) so its great for towing situations. It also has a space in the back for a hydration bladder. Wins all round.
£129.95  s/m, m/l, xl.

5, Astral V8.

One for the Sit on top crew. The most American looking (if there is a thing) pfd of the bunch as its covered with mesh in most places so you can see the light weight foam. The foam even has spaces in it to allow your body to breath and stay cool.  Most SOT's have high back rests these days and the V8 has a reduced foam cut on the back to allow for this. Light, with pockets and cool (in every way) to wear.
£89.95  s/m, m/l, xl.

6, Yak Xipe,

Updated for 2015. A little underrated pfd I reckon. Ok, so the internal chest belt adjustment isn't obvious straight away but get this on and it feels great. I think this is one of the best touring buoyancy aids available for under a hundred quid. The new 2015 updates include two solid colourways with a nice bright and safe orange and a trusty red. The highlights that set these off are the new coloured blue and yellow zips, very snazzy. A massive hydro bladder compatible pouch on the rear will take up to a 3 litre bladder. Enough juice for the thirstiest paddler.
£99.99 Jun, xs, s/m, m/l, xl, xxl

7, Palm Kaikoura.

The badboy. Top end and fully loaded. Do you want more from your pfd? Well you can't have it as this pfd has it all. The choice of kayak anglers, expedition sea kayakers, open boaters and anyone who wants the best. Massive amounts of buoyancy, loads of storage, fleece hand warmer pockets a big hydro pouch/pocket at the rear.
£159.95 xs/s, m/l xl/xxl

8, Palm Peyto.

 Hot off the press and straight to a top selling position. The Peyto is a fantastic competitor to the Yak Xipe. For an all-round touring buoyancy aid you can't go wrong with either. 
A huge reshaped rear hydration pouch pocket, fleece lined hand warmer pockets and super snug wrap around Comfort fit foam give a great fit. Smooth profile for easy re-entry in to your boat if you fancy a dip and the 3D anti ride up waist belt keeps every thing locked in place for the more wild adventures. 
xs/s, m/l, xl/xxl £99.95

Of course there are lots more buoyancy aids to choose from but this selection fits most needs for non white water paddling.  Pop in to the shop for expert advice on what's right for you and the correct fit. 

Happy paddling! 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pyranha 9R Customer Review

As a 50 yr old boater I need a boat that will look after me, fear creeps in once you reach 40 no matter how much you fight against it.

I have paddled and loved my Medium Burn 3 for just over a year now but demo'd the 9R purely by chance on a Slab covered Loop swapping boats with Amy Elworthy. I was unsure at 1st as the nose sticks up so high and it sits on top of water high, at the time I had no intention of buying one but enjoyed how it glided over features and kept the speed up all the time.
It caught me out a couple times sat on the eddy line and had a couple rolls which was surprisingly easy.

It wasn't until I got back in my Burn and started to get splashed in the face and sink a few times in features on the Upper Dart that I realised how good the 9R had been. I watched some vids, read some reviews and took the decision to get one from AS Watersports, 2 days later I was testing it on the East Lyn at a nice level from Brendon to Lynmouth, I was again unsure of it at 1st and after a mile I was wondering if I should've stuck with a boat I knew for a committing river, but after Triple Drop and a few boofs over holes I was getting used to it and starting to realise its potential.
The biggest thing I noticed is it's fast! I twice boofed over the paddler in front so a bit of space is needed or stay in front.

It's not as forgiving with the little rocks that catch you out as I found out once nearly getting turned over but once we reached the Gorge the 9R started to come into its own staying high and boofing every drop and hole with ease, I am fully aware it was more the boat than the paddler but if it helps me to paddle bigger water I'll take it with open arms.
In summary the 9R is great for the adrenaline junkies but it also has a place for the lesser ability paddler like myself who needs every help he can get. Cant wait to get out again with it!


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Yak Rakau Buoyancy Aid Review

This is the first review to come from our team of AS Ambassadors. Find out more about the AS Team here.

I have recently been paddling with the new Yak Rakau buoyancy aid, testing it in kayaks, canoes and on the water during white water safety and rescue courses.
I have been really pleased with it, in all areas.It comes in Red or Green, with a front pocket and a safety harness system, the foam is cut really well so you get lots of body movement.

