Last year we had a custom carbon pole made by our friends over at Vertical Element Paddles. Essentially we wanted a light weight and adjustable camera boom that would work with the GoPro range of cameras. VE came up with the goods.
I have been using VE paddles for some time now as I was able to very quickly order a set of customs left handed cranked full carbon paddles and have them delivered within in matter of days. Superb service. This was a lifesaver and I have found that the construction and durability is as good as the customer service.
I was intrigued when I saw that VE also make a range of Sea Kayaking/Touring paddles. I managed to get hold of a set of Vertical Element Explorer Aircore Pro paddles for review.
I grew up on the North East coast of England and spent a great deal of time paddling in the sea whether it be surfing or exploring the cliffs and rocky shore a matter of a few miles from my home. Although I really enjoy paddling in the sea if on a long trip in heavy swell I do get seasick and remember a number of trips when I was younger where I was hit hard by seasickness. I must confess that over the years the surfing has continued but the exploring the coast has dropped off.
However over the course of the summer I spent some time up on the West Coast of Scotland at the Unsponsored HQ summer retreat centre opposite Knoydart. This part of the world is a haven for both whitewater and sea kayaking, so it made sense to take advantage of the sheltered waters around Loch Hourn.
Over the last few months we’ve had a fair bit of near gear at Unsponsored HQ lined up for testing. One of the hottest pieces of gear this summer has been the VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Bladed paddles.
I had two sets of these paddles to test with different blade areas. These can be seen in the lower part of the image with a whitewater set at the top for comparison.
The old current kit topics on the forum were always popular, so I thought I’d give you all an update of my current kit for July 2014.
Since owning a shiny set of new custom made glass VE paddles I have found them to be an incredible piece of kit. I chose them with a cranked carbon shaft and as splits. The paddles have been put to the real test in Kenya’s steep creaks for the last five weeks. Before purchasing my VE paddles I heard a few people raving about them but I didn’t understand the fuss until I tried them for myself. After borrowing a set I initially took a liking to them and decided to buy a set for myself as splits so I could put the paddles in my boat for the flights and avoid any hassle with baggage getting separated or damaged.
I’ve been using Vertical Element full carbon custom crank paddles for some time and love them. I was able to get a custom set of paddles (left handed) on a cranked shaft ordered and delivered within a couple of days (inc a weekend). Awesome service and a great British product.
James Bebbington has put this little promo together about VE.
Below is a series of images courtesy of Nick Wright showing the repair of a set of VE paddles.
Repairing a paddle shaft is very similar to creating a set of split paddles. I have a pair of Werner Players that were pretty much brand new but had snapped near the right hand blade. The technique I use here could be used to repair the shaft on pretty much any paddle and could even be used to shorten or adjust the feather on a sound paddle.Continue reading
The old current kit topics on the forum were always popular, so I thought I’d give you all an update of my current kit.