Name: Mark Mulrain
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Dragorossi 88 (big boat) – I wanted a boat that had the speed of a Zet Raptor and boofed a little easier like the Liquidlogic Stomper. The 88 seemed to do meet this criteria. I was blown away by how easily it punched water features and the speed it carried out from the bottom of a rapid.
I have had an extended loan of a demo boat thanks to Dragorossi and Dan Heyworth and liked the boat so much I bought my own. The new 88 has also had a little bit of a re-brand and some more refined outfitting. Perhaps a little biased but I’d call it the most underrated creekboat out there. Dragorossi seem to have given themselves a bit of a market niche by making big boats for not-so-big people and that seems to work for me.
Pyranha Jed (small boat) – I’m not a huge playboating expert but with Glasgow getting a whitewater course in the near future and aspirations of a Uganda trip I decided to demo a few boats and try and find something decent 2nd hand. It came down to a Jed or 2010 all star and I was lucky enough to pick up a Jed for a great price!
Everything seems easier than my old trusty project and my lower body isn’t in pain, bonus! I’m now managing the odd flatwater loop and having lots of fun trying to teach myself more tricks.
I always end up doing plenty of custom fitting in my boats as seen here – http://www.immersionresearch.eu/2011/12/outfitting-tips-for-your-kayak/. I’m also a big fan of the Jackson Kayak outfitting such as the Happy Feet and Sweet Cheeks. I can’t see myself paddle any boat, creeker or playboat, without a set of the super comfy Sweet Cheeks.
I go between AT Eddys and Werner Powerhouse Carbon Cranks, both 194cm, 30 degree. The Werners are obviously a market benchmark. Reliable, powerful and light. ‘Nuff said. The ATs are nice and flexy (picked them up after an injury to be nicer to my body). They also don’t wear down which is something of a blessing after rolling up to Glen Etive only to find out it’s going to be another low level day. I’ve got my eye on a longer set of straight shaft paddles, to see what all the recent hype about them is. Hopefully that extra leverage translates into big boofs.
Fantastic kit. Well made, well thought out, looks great. I am very much biased here but I wouldn’t invest so much of my own time in IR if it wasn’t a company I believed in 100%. The new supermodel suit material is amazingly light and I’ve never been so close to forgetting I was wearing a drysuit. Comp LX is a bit of an IR classic, and I love the green colour it comes in. Arch Rival is one of the only short sleeve drytops I know of that’s actually fully dry. Very very hard wearing material too.
Again, same bias but anyone that has watched a recent bomb flow/tribe video will know just how popular these things are.
Lucky charm (rand) for big drops. Klingon (bungee with drylip) for any other sort of boating as its the drier one of the two. I’ll be tempted to upgrade to a kevlar Klingon Empire and the new Royale kevlar rand deck (when its finally available).
Astral 2013 Green Jacket – I’ve been using Astrals for years now. The only bad things about the old green jacket for me was the small front pocket and the fact it didn’t come in green. The new one solves both of these issues!
Sweet Trooper – Sweet helmets fit the best, no question about that. I bought the ski version as I liked the colour and got it for a good price. I’d love it if the padding didn’t soak up as much water and stayed as light as possible. Going to get a Sweet Strutter in the near future for playboating and to keep the sun off my lovely pale skin in Uganda.
Mainly IR (nothing beats the union suit), with an Icebreaker top and some no name brand merino wool socks I got one Christmas thrown in to the mix.
661 Race Elbow pads – not bad, but the old versions were better for kayaking.
Palm/Merrell Gradient boots – comfy and a good grip but seem to be falling apart a bit too fast.
Teva Sling King boots – good price from the Teva sale, nice enough sole and fit for a playboating shoe.
Palm 20m Throwline – Boating staple, not much more you could do to improve this bag without making it cost silly money.
Docs Pro Plugs – Seen horror stories of boaters getting their ears drilled. These cost £10 and as a bonus do a lot to combat the dreaded ice cream head.