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

Category: Gear (page 1 of 120)

Reader’s Rides – Sam Elliott

The Reader’s Ride series is back for 2020. This series showcases the kit that boaters just like you are using. It is dead simple. Gather your gear and take some photos, then let us know what you are using, what your oldest piece of gear is, your newest item and what you couldn’t live without.

Reader's Rides - Sam Elliott
Reader’s Rides – Sam Elliott

This one is from Same Elliott.

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Adidas Five Ten Trail Cross Mid Pro – Review

We do a fair bit of biking at Unsponsored HQ when there isn’t much water around and we have been using Five Ten shoes from the very start.

The newest addition to the flat pedal mountain bike range is the Five Ten Trail Cross. The version we have here is the Mid version which has much better ankle protection in the form of D30 inserts.

Five Ten Trail Cross Mid Pro - Review
Five Ten Trail Cross Mid Pro – Review
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Reader’s Rides – Keith Elliott

The Reader’s Ride series is back for 2020. This series showcases the kit that boaters just like you are using. This is the first for 2020 from Keith Elliott.

Reader’s Rides – Keith Elliott

Boat:

Silverbirch Agent 8.8 fitted with Tribal air bags.

Paddle:

Zap Gen 2 custom paddle (import from USA)

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Verus Kayaks – More Detail

Verus Kayaks have released more detail on their two new kayaks.

Verus Kayaks - More Detail
Verus Kayaks – More Detail

We are excited to announce the 2020 lineup from Verus Kayaks. These kayaks have been in the works for the last year and we are excited to bring you the Gladiator 2.0 and the Hellbender. Our goal with these kayaks is to play the river as much as possible and offer the most aggressive designs on the market today. We took the feedback we received from the original Gladiator and created a more playful stern and improved the outfitting. The Hellbender came from our love of slicey boating and the idea of creating a boat that will maximize fun on class III and IV rivers. We are stoked to get these boats to the people by June! Stay tuned as we will be announcing pre-orders in the coming weeks. You will be able reserve your boat in advance with custom color options!

Verus Kayaks
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Titan Nymph – Review

Slicey kayaks are on the way back. After years of super short and relatively high volume playboats the “old school” makes a return. Now old school is relative, for some of you out there it may be a blast all the way back to 2010! However I’m talking about going back to the 1990s and early 2000s. This is great news as those boats were super fun.  Add in some modern design thinking and better outfitting and these new slicey kayaks have a lot to offer a wide range of paddlers.

Titan Nymph - Review
Titan Nymph – Review

One of the newest releases is from Titan Kayaks and we have a pre-production Titan Nymph in for review at Unsponsored for almost two months. Other than the graphics (missing on this one) and some tweaks to the outfitting this kayak is the same as the final production version.

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New Kayaks From Verus

It looks like Verus have two new slicey boats about to be launched. The gladiator and hellbender.

New Kayaks From Verus

More detail when we get it.

Kayak Safety Features – Run Down

Kayak design has moved on so much since I started to paddle some 30+ years ago. The level or difficulty at which people paddle is owed in some part to the change in kayak design over the years.

Kayak Safety Features

I currently paddle a Dagger Phantom and despite it being used for pretty much the same stuff as my first plastic kayak – an Ace Swing, yet the technology and features are simply worlds apart.

So if you are looking for a kayak packed full of safety features what are you actually looking for?

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A New Vision With Palm’s Nevis PFD

Introducing the new Nevis PFD from Palm Equipment. Featuring the world’s first Piggyback harness and the brand new Delta Fit system, this award-winning PFD raises the bar for whitewater safety.

Palm Equipment - Nevis PFD
A New Vision With Palm’s Nevis PFD

The Nevis is the culmination of over three years of development, based on research by University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Designed by Barney Caulfield and tested worldwide by leading whitewater kayakers including Palm athlete Bren Orton.

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PFD Chest Harness Best Practice

Chest harnesses are a familiar part of all whitewater rescue PFDs these days, allowing you to enter the water attached to a tether, or to help with bank belays.

PFD Chest Harness Best Practice
PFD Chest Harness Best Practice

Research by Loel Colins and Chris Onions at the University of Central Lancashire found that 25% of chest harness releases failed to release properly under low load.

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HF Weasel Throwline – New Colour

The HF Weasel is HF’s smallest and most compact throw bag with a decent length of line. If space within your boat is at a premium then this bag may be the one for you. The Weasel fits even in the smallest kayak or can be fixed and carried on a waist belt (HF Swifty Belt).

HF Weasel Throwline - New Colour
HF Weasel Throwline – New Colour

If a throw bag is needed in a emergency you probably won’t have any time for a second go! Therefore the most important factors when using a throwbag is how well it throws, and how easy it is to get the bag to land on target. In both cases the HF Weasel fits the bill. I found the bag easy to throw both under and over arm. The rope pays out nicely during a throw and is also easy to repack if you do need (or have time) to have a second go.

The Weasel has been available for a number of years in both red and black. For 2020 we have a new colour option.

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Kokatat Maximus Centurion Rescue PFD Limited Edition

Check out the this latest iteration of the  Kokatat Maximus Centurion Rescue PFD Limited Edition. This design comes from paddler and designer Marcus Cline.

Kokatat Maximus Centurion Rescue PFD Limited Edition
Kokatat Maximus Centurion Rescue PFD Limited Edition
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Immersion Research Aphrodite Dry Suit – First Look

Immersion Research Aphrodite Dry Suit - First Look
Immersion Research Aphrodite Dry Suit – First Look

Living in Fort William as a kayaker means one thing – a good, comfy and durable dry suit is a must! Lochaber has rain even in the driest months. In fact, we have an average annual rainfall of approximately 1777mm or 70 inches; a kayakers paradise. However, for those of us who feel the cold, a mean annual temperature of only 8.6 °C can be a enthusiasm-killer if you’re body isn’t guaranteed to be warm and dry whilst paddling, even in the summer months when you’re catching post-work Moriston laps until 10pm.

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