We have got more 2018 from Paddle Expo 2017.
Although this buyers guide is directed at students in reality it will apply to anyone thinking about taking up the sport. Over the next few weeks many students will be starting Uni and will be looking at joining a club. In most cases the Kayak/Canoe club in a university will be the best club to join. That can pretty much be guaranteed.
We’ve just about hit that time of the year in the UK when it gets darker earlier and earlier, the weather has begun to turn and the water is that little bit colder – Winter Is Coming. It’s a great time to start to look at your cold weather paddling gear and assess whether it is going to be up to the job.
Being cold is not just uncomfortable it can also be life threatening. Having the right gear for the right conditions is key at any time of the year but the margin for error during the colder seasons is much tighter.
Although this buyers guide is directed at students in reality it will apply to anyone thinking about taking up the sport. Over the next few weeks many students will be starting Uni and will be looking at joining a club. In most cases the Kayak/Canoe club in a university will be the best club to join.
Peak UK have launched their new Racer ST. This revolutionary garment was four years in development and collaboration between Peak UK, British Canoeing and the English Institute of Sport.
The Racer ST combines a cag, deck and PFD into one single piece of gear. We’ve seen and used cag decks (top decks)from Peak UK in the past and they have been a firm favourite at Unsponsored HQ, but adding the PFD element takes this to a whole new level.
The PFD/Cag/Deck combo was used by Joe Clarke, David Florence & Richard Hounslow in Rio this year.
Donner and Tinker are shoes by Astral made for year round living. Introducing our Fall, cool weather shoe with focus on balance, traction and weather resistance. Building off our best selling style, we expand our multisport, light trail collection.
I’m going to begin the Astral Hiyak – review by saying a little bit about the boots I’ve been using most of the time – the Five Ten Water Tennies. They have been faultless and have become my favourite pair of paddling boots. The Stealth rubber is what really makes it. Have several pairs of shoes/boots and have probably tested/reviewed pretty much everything that is available on the market but for river use I always return to the Water Tennies.
Now to the Astral Hiyak. They don’t have the Stealth rubber from Five Ten but have Astral’s own G.ss rubber, I have seen the G.ss a number of times but have never been able to try it out, until now.
When Astral first launched their line of watershoes a few years back the sole was constructed from Five Ten Stealth rubber. However Five Ten were bought out by Adidas and the availability of the Stealth rubber sole for third parties dried up.
Knowing that they were onto something really special with their line up of shoes Astral went out and made a compound that was far better in terms of both grip and wear than the Stealth rubber they had previously used.
NRS were well represented at Paddle Expo with a fairly sizeable stand. If you aren’t familiar with NRS stand by. They produce pretty much everything for paddle sports and now have a base in Europe. This will mean that we will be seeing a great deal more of their gear in the UK and across the rest of Europe.
We have had pair of the original Crush shoes here at Unsponsored HQ for quite some time and they are holding up well. For 2016 NRS has beefed up the cushioning within the insole, have toughened up the fabric around the toe/sides and have improved the traction offered by the rubber.