Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Taking on Lady Falls | Eddy Mead

Just before New Year, we got treated to a little rain which topped up our local Welsh creeks nicely!

We decided to hit the Nedd Fechan which is one of those rivers where the higher it flows, the more fun it is! After smashing the warm up drop we decided to lap the 20 footer four times. This is one of my favourite waterfalls. With a fast lead in and a large hole guarding the lip, it's difficult to get a clean line. If you stay dry over the entrance hole you can carry your speed and fly off the lip. If you get subbed out, you lose your speed and pencil which isn't great as the landing is unreliably shallow.

After some sweet lines and some not so sweet we cruised down the rest of the run which has so many fun drops and rapids which you need to be on your game for.

The Nedd Fechan has a tributary called the Pryddin which is a small creek with a number of large waterfalls. The levels seemed good and Lady Falls is something we all wanted to tick off the list, so we hopped out and headed up the trail to the raging falls.

Lady falls is a near vertical 40 foot waterfall with a very shallow pool. The lead in which is a slow moving flat pool is perfect and the lip is fairly clean. Whilst scouting waterfall we had two decisions, play it cool and let the bow drop to a sweet 45 degrees and risk penciling it, or boof and tuck to save our backs from the huge impact. Ben went first.....

Ben went for the 45 degrees and he had a great line. All smiles, Success! I was up next. I took my time getting in my kayak and made sure I was comfortable and ready to go, a quick splash of water in the face and I started paddling toward the lip.

I gained some speed heading to the lip hoping I would cruise away from the base of the falls where it is rocky. I placed my blade on the lip and with a big boof stroke I tucked my body forward as far as I could.

The impact was pretty big. My skirt partially blew off and my back ached but no injuries, success! Pods Turn! He went for a similar technique to me with the same results, big impact but all good.

Ben was so stoked on his first run he decided to go again. This time he went for our technique, but he didn't tuck enough and winded himself. After Ben got his breath back we paddled down to join back up with the Nedd and headed to the take out with big grins on our faces.

I'd been looking at this waterfall for years but never caught it at a high enough level, finally it was under my belt!

Looking forward to some more rain and hopefully many more laps of Lady Falls!

Happy paddling people!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Llangorse Kayak Fishing Predator Hunt 2016

Some would claim that anyone who wants to journey to mid Wales on a cloudy morning in March, and sit in the middle of a lake, is absolutely mad.

But, for our 56 competitors at this year's Llangorse Kayak Fishing Competition, there is no where else they'd rather be!

Llangorse provides some truly awe inspiring views no matter what the weather, and is in fact the largest natural lake in Wales.

The aim of the game is to land the 5 biggest fish (3 Pike and 2 Perch), giving you the biggest combined length overall.

This is not the only way to win a prize though...

  • Main Event - Total combined length of 3 Pike and 2 Perch.
  • Biggest Pike
  • Smallest Pike
  • Biggest Perch
  • Team Event - Combined length of 3 competitors biggest Pike.

The day started with a quick welcome meeting at 0900, and a briefing of the general competition rules. The all important safety rules were covered, and then it's off to the water.

First launch is 0945, with the more enthusiastic (less hungover) anglers ready and raring to go!

Anglers can use any legal method to catch a fish, but can only use a maximum of 2 rods at one time.

It's often a waiting game with fishing, so a good set of thermals and the right protective kit is essential. At this time of year we would always recommend a dry suit to keep your under layers completely dry at all times, but a good set of dry trousers and a jacket can work just as well as long as you're not planning on taking a big swim.

The final whistle blew at 1545, and competitors had to declare their fish by 1715 to be entered into the rankings.

After the results were announced and prizes awarded, it was off to the pub to watch the rugby and celebrate another top weekend, and a great competition hosted by the SWKA. 


1st - Graham Jones
2nd - Ian Harris
3rd - Shaun Milner
4th - Ian Pickering
5th - David Morris
6th - Tim Sparrow

Biggest Pike - Graham Bussutil

Smallest Pike - Amos Mak

Winning Team - GLG

View Full Results

Monday, 14 March 2016

My new SUP partner

I've been waiting for this all Winter.

The family dog is finally big enough (and brave enough) to wear a buoyancy aid and get on the water with me. Also the Sun made an appearance, which is a huge motivator!

