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

Tag: First Look (page 1 of 4)

Immersion Research Shawty Drysuit – Review

It’s no secret that in the world of paddling, females are the minority. Therefore it is very hard for us to find comfort in most paddling kits, as they are generally tailored to a male figure. I’m sure many ladies will agree with me that finding a snug fitting yet practical drysuit is probably one of the most challenging parts of being a paddler. But as the female paddling community continues to grow, the increase in women’s kit means a huge improvement in the overall experience for us all.

Immersion Research Shawty

When I first began kayaking, I was 13 years-old and strongly against cold weather paddling. It only took a couple of winter club trips to persuade my Dad that a wetsuit just didn’t cut it. When choosing my first suit, I felt DamX was the best option, as their suits are made to measure. I loved my suit, but as I progressed, I found it to be restricting, mainly due to its weight.

Immersion Research Shawty

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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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Gopro Hero 5 Black Edition Hands On Review (UK)

Friend of Unsponsored Dale Mears has put together a neat little walkthrough review of the new GoPro Hero 5 black edition.

Gopro Hero 5 Black Edition Hands on Review (UK)

Here is my GoPro Hero 5 Black edition hands on review. Features a walk through of the cameras features and some stills taken whilst whitewater kayaking and some raw footage.

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GoPro Hero5 Black – First Look

We have both the GoPro Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session here at Unsponsored HQ for review. Since the release of the Session we haven’t used the Unsponsored Hero4 Black edition so I was interested to see how the the new Hero5 compares.

GoPro Hero5 Black

Firstly the Hero5 takes on some of the features of the Session. This includes the lack of case and the use of the frame, one button video/photo and improved sound capabilities. The footage capability of the Hero5 is reportedly not that much different to the Hero4, it does have a better sensor and is supposed to be much better in lowlight so we’ll have a good compare once we have a set of side by side shoots. The biggest improvement has been with image stabilisation and we are looking forwarding to checking that out.

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Petzl Vertigo Wire Lock – First Look (2016)

We’ve had an original Petzl Vertigo here at Unsponsored HQ for a few years and have really liked it’s performance. Petzl have been on the case and have updated the Vertigo using i-beam technology. Just like the original the Petzl Vertigo has been primarily designed for ease of clipping in with the added bonus of having a locking key gate. The new construction has shaved off 2 grams.

Petzl Vertigo

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Osprey Zealot 15 – First Look

We are big fans of Osprey gear at Unsponsored HQ. So when a new bag was required for mountain bike duties the Osprey website was consulted.

Osprey Zealot 15 - First Look

15 litres or there about seems to be the right kind of size for the bulk of riding that we do. Plenty of room for the essentials but not too much room that you end up filling because you can. The Osprey Zealot appeared to fit the bill nicely.

Osprey Zealot 15 - First Look

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Palm Equipment Lightning Throwbag – Hands On

Palm had a lightning bag shipped to Unsponsored HQ as soon as the production models were available. Retail customers will be able to get hold of a bag from good kayak/canoe retailers over the next few weeks.

Palm Equipment Lightning Throwbag - Hands On

Since the bag arrived we have had a good look over it and have tested but the feel, throwing and repacking ease with a number of different paddlers. Since the Lightning bag has already been compared to the HF Weasel by many it also makes sense to make some further comparisons during this initial look at the Lightning.

I have had the chance to have a close look at the Lightning bag a few times but this is the first time that I have been able to have not only a look but actually use the bag.

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Whetman Sea Kayak Contact Line – First Look

We have a Whetman Equipment Sea Kayak contact line in for review from Whetman Equipment. The system is designed to safely tether two kayaks together for short line contact rescue.

Whetman Sea Kayak Contact Line

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GoPro Hero 4 Session – Review

The new GoPro Hero 4 Session landed at Unsponsored HQ almost six months ago. After pretty regular use (more than my GoPro Hero 4 Black edition) it is now time to review. The Session is GoPro’s latest POV action camera and the first to break away from what has been a fairly standard GoPro cuboid shape.

GoPro Hero 4 Session - Review width=

When I purchased the Session the RRP was well over £300. We’ve had a fair bit of time with the camera so it is now time for the GoPro Hero 4 Session – Review.

Within this review I have mixed in some screenshots taken from some 1080p footage filmed with the Session 4 on a very overcast and challenging light condition kind of day.

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Vertical Element Four Piece Breakdown Paddle – First Look

We’ve have a new Vertical Element four piece breakdown paddle here at Unsponsored HQ for review. Vertical Element are a UK based company who design and manufacture their own custom whitewater and recreational paddles.

Vertical Element Four Piece Breakdown Paddle

I reckon that if you need to use a set of breakdown paddles when on a river trip the chances are something epic has occurred, and in situations like this I would want a set of breakdowns that were at least as good as the set I had lost or broke.

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Ultimate Ears Roll Speaker – First Look

You may be wondering why we have a Bluetooth speaker here on Unsponsored, but please read on. You may have seen the UE Roll speaker system in various eddies throughout the summer pumping out tunes at a number of high profile playspots and competitions.

Ultimate Ears Roll Review

The speaker is IPX7-rated waterproof so it is quite happy being near or even in water. Ultimate Ears even make a small inflatable rubber ring for the Roll to sit in, allowing you to park the Roll in an eddy or use the inbuilt bungee cord to tether it to a rock or tree.

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Werner Paddles Odachi – Review

Werner has led the paddlesports industry with legendary paddles for 50 years. They’ve repeatedly set a high bar and now raise that bar again with a race inspired whitewater paddle called the Odachi.

Werner Paddles Odachi - Review

Recreational whitewater paddles have put comfort and easy of use among the top of their priority lists and that’s why we see Werner’s “Neutral Bent Shaft” align the shaft, hands and paddle blade in a nice neat line. They also extensively use pronounced dihedrals to make the paddle feel smooth and stable in the water. These features are key ingredients of what makes Werners easy and predictable to use.

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