Who are you?
My name is Chris Macdonald, I was born in York, lived in Italy for a few years, went to boarding school in North Wales and now I’m a student in Falmouth. I’m studying a BTEC in water sports at Falmouth Marine School so doing that and kayaking I spend loads of time in the water!
Where are you based?
I’m currently living in Falmouth and live about 1 minute walk away from the sea that helps with the paddling! I travel all around the south west paddling on rivers such as the Tavy and the Dart every now and then. Most weekends I’m at Cardiff to paddle at the white water course there.
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: Dave Brown (aka Redneck Dave, Full Face Dave, Small Head)
Location: Barrow or North Wales
Boat: Currently an XL Burn Mk3 in the sickest colours you’ve ever seen – Rasta
I really like the way the rails allow you to carve hard without stalling and tripping you up unlike the old burn, making it easy to fine tune lines and snap into eddies. It has quite a flat hull which allows it to surf easily, staying high on features and keeping you in control as you move laterally across the flow which is really cool. It has the Connect 2014 outfitting it comes with which allows the seat to be varied in both height and pitch. I have this set in the highest position, with the largest block installed under the front of the seat to really lock me in which works well, even though I’m the bottom end of the weight range. Seeing as I have the attention span of a gnat, I’m considering swapping out for a 9R to get some speed in my life.
1. A good dry top/trouser combo or dry suit. Keeping dry inside makes keeping warm that much easier. Even some of the two piece systems (dry top and dry trousers) available are getting close to being as good as a dry suit. Price is some much better as is the flexibility of the system.
2. Solid footwear. Wet river banks and slippery rocks are not a great combination if you have dodgy footwear. A good pair of river shoes or boots are worth there weight in gold. Currently using Five Ten Water Tennies or the new Astral Rassler.
3. Good socks. Conventional socks only really work if you have a dry suit with built in dry socks. However various manufacturers make thin 3 and 4mm thick neoprene socks that can help keep your feet warm even when wet.
4. Base layers. I love merino kit – it’s warm when wet and doesn’t smell! But any good, thin base layer will do the job. Colder = more layers. Polartec fleece also works really wet in cold/wet conditions. Continue reading
Although this guide is directed at students in reality it will apply to anyone thinking about taking up the sport. Over the next few weeks many students will be starting Uni and will be looking at joining a club. In most cases the Kayak/Canoe club in a university will be the best club to join.
In an emergency situation on a river it may not be possible to hear people shout clearly as the sound of the water can drown out the quality of the sound. However a good whistle can punch through that.
For kayak instructors everywhere, here is an edit courtesy of Shane Benedict.
The Clinic: Getting Geared Up from Shaneslogic on Vimeo.
I think it was 1995 when Bob Beazley and I did a bunch of videos under the Coriolis Productions title. Unfortunately these tapes went through a fire but were salavaged. Sorry for the quality but if you have ever taught kayaking I think you will find this a little funny. The Clinic was a 45 minute video that I have now broken up into shorter bits. At this point Beaz and I had been teaching kayaking a long time and this was a culmination of all the crazy things we had seen to that point while teaching actual students… with a little embelishment.
The Exped Cloudburst is a roll top dry bag that also has a set of rucksack straps allowing it to be used as a pack.
Nick Wright, engineer and all round carbon fibre repair guru has sent this slalom K1 repair in to the site. Many thanks Nick.
Once again, by poor old slalom boat was not doing too well, and it was time to fix it up (especially with BUCS just around to corner). The current problem was that the very end of the tail was cracked and leaking quite badly.
As with most sports you can start off really cheap and work your way up as you get more into it. Clubs tend to have a good supply of safety kit, wetsuits, paddles and boats. However having some of your own personal kit is a great idea as somethings are better not shared!
I must admit that I own a few pairs of elbow pads but as yet have never used them whilst kayaking. They have been worn and fully tested on many occasions whilst I’ve been biking/flying through the air.
As “creeking” has become more and more popular you now see more and more people wearing elbow pads whilst on the water and I can can see why. Banging your elbow usually hurts pretty badly, but banging your elbow whilst running white water could mean that you are unable to continue paddling on, fail a roll or put a nice big hole in your dry top/ dry suit.
Reader – CHRIST DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO I AM.
Country – Wales and Nepal
I have a few sets of gear at the moment, I use a Mamba in Wales and a Phat, Everest or Remix in Nepal. I have a Gus in India and an RPM. I use a Jimi Styx on soul days, and use Lightning Gradients on expeditions (200). I wear a Sweet Wanderer on creeks and a Strutter in the sun/cruise days. Sweet drytop/pants and base layers. Chaco footwear, IR pogies in the cold. Snap Dragon/Playboater/IR/Palm skirt depending on boat. Pfd, I have a Langer AKC shape in Nepal, Nookie in UK, Peak in UAE and a Stolquist in India. I also have a Hydraulics. As for safety kit. I always carry 2 throw bags, a waist mounted Salamander or NRS Guide along with a longer line in my boat. All my lines are stripped and have Krabs and prussiks as part of the system held within.