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.