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, 30 October 2013

Trouser Spotting

Ewart has recently updated some kit (found he had sold it or given it away due to an enforced break from paddling). Take it away Wokka! 

Here is my guide to dry trousers at AS Watersports and how I went about selecting a new pair ( I will tell you what I choose in a bit). 
I started by deciding what I was actually going to use them for, I have a drysuit for paddling in the depths of winter be it white water or sea, fishing or any paddling in really bad conditions or just cold water (trips abroad). So it was some thing to compliment this where you need protection but just not as much. 
I've started doing a lot more "sports touring" ( up to class 3 in a touring, hybrid or even small sea kayaks) but its never that punishing and much less chance of a capsize or swim. But the weather can still be bad, there are still portages and the need for dryness and comfort in and out of the boat. 
In the past I have always had latex ankle seals with a normal height waist. This has mostly been fine, a bit damp on the odd swim but not a drenching. (quick rope work from friends!)
There is now not as much choice in trousers with latex ankle seals, the trend from manufacturers is for built in fabric socks. 
This is for a couple of reasons. One, its easier to manufacture, producing latex goods is messy, hot and smelly work. Its not easy to do. Latex is a pretty raw version of rubber and because of this its a bit vulnerable to tearing, perishing, and splitting, as many of us have found out when getting changed and discovered a split just before getting on the river. It does offer a good seal but its not with out its weaknesses. 
Two, built in dry socks can be made more easily, can be made much wider at the top of the sock (latex socks only come in a few sizes, from any manufacturer) and can be more easily replaced when they wear out. (and to be honest, they will.).
However, Yak still use a latex ankle seal on their Chinnock trousers and as far as latex goes its pretty thick and definitely gives a good seal. 

So, what I wanted was: A tough outer fabric that will stand up to bashing around on Dartmoor and sloping fish over them but not to heavy for doing some walking and wearing in warmer (spring/autumn) weather.

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.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Bountiful Budleigh

Another quick dash to Budleigh last night. Ewart was joined by long term boating buddy (and long term sufferer of Ewarts mishaps on and off the river)  Andy, (Jemmas partner).

It was Andy's first time out kayak fishing so Ewart gave him his lucky feathers (actually a little glow in the dark shrimp lure) to give him a head start. And it worked! Not more than 5 mins out Andy struck the Mackerel pot, without Ewart seeing it he thought it was too small so chucked it back. He won't make that mistake again. The little glow in the dark shrimps continued to work their magic for quite a while with Andy bagging a nice haul with some good size Mackerel. Great stuff for a first effort.

Ewart tried some new lures, a similar pattern but this time he opted for some darker blue ones to try and match the low light conditions. Paddling out over the reef though showed very clear water and he thought they might not work. 2 mins later, bang, in with a brace of Mackies. This continued to be the pattern for a good hour or so. Soon they were joined by Ewarts fishing hero Tom who paddled out on his Malibu 2 xl for a spot of spear fishing. Tom has got right into this lately and is really producing the goods. 3 dives saw him bag 2 nice Mullet, both around the 3-4lb range, not that big for Mullet or for Budleigh but good enough for the plate.

After Andys beginners luck began to wear out snagging on the bottom and having some gear malfunctions they started to paddle in.
Ewart has been desperate to catch some thing other than Mackies and really wanted to try out some other plastics he had picked up. A quick change over to a small plastic sand eel and a few passes over the quickly filling reef didn't produce any thing, one more pass..... a bit further out, a touch more line and ding! a nice bend but no real fight from a shiney green Pollock! Happy days, first fish on the new eel. Right, some more of that, another pass and yes, straight in with another Pollock. To say he was pleased was an understatement. Bigger and better next time!

 Plenty of other paddlers mucking about in the rising tide and small swell.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Go Pro Fishing

A few Go Pro pics from Dan from a little fishing trip a few weeks ago.

