Friday, 11 December 2015

How To: Gift Wrap a Kayak

How To: Gift Wrap a Kayak

Yes you read that right, a kayak! As if buying Christmas presents isn't stressful enough, you then spend hours wrapping them and end up getting angry at a roll of tape. 

So to make it a little easier this year we have a quick step by step guide on how to deal with wrapping a whole kayak.

What you will need:-

  • Approx 12m of wrapping paper.
  • Scissors.
  • A load of tape.
  • LOTS of space.
  • Way to much spare time.
  • The patience of a saint.

The Short version -
Here is a 30 second video of the whole wrapping process. Enjoy!

The long version -

The start is quite easy, measure and cut a sheet of paper, make sure you give it plenty of over hang for extra side coverage. Tape the sheet to the boat once you have got it in to the right position, with plenty hanging over the end to wrap around the tail of the boat.

The boat I was wrapping had both solid and cloth handles on it. The solid ones were quite easy, cut the shape in the first picture and then cut thin strips of paper and wind them around until fully covered. The cloth straps however took a little negotiating, again cut the shape in the first picture, pull the handle through and carefully slip the paper under and tape. To wrap the handle cut a blunt triangle shape with straight sides at the end as shown in picture 4, then just wrap and tape.

The next challenge is the cockpit rim, this is the most time consuming section of the boat. Cut large sheets that covers from the floor over the boat and back to the floor again on the other side, secure to the boat with a bit of tape. Gently scrunch the paper into position with your hands around and under the cockpit rim, then cut very small sections of tape and start taping under the rim where you've scrunched. As layers of tape start to build up the paper will hold its shape.

Using the paper that is covering the cockpit, cut it so that it can fall in towards the seat. This will give you a backing for the next sheet of paper. As you can see on the front of the cockpit, the sheet I used dips in to form the front.

To fill in the seat area get a large sheet and bent to find the rough middle, cut up the middle line about 15 - 20 cm depending on the shape of your kayak. Wrap one side of the cut over the other to create a shallow cone and place in the cockpit. Measure to the top of the cockpit, cut and tape as required. Cutting small slits around the top of the cockpitto create flaps can make the shaping much easier. I used the over hang from the front sheet to cover any rough edges and stuck both sheets together. 

To tidy up the front of the cockpit cover it with another sheet of paper. Cut around the edge of the cockpit to get the desired shape, then make small cuts in the paper that go away from the cockpit to make flaps which give a much smoother shape once taped down. 

NOTE make sure you tape the ends of all the cuts in the paper as this stops any ripping later in the wrapping process.

The underneath is nice and easy, use basic wrapping skills like folding and cutting to get the desired shape and smoothness (yes that's a word). By the end you should have some thing that looks like this.

The gift wrapped boat is an Ace of Spades (also seen on the left).

The fully gift wrapped Ace of Spades is available for purchase but we only have the one, so first come first serve!

Thursday, 19 November 2015


We've got some really cracking offers in our showroom right now!

It's first come first serve though, so get here quick!

Palm Ex-samples are so hard to resist.

Our latest edition to the showroom. Shoe mountain.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

RNLI / SWKA Training Day | Grant Harris

The South Wales Kayak Anglers (SWKA) was formed in 2009 when a group of like-minded guys with a passion for fishing got together at a local pub for a chat.
Six years later, the SWKA is boomings and is in fact the only officially run Kayak Angling Club in the UK.

Myself and a dozen other members of the SWKA arranged a demonstration morning with our local RNLI, to go through what we Kayak Anglers actually do when out and about on the water.
Really key points for them included how we set our anchors up, how we do self rescues, and for us we learned what we can do (if anything) to keep our selves and others safer when out at sea.

On a lovely sunny Sunday morning in Barry, we all met down the beach around 09.30. It was good to see so many of the guys turn up, with kayaks of all colours and size.
All of us had our usual dry suits and PFDS on, and prepared ourselves to spend a bit of time in the water as well as on it.

After a few minutes of banter with each other on the beach, the RNLI boat came into view. We dragged our kayaks down to the waters edge, and were meet by the small RNLI rib and it's crew. After a quick briefing from them, and making sure we were all on the same radio channel, we got our kayaks ready and paddled out to the larger RNLI boat which was anchored further out in the bay.

Dave volunteered his services for the self rescue demo, and Phil paddled off to show how we anchor up in a couple of different ways. The RNLI seemed impressed, as most of us had a good understanding of what we should be doing, how to do it, and what to do if it goes wrong.

