Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Keep on top form for your up and coming trip!

Knowing you have a paddling trip planned is pretty exciting.

Maybe you are heading out this weekend, this Christmas, or even during the school holidays in Spring. Counting down the days and weeks, waiting until you can hit the water again adds to the "I can't wait" factor.

This said, making sure you have all the right kit to take with you on the trip (and trying not to forget anything), as well as organising and sticking to an itinerary can be stressful.

For me the most important thing to remember is to look after number 1 (That's you!). And by this I don't mean keep out of danger and portage everything, and there is also such a thing as taking too much kit...

Follow these simple steps and you will have a great time!

Take A Break
We all want to paddle well when we are on a trip, whether we are cruising something simple in the sun or up against a real challenge. A huge factor to consider is fatigue, and the moment you start to get tired is when your technique will slip and mistakes begin to creep in. Pretty obvious I know, but making sure you sleep well and rest when you need to is important.

Keep Your Kit Dry
From experience there is nothing worse than pulling up to your camp spot, usually close to dark, and finding out your dry bag does not do what it says on the tin. Often this can be down to user error, so always check you have sealed your bags, hatches and barrels.

If you have leaky dry storage you WILL be miserable at some point!

Look After Your Body
Keep clean, dry and keep warm. If you are paddling in a cold place you will want to make sure you have dry thermals and plenty of them, which will be your back up layers that can be swapped in when required.
Allowing yourself to get damp or cold will run you down super quickly. If you are in a hot place, wear sun cream and drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. Doing the simple things like keeping your feet dry will prevent major injuries like foot rot.

Its easy to forget to do the basics!

Plan Your Meals
Plan your meals so that you eat healthy foods and enjoy a balanced diet. Easier said than done sometimes, especially on the road, but worth it. We burn a lot of energy kayaking and canoeing so make sure you stock pile those calories. Keep energy levels high and enthusiasm even higher!

Take The Right Stuff
There is no such thing as poor weather, just poor clothing. Be prepared!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Click. Pick. Pack. Deliver.

Making your shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible, is the top priority to us here at Escape Watersports.

Our warehouse team work hard every day, to ensure that your item(s) arrive at your door quickly and safely. 

So just how does the Escape Watersports dispatch journey work?

The moment you click..

All stock listed on our website is live, and is linked directly to our warehouse stock system.

Once you confirm your order, all items are allocated to your account, and our team receive your order to be picked in the warehouse.

We go and pick..

We take you order details, and head out into the warehouse to pick your items. 

Every product at Escape Watersports is kept in a specific location within our warehouse, which helps our team plan the best picking routes and speed up the process.

Scanning it in..

Each item is taken to the packing area and scanned against your order, using its unique barcode.

Using this method helps us to eliminate errors, and means we are sending out exactly what you have ordered.

To postage and packaging..

All items are carefully packed, along with your invoice and returns form, and a unique postage label is printed for your parcel.

Your order is now ready for dispatch!

Dispatched and ready for the road

We pass over your parcel to one of our carefully selected couriers, who we trust to deliver it to your doorstep quickly and safely.

We are continuously looking for ways to improve our service, and offer the most up to date methods to benefit our customers.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to get in touch or leave us a review with your next order.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Sickline 2017 | Lyndon Williams

- Champions killer
- Wellebrucke
- Late boof
- Under cut
- Siphon
- Losers party
- Pros
- Champion's party

This is a list of things you will hear constantly if you attend the Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship.

Last week Team Escape Watersports took to the road to enter the biggest whitewater race on the calendar. For Eddy it was his fifth time competing at the event, but for Lyndon this was his first major race.

The Wellebrucke rapids are found in the small valley of Otzal, Austria and upon arrival its easy to see why its the home to the competition. Surrounded by mountains, the valley starts to open as you get closer and out roars the Wellebrucke rapids. Steep, technical, and powerful it makes for a great test of ability. Not only will it test your skill level but also your nerve and concentration.

Like most, we spent the week prior to the race getting used to the course and learning the fastest lines from top to bottom. This was not as easy as it sounds! Having a mixture of heavy rain, sunshine and snow, the river level changed often and dramatically which made it very difficult to both paddle consistently, and stay in your kayak.

Thursday came around quickly, which meant it was time to register. There was a parade of nations, an excellent spread of food and drink, and a pre-race briefing to get everyone excited for the upcoming qualifiers.

