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

Category: Unsponsored (page 1 of 18)

The Maltese SUP Project

Watch Sonja Jones, Georgina Maxwell, Matt Haydock and Chris Brain attempt to circumnavigate around Malta on stand up paddle boards in The Maltese SUP Project.

The Maltese SUP Project

Braving challenging seas and with fully loaded SUPs, they explore the island from the water, playing music (trombone, ukulele, kazoo and percussion) and laughing along the way!

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Paddlesports Industry Coalition Endorses Paddlesports Retailer

MADISON, WISCONSIN, January 13, 2017 — Today a coalition of leading paddlesports manufacturers endorsed Paddlesports Retailer as the industry’s official tradeshow. Paddlesports Retailer will debut on August 29 – September 1, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin utilizing the common format of an opening on-water demo followed by three days in the hall.

This endorsement followed an eight-week process by the paddlesports industry coalition to unify around one show, to elect an advisory council to be an ongoing industry voice on industry and tradeshow matters, and to lay the groundwork to form a paddlesports trade association.

“We are pleased to endorse Paddlesports Retailer as our industry’s national tradeshow. We are proud of how our industry came together in a very short period of time, defined shared objectives, and rallied behind a focused show we feel will give the paddlesports industry its best commercial and cultural experience,” said Bill Kueper of Wenonah Canoe.

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Competition Time – January 2017

We love competitions at Unsponsored HQ and this one is super simple. Sign up to the new Unsponsored newsletter (From The Eddy) for your chance to win an Unsponsored goodie box (worth at least £50). A name will be selected at random at the end of the month. You will automatically be entered in for all other competitions as long as you remain signed up. We won’t share or sell your contact info.

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From The Eddy is the title I have given the Unsponsored Newsletter as I hate the idea of a newsletter! Basically this is an email to subscribers to let them know what has been going on at Unsponsored HQ in terms of news, reviews and top tips. We will be sending a couple of emails each month and promise not to bombard your inbox with piles of stuff. You can of course unsubscribe at any point.

You can subscribe to From The Eddy right now using the form below. We won’t be using your contact details for anything else or sharing them with anyone outside of Unsponsored HQ.

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From The Eddy – Unsponsored Newsletter

From The Eddy is the title I have given the Unsponsored Newsletter as I hate the idea of a newsletter! Basically this is an email to subscribers to let them know what has been going on at Unsponsored HQ in terms of news, reviews and top tips. We will be sending a couple of emails each month and promise not to bombard your inbox with piles of stuff. You can of course unsubscribe at any point.

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You can subscribe to From The Eddy right now using the form below. We won’t be using your contact details for anything else or sharing them with anyone outside of Unsponsored HQ.

As a promotion for the launch we have started putting another goodie box together. Sign up to the new Unsponsored newsletter for your chance to win an Unsponsored goodie box (worth at least £50). A name will be selected at random at the end of the month.

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Unsponsored Christmas Special 2016

Christmas day is always a big visitor day here on Unsponsored. In previous years visits go up by around 30%+. Last year was the first time I did a special post and it was very well received. I hope this post goes down at least as well and offers a little bit of escapism to those who need it.

Merry Christmas and happy New year to all. Stay safe and paddle hard!

Looking to watch something?

Check out the edits below.

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Prijon Outfitting 2017

Darin McQuoid gives us a walkthrough of the new Prijon Outfitting for 2017.

Prijon Outfitting 2017

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Waka Gangsta – First Look

As soon as I’d heard about the release of the Waka Gangsta I put down a deposit at my local kayak shop so I had one guaranteed for the first shipment. This year I’ve paddled the mark one Tuna quite a lot on a mix of steep creeks, class3/4 river running and the odd day on something big and bouncy. I’ve also managed to get my hands on a mark 2 Tuna on numerous occasions and seen the improvements that have come through from the mark one.

Waka Gangsta - First Look

I’d got wind of a larger design coming from Waka early in the summer so I held off buying a mark 2 Tuna on the basis that the mark 1 and 2 always worked for me but felt a little bit like they weren’t performing to their full potential.

