Monday, 22 December 2014

The New Escape Watersports Showroom

We take pride in listening to customer feedback, and learning how we can better the Escape Watersports shopping experience.

It was decided that the showroom was next on the list of changes, and changing it to start 2015 fresh and new seemed perfect.

So here it is, the brand new and improved Escape Watersports showroom!

Don't miss out on our in store clearance offers, updated and available throughout the year.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Frozen Fingers

Cold hands is something paddlers and surfers know about all too well.

Gripping a paddle or swimming out becomes a lot more difficult when our hands are cold. Sometimes the pain can lead to silly mistakes, and can often cut a good session short.

Here is a selection of our favourite gloves and paddles mitts, as well as a couple of cheeky deals this Winter.
For even more selection head over to our website >>

Shaped to naturally fit around a paddle shaft. The Palm Grab glove doesn't hinder finger movement, and makes gripping paddles and liners easier than other gloves.

RRP £16.95 - Now £14.95

A multi-sport glove that lends itself to fiddly situations in cold weather, reducing the risk of rope burn or accidentally catching sharp objects like hooks and knives. The Palm Throttle glove is a good choice for kayak fishing, and quick rescue situaiton.

RRP £23.95 - Now £20.95

Often underestimated, paddle mitts (or pogies) are actually a sure way to keep your hands toasty during the winter. Palm Descent Paddle Mitts are made of a thick neoprene that attaches to your paddle and covers your entire hand, allowing quick release in emergencies, and they really are effective at keeping your hands warm.

RRP £22.99 - Now £20.99

The surfer's choice. Gul Power Gloves really get results in cold water thanks to 5mm of neoprene protection. The gloves also feature Dura-skin print grip on the palms, so you don't lose the feel of your board or paddle.

RRP £17.99 - Now £15.99

A snug fitting pogie, the Gul Scapa Paddle Mitt features a velcro wrist strap for added security and trapping in heat without trapping your hand.

RRP £22.99 - Now £19.99

Fantastic neoprene gloves, discounted to make room for replacement product ranges.
The Palm Kevlar Glove offers great protection from bumps and scrapes, excellent grip, and a comfortable material

RRP £25.95 - Now £14.95

For even more selection head over to our website >>

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Next Best Fishing Kayak?

Escape Watersports was lucky enough last weekend to host a UK exclusive, the new Wilderness Systems Thresher 155.

The Thresher is already gaining plenty of interest and causing a few heads to turn, so it didn't take much convincing for our local kayak anglers to come and see what the hype is all about.

The trailer was loaded with the prototype Thresher, a Viking Kayaks Reload, and a Wilderness Systems Ride 115X featuring a funky fly fishing bar that boys couldn't wait to have a go on.

The venue was Newton Beach, Porthcawl, and the team was blessed with a spot of good weather.

The Thresher performed as expected and more.

Although it's quite a long boat, the Thresher 155 handled really well when paddling through breaking waves, and looks like even more fun surfing them in. The rudder system is excellent at keeping you on track once you've got a destination set, making life a whole lot easier between casts.

The Thresher is packed full of cool features that help you manage your gear on the water.

The large front hatch fits a C-Tug trolley perfectly, meaning no more strapping down or packing your trolley into a bag for safe keeping.
Next to this is a storage box for your fish finder kit. The battery can be stored inside, and the fish finder mounted on top. It's such a simple idea, but it's a cracker, and you simply unhook and take the box with you when you're done so that the contents stay safe and dry.

The Ride 115X is already a production boat, but the new Air Pro Max seat with multi-positioning and super comfortable padding really got us interested.
You can raise and tilt the Air Pro Max to find the best position for spotting, paddling, or just chilling on the water.

We also added a fly fishing bar, which although may not be used too often here on the South Wales coastline, seemed like a lot of fun.

Staff member Grant was straight on it, and off it! More practice needed.