In a kayak it's cut well for leaning forward and rotation. The neoprene around the chest area is really warm and helps to conceal any excess strap from the shoulders.

On the shoulder straps there is extra padding and a non-slip patch for boat carrying, the side straps have a nice rubbery quick release tab to pull and everything is easily adjustable when on.

Yak Rakau

The front pocket has 2 internal compartments for things like tape, food ect, and a large pocket for a sling and crab plus a few extra bits. The front has a clean line so getting back into a boat (canoe) is

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Venture Islay 14 Sit on Top

Over the last week or so, I have been paddling  and working from the Venture Islay 14 Sit on Top, this is the final Prototype with a release date still to be set!

If you haven’t got much time and are just flicking through, let’s summarise at the beginning, this boat is a great touring sit on top, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I’m ordering some for my tuition fleet!

If you would like more info carry on reading.

Venture is new to the Sit on Top scene but is certainly not new to kayaking.  Venture have been designing, innovating and moulding some of the best-selling touring boats made over the last decade.  
Venture is also the sister company of Pyranha kayaks, a UK brand that has pioneered kayak design. 

Rest assured these guys know what they are doing and you can definitely see that in their Sit on Tops, these are boats designed to perform.

This is just my first impressions and there will be a full review coming because this boat has some tricks up its sleeve. Those who like sailing and fishing watch this space!

Storage – The Islay has a day hatch at the bow of the boat and a large well at the stern of the boat. This will take plenty of kit and allow you to distribute it evenly across the boat ensuring it still paddles well. It could comfortably carry enough kit to camp from this boat.

Built in handles – this is a big plus for me. This Allows for easy handling off the water and much sturdier than rubber or webbing handles. I am tough on kit, dragging them, stacking them and generally using them.  Built in handles are much better for me. Another advantage of these wide built in handles is that they are really easy to locate and grab when turning the boat back upright in case of a capsize.

(Built in handles much easier for carrying)

Comfort and connection – The Islay features adjustable foot pegs (rather than moulded ridges) this allows you to connect to the boat better. Applying pressure on the pedal whilst pulling on the paddle also allows you too transfer power much more efficiently. Firm footrests helps you brace to the boat and keep good posture also. This is especially important when controlling the boat and to handle the boat when the weather gets rough. The final material seat hasn't been confirmed yet but the shape of the boat is well thought out and sculpted and the boat feels comfortable even without the seat.

Performance - this is what matters and the Islay Sit on top doesn’t let you down!  The Islay is 14 foot long and sleek and narrow at the front. This equates to the boat being fast and smooth through the water. However the boat widens up underneath the deep sitting position. This lower centre of gravity and extra width gives great stability. Great secondary stability too, as you can see in the photos.

Manoeuvrability - Now we are talking! This boat has something to offer which is quite rare in Sit On Top kayaks; A skeg, common in all of Ventures touring kayaks they have seen sense and introduced a skeg into their touring Sit on Tops.  The Skeg enhances tracking and is particularly useful in windy conditions but also for general cruising. 

(Built in handles and Drop down Skeg)

However, bring that skeg up and apply edge and this boat can manoeuvre too. Great for rock hopping or taking it down mellow white water (If a canoe can do it, this boat can do it)
I will have a demo as soon as full production is up and this boat will be available in our very popular Guided Trips and Sit on Top Skills and Safety courses.


Gone fishing?!

Venture kayaks have got some great plans to make this boat very easy to upgraded into a fully featured  fishing kayak….watch out for the full review.

 (Happy Instructor)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

More to the floor, pedal to the metal, another 9R review!

Oh yeah, Ewart has been tearing it up in the 9R. Charging local runs like the Upper Dart and winning races at the Pots Rodeo.
Check out his review over at his blog:

Monday, 17 November 2014

The ever popular Small Pyranha Burn!

As a smaller female paddler I was asked to review the new small Pyranha Burn 3. I am 5'0”, weigh around 60kg and not particularly flexible. I currently paddle a Zet Veloc, with a brief time paddling the Dagger Mamba 7.5 before and during a trip to Nepal. I confess I have never tried the previous small Burns because they never appeared to be small enough.