Waka Gangsta - First Look

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Pressies For Paddlers 2016

A great deal of outdoor equipment passes through the halls of Unsponsored HQ. Some great, some good and some not so good. As we get closer to the 25th it has now become a little bit of tradition (and to save me answering loads of “What should I get ….. for Christmas, they have just got into kayaking/canoeing/SUP?” type questions via email) to put together a list of gear that paddlers and general outdoors type folk might appreciate as presents at Christmas time.

Present Ideas For Paddlers 2015

So here it is.

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Tyne Tour 2016 – Part II

After a few days rest I have downloaded and have began to sort another 1000 or so images from this years Tyne Tour. I’m calling this Tyne Tour 2016 – Part II but it is still from the Saturday of the tour and all images are taken from Rescue Rock on the North Tyne.

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Shoe and neoprene sock washed away.

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The Tyne Tour – A Brief Water Guide

The Tyne Tour is one of the best kayak/canoe events in the UK. Since its origins as the Mike Jones Rally the Tyne tour has become a firm favourite of mine. Most paddlers will stick to the area around Hexham and Tyne Green but there are several other stretches of water in the local area that are worth looking at. This post is not designed to be a definitive guide in any way but is intend to offer a few ideas so you can maximise your paddle time and choice if attending the tour. So here we have it The Tyne Tour – A Brief Water Guide.

Unsponsored Tyne Tour 1

Camping, food and retailers are all based at Tyne Green right on the river bank in Hexham. Hexham is large market town so there are plenty of shops, pubs and takeaways if required.

Unsponsored Tyne Tour 2

The main river for the tour is the North Tyne. Local canoe/kayak clubs provide safety cover on the largest whitewater section of the North Tyne at Rescue Rock. Each Saturday of the Tyne Tour you will find me sat on Rescue Rock taking thousands of still images.

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River Levels: Rain Chasers

The North Tyne

The North Tyne has to be one of the classic ww runs in the North East of England. The water is clean, access is pretty good and you can get down in all but the very lowest of levels. The normal get in is at the small village of Chollerford just a few miles North of Hexham itself. However for the Tyne Tour the get in is a few miles upstream at Barrasford. A shuttle bus runs the route and the parking at Barrasford is ample. The run down to Chollerford offers a few good rapids and is the perfect warm up.

The Tyne Tour - A Brief Water Guide

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Some Thoughts On Fear

I have been asked many times about the notion of fear and how to push the doors open and walk in a pasture free from fear. Below are some thoughts, these thoughts are a work in progress.

Many say that they feel fear when on the water. They feel scared, nervous of the rapids they are set to descend. How we deal with this fear is important, for it is the only guidance that we shall ever need.

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In order to discuss the fear, first off we need to examine what is fear, or more precisely where it is manifest. Only then can we aim to control this. Fear of things we have control over is ludicrous. This is like saying ‘I am scared of cancer’ whilst puffing on 40 cigs a day. Whist fear of things we cannot control is posited with anxiety. If we cannot influence events, it is this lack of control that we fear, so to say, we fear been out of control. Although again this is looking awry. We let our children stumble from all fours to two, wobbling with each step of exploration. We allow the hooded darkness of inner city streets to grow with crime. We vote for a political system that will fail and yet we bypass this fear. We allow it to hold our hands through our daily lives. We accept this fear. Our true fear is a fear of our own making, not the making of a collected consciousness. When we allow fear to form from a collected ideal, we can no longer accept responsibility for it, its something else, somebody else – will take responsibility for it.

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Through The Fog – Kayaking And Social Media

Through the fog: Some reflections on the influence social media has on our motivations and sense of self achievement in kayaking.

Through The Fog

Recently I read an article by a pal of mine I boated with in Italy this year, and its safe to say he knows his stuff and has the experience to back it up.

His article, however, has upset a lot of people.

Why?

He seemingly (whether intentionally or not) attacked social media and those that use it as a form of self promotion.

I must admit I had to re-read it several times to try and work out if it was a targeted rant or not, and seems to have hit a nerve with a few folk! Whilst I am certainly one of those that is an active user of social media and use it to both create myself more business, and maintain support deals, I’ve come to the conclusion that I agree with the point that (I think) is being made, at least in part, which is social media can have a hugely negative impact on our lives if we allow it to.

His article sparked a deeper reflection for me on social media and the influence it has on my self and my own motivation for kayaking.

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