So finally, here was the day we had been waiting for. Both Lyndon and Eddy had been training for months and were looking fast in their practice laps. 175 competitors in total turned up this year, consisting of amateurs and pro athletes. Eddy was up first, time to lay down his first run of two in his heat. Looking focused he put down a respectable time to place him 14th in his group.
Lyndon was up with his first lap, a little slower with a 1.5 second difference between the pair. This was enough to to leave Eddy 37th and Lyndon 54th after round one.

After a quick lunch the second lap was soon upon us. Once again Eddy was up first, and although a little slower than before he still placed high. Lyndon made the walk down the steps to the river bank knowing a solid run would put him in contention to qualify. Concentrating on that first move and looking focused Lyndon dropped into the water, went clean through the starting rapid (minus 1) and set up for Champions Killer rapid. His late boof was slightly off line which pushed him into the river left eddy costing him about 5 seconds.

Watching the times drop on the big screen Eddy and Lyndon were getting bumped down the table fast. Lyndon's slight error put him way down into 81st position, however Eddy had done enough to qualify in 50th position, making it his best result in 5 years and putting him in with a chance to race against the best in the world.

Excitement was high but chances were inevitably slim, so although he didn't get further than the quarters, Eddy went out there, gave it his best, and most of all he enjoyed it.
Spending the day watching the finals was great, course records kept getting broken and the top 15 was so close. Sam Sutton took the win in the men's, while Nouria Newman claimed the women's title. Amazing athletes!

We celebrated Team Escape Watersports success at the event with a glass of bubbly, then headed to the Champions Party.

The 24 hour drive home consisted of junk food and retelling many stories from the week.
Can not wait for next year!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Top UK Rivers For Kayaking | Lyndon Williams

With the weather starting to make a change, the days becoming a little colder and there being more rain about it can only mean one thing... the British whitewater season (AKA the Winter) is fast approaching.

The thought of more consistent paddle-able water for the next few months has got me thinking. What is everyone's favourite river (or section of river) to run in the UK, and what makes it so special?

The response I got after pitching the question on social media was great! Kayakers and canoeists up and down the country giving their reasons on why their favourite run was the best.
One thing that stood out immediately was the majority of people have a favourite run due to the pub at the end, and I loved that. Other reasons included beautiful scenery, and also jusy for good old fashioned fun!

High on the list was one of my own locals, the river Mellte, based in South Wales.
When you do that walk in and climb down the cliff to the put in, it's pretty intimidating to see that much water fall 60 feet over a cascade. This is shortly followed by a seal launch into the spray at the bottom of it, to start getting you on your way. The rest of the run is classic waterfalls and big rapids that won't fail to put a smile on your face!

Understandably the River Dart was also pretty high on this list. Sitting on the beautiful moorlands of Devon, this quality white water run has something for everyone. Those from the South West have grown up with it as a local run, and the rest of us frequently make the journey to paddle it, as one thing everyone will agree on is that it's worth doing at all water levels!

From South to North, a common name on the list was the River Orchy. This is often paddled as a classic in Scotland, and it's easy to see why! With its beautiful remote feel, ease of access, and pool drop big volume rapids, it is certainly a Scottish must do.

In Yorkshire, the river Swale appears to be a firm favourite. It requires some big boof strokes, that will leave you with a smile on your face (even if you don't nail it!).

There are so many more with great reasons, and I think this explains why kayaking brings myself and so many others the amount of happiness it does when you find a new favourite.

I have really enjoyed finding out what makes everyone's favourite piece of white water so special to them. Whats your favourite?

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Scotty Ball Mount System | Colin Chick

I use two different fishing kayaks. One for long distance fishing, and one for easier more comfortable fishing. The problem I have is that I only have one fish finder/GPS unit .

I could of course purchase a second transducer, but this can be very costly depending which unit you have, so realistically speaking that's not an option.
The brand of kayak I use (Wilderness Systems) has a gear track moulded and fitted as standard giving me options right from the start. 
One of the yaks has a removable Flexpod which carries the fish finder unit, battery, and transducer all in one which keeps the unit and plugs dry and free from corrosion which is a massive plus, but my second kayak does not .

The Scotty Ball Mounting system allows me to use my Raymarine Dragonfly Pro on both kayaks, and the Scotty ball on this particular item is in fact the same size as the ball used to mount the Dragonfly pro models.

The mount comes with two base platforms in the packet, so I took one base unit and mounted it to my WS Tarpon 160 and the other to the WS Flexpod.

So now depending which kayak I'm using I can easily in less than five minutes switch my fish finder to either kayak.

Early trials have gone well. A great product at a reasonable price.