After seeing and paddling the prototype, we can't wait to get our hands on the finished Wilderness Systems Thresher, due to arrive in the UK early 2015.

It's going to be a good year for kayak fishing!

Friday, 24 October 2014

It's All About Layers

Choosing the appropriate under layer can often leave us feeling hot under the collar.

Full thermals are always a smart idea in the winter time, providing you are wearing suitable waterproof outer layering to keep it dry (i.e. A dry suit). 

The Palm Men's Tsangpo and Ladies Trisuli one piece under suits are designed for coping with the cold. And they look pretty stylish too. These under suits are made of Palm's Core 4 material, which is essentially a fleece layer with quick drying properties.
They are super comfortable, which makes it easy to just stick it on in the house and wear during the journey to and from the water, with a jacket or hoody over the top.
Both have a zipped pocket, which is big enough to hold a set of keys and loose change, but you would struggle to get a phone in there too.

For a cheaper alternative, the Typhoon Lightweight Undersuit works well to keep you warm and feels comfortable and a bit more fleece like on the inside.
The suit is made using thermofiber fabric, which keeps is lightweight without risking any heat loss.

The Autumn months can make it a bit harder to judge what layering is appropriate. Ideally we would carry one or two different options with us, but this takes up room and can be a hassle when you're on the water.

Palm's Core 3 Seti top breaches the gap between warm and cold, offering an adaptable layer that is perfect for mild conditions whether you are on the water or just chilling out on a mild evening.

The Palm Seti's 'waffle' style fabric is beyond comfortable, and boasts quick drying properties making a fantastic active lifetstyle top.
I've worn my own down the pub after a day on the water, and it doesn't look out of place or like you're wearing a thermal top at all.
The Palm Seti will be good underneath a drysuit on milder Autumn/Winter paddling days, or as an extra under layer on really cold days in the middle of Winter.

Some variance of neoprene is always a good shout for keeping in warmth, and now we have much more comfortable options that don't hinder your freedom of movement like a standard wetsuit.

Palm's Kaituna tops are made using Neoflex material, which is a much softer and more flexible version of neoprene. This doesn't mean it wont keep you as warm though. On it's own on a warm day the Palm Kaituna feels just right on the water, and dries quite quickly too.
This does come in a women's version as well. Check out the Palm Wairoa for a female specific cut.

If you want something a bit thinner, check out the Palm Itunda top. This feels really lightweight, and is ideal for Summers spent on the water, but will also work really well as a rash vest under a wetsuit, or as a base layer under a cag in mild weather where overheating is still possible.

The Palm Itunda also has its own female counterpart, the Palm Malalu, which offers a better fit for women paddlers. Both come in a long and short sleeve version, but it's quite easy to roll the sleeves up on the long top if needed.

Similar to this is the Crewsaver Toki top. A long standing favourite, the Crewsaver Toki is quick drying and designed for maximum comfort.

Having the right layering for varying weather conditions really is a crucial part of water sport activities. Although your top layer will keep the water away, you will still feel the cold without a good thermal underneath.

So don't fail to prepare this winter season. View our range of thermals and under layers online, or contact our sales team for more information.
01656 745774

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Astral Sea Wolf Review

After careful thought and a few cups of tea, Chicky from the South Wales Kayak Anglers selected the Astral Sea Wolf as his buoyancy aid of choice for this coming season.

Astral are regarded as a fairly solid choice when it comes to white water and touring PFDs, so after a bit of testing here's what he had to say about it:

At first glance, I liked the non garish colour of the Astral Sea Wolf, so sun glasses are not a mandatory whilst wearing this unlike some vests. Although, there is a "look at me" version if you like that sort of thing!

Next thing I think is a great idea is the side entry fit with no zip, meaning no corrosion issues later in its life. I know a few have had issues with this problem on the sea, but the buckles prevent this from happening full stop.

It has a few pockets which have ample storage, and there's a little waist pocket that has zipped section and an unzipped section. It also has a pocket that is designed for a hydration pack for the longer trips where you don't want to stop paddling to take fluids on board.

