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.
A surprise parcel landed at Unsponsored HQ this week, a brand new 2017 Palm Impact spray skirt. We’ve had an older one of these in at the HQ a couple of years back and it proved to be an awesome skirt.
The Palm Impact spray skirt is Palm’s top end bungee corded offering.
For 2017 Palm have updated the design so that it now includes a few tweaks.
A couple of weeks ago Peak UK announced their release of the new Racer ST line of PFD/Top Deck all in one combos. They have since release the following info and video. Check it out.
The new Racer ST is a unique and ground breaking three-in-one garment that combines a paddling jacket with spray deck and buoyancy aid for the ultimate streamlined performance. The Racer ST holds around 30 percent of it’s flotation in its spraydeck, meaning now there’s less than 20mm of flotation foam on the athlete’s body.
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.
We are big fans of rand decks at Unsponsored HQ. We have, in the past, gone to extreme measures to ensure that really good rand decks live on to fight another day.
It was therefore superb that we heard that Palm Equipment were going to bring out a brand new rand based deck. The Palm Orbit is a new take on a favourite and we are looking forward to trying this out over the next few months. Lets take a tour in the Palm Orbit – First Look.
The HF stand at Paddle Expo had a range of really cool gear on display from both HF and Astral.
The cowtail shown here stood out as the tape/bungee used did not have a flat profile when stretched but was actually cylindrical as a bungee cord has been used. Simple idea but looks really well executed.
It’s been some time since Palm Equipment had a rand based skirt in the range and it’s something that Palm followers have been crying out for. Not wanting to disappoint they have developed the new Palm Equipment Orbit Spray Skirt.
Spray skirts/decks have a pretty tough life but do an incredibly important job. I’d been on the look out for a spray skirt to rescue from an inevitable trip to the bin and found one close to home.
Unsponsored’s little brother River (Militia) has a Palm Kevlar RT rand deck that has seen better days. I had offered to repair it for this post without seeing the total extent of the damage.
In fairness the skirt should have been consigned to the bin years ago or at least set on fire and given a grand send off. However the skirt was in such a bad state that it made the perfect subject for this post as most types of repair were required to bring it back to life.
To put the repair into context most joints on the skirt were compromised and in other areas the skirt had separated from the rand. In two key places the kevlar/neoprene had worn out/through and large holes had appeared. Even the top part of the tunnel had separated from the skirt and was also torn in a couple of places. All in all it was in a sorry state.
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.