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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Category: Old School Series (page 2 of 4)

Old School Series – Riot Disco

I owned a Riot Disco for over two years and used it in virually all water conditions. I was quite fortunate because my particular boat came with the Surf Seat as opposed to any of the earlier devices seats which tended to make the kayak far too heavy.

The Disco has to be one of the all time classic kayaks. A kayak that has changed the way in which the industry designs new kayaks. The Disco was probably the first short PnP kayak that could actually perform.

Riot Disco

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Old School Series – Eskimo Nano

The Nano has been about for a few years now. It’s made from Prijons/Eskimos bombproof plastic which doesn’t require central foam pillars to provide the boat with rigidity. This in itself puts the Nano in the enviable position of being able to have a narrow bow whilst still having adequate foot room. The boat is also considerably lighter than some on the market which is great for long walkins/outs.

The outfitting on Eskimo boats is pretty basic with no ratchets to be seen. This does mean that the likelihood of breakage is reduced. The footrest system is simple foam block affair and the stern of the boat is filled with a large airbag for buoyancy. Don’t expect anything radical.

I had a chance to try the Nano out over a weekend. I Velcro-ed some hip pads into position and took it out onto the water. Although the new fully functional outfitting you see around is great, what really matters is the design of the hull. I was not disappointed with the Nano. It’s a fast boat so catching waves and hitting eddies wasn’t a problem. It also cartwheels very well since it is so slicey and really required only the minimum of effort to get the ends going.

So despite the lack of radical outfitting the Nano is a solid boat with solid performance. Spend some time outfitting one out and take it out for a spin. It’s a perfect river running playboat that will no doubt last for years (Eskimo boats always do!)

Old School Series – Level Six Pro-Guide Shorts

I’m fortunate enough to be one of the few people around and abouts the place that has got hold of some of the level6 gear and have to say I love it.

The range is designed by boaters for boaters, but with a strong emphasis on style and quality, but it doesn’t stop there. The gear is all VERY well thought about too.

When worn, to the outsider these look like a real nice pair of board shorts. Great length, colour, shape, style that would be as at home at HPP as it would on Fistral, Golds or Port Talbot. The lace-up waist band teamed with solid velcro fly allow for a snug fit. BUT, this is not where the shorts’ end. Underneath the outer is a liner made of the same material as the above slippers. A close fitting silver lycra/neoprene. Not the silver looped fleece this time but a cropped black flock lining to the silver, making these super comfortable and, again, almost totally impenetrable by wind, water and cold. The shell aids in this due to the great wicking and dispensing nature, not to mention the wind-resistance. Flat-locks and double stitching throughout makes them tough and durable. All in all a great pair of shorts. Be sure to get the right size as the velcro fly is cleverly designed to open both the shell layer and the liner layer, meaning if you’re a bit tubby (or too well endowed ) for the shorts, there’s risk of your modesty (or that of others) being comprimised I’d have no problem wearing these to the beach for surfing, or strutting at Howsham weir in the middle of winter.

Can’t wait to see the rest of the range from Level Six. I understand the full catalogue is going to be on our shores soon after the new year.

Happy Paddling

MattD

Old School Series – Level Six Fonz Cag

This cag is extremely light offering great flexibility and freedom in the boat, it also is rather breathable, stopping you get hot and sweaty on those hot summer days, with the good neoprene seals on the cuffs and neck was surprisingly dry for a single layer cag. However for those who just want to brown your arms there is a short sleeve version available.

Even during wet cold blustery days the cag offered decent protection keeping you dry and warm. Given the extra freedom it offers, it will be interesting how far into the winter it can be used.

One extra advantage is that the cag’s material is very water repellent shedding water within just a few shakes, this means the cag dries very quickly and means you can have a morning session and the cag would be dry within an hour. Meaning you get dry kit for the next session.

Attention to detail on ALL level six kit is superb, the taping and stitching on the seams is just flawless. The cag uses a double strap system to tighten the waste giving a comfortable yet watertight seal between you, the deck and the cag. A key pocket is also located in the chest area, but made accessible when wearing a BA.

Overall the cag is a delight to wear, and would be ideal as a spring/summer/autumn cag, and as it has a neoprene style seal, makes neck rash a thing of the past.

More information on the entire Level six range available at;

www.levelsix.ca

HAPPY PADDLING

Jules H

Old School Series – Riot Techno

The Techno comes with Riot’s new outfitting. Which is comfortable, and highly adjustable. The adjustability of the backrest and thigh braces comes form a ratchet system that seems highly effective and is becoming a standard feature of most new boats. I was sceptical at first but the thigh braces worked really well for me, I always like Riot’s earlier minimalist design, and this felt similar, but far more secure and highly adjustable. The boat still remained easy to get out of which is always a plus!