My first thoughts were that the red, white and grey colour scheme was wonderful. The footplate was easy to adjust, and moved close enough even for my short legs, although slightly too narrow. I would probably have used the larger footplate that I believe is available, but it was fine with the one that was fitted. In my current kayak I have moved the footplate further forwards and covered it with chunks of foam for the same reason. I did not try adjusting the seat position, as I found it comfortable as it was. The ratchets for the backrest worked well, and my throwbag fitted well under the central strap, although I would have liked more than just one elastic loop for my water bottle.

Paddling the Dart Loop with the water level just below the slab was a fun test for the Burn. Doing an early practice roll really showed the advantage of the lower profile for a smaller paddler. Instead of sitting deep in the kayak, losing most of my trunk rotation, I was able to reach the surface with my paddle with ease. The usual answer to the problem of sitting deep in the kayak is to add layers on foam on the seat. This creates new problems for the short paddler though, as you are less stable when paddling, and have to reach even further to get the paddle to the surface when rolling. I feel that many people really don't understand how much a paddler with a short body loses flexibility to clothing, buoyancy aid and seat position.

The Burn's handling was fun and responsive. Turning for S bends at the shoot just below Spitchwick was completely reliable with the sharp edges giving turns a crisp accuracy and ferry glides were smooth thanks to the flatter hull. Deciding that I needed to test the kayak out even more I had a go at surfing at the bottom of the Webburn, something I have never had much success with in my more rounded Veloc. The Burn inspired such confidence that I continued down river looking for more challenges. I didn't quite manage eddy-hopping down Lovers Leap (something that is still fairly new to me anyway), but the kayak tracked really well, and responded perfectly to the adjustments I made on the route down. Instead of fighting the kayak to get it to change direction, I just had to make small corrections, giving me a much smoother paddling style.

At Triple 1 I dropped down and deliberately stopped paddling to see if I would get tail squirted or sucked backwards, no chance! Breaking in and out of the current was easy, and I didn't find myself catching the edges at all on eddy lines, even quite tricky eddies such as river right just below Triple 2. Having successfully negotiated Triple 2 and 3, I found my challenge, the wave after Triple 3 was somewhere I have never managed to surf properly. With confidence in the edges and hull riding high, I started to surf on my second attempt. When I inevitably capsized, there was never any doubt that I was going to roll up.

Finishing the run, I had to admit to myself that my thoughts had progressed from review topics, to “I really don't want to love this kayak”, ending up with “I really love this kayak”! I need to demo it again, as I am slightly concerned that there might not be enough room to store a drybag and my medium sized SLR in an Ortlieb Aquazoom bag either side behind the seat, as the height of the nearest part of the rear deck was a lot lower than I am used to. However, if I can squeeze the bag under this part, there is certainly more space further back! Perhaps I'll just have to buy a GoPro...

All in all, Pyranha have finally come up with a small person's kayak that really feels properly thought out, not just a scaled down large kayak. Congratulations to Pyranha, thanks to Liam and AS Watersports for letting me demo the boat.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A warm welcome to the Small Pyranha Burn...

In 2013 Pyranha Kayaks introduced the Third evolution of the Burn.

The Burn got a real face lift and one of the biggest changes that people really liked was that the front deck got narrower.  The Burn has never felt smoother, sleeker  or faster.

Now as of November 2014 the most exciting change is that Pyranha offer the Burn in 4 sizes.

The following weight ranges are approx.

The XL for the 90 – 120kg paddler, 

The Large for the 75kg to 95kg paddler, 

The Medium for the 55kg to 75kg 

Now we are here to introduce the latest addition to the family.

The Small Burn for the 45kg to 60Kg paddler.

We have every size as a demo, so come try.

My working life is split 65% coaching and %35 retail and a lot of free time spent on the water. This is a boat as a instructor and as retailer I have been needing for some time!

Here are my top three reasons why the Small Burn is going to be my first choice, go to smaller persons river runner!

(Get out clause! I am generalising with these statements and I have a certain paddler in mind with these comments. This is because it's a conversation that has come up time and time again with customers/students)

1.) Scales down well – the older Burn wasn't that small, often I’d put a smaller person in that boat and their immediate responses was that it felt to wide. The Burn 3 is much narrower in the front and because of that when it scales down to the Small, it doesn't just suit there weight range but also the stature and the shape of a smaller paddler.

