Escape To Corsica 2014

I’ve seen many photographs and videos of Corsica since I started kayaking 4 years ago but never imagined that I’d actually get to go and experience the crystal waters and steep creeks of this stunning island. It is difficult to get any detailed information on the kayaking out there aside from a few videos and German guidebooks from the 80s full of air bracing pioneers in fibreglass boats!

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Getting to the island involved a drive to Dover, the channel ferry, a 13 hour drive to Toulon and an overnight ferry across the Mediterranean. Despite over 24 hours of travelling, once you’re on the island, the rivers are all very close by and range from relaxing grades 2/3 to some scary 5/6 with siphons the size of cars and portages as long as some British rivers!

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We spent the first day finding our feet on the grade 2/3+ Lower Vecchio and Tavignano Gorge, working out team dynamics and acclimatising to the Corsican style. Later in the week we paddled another section of the Tavignano which had some awesome surf spots and flair opportunities, a great river for beginner and intermediate paddlers to practice skills on! Continue reading

Confluence Watersports Become Confluence Outdoor

Confluence Watersports is the parent group that a number of big US brands belong to including Dagger and Wavesport. They have announced that they have been accuired by J.H Whitney a private equity firm and will now be known as Confluence Outdoor.

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“We are very pleased to be brought into the J.H. Whitney family,” said Sue Rechner, who will continue in her role as President & CEO of the newly formed Confluence Outdoor. “Confluence has always been an active and invested member of the outdoor industry, and we are fortunate that our new partnership with J.H. Whitney will enable us to build upon our success in paddlesports as a platform for future expansion. Their respect for and commitment to our industry is well demonstrated, and I feel certain that our shared excitement will foster continued growth and achievement for Confluence and the industry.”

Going Solo – Alone With The River

For many years, I considered those who ventured out to rivers on their own to be reckless individuals with no regard for their own safety or well-being; however, I was recently offered a fresh perspective on solo boating during a 4* Training day with Dave Kohn-Hollins (I won’t try and reproduce his words here, as I’ll most likely misquote him and lose some of the sentiment; instead, I’ll simply recommend you book yourself onto a course with River Flair).

The message I took from my conversation with Dave and the thoughts it provoked in my mind, were that in any leading situation you tailor the venue to suit the group and the conditions on the day, and there’s absolutely no reason why that approach can’t also be applied to a group size of one.

Of course, in order to pick a river that is suitable for a solo run you’ll need enough modesty to take an objective and impartial view on your paddling abilities; for this reason, I’d encourage you to really get to know yourself and your limits not only in kayaking, but in life in general. Continue reading

Contour Roam Review

Good footage for a good price

Contour have never been the obvious choice if you’re choosing a camera for kayaking, but having recently re-emerged under new management, the company has a lot to offer any badass on a budget.

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I recently read a review of Contour’s top-of-the-range camera, the Contour +2. I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for with action cameras, but if you’re after a camera that delivers quality footage for a fraction of the price, then the Roam 2 is a great way to go. Here’s why… Continue reading

Palm FXr PFD – Review

The FX PFD from Palm Equipment has been around in one form or another for years and has been one of Palm’s top sellers throughout its lifetime. In 2013 Palm took the FX and totally overhauled its fit and the material used.

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The new FX has been such a success that it seemed to make sense to move things up a gear and develop a rescue vest using the same platform. Palm have done exactly this and have released the FXr in early 2014. Continue reading

Substantial Ep. 8 Teaser “Peru”

In October of 2013 a group of whitewater misfits met in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Substantial Ep. 8 Teaser “Peru” from Substantial Media House on Vimeo.

In search of hidden latin expeditions we dropped into countless amazing canyons. Sample the flavor of a unique Substantial episode that is sure to have you wanting to get out and see what’s over the next horizon.

Pyranha B-Two Connect Outfitting Upgrade

At the end of last year Pyranha released the Burn MK3, if you have had a chance to paddle one its not a bad kayak, one of the best creekers and river runners on the market today, even Tom Parker has put the Everest away, always a good sign. Price £949.

So what to do with the mould of the MK2 Burn, nothing to wrong with the design, has been tried and tested on the worlds hardest white water. This year in the Pyranha range there is a kayak at £599, the Pyranha B-Two hitting the price point for club paddles just breaking into white water or people wanting a coaching kayak. Well its the old MK2 Burn, its been de-speced to hit the price point of other manufacturers, still comes with the yellow grab handles, aluminium rescue points, connect 30 seat, thigh grips, back band, centre foam and full plate footrest, at the price its a bargain.

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Now, for an extra £90 you can buy the extra parts to turn this sleeping monster into a full on creeking river running monster. What does £90 get you, well a pair of hip pads including fitting kit, webbing attached to ratchet runners, a pair of ratchets and a pair of guides for the webbing. Continue reading