We had minimal fuss when first getting the new buoyancy aid on, which is quite out of character for Ruby, a cross Springer/Cocker Spaniel and as mad as a box of frogs.

She jumped straight onto the board in the car park, which I took as a good omen, and we set off towards to water.

At first she was a bit unsure of this new experience. This was her first time in deep water, so jumping off the board and not being able to touch the floor was a bit of a shock.

The buoyancy did it's job though, providing some needed floatation and also making it easy to grab her and get her back on the board.

Ruby was loving it! By the end she was walking around the board and got super interested in what the paddle actually did.
We floated around the bay for a while, and then finished with a small surf into the beach.

So that's my Summer plans sorted!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Welsh Winter Sun | Gareth Spendiff

This Winter has consisted of storm after storm, but eventually we had a break in the weather and South Wales produced a very 'Springy' feeling for couple of days, with beautiful blue skies, lots of bright sunshine, and zero wind.


So, it would have been rude not to get the sea kayak out and enjoy some of the Gower coastline on my day off.

An hour and a half before low tide I launched below Mumbles Pier and headed out past Mumbles Lighthouse, into the blazing sunshine and calm ocean taking a wide route towards Pwll Du headland. From here you could enjoy a clear view as far as Oxwich point in the distance.

After 5 miles of amazing scenery I landed on Bantam Bay to stretch the legs and open a chocolate bar. I sat there for half an hour watching a seal chilling in the bay with just the sound of sea lapping the beach until two low flying military helicopters came roaring around the headline and continued hugging the coastline and out of sight, which was pretty cool to see.

By now it was low tide and the sea was super calm. Lots of exposed rocks, gaps and wrecks were showing due to a very low tide cycle. I made my way back, hugging the coastline and exploring the gaps and wrecks along the sections between Pwll Du Bay, Caswell Bay, Langland Bay and Mumbles.

A great day in the sun. Bring on the Summer!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Kokatat Expedition Suit Review | Colin Chick

Going back a while, I thought to myself that a new drysuit was in order. There were a few obvious choices at the time, with the Typhoon Max B, Typhoon PS220, and the Palm Aleutian all being the suits to go for in the world of kayak angling.

All superb suits in their own right, reasonably priced, and having read a few reviews seemed to be good value for money.

A lot of people know that I'm pretty hard on my gear. It gets used a lot so gets well tested and borderline abused....

But rather than potentially buying the wrong suit, I went and had a long chat with the team at Escape Watersports.
In the end the decision was made to go down the route of Kokatat, and the Kokatat Expedition was the suit of choice.

The reasons for this choice are as follows:

- Material of the suit is Gore-Tex shell, with reinforcing in high wear areas. Worthy of the most hardcore kayaker.

- It's a very light suit, weighing in at just 3.2oz.

- Latex neck and wrist seals.
I used to prefer neoprene for comfort but once you stretch the latex there is hardly any difference. However, the difference when you're in the water for any length of time is noticeable, and there is no leaks whatsoever. Kokatat deems neoprene not watertight enough for their suits, though you can have them fitted by special order at your expense if you really want to.

- You get lots of pockets, perfect for me as I like to carry a fair bit of gear.

- Quality zips - both main entry zip and relief zipper are metal toothed optiseal.

- One of the key features of this suit as a kayak angler in the UK is a built-in lightweight hood - you have to love the british weather!

- As with most quality suits you have the material socks which are considerably warmer than their latex counterparts. When cod fishing in deepest darkest winter these little things can keep you on the water for that extra hour to allow you to catch those cod.

- Gore-Tex breathes better than most if not all other materials - so comfortable enough when that burst of sunshine, rare as it is, does sometimes come through.

Kokatat suits are the only suits that are fill tested to check for imperfections. They also carry out this test out if you send the suit for servicing once a season, and this keeps your suit in tip top condition.

The aftersales from Kokatat is top notch as you would imagine when the suits cost as much as they do. It sounds a lot but if you work it out someone who launches as regularly as I do, say 80-90 trips a year - whether that's fishing, touring or white water paddling (something I can see me doing more of) it works out at around 10-12 pounds a trip for one year's use, half that over two years, and then you're looking at about £3 a trip in year three, reducing further year after year.  So when you look at it from that perspective it's not so expensive - I dont think so anyway.

A superb suit in my opinion. Head over to and get one now!