Four years ago, I was inspired by a group of women to become more involved with whitewater kayaking. It made me realize what I was missing in life, and when I had the chance to take an independent study my senior year, I jumped on it. Working with a semester-long project, I decided I wanted to encompass a lot of women, kayaking, and showing power. I wanted to be able to share the feeling I had four years ago with others.
By now most of you will have seen the story unfolding of the impact the earthquake has had on the small country of Nepal.
Darren Clarkson-King is out there with his wife and is working directly with the people in Nepal to get what’s needed to where it’s needed quickly. No charity middleman, this is direct boots on ground help.
Daz has set up a paypal account to accept donations – email@example.com
People are amazing, funds flooding from previous post- we have paypal firstname.lastname@example.org. #nepalneedsyou #blessed #wecanhelp grassroots help for the people. Jeeps loaded, food, shelter, medicine all sorted – AMAZING. People can start to rebuild lives.
It seems that Unsponsored HQ is starting to resemble a little bit of a shoe shop. Following on from the arrival of footwear from Baffin, Astral, and NRS we have the arrival of the new Palm Gradient boots.
A boot which will eat up hike-ins‚ precarious scouts and tough portages. Confidence inspiring ankle support with protective scratch rubber reinforcement and a secure lace-up fit (good with or without drysuit socks)‚ the Gradient still maintains a low profile to fit comfortably in your kayak. Built upon our Vibram sole made from HydroGrip rubber. The ultimate in wet traction.
I was lucky enough to try the 9R prototype back in August and ever since have been in love with the boat. I have had the opportunity to try it in a number of different situations – steep creeks to big volume, river running to racing to expeditions, and it just keeps surprising me by how well it performs.
My previous boat was very forgiving and a bit overkill for the sort of kayaking I was doing 90% of the time in the UK (Tees, Kent, Leven etc). I often get frustrated with people buying big creek boats too early in their kayaking careers and then relying on the boat to get them down things rather than being proactive and learning the skills themselves, even if it means risking swimming a bit more. I figured I should practice what I preach and find a less forgiving boat which would help me learn more skills and push my boating further. The narrow shape and edginess of the 9R means that it definitely fits this category.
Over the last few weeks the footwear of choice for all boating duties have been the NRS Velocity Boots. NRS have released both the Velocity and Crush watershoes for 2015. We have both types here at Unsponsored HQ.
The Velocity boots have seen a fair bit of water time. Here is what I think so far.
Losing a GoPro because the sticky mount has failed is not a nice experience. I have been there. Using a leash or tethering system has become a key part of using a GoPro, especially when attached to a kayak, paddle or helmet. Since the release of the Blackout housing and GoPro Hero 4 the usual place to add a leash to tether the camera has gone.
GoPro have removed access to the metal bar that acts as part of the hinge, this was used by many to attach a thin piece of cord although some cases have failed due to this. There are two alternatives to using the hinge that depend upon the thumbscrew on the QR mount.
Recently I purchased a fluid bazooka because after a few beaterings it became apparent that to run the bigger rivers in wales I’d need a bigger boat!
The Bazooka is one of the smaller white water boats on the market coming in a just over 2 and a half metres but has shed loads of volume. It’s a boat designed for steep technical rivers but will still look after you on bigger rivers.