Soon it was time for me to practice my self rescue technique, with a little help of Colin ("Chick") who helped me off with a gentle shove. So glad I had my drysuit on while bobbing around in the Barry sea. It took me two attempts to get back on first time, but on the third time I nailed it.

After about an hour or so the tide turned and there was a litte chop on the water, with a small wave braking on the beach. A few of us went for a play in the surf, while the rest of the group made their way back to the beach.

We had a few photos taken for the SWKA web site, and all went back up to our car for a coffee and a chat.

All in all a fantastic day!

Why I'm Buying New Kayking Shoes | Callum McCue

On the 27th of May 2015 I broke my leg and ankle whilst paddling out in Italy. We were right at the end of our first run of the middle Sermenza, when I hopped out of my boat to inspect the last rapid, I slipped off a wet rock and fell about four feet into a shallow pool and came down on a jagged rock that was just under the water with my right leg. I felt the immediate pain of what I thought was my ankle dislocating. I realised that my foot was completely turned around so facing behind me and set about wrenching my foot back around to face the right way, so I could at least get back into my boat. 

   The rest of the crew arrived on the beach, helped me to my feet and I then immediately realised that this was far worse then I had thought. The boys were great, we got my leg splinted up using a roll of duct tape and 2 pieces of a spare split paddle to hold it firm, then they set off in opposite directions to find the easiest way out. A group of Czech boaters caught us up at this point and set about helping me and the others crawl over the 500 yards of huge boulder and then carry me up the extremely steep path to the top of the gorge (no mean feat being as I'm 6'7” and was about 18 stone) which took around three hours. They then went back down the gorge to paddle the rest of the run to get to the normal get-out where our shuttle driver and my new fiancĂ©e Rhoswen (we got engaged the previous morning, at the foot of the top drop of the Egua) who immediately came to collect me. 

After an operation to screw my ankle back together a couple of months in a cast and enough time spent playing on the Playstation for a lifetime, I am just about walking without crutches -well more stumbling about. I've been back in the boat a few times and looking forward to the next paddling mission to Scotland, before coming home for the final operation and more time laid up.

I believe that this probably wouldn't have happened if I had been wearing suitable footwear for the environment that I was in, something like the Astral Rassler or Palm Gradient boots. Not only would I probably not have slipped but the additional support offered would have saved my ankle. Unfortunately I have size 14 feet and extremely long legs, meaning I can only fit the thinnest of neoprene boots (that are only really suitable for playboating or beachwear) inside even the biggest creek boat available. I am hoping that Astral's new Hiyak boot will be a suitable compromise in terms of support and grip verses size .

Finally I need to give a big shout out and huge thank you to Jon Leadley, Joe Sheppard, Roy McHale, Jack Andrews, Rhoswen Jones and the Czech crew whose names I have unfortunately forgotten in the moment. Also a big thanks to Chris Williams (aka Taff), Elliot Harrison and Steve Marfleet for the many phone calls and keeping my spirits up whilst being stuck indoors over the past few months. Cheers lads the beers are on me!  

Monday, 9 November 2015

Exclusive Viking Kayak Agreement

Escape Watersports Limited
01656 745774

Exclusive Viking Kayak Agreement
  Escape Watersports & AS Watersports to exclusively distribute in the UK

Today Escape Watersports and AS Watersports announced a collaboration to exclusively distribute Viking Kayaks in the UK. Viking Kayaks are manufactured in New Zealand and Australia and sold worldwide. Viking kayaks are designed by avid kayak fishermen. 

First delivery is due early 2016. For all pre-orders you can contact us on:
01656 745774

Or pop in and see us at our South Wales showroom. (Find Us)

About Escape Watersports: EscapeWatersports is a leading paddle sports retailer in the UK. Founded in 2011, Escape Watersports is an independent paddler owner and run canoe, kayak and stand up paddle board shop. Escape prides itself on supplying products from top brands and offering independent unbiased advice.

About AS Watersports: AS Watersports is the largest independent paddle sports retailer in the South West. Established in 1982. They have a full range of boats, gear, accessories, along with tuition and hire all with good expert advice and information from friendly knowledgeable paddling staff.

About Viking Kayaks: Viking Kayaks is a designer and manufacturer of kayaks based in New Zealand. Viking Kayaks manufacture the elite range of Viking sit-on-top kayaks.