Wednesday, 22 May 2013

An Afternoon On The Tennant Canal

"What's that bright yellow thing in the sky?"
A phrase that is becoming common place in the UK lately, but when the sun does finally decide to appear no time is wasted by the Escape Watersports team!

Gareth and Nerys managed to get out on the water last weekend, making their way down the Neath and Tennant Canal, from Aberdulais to Jersey Marine.

A leisurely 10km paddle, with a quick stop for lunch half way, was just what the doctor ordered after all this persistent cold weather. Gareth took out his P&H sea kayak, while Nerys opted for the Perception Triumph 13 sit on top which has plenty of room for dry bag storage at the stern.

Kayaking on a canal or lake is quite often overlooked, but it provides a chilled day out in the sunshine with good company, great scenery, and a bit of exercise that helps you earn that Sunday roast! What more could you ask for?

Team Member - Jon "JC" Caterer

Name: Jon "JC" Caterer
Hometown: Brynna, Pontyclun
Current canoe/kayak/SUP(s) ownedWavesport Recon (Creek)Mega Newtron (Surf)Wavesport Project X (Freestyle)Vajda 3.6m comp spec (Slalom)Mad River Canoe 15ft Explorer
Favourite canoe/kayak/SUP of all timeThis is a tough one, back in the day when i was trying to make one boat do everything then I was a big fan of the Prozone. Im also very impressed with the Wavesport Recon but will need to see how it performs on some steeper rivers before I can make a final decision on its ranking!
Most useful piece of equipment owned (why?)Watershed drybag(s!), well designed, durable and very, very dry. I should have bought one much sooner.

A piece of equipment on the wish list (why?): HF syntec throwbag. I am a big believer in having versatile equipment that can be used for a wide range of applications. The HF syntec ticks that box.
An item of clothing on the wish list (why?): Kokotat Goretex drysuite. Kokotat have an immense reputation for products and service, I cant wait to find out what all the fuss is about!

Favorite type of paddling: Creeking in the sunshine with good friends.
Favourite paddling location: This is a tough one and it depends on which boat I am in!! I've had some class times on the Zambezi for big volume. Italy has also become a regular trip due to the reliability and quality of the water, ease of access and pizza!
Best paddling experience: 10 week trip to Nepal, we got well and truly off the beaten track with some remote wilderness, amazing Himalayan scenery and world class white water. There were some great multi-day trips camping out of our riverboats and we spent many a night camping on unspoilt riverbanks eating strange Asian food.
Future trips on the wish list: Italy ASAP & Grand Canyon in December. I would also love to see some more of South America at some point this is more of a longer-term project.

Current paddle wagon: Vauxhall Vivaro LWB
A song/artist/album which gets you motivated for a paddle: Sell Out by Reel Big Fish
Favourite thing to buy from Greggs: Fajita chicken slice & Patisserie doughnut.

Don't Leave Your Keys

We've all been told a million times, and no doubt have even told others not to ourselves, but leaving keys while you go for a surf or a paddle is a definite no no!

Lock boxes or key pods have become more common for van owners who want to keep their keys safe during a surf session, but they are far from it. Some recent thefts down at Rest Bay and Coney Beach, Porthcawl, involved the thieves breaking into lock boxes and then driving off with the vehicles and their contents.

Last year, Tom was a victim of car theft while surfing down at Porthcawl, a costly mistake he has been careful not to make again. It turns out that a couple of thieves caught recently (listed in the article above) were there ones involved in stealing his car earlier in the year. Karma caught up with them eventually it seems!

Keeping your possessions safe isn't hard. Get yourself a small dry bag and tuck it inside your wetsuit, cag, or drysuit using a lanyard which is often included with the bag anyway, and you can double them up for phones and money for longer trips like touring or river running. Safety first!

Keeping possessions safe in a Palm First Aid Carrier.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Team Member - Matt Blue

Name: Matt Blue
Hometown: Carmarthen
Current canoe/kayak/SUP(s) owned: Wenonah Prospector 15 and 16 in Carbon / Dagger Nomad / Riot Nitro / Double Dutch Slalom / Bull Raft
Favourite canoe/kayak/SUP of all time: Wenonah Prospector 15 roylex for the Canoe. Riot Magnum72 for the Kayak and Ark Camel Race Raft.

Most useful piece of equipment owned (why?): Palm safety Tape, gets used every outing.
A piece of equipment on the wish list (why?): A Zet Raptor, they look fast and fun.
An item of clothing on the wish list (why?): A new waterproof jacket, old ones old!

Favourite type of paddling: Two answers for this one 1st is Adventurous when all your senses are firing and you have to figure out problems, being with a small tight team and running it slick. 2nd is racing with my boys the GBR White Water Racing Team they rock and we are becoming a force.
Favourite paddling location: France South and Alps.
Best paddling experience: Some of the moments on the mighty Zambezi are right up there as are the contrasting times nice and mellow on the Ardeche.

Future trips on the wish list: A multi day canoe or raft trip in North America or Canada. The Grand Canyon with the kids in 2025. Win the Exe Descent again with Ollie Vann. Compete in the DW with my wife Nerys. Raft the Zambezi with the GBR Team. Kayak the Glen!

Current paddle wagon: Hyundi i800
A song/artist/album which gets you motivated for a paddle: Black Eyed Peas, Emile Sandy, Old School Dance

Favourite thing to buy from Greggs: Belgian Bun

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Spring Summary

It's been a busy few weeks for us at Escape Watersports. The sun finally came out which meant we could all get out and paddle in reasonable temperatures again! We've made some upgrades to the office and have increased our product range yet again, offering you more choice of some really fantastic bits of kit.

Brand new - Palm FX / Kokatat Maximus / Astral Greenjacket

But alas, the overcast sky has returned and everyone is now setting their sights on foreign lands and kayaking adventures in the sun.
Team Escape is splitting up to conquer the Alps early this summer;

Tom is currently preparing for a trip to Italy taking place at the end of May, where he's looking forward to enjoying world class rapids, followed closely by pizzas and beer. Tom will be paddling the new Dagger Mamba, and has invested wisely in some Shred Ready Tsunami elbow pads in preparation for the trip.

Gareth will be heading to France with the Tawe Paddlers for just over a week of paddling in the sun, clear waters, and plenty of Bier Speciale. Gareth will be paddling classic runs like the Guil and Durance in his new Wavesport Recon. Check him out training in North Wales:

As for Gus, Claire, and young Morgan's summer adventure, you'll just have to watch this space. The big question is, how long will it be before Morgan is paddling the Axiom 6.9 down the Tawe?

Friday, 3 May 2013

CIWW Flowrider

The Escape Watersports team were lucky enough to try out the brand new Flowrider up at Cardiff International White Water Centre this week.

Fantastic fun, and although we certainly looked the part we were all feeling a bit sore the following day..
A Greggs breakfast well deserved!