                                            Not sure the vest is such a good look Ewart.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

River SUP'in

More SUP action from Ewart. This time heading out with Ben down the River Exe to Countess weir and back on the canal. (Exeter Canoe loops 1)
Loads of Mullet, a Komodo dragon, Pirates, a tiny surf and lots of sun.
The Red Paddle 10.8 Mega is just the job for this run. Super tough and forgiving on the moving water. The Werner Spanker foam core paddle also does the job well. Its so stiff there's plenty of power. The foam core gives some nice support when its needed as well.

 Always time for Air Guitar! Ben tunes up.

 Ferry glides and eddying out. The same principals as in a kayak or canoe.  Transferable skills, if you have them. If not, get some coaching.

A quick fish.

Ewart headed out to Budleigh with a few friends (yes, he has some) last Thursday.
The weather was lush, there was a little swell running over the reef which made for a fun paddle in out and back in.  Plenty of Mackerel about with Tom and Ewart getting the most.

For ease of kayak fishing Ewart has trimmed his feather rig down to just three hooks. This time with a small glo in the dark shrimp pattern which was very effective in the dimming light. He thinks 5 hooks are A, to much on the kayak. If you have 5 fish on flapping every where its chaos and if just a couple of fish then you have empty hooks that can get caught in your clothing, hands, face etc. B, its just plain greedy. If there's Mackerel about you will soon catch some more. Take just enough for your tea or the rest of the session. Any you touch will die pretty quickly if returned.

Tom took out his Prowler elite 4.5 which he loves and Dan and Ewart teamed up on the Malibu 2 XL Angler
This was super stable and pretty quick with both of them on it. Coming back in over the reef they were glad of the speed and surfed a few swells right back into the river mouth. The C Tug trolleys carried the loads and as always were more than up to the job and stowed nicely in the kayak hatches.

 Tom fully loaded.

 Budleigh is lush. The River Otter sweeping its way to the sea.

 Budleigh Reef just about showing its teeth

 oooh Tompo.

Lots of fun and a nice surf and turf on Friday.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

SUPin' crazy

In his quest to get his shoulder strong Ewart has been hitting the SUP hard in the last week. A few sessions down the canal after work and a trip to Exmouth and Orcombe point with Ollie on Tuesday for some waves.
It was the first time in the surf for both of them but within a couple of minutes they were both catching some nice knee to waist high waves. (much to the annoyance of some other locals who had been SUP'in for 6 months and not yet caught a wave!)

Ollie paddles back out at Orcombe point. Yes, Waves and warm water in July! 
Picture taken through Ewarts Aquapac

Sundays paddle down the canal, absolute bliss. Catch the last game of Wimbledon and a pint of cold cider (plus 2 glasses of water, thirsty work)

All sessions have been on the Red Paddle 10.8 mega. The boards are the same as we use in our hire fleet. Great for first time Stand Up Paddlers as they are super stable and very tough. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Kayak The Amazon.

An Adventure to follow!

At the end of the July three paddlers are attempting to paddle the entire length of the Amazon.

David Midgley, Don Beveridge and Darcy Gaetcher are aiming to launch at the end of July.

If they are successful Darcy will be the first ever female to finish it where as David will be the first ever British paddler to complete the entire length.

"The original plan for Kayak The Amazon was written on a tablecloth in a bar in Scotland by Midge. That was nine years ago. After discovering that it would mean learning how to whitewater kayak he signed up for the beginners’ course at London’s Regents Canoe Club in 2005 and has never looked back. After kayaking in Norway, USA, Costa Rica, Morocco, France, Spain, Slovenia and Ecuador he now feels he’s ready for the Amazon – with Don and Darcy to stop him from killing himself!"

Best of Luck to you three


Friday, 28 June 2013

AS Watersports, Tootega and Volvo!

We have been happy to supply Kastner Volvo Exeter with a Tootega Pulse 85 sit on top for their show room display.

Pulse 85's are instock and ready to shred. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The South West's best just got fresh.

Thats right we have given our website a little overhaul and freshened it up.

We have added new sections for coaching and hire as well as a new navigation for the shop. You can still shop safely and securely with protected checkouts from Sagepay and Paypal.

