This week a freshly wrapped Ace of Spades kayak from Spade Kayaks arrived from Austria via UK distributers System X.
A big thanks to Kev at Northshore Watersports for handling the delivery.
There has been a few pieces of information about the Ace of Spades, including posts on this site, but there hasn’t been much in the way of detailed images. Hopefully this post will help to put this right.
The Ace of Spades is a blown moulded displacement hull kayak. It has the features that you would expect to see in any whitewater boat – adjustable outfitting, full plate footrest, multiple grab handles, drain bung etc… but many have been executed in a creative way.
The days are starting to get a little longer and the sun seems to be out that little more. It won’t be long until it’s time to be out on the water with a short sleeved cag. For many years I have been using an Immersion Research cag which is simply awesome but is now getting a little long in the tooth. Last summer I decided to get a Palm Equipment Zenith short sleeved top but was simply far too late. No dealer within the UK or Palm themselves had a top left in my size. Roll on just under a year and Palm have released the 2015 version of the Zenith.
For many years, I considered those who ventured out to rivers on their own to be reckless individuals with no regard for their own safety or well-being; however, I was recently offered a fresh perspective on solo boating during a 4* Training day with Dave Kohn-Hollins (I won’t try and reproduce his words here, as I’ll most likely misquote him and lose some of the sentiment; instead, I’ll simply recommend you book yourself onto a course with River Flair).
The message I took from my conversation with Dave and the thoughts it provoked in my mind, were that in any leading situation you tailor the venue to suit the group and the conditions on the day, and there’s absolutely no reason why that approach can’t also be applied to a group size of one.
Of course, in order to pick a river that is suitable for a solo run you’ll need enough modesty to take an objective and impartial view on your paddling abilities; for this reason, I’d encourage you to really get to know yourself and your limits not only in kayaking, but in life in general. Continue reading
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: Eddy Mead
Location: Cardiff, South Wales
Boat: Liquidlogic Remix 79
I’ve paddled the Remix for a year now and have loved every minute. It’s super long with a narrow hull so it accelerates quickly and maintains speed. It’s got soft edges so it’s really forgiving but at the same time carves into tight eddy’s and into strong currents with ease. The Remix doesn’t have masses of rocker so boofing can require a little more effort but if the boat is being driven it cruises over everything. What’s unique and cool about it is the scoop on the tail, if dipped in the green whilst punching a big hole, it will give you a boost and accelerate away from the feature. Also the LL Badass outfitting if fantastic, super easy to adjust and super comfy without adding too much weight.
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.
The Dagger RPM was a huge success on launch and has continued to be a popular kayak, so much so that it has been relaunched (2013). However the Axiom was designed to be the RPM’s successor and again has gained a huge following.