Grand Canyon Of The Stikine

Years of anticipation and hearing the stories we finally got in there.

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In the summer of 2013 all British lads Dan Yates, Tom Mclay, Tom Downs, Ash Bullivant, Daz James, Rob Litherland and Sam Ellis with an adopted American, Travis Winn set out on a BC adventure.

Grand Canyon of the Stikine from THE RIVER MILITIA on Vimeo.

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VE Paddles

I’ve been using Vertical Element full carbon custom crank paddles for some time and love them. I was able to get a custom set of paddles (left handed) on a cranked shaft ordered and delivered within a couple of days (inc a weekend). Awesome service and a great British product.

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James Bebbington has put this little promo together about VE. Continue reading

A Bad Swim – A Reflection

On the 2nd Jan 2014 Rory Woods ran Cauldron Snout on the River Tees (UK) and ended up taking a swim. Having successfully tackled the class V+ Cauldron Snout on several previous occasions Rory broke out of the top eddy and ran the Snout. Here are Rory’s unedited thoughts on what happened when it all went wrong.

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Photo: Ben Johnson. Paddler: Rory Woods.

For context, the level is a bit higher than Sam (click to view video) ran it, with overspill on the dam as well as both pipes. I’ve run it a few times before, but always lower. It shook me a bit, and I hope I will learn from it. I’ve always believed in safety coming from the certainty that you will get the moves right, irrespective of the consequences. Of course, if the consequences are bad enough, you need to leave some margin in your level of certainty. Over lots of years of very gradually paddling harder and harder stuff, I really thought that my judgement of what I could definitely do was pretty accurate. I’ve always been a bit proud of my ability to get on and get pressure moves right without headgames getting in the way once I’d made a decision. It shocked me to go back and look at the rapid and think that maybe I’ve been fooling myself for a while in my desire to run stuff. Continue reading

A Yorkshire Playground

The North of England has some of the best whitewater around. The River Swale in North Yorkshire is a firm favourite and has been at good levels for most of the week.

A Yorkshire Playground from Martyn Butler on Vimeo.

This video was put together by friend of Unsponsored, Martyn Butler. You can check out what Martyn gets up to here.

Scotland… It’s Happened Again!

Despite being banned from returning to Scotland River managed to sneak out of the house and over the border.

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The sketchy sequel to Scotland Happened – features rivers: Nevis, Leven, Etive, Kinglass and Douglas.

No sick this time folks!

Shot on GoPro’s sick equipment and edited with Final Cut Pro.

Enjoy!

A Summer Stout 720

Another great video from my friend Sam Ellis. Charging hard in God’s Own County.

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So the rains finally came!! After work Monday night got a run on Aysgill Force and a swollen Swale. Footage was too dark for rest of the Swale but I assure there weren’t any other place I would of rather been.

Enjoy

Cheers

A Summer Stout 720 from sam ellis on Vimeo.

Norway – Day 5

Today has been eventful. I’ll begin at last night when Rainey made a bold claim that he would attempt a kickflip off of Moneydrop on the Stranda. This soon trended on Facebook thanks to Sam Ellis and the peer pressure began to build. Anyway we met up with Rainey this morning to find that he had come to a compromise with his growing fanbase and would be running Moneydrop fully naked in his playboat later in the day.

First off though we headed to the lower Myrkdal for our second run this trip. It was similar flows to yesterday but this time a little less nerve racking as we knew the lines. It was all going so well, the sun was out and we were all loving it.

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Unsponsored 2013 Q&A Series – Sam Ellis

I’ve waited a while for this one and I’m really please that Sam has taken the time to take part in the Unsponsored 2013 Q&A series. I’ve known Sam for many many years, I reckon 12 years +.

Sam has consistently and quite quietly been out charging some of the biggest whitewater around the globe and hunting down some first descents closer to home. Sam is simply a superb paddler and it’s been great to have the opportunity to paddle with him over the years. Keep on charging!

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Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.

My accomplishments, I got “most improved paddler award” at my old canoe club one year when I was 13ish which I was well proud of!! Been on GB freestyle team for a few years competed in a World Champs and some European champs, a few first d’s. Paddled some of the most amazing whitewater on the planet with some great friends. Continue reading

When I Were Young

I found this within the Unsponsored archives and thought it might be of interest. Before the changes to the Tees Barrage Whitewater course this is what the course was like. It was so long ago I had forgotten that there even was an island river left at the top of the course! Enjoy.

Inlet gate – Easy Rider

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