We are now using interlink couriers for most of our smaller items and its still FREE Mainland UK delivery for most items.

The new Tuition and Coaching pages are clear and easy to use with upto date information on all our courses.

AS "On the water" 

Take a look around, there are still some bits we are working on and we would love to hear what you think, good or bad!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Jemma and Ewart get famous.

Well, not that famous. They have appeared on the Yak website though. Or so they say! We cant see their faces to be sure....

A bit of sun and touring fun. But do it safely with a Yak pfd. 
Touring buoyancy aids at A.S Watersports online shop

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Sweet Dude!

You only get one head!

Oh yes. Sweet 2013 is on its way. Shipping commenced this week so you can literately hold on to your hats! 

Facts and figures

Here at AS Watersports we are firm believers in safety first. Whilst we make ever effort to advise you on whats the right kit for the job there will always be those who choose to ignore the advice. 

You only get one head!

Please use some common sense and get the best helmet you can afford. 
Too often we hear paddlers who are just starting out or are at an intermediate level looking to do a bit more saying " I'm not good enough for one of those"  

We are going to be blunt here: "Are you good enough not too?" 

Lets face it, in the earlier stages of paddling we all spend more time upside down or out of our boat. 
Our heads need protecting as much as the next person.
To use a common phrase " Grade 2 rocks hurt as much as Grade 5 rocks."

The Wanderer in our eyes should be the de-facto entry to intermediate level white water helmet. 
Excellent protection and coverage in a stylish and very comfortable helmet. 
The little extra cost of the Sweet helmets is due to the work and effort spent in getting the fit right, excellent protection levels, advanced materials and high end features. 
 All you have to do to see this is try one on. 

White water, Surf, Rock hopping,  Free style are all perfect for the Wanderer. 

                                 Buy now

The Rocker. The White water helmet.

This helmet has become the standard for white water paddling world wide. 
In fact we don't think we need to say too much.
Certification that exceeds the CE mark for watersports helmets by miles, amazing fit and comfort all backed up with high end construction and materials. If you want to protect your head from the dangers of the river then this is the helmet for you. Thermoplastic laminated carbon shells offer the rigidity of carbon for stiffness where you need it, flexibility in areas that need some give to help absorb impact and an EPP liner that has some memory and is fantastic for shock absorption.

Ah, the good ol' Strutter, The helmet that started the Sweet revolution.  A Plastic outer with a carbon liner still offers good protection for less demanding environments. It is a lower volume helmet more suited to play boating (freestyle) surfing and sea kayaking where the impacts tend to be less and at lower speeds.  It still has style as well.

             Sweet we love you. Buy them here now .

Thursday, 28 March 2013

More to the Core. Stay warm the Palm way.

It might be Easter and although Spring and summer are on the way it definitely is not that warm out there. The new Core layering system makes understanding how to stay warm pretty easy. 

 Core 1 are your rash guards. Great for hot sunny weather to give you sun protection and taking the edge of some breeze. Ideal for surfing, SUP paddling and any watersports activity where you need some skin protection or additional comfort under a wetsuit. Rash vests offer a little warmth but this is not the main purpose.

Jumping straight to Core 4 and the real warmth. Mid weight stretch fleece thermals provide great warmth, comfort and freedom of movement. Combined with a base layer, these tops pants and one piece suits will keep you toasty!
Fully featured for paddling with thumb loops to help you get them on, pockets for keys (or chocolate, money and other small items) and a 3D articulated cut. The raised collar helps to prevent chaffing and the long back on the tops keeps them tucked in, no cold spots!
Mens and Womens versions for the perfect fit. 
Tops £49.95 pants £49.95

One piece suits are great under a drysuit. A one piece can help minimise bulk and again keeps every thing tucked in.
We must mention the drop seat on the Womens Trisuli suit, in conjunction with the drop seat on the womens Element suit  ( or Kokatat womens Meridian suit ) it really does make going to the loo very easy.

So, stay warm on the water in the next weeks, get suited now.
Order online here:  Palm Core 4 Thermals