Then there's my personal highlight, a cavernous chest pocket (or clamshell pocket as they like to call it)  which has separate compartments and a zipped internal section so the guys who like to take minimal tackle, ready made rigs, and other bits, its the perfect vest. However, there's another little trick this clamshell has when you open both zips all the way the pocket opens to form a work table just in front of you, and because its on your chest you can turn away from the wind so the bits\rigs you are working on don't blow away.

More features I like; It has enough hi-vis reflective tape and I like the positioning of the VHF loops and safety knife attachment ,the clamshell pocket is detached from the main floatation band only connected by two straps which allows the vest to move and articulate as you paddle and move around which gives the feeling of great freedom .

Friday, 3 October 2014

A Slower Pace of Life

We enjoy receiving photos of customers and friends having good times on the water.

A big thanks to Joe and Alyson for representing Team Escape on their canal trip this week.
It has definitely got us thinking about the joys of taking it easy, and how watersports don't always have to be at 100mph.

The trip started in Devises, making their way up the canal systems towards Bath over the course of 2 days.
Opening and closing the lock gates meant a bit of manual labour was required, but this was of course followed by a well earned, celebratory drink.

Joe -
 "The trip went well, apart from one slight hiccup where Alyson tried to do a 3 point turn!"

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Safety first

Escape Watersports' staff member Gareth is known for his motorbike.

To end the summer, Gareth travelled out to sunny Spain for a week blasting around a track on his Yamaha R1, ending his evenings with a jacuzzi and a well earned beer.

Unfortunately with any extreme sport there comes great risk, and this time Gareth wasn't quite so lucky, coming away with a particularly nasty broken ankle that's left him bed ridden for a few weeks.

And the result...

Wearing the right safety equipment in any sport is essential.

Gareth was pretty lucky this time, but it could have been a lot worse without the correct helmet, body armour, and footwear to stand up to that level of riding.
The same principles apply to any watersport. Varying weather conditions require you to have the correct clothing to maintain a constant body temperature, and there's nothing quite like a close encounter with a rock or reef to make us see the importance of body protection.

We all wish Gareth a speedy recovery, and can't believe he's already ordered another helmet!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tahe Marine Reval Midi - Jim's Review

This Summer, I had the pleasure of taking the Tahe Marine Reval Midi for a demo. Firstly in Pembrokeshire, followed by a trip around the Isle of Arran, and finally a little exploration of the West coast of Scotland.

The Reval Midi is described as;
“A British style sea kayak ideal for adrenaline seekers.
Slightly wider in relation to their length, and while the Reval Midi is low profile it still has a higher foredeck. The hulls are designed with more rocker, and their upswept bows and sterns are designed to handle more challenging sea conditions.”
In the short time I had this boat it was easy to see that the Reval Midi is more than capable of handling challenging conditions, as well as being a suitable boat for shorter multi-day trips.

The Reval Midi’s stability and comfortable seating position were evident within the first few paddle strokes. I have paddled boats in the past whose transfer from primary to secondary stability was a little sudden or harsh.
The Reval Midi felt mellow through this transition and well balanced when on edge.

Most of my time in the Reval Midi was solo or with plastic/shorter boats so it was difficult to judge its speed but I managed the Isle of Arran circumnavigation (60 miles) in 2 days with a reasonable amount of seal spotting, rest stops, and a great nights sleep on the beach!
The skeg system worked flawlessly, the fine tuning capabilities allowed me to dial in the sweet spot and concentrate on driving the boat forward.

The storage capacity of the Reval Midi felt a little on the small side, this may have been due to my large dry bags, with more thought and smaller bags I’m sure I could fine tune my system for longer expeditions.

At a little over 6 feet tall, and somewhere in the region of 15 stone, I think the Reval Midi was a little on the small side for me, but it worked. There’s always the high volume version if I wanted to go that way.