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

Month: November 2012 (Page 1 of 2)

Jason And The Gnargonauts

From Unsponsored’s little brother River Militia.

Jason and the Gnargonauts from THE RIVER MILITIA on Vimeo.

A tribute to a friend – Jason Raper often leading the charge and winning the party! A pleasure to call ourselves friends and an honour to share the water with such a gent.
A very proud River Militia!

Kayak Theft

In certain parts of the world boat theft is a serious problem and given that most whitewater kayaks are close to £1000 it’s a pretty serious and probably very lucrative business.

My boat storage at home is pretty secure but I do feel that my kayak is at its most vulnerable when it is sat on the car. My current car has a roof rack that securely bolts to the car which means that it is fairly easy to lock my kayak to the rack and know that it is relatively secure.

I have used one of these really simple Playboater Rackguards for a few years. It’s great for quickly securing the kayak to either the cars roof rack or even the cars tow loop/wheel if the boat is on the ground.

The key is to wrap the cable around/through parts of the kayak that are hard to loosen off or remove. I like a loop around the seat pillar and through one of the rescue loops/handles as they tend to be fastened on using security bolts anyway.

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Palm Rivertec Pogies (Paddle Mitts)

Keeping warm is often difficult when you paddle whitewater during the winter. I find that the one area that is difficult to keep warm are my hands. I’ve tried neoprene gloves (which work once warmed up), the woollen/washing up glove combo and various other bits/bobs.

Many years ago I owned a pair of pogies (aka paddle mitts), I can’t remember the brand but they were blue/fluorescent yellow. They did a good job of keeping the wind off until they got wet, which meant my hands got wet and cold. Roll on ten years or so and I picked up a pair of Palm Rivertec Pogies. The ones pictured below are still used and must be well over 10 years old. Palm do a modern take on the Rivertec Pogies called River Tec Paddle Mitts.

Pogies are designed to be fastened onto paddle shaft. Your hands go inside of the pogies and grip the paddle shaft as normal. Compared to wearing neoprene gloves or indeed any gloves at all improves the general feel and control. Some paddlers do find them restrictive as your hands need to be removed to access pockets, pull your spraydecks rip cord etc. In addition some designs can be difficult to get your “last” hand into.

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Immersion Research Comp LX Drycag

The Immersion Research Comp LX drycag is based upon the cut of the LX cag. The main difference being that the LX includes a latex neck seal and 4 layer breathable fabric by Entrant. This is the same material that is used in the Double D drysuit.

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Nose Plugs/Clips

A lot of discussion goes on about the pros and cons of wearing nose plugs. I don’t really want to entering into that becuase at the end of the day it is down to personal choice. So assuming you wish to wear nose clips – which ones are best?

Up until quite recently the nose plugs available have been developed specifically for swimming or diving – all types being adequate for the job but not ideal. However over the last 8 years paddle sport specific plugs have made an appearence.

Generally the paddle sport specific plugs follow the same design concept – a u-shaped piece of wire (which is relatively stiff) with paddling of some sort on the ends that will make contact with the nose and a leash to attach them to your helmet so you don’t loose them! The padding usually consists of foam, rubber, or plastic.

As far as I’m concerned my decision on which set of nose plugs to use is based around a number of key questions; Continue reading

Rider of the Year – Best Line Entry

Best Line Entry – SAM ELLIS (GBR) – Cauldron Snout, Rver Tees from Rider of the Year Awards on Vimeo.


Basic map and compass skills are often overlooked by paddlers but are essential if your not just paddling the easy to get to waterways or are trying to scout a hidden stout for a first descent.

Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology has changed many aspects of navigation. This doesn’t negate the need for a basic understanding of map/compass use. Batteries don’t last forever and you just know that if your in a tight spot your GPS is bound to breakdown! However that said if you need to pin point your position in bad weather (or otherwise) a GPS will do it damn quick. Continue reading

GoPro Bag Pack – First Look

A few days ago I managed to get hold of a few GoPro bits and bobs that aren’t that widely available yet. The GoPro Caps & Door Pack was one of them. I also ordered a battery and this GoPro Bag Pack.

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ThePaddler Magazine

If you haven’t done so already check out ThePaddler magazine. It’s free, it’s online and in Novembers issue it has a great article on the new Wavesport Recon.

Before GoPro

A few videos from the archives

The Hurley Classic 2012

Another great event on the Mighty Thames.

The Hurley Classic from Finn Burrows on Vimeo.

Images below © Rhona Dempsey

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GoPro Hero 3 Caps & Doors – First Look

I managed to track down the GoPro Hero 3 Caps + Doors accessory pack within the EU after being unable to find anyone with stock in the UK. Which makes me believe that it may not have landed in the UK at the point when I was making the order. It’s a simple and effective accessory pack for the new GoPro Hero 3. It will fit all three models – White, Silver and Black.

The pack consists of:

A cover for the lens/button on the waterproof case which will help prevent damage to the lens and will also prevent the camera being accidentally switched on during transit.

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