Name: Ed Kingham
Currently studying in Swansea, but paddling more than studying at the moment. Predominantly surfing and playboating; but also sea kayaking, polo, flatwater racing and the odd section of whitewater. There is so much great paddling around here; it’s great to be able to go for a quick surf in the morning before uni.
I’ve been paddling for around ten years, although only seriously in the last few.
Gath for surfing – Good low profile fit and very comfortable. I really like the EVA headband, it’s great for when a wave knocks your paddle into your face!
WRSI Current Pro for everything else – I’m going to be honest, the impact test videos WRSI have published sold me on how tough these are.
Astral Willis – Low profile, I don’t even notice I’m wearing it most of the time. The sliding front panels make it fantastic for playboating.
Playboater Work deck – Absolutely solid deck for a really good price.
Nookie Surf skirt – fits great on my surf boat and is comfortable. Quick to get on and off when getting in and out. What more could you ask for?
Peak shortie semi-dry cag (with the Peak sleeves) – It keeps me warm and I’ve never really felt that the neoprene neck leaks more than a latex seal, but is infinitely more comfortable. I also prefer shorties with the neoprene sleeves to a full sleeve cag, they just make me feel more mobile for no warmth penalty.
Mitchell Blades Genesis (190cm, 5° feather) – I find that Mitchells are solidly built and their customer service is excellent should you ever need to get in contact with them.
Mega Phantom – I love this boat. It’s ridiculously light, very comfortable and super quick.
Dagger Kingpin – Great for learning playboating, everyone who wants to start playboating should paddle one!
Venture Orca – Not the fastest sea kayak out there but supremely comfortable and solidly built.
Marsport Cougar K1 – I bought this on a whim because it was cheap and I wanted to try racing. I didn’t realise how unstable it was when I bought it, but I’m getting the hang of it now.
Revenge Nitro polo boat – Lightweight and easily repairable. Which is important for polo boats!
I have an IR Thick Skin thermal which is really warm; I also got a Palm thermal in a sale recently which works great.
I also use a Nookie Titanium top for surfing. It’s absolutely fantastic, keeps me warm in the sea all year round even on its own, and is only 1mm thick.
Up and coming plans:
I’m currently in the design and prototyping stage for making my own carbon playboats. If there is interest in this I could write a few articles on it. I am also planning an article on installing a protective carbon edging strip on paddle blades, so watch this space.