Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Team Member - Ollie Vann

Name: Ollie Vann
Hometown: Tiverton, Devon
Current canoe/kayak/SUP(s) owned: Mad river Intrigue, Wenohnah Prospector 15, Riot Magnum 72 and Plastic Mega Neutron
Favourite canoe/kayak/SUP of all time: Wavesport ZG 54 brings back some fun memories and is super comfortable! Dag Expevery open canoe was an absolute work horse!

Most useful piece of equipment owned (why?): Kokotat Meridian Dry suit, it took a while to pluck up the courage and save the cash for this suit, but well worth it. Its been truly amazing, the cut is perfect for me and is super lightweight.
A piece of equipment on the wish list (why?): I'd love a new wooden canoe paddle, you can never have enough wood!
An item of clothing on the wish list (why?): Palm Oceana Touring Jacket and Palm Ion Bib , because they look flash.

Favourite type of paddling: With friends, this could be kayaking down some cheeky grade 4/5, having a ball and getting the adrenaline pumping! Or packing the open canoe/sea kayak with red wine, gin and BBQ meat for a few days!
Favourite paddling location: I have some real fond memories of paddling in France with the boys, but Morocco multi-day kayaking/rafting trips were incredible, the culture is amazing, scenery is out of this world, and the river was pure fun!!
Best paddling experience: Working on the Zambezi as a safety kayaker on my first multi-day trip waking up to find the raft had disappeared... and had to kayak a section solo to find the raft! Hiked back up to camp to spend 3 days waiting for a helicopter rescue!!
Future trips on the wish list: Wilderness canoe trip in Canada, Norway or Finland! Complete sea kayak mission around Corisca with JC. Kayak the Verdon Gorge with Matt Blue.

Current paddle wagon: VW T5 LWB with panels different shades of blue.
A song/artist/album which gets you motivated for a paddle

Black eyed peas- Pump It
Bob Sinclair - Love Generation
Favourite thing to buy from Greggs: The Mexican Bandit.... oh, and few cakes!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Team Member - Tom Ruddy

Hometown: Bridgend

Current canoe/kayak/SUP(s): Dagger Jitsu

Favourite canoe/kayak/SUP of all time: The Dagger Mamba fits me well and goes where I want it to really easily.

Most useful piece of equipment owned (why?)Smiley Nose Clip, stops my nose dripping for a whole day after a paddling session.

A piece of equipment on the wish list (why?): The Kokatat Maximus buoyancy aid. Looks cool in black and fits really well.

An item of clothing on the wish list (why?): Need to replace my old thermals, so either a Palm Kaituna top or the IR Union Suit for the winter.

Favourite type of paddling: River running.

Favourite paddling location: Some cool runs up in Scotland, but a new favourite is Italy.

Memorable paddling experience: Laying back in an open boat with a fishing rod in the middle of a lake in Maine, catching more sun than fish, is definitely up there.

Future trips on the wish list: A return to the Alps for some creeking, but would like to check out some big waves in Africa or America

Current paddle wagon: The larger than life, Citroen C1.

A song/artist/album which gets you motivated for a paddle:
ACDC - Black Ice (Album)
Gorillaz - Dirty Harry

Favourite thing to buy from Greggs: Mexican Bandit Baguette.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Valsesia, Italy 2013 - Tom

Our trip started off with a bit of an epic at the airport. After much repacking and unforeseen spending (thanks Ryanair!) we managed to board the airline with moments to spare.

Not an ideal start to anyone's day!

We arrived on time though and were greeted by Jim and the PGL lads who would be joining us that week for some world class creeking in the Valsesia region. Tasked with the role of navigator, I was handed a torn out piece of map and we were on our way.

Arrival at Camp.

We got to camp and were straight on the water, blasting down the Alpine Sprint section of the River Sesia and ending the day with a BBQ and some well deserved beer.

The days to come were filled with some great runs on rivers including the Sermenza, Egua and Sorba. 
The levels did drop throughout the week a bit but there was always something to run.

The start of the entry rapid into the
Sermenza Gorge
The Sorba Slides

During a run through the Sesia Gorge we had a few close shaves, and by the end we were all ready for the traditional lunch of meat, cheese and bread followed by some outstanding ice cream. Of course it wasn't long before we found ourselves back at the bar ready to plan the next river.

Portage on the Sesia Gorge

River side lunch.

Ending with a reasonably chilled out run down the Mastallone, a solid week of kayaking was certainly starting to show by this point.

All in all though a fantastic trip and a stunning place to go kayaking. Definitely one to put on your bucket list!

Helping some fellow paddlers
with a boat recovery.

Monday, 10 June 2013

SUP On The River Taff

A slightly different way to round off a weekend.

After some glorious sunshine this weekend,  it was great to get out on the Red Paddle Co Race 12' 6 and cruise up the River Taff in Cardiff just before sunset.

Having the water to yourself definitely makes it worth waiting a few hours, and good summer evening conditions meant no wind and perfect temperatures, with the occasional double take from locals.

The Brains Brewery.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

The Millennium Stadium. Paddling through
the heart of Cardiff.

What are you looking at?