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.
The Sweet Protection Rocker is a superb helmet, we’ve been using one here at Unsponsored HQ for the last year or so, it has taken a few knocks and has performed well.
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it!
The Sweet Protection Rocker 2017 gets some minor cosmetic changes including some new colour schemes.
Believe it or not the Sweet Protection Strutter helmet has been around for almost 20 years, next year marks the 20th anniversary. We’ve had at least one of the Strutter models at Unsponsored HQ from the very start.
To celebrate 20 years Sweet are releasing a couple of limited edition models. First up is a new pearlescent white model with purple straps and the 20 Year logo.
Name: Ed Kingham
Currently studying in Swansea, but paddling more than studying at the moment. Predominantly surfing and playboating; but also sea kayaking, polo, flatwater racing and the odd section of whitewater. There is so much great paddling around here; it’s great to be able to go for a quick surf in the morning before uni.
I’ve been paddling for around ten years, although only seriously in the last few.
The BBC have carried out some research into the possibility helmet failure due to the use of a helmet cam such as a GoPro (other POV action cameras are available) during impact.
The research is well worth a read.
Choosing the right helmet is extremely important part of getting your safety gear correct. A poorly fitting helmet may be as effective as not wearing one at all.
For any helmet it always comes down to the fit, coverage, protection offered, intended use and paddler ability.
These factors change for each person and the best way to judge these factors is with comparisons to known entities:
Name: Aaron Kendall
Location: Loggerheads, Mold, North wales
I’m currently a outdoor instructor for Kingswood, based at the Colomendy outdoor centre. What seems to be the perfect location, although I seem to of missed most of the rain due to other commitments. Still getting plenty of low water runs in and the odd bit of water too.
Name: Eddy Mead
Location: Cardiff, South Wales
Boat: Liquidlogic Remix 79
I’ve paddled the Remix for a year now and have loved every minute. It’s super long with a narrow hull so it accelerates quickly and maintains speed. It’s got soft edges so it’s really forgiving but at the same time carves into tight eddy’s and into strong currents with ease. The Remix doesn’t have masses of rocker so boofing can require a little more effort but if the boat is being driven it cruises over everything. What’s unique and cool about it is the scoop on the tail, if dipped in the green whilst punching a big hole, it will give you a boost and accelerate away from the feature. Also the LL Badass outfitting if fantastic, super easy to adjust and super comfy without adding too much weight.
Name: Ben Hawthorne
About me: Been paddling for a while now, maybe 24 years?? Christ I’m old!!! I have however been fortunate to take my passion all over the world and paddle in a whole lot of places including New Zealand, Nepal, Chile and Canada. For the last 2 summers and next I have been running the Sjoa Kayak Camp in Norway along with my beautiful wife and the Gene 17 boys. I’m lucky enough to be supported by Colorado Kayak Supply in the US, super cool guys, check em out.
Location: Currently, Chamonix for the winter. Stoked.
Boat: ZET Raptor. Now when these came out I thought they looked a bit industrial, rough around the edges and wasn’t that keen. Then I ended up paddling one for a bit, and after a couple of runs was completely converted. It does everything a creek boat should do. Fast (for a creek boat), boofs and rolls easy, light, comfortable and most importantly, bomb proof. I do think its not really a great beginners boat, it definitely needs to be driven around the river and will kick your arse pretty fast if youre not a pro-active paddler but I love it. It really suits my paddling style. I’m pretty excited to see the new boat they’ve got lined up, details boys details!!! Also a Bliss-stick Smoothy for my play boat, like a project in my size, love it.
Here’s a run down of a few of the things that kayakers, canoeists and SUP paddlers may like as a pressie from Father Christmas. All could be useful and all are items that I either own or have tested.
I am assuming that other large bits of kit are already on the list!
Although this 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.
You can always tell when a new product is on its way when the manufacturer starts to update their website. Sweet Protection have done just this over the last couple of days.
The Intergalactic drysuit which I tested last year is now up and will be available shortly. In addition they also have some details on the new Supernova dry top.