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The Mothership Connection

The Mothership Connection is one of the videos in the TEVA tour series. It takes you on a 55 minute whirlwind trip to many grade IV and V rivers in Corsica, Italy, and Norway. It is largely filmed by top playboater, designer (Riot Techno), extreme paddler and video boater, Arnd Shaeftlein.

Like the other tours in the series the cast is world famous and features the paddling talents of Buffy Bailey, Johnny Kern, Willy Kern, Mark Eames, Brennan Guth, Mark Hayden, Francesco Salvato, Brad Ludden, Flemming Shmidt, Erik Martinsen, Stephan Luetz, Lara Tipper, Horst Fuersattel, Arnd Shaeftlein, Ortwin Dellevoet and others!

The rivers and scenery are simply amazing, well shot and well run by the boaters. Running large drops dominates but one or two play waves are featured.

In my opinion the soundtrack is the only thing that lets the video down, however musical tastes are quite individual and that should not detract from the fact that there is some awesome boating throughout the 55 minutes. It’s worth watching at least a couple of times.

To sum up – Big names, big water, and big drops.

Old School Series – Pyranha S6f

Review by James Bebbington – Team Pyranha

Obviously I will be biased towards Pyranha boats as Pyranha sponsor me but these are my actual opinions and thoughts of the boat and how I have found it over the time I have been paddling it.

Outfitting

I weigh about 10 stone and am 6ft tall with long legs. I managed to fit comfortably in the boat and could even move the seat 3 quarters of the way forward if I wanted (without the shock block in).

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Old School Series – Dagger Kingpin

I haven’t really seriously paddled a Dagger kayak since I owned a Vertigo years back. At the time I was pretty happy with the outfitting although I did change the back band. I was therefore very interested in giving the Kingpin a go to see how things had developed over the years.

The Kingpin comes in the now traditional three different sizes. I managed to get hold of a Kingpin 6.3 for a few days at the end of the summer. I was fairly limited on where to paddle it due to the lack of rain but did get to spend several hours throwing the boat around at a local P&P spot. Continue reading

Old School Series – Pyranha M3

The Micro series of boats, first released in 1994, have been popular creek boats ever since. However, creeking has evolved along with creekboat design. Loads of manufacturers have released more modern designs like the c.f.s, Java and the Huck. Now Pyranha have decided to retire the trusty micro in favour of a new machine – the M3. Here’s what I reckon…

The Look:

Fresh ‘n’ new! The M3 really looks the business, with the new “Syncro 4” outfitting and clip in points made by DMM. The “Syncro 4” outfitting works really well. The boat needs minimal time spent messing around with glue and sandpaper getting it right as it comes with pre-padded seat and hip pads. The hooker thigh grips give the control of quad straps combined with the easy access needed for rivers and creeks and the backrest was great, providing positive support from the moment I got into the cockpit. The M3 features a full plate footrest, rather than the “shoc-bloc” system favoured in Pyranha’s playboats, giving adjustability, control and safety. Anyone taking big hits can layer the footrest up with thick foam. There’s no peli case holder as standard anymore, although these can be ordered from Pyranha. The boat comes supplied with a bag of foam fittings as standard, along with the ubiquitous Pyranha sponge. Continue reading

Old School Series – Pyranha i3

As soon as I jumped into the I3 the 1st thing that I noticed was how extremely comfortable it was (a pre-syncro 4 boat). There is a hell of a lot of foot room which meant I was able to wear my 5:10 boots whilst in the boat with out any loss of feeling or discomfort.

i3_4

The thigh braces are pretty well designed and can be adjusted forward and back to get the right feel. This ultimately will mean better control of the boat. The bulkhead foot braces come with varying thicknesses of foam cut for the shape of the bulkhead, these are easily stuck into place. The back band is the now industry standard – ratchet system. It works well and appears solid enough. Continue reading

Pyranha S6 – Review

I managed to get hold of a Pyranha S6 200 a few weeks ago and manged to squeeze myself into it for a quick spin out on my local wave. I’m 6ft 1inch tall and managed to get in the boat with no hassle at all. The S6 comes in two flavours the 190 and 200 versions.

Outfitting:

The outfitting will be familiar to anyone who has used any of the other boats in the recent Pyranha range. The quick and easy adjustment of the seat and thigh braces allow you to trim the S6 quickly and the now obligatory ratchet backrest make getting comfortable a breeze.

Pyranha S6 - Review

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Old School Series – Riot Booster

I tried the Booster 60 over the course of a day on the flat and at a local play spot. Initially I was quite surprised by its overall size. The room offered inside is excellent and with the new 2002 outfitting getting comfortable was not an issue. It comes fitted with a multitude of ratchet adjustable fittings including backrest, thigh-straps and footrest. And thankfully Riot have ditched those awful “strap” adjustable devices seats and opted for a “bolted” in option with comfy foam pad.

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