2.)Light – (again see back to my get out clause) but I have had real problem recently with smaller river runners/creek boats for a smaller person. Some of the smaller boats here are a good size but it’s a non-starter because the boat just weighs too much! If size and strength aren’t on your side then a light boat is even more of a priority. The small burn weighs 17.8kg! Love this.

3.) The design of the boat. The Burn has always known as precise river runner. Its flat bottom holds a line and tracks beautifully though messy water. It has edges that allow you to carve and snap into eddies when you need to. The Burn has never been a boat that “needs charging” “needs to be driven hard” or bullied across the river. This shape maybe appeals to the paddler who prefers to use brain over brawn. 

Ok that sums up why I think the Burn 3 Small isn't  just a popular boat made small but a boat that may actually suit smaller paddlers.  

All that said it’s worth reminding you that this isn't a boat that relies on those three points alone.
The Burn is a pedigree proven white water boat with all the performance and safety features needed of any top end white water boat.

I am massively excited about this boat and have lined up two past students and customers to take the boat out for me and give me their thoughts.

Over and Out! 

 Liam Kirkham

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Pyranha Burn 3 Small review.

They keep on coming! 

Pyranha deliver yet another great boat for this winter. The long awaited Burn 3 small is here! A touch smaller than the mk2 small we figured this would be well received by those who are a bit on the smaller side.   As soon as the boat came out of the wrapper at the shop we were on the phone to a local lady who fits the bill for this boat. 
Here is what she had to say: 

Tiny person’s review:
I’m 5 whole feet tall and this, I believe, was the criteria for being asked to test out the new small Burn. 65kg is the maximum recommended paddler weight for this new model compared to 95kg for the old small Burn; therefore, it really is designed for those of us who are compact. Being pint sized certainly has some advantages. For one, you get to look all hip-hop in your dry suit. And who doesn’t want to look like MC Hammer? However sometimes being one twelfth the size of a normal human, makes fully-grown boating tricky. So when Liam asked if I wanted to try out the new small Burn for teeny folk, I was interested.
At the risk of sounding like a pussy, I hate carrying my boat. It’s obese. Therefore, the weight of the Burn is pleasing. At 17.8 kg it is not a back breaker on longer walk ins and is easier to manoeuvre around. With less stature and no gun-like biceps behind me, this is a winning point for me and all those I paddle with (who don’t have to listen to me whine).
I’m at that stage when the timing of my strokes can be messy, and Liam suggested that this little Burn would track well. And it did. As you come up to a lip, concentration can go into nailing a stroke at the right time rather than correcting the meandering direction of your boat; this is a real plus. I was able to glide up to lips and be poised with an all important power stroke to get me over holes (rather than end up in them). In terms of boofing I’m still learning, but the Burn generally seemed easier than heavier boats to propel forward with my torso and flatten at the end. For my little hips, this was awesome news.

Replacing furious paddling with precision is what I was focussing on, and the Burn responded well to small movements. The front is narrow and low so I found it easier to get my torso over when learning flat spins. Nippy, fast, and precise, it carved into eddies extremely swiftly and the planning hull caught waves beautifully -as you would expect. I think it’s flatter than the previous Burn though, so this may compromise stability on bigger water. Certainly, it has far less volume than the older small model as they have added an extra size to their fleet and divided up the dimensions accordingly. Obviously, this makes it more playful and less tank-like, but it is less forgiving if you catch an edge. Depends what you are after. I had no trouble rolling the Burn despite the harder edges which was a plus. So it’s speedy, but less stable.
Compared to some of its armchair like competitors, the outfitting was somewhat basic and uncomfortable, particularly the backrest, but perhaps this is one of the compromises for the lighter weight. However, I prefer to be super comfy in a boat. All in all, a nifty little river runner for a wee-man or woman.

Devon, Nov 2015

The small Burn 3 gives great speed, driving across the white water.

Excellent agility from the sharper edges and finely tuned hull. 
                               Delivering a responsive and precise boat for the smaller paddler.

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.

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:

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: