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.
The rand itself was intact and therefore meant that the repair of the skirt was going to be time consuming yet fairly simple.
The new IR website is looking rather good. As is their new range of gear. Looking forward to having a chance to test some of the gear out.
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.
The last few days here in the North East (UK) have been pretty cold. A couple of mornings have even included getting rid of some pretty thick ice from the car windscreen.
This includes making sure that by boat has no leaks and that my deck is up to the job.
My winter paddling gear is as follows – Continue reading
Spencer Cooke takes us through Immersions Research’s 2015 product line. Continue reading