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

Tag: Immersion Research (Page 2 of 5)

Reader’s Rides 2014 – Ben Hawthorne


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.

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Unsponsored Q&A Series – Rowan Stuart

Rowan Stuart is the 2013 ICF Junior Women’s Freestyle world champion and took 2nd place in this years competition. A rising star in the sport Rowan is taking the freestyle world by storm. I am stoked that Rowan agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.

Photo by - Sarah RuhlenPhoto: S Rulen

Who are you? Tell us a little about Rowan Stuart.

I’m Rowan, I’m 18 years old, and I really enjoy kayaking. I grew up in small-town North Carolina, and it happens to be one of the few things to do here. I would say my list of priorities has kayaking in spot #1, eating in spot #2, and sleeping as #3. Unfortunately I also go to college, so now getting my schoolwork done has to fall in there somewhere.

How did you first get into kayaking? Who introduced you to the sport?

My parents were definitely the first people to get me interested in kayaking, I remember watching some old videos, absolutely never considering that one day I could be running things like that.

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IR’s Completely Redesigned 2015 Product Line

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Spencer Cooke takes us through Immersions Research’s 2015 product line. Continue reading

Immersion Research Royale – Out In Italy

Sam Ellis is another big fan of Immersion Research decks. Here is an edit he has put together from a recent trip to Italy.

IR Royale from sam ellis on Vimeo.

My thoughts on the Immersion Research Royale are as follows:

Thanks to the guys at Immersion Research I was hooked up with one of the brand new Immersion Research The Royale spray skirts. Continue reading

Immersion Research New Kit Sneaky Peek


Immersion Research have a number of new products and colour ways for the 2015 season. Here are a few shots showing some of the new kit on show at the Outdoor Retailer show. Continue reading

Immersion Research Arch Rival

I have owned the Immersion Research (IR) short sleeve Comp top for years. It only sees the light of day when it warms up here in the UK. The cag is a short sleeved version of the Comp top and shares all of its features with the exception of the obvious (long sleeves and latex cuff seals). After years of loyal service I fancied a changed. Nothing wrong with the Comp, just wanted something new. Now as it turns out the search for a high specification short sleeved dry or semi-dry top is actually quite a hard one. The number of manufacturers offering such a top as part of their current line up is quite small. So after much searching and considering the few alternatives Immersion Research came to my rescue with the Arch Rival.

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Current Kit – July 2014

The old current kit topics on the forum were always popular, so I thought I’d give you all an update of my current kit for July 2014.

unsponsored_sweet_supernova (8) Continue reading

Immersion Research Guide Shorts

Around 15 years ago my favourite paddling shorts were my Playboater Neoprene shorts. Absolutely bombproof, curved to fit you well when sat down etc. Unfortunately too many pies forced the sale of those shorts and I have been on the hunt for a long term replacement for years. I have owned kayak specific and non kayak specific shorts (mainly board shorts) and although all have done a great job I have always moved on to try something else.


My criteria for short choice is pretty simple –

A good fit (both standing and whilst sat in a kayak)
Bomber construction and materials

Fast drying

Value for money

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Arch Rival Short Sleeve Dry Top – In For Review

This week as been a huge one for deliveries at Unsponsored HQ. Immersion Research have kindly sent over a brand new Arch Rival short sleeve dry top for review. Bring on the water and the sun.


From Immersion Research: Continue reading

LVM States Series – Idaho!

LVM (Lunch Video Magazine) was a superb outfit of paddlers publishing DVDs showing paddling exploits from around the world. Sadly LVM stopped producing videos back in 2011 or there abouts. I found this little excerpt on Vimeo in John Weld’s (Immersion Research) video library.

LVM States Series- Idaho! from John Weld on Vimeo.

Pinkston Watersports Preview

A nice little video showing the new WW development up in Scotland from friend of Unsponsored Mark Mulrain.

Pinkston Watersports Preview from Mark Mulrain on Vimeo.

I was very lucky to get a try on Glasgow’s new whitewater course on the 22nd of January.

The design of the course is not final, plans are in place to move the blocks around to make the features as good as they can be.

What a great facility for Scottish kayaking!

Music: Foster the People – Helena Beat

Immersion Research K2 Union Suit – Review

Mark Mulrain kindly sent one of the new IR K2 Union Suits to try out along with the Royale spraydeck.

1016979_562605013786983_955198808_n Continue reading

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