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

Tag: watersports

Social Media Saturday 21 March 2020

Welcome to Social Media Saturday 21 March 2020.

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Dagger Presents – Women of Whitewater

Dagger Presents - Women of Whitewater
Dagger Presents – Women of Whitewater

Meet a few of our kick-ass Team Dagger female paddlers and take a closer look at the unique ways in which they inspire and empower other women, on and off the water.

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Movie Monday 23 September 2019

Welcome to Unsponsored and Movie Monday 23 September 2019.

Movie Monday 23 September 2019
Movie Monday 23 September 2019


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Palm Shuck Helmet – First Look

After a few years in development Palm Equipment has revealed the Shuck helmet. I tried out a 3D printed Shuck almost two years ago but was sworn to secrecy. It took a few days to print and was super heavy.

Palm Equipment Shuck - First Look

Roll on a couple of years and the Shuck has been released into the world.

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Social Media Saturday – 23 June 2018

Welcome to Social Media Saturday – 23 June 2018 at Unsponsored HQ.

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Love Water Sports Abroad? Here’s 6 Things To Remember

People go abroad for all sorts of reasons – to relax in the sun, to work, or to ski on the slopes, for example. Some people travel for adventure – and seas, lakes and rivers provide plenty of activities for those who love spending time on the water. Canoeing, white water rafting, kayaking, fishing, surfing, sailing, diving, windsurfing, and traditional swimming.

The options are endless.

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Dewerstone Orton Signature Model Sunglasses – First Look

Dewerstone have teamed up with pro kayaker Bren Orton to develop the Orton wooden sunglass with Carl Zeiss polarised lens.


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Unsponsored Q&A – Chris Brain

Chris has been kayaking, canoeing and coaching for the last 15 years and runs his own business Chris Brain Coaching, delivering paddlesport coaching, safety and rescue courses and REC First aid training. Chris is a keen and passionate boater with a real love for coaching in a range of paddlesport disciplines.

Unsponsored Q&A - Chris Brain

When and how did you first start paddling?

I first started paddling when I was 15 after my Dad and I inherited two 4 meter long fiberglass kayaks that had been retired by the fire brigade! We took them down to our local river, wearing life jackets that didn’t fit and our cycling helmets. When we arrived at the river we clearly didn’t look like we knew what we were doing as the local paddlers suggested that for our own safety we took some lessons instead! That was sound advice and the coaches at the activity centre started to show us the way, at least we were paddling plastic boats and wearing kayaking equipment that actually fitted us. I was being taught by some great paddlers that had the latest boats at the time, either the Acrobat 270 (if they were into freestyle) or Microbat 230 (if there were serious about their creeking) they were so cool!

I instantly became captivated with paddling and pretty quickly I was in the river giving it my best. I managed to get someone to lend me a “rodeo” boat and started trying to tail squirt and do bow enders and pirouettes before I could even roll, basically every time the boat went over I had to swim. I think my record of swimming was 15 times in one session, but I quickly cut that number down the next few times on the water as my roll improved.

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Yak Chinook Dry Pants – First Look

Yak are the kayaking/canoeing side of the Crewsaver company. In the past Yak have catered for the middle to lower end of the market with some fantastic hardwearing kit for centre and club use. Although functional and hardwearing they didn’t have the same appeal as some of the more well known brands. However I think that this is about to change. Having seen quite a lot of the new Yak range over the last couple of weeks I can safely say that I think they have come up with some great looking designs that appear to be very well thought out.

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Student Kayak Kit Buyers Guide

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.

Student Kayak Gear Buyers Guide

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Astral Rassler – First Look

I’ve been using my Five Ten Water Tennies for the last year + and really like them but also have a set of Astral Brewers which are great in my play boat. The Brewers dry much faster that the Water Tennies but don’t have the same level of protection or stiffness as the Water Tennies. The Rassler takes the Brewer and beefs it up for tougher walk ins/outs.

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Aquapac Whanganui

I’ve had an iPad of one sort or another for a couple of years and have always thought it would make an excellent tool for coaching kayaking. The fact you can video and then have instant play back is very appealing. Obviously the biggest issue is that water and tech don’t mix. Thankfully a Whanganui from Aquapac landed so I could test out my theory.

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