Name: Dale Mears
I am a member of team wavesport here in the UK and a keen paddler of both freestyle and river running. I am a secondary school teacher so manage to hold a successful career and paddle. I think for all you young guns out there it is just as important to have a back up in life in case anything happens or you become injured. I am also a keen photographer both water based and off the water check out my photos here www.flickr.com/dalemears.
Kit List: Wavesport Project X56, Wavesport Recon 83, VE Straights carbon on white shaft 190cm 30 deg, VE straights Glass 194 30 deg, Sweet Rocker, Sweet Strutter, Palm Atom cag, Palm Ion Bibbed dry trousers, Palm Extrem vest, VE spraydeck, Palm Helix, Palm Paw shoes, 5:10 Canyoneers, Sealskinz Mid length waterproof socks, palm neo socks, Slime green throw bag, Six Six One elbow pads, Watershed Westwater backpack, Watershed Occee and Chatoogaa camera bags.
I only really have one set of kit that I use until I replace maybe each season or couple of seasons dependant on wear. The kit I use for freestyle gets a lot more use than my river kit being close to HPP its much easier to pop on for a session after work both midweek and at weekends when I’m not photographing.
I love my Palm kit, can’t fault it at all, always been really comfortable and dry and look damn good too. Favorite bit of kit has to be my boats absolutely love my Project x56 it just does everything I want it to, plays well in a hole and is a demon on a wave. The recon is just brilliant can’t wait to get it out more.
If I could recommend one bit of kit it would be Sealskinz socks! These things are so good, warm toastie and waterproof ideal for river boating.
VE paddles are my motor these things are indestructible I have 3 sets and have broke none, paddles can often be down to personal preference but I love my VE’s and there made in Nottingham let’s put some money back into our own economy for once and you won’t get better service.
As a keen photographer I always carry a watershed too, I wouldn’t trust any other bag to store my camera kit on or around water and much more flexible than Peli.
Hope to see you on the water feel free to ask to try any of my gear! Stay safe