This year while planning for our two month cali season one thing that was a disappointment was that we were told "upper cherry is closed this year". The reason behind the "closure" was the rim fire in the fall of 2013, closing access to the cherry lake and the normal hike in and take out to the famous run. Lucky for me my brother Jim doesn't take no for an answer and found a legal access to the creek.
We hiked in from the normal west cherry hike in at bourland meadows and…Continue
Posted by Tom Janney on October 10, 2014 at 8:16pm
The autumn months are on us and winter is fast approaching. Some may put their gear away for the winter months but for most we will carry on regardless of how cold it gets. It's vital for us to stay warm and safe when we are out in the extreme conditions that we fish through in the winter months.
Now we all know that a drysuit is an absolute must in the colder months for us kayak anglers but what about the gear that you wear underneath? The wrong gear can be very bad as we paddle a great distance to get to a mark and then stop at anchor for some time. We can be warm and sweaty when paddling but when at anchor or drifting if that moisture can turn you cold quite quickly and at the very worst make you hypothermic. The minute I get cold the enjoyment has gone from my day's fishing as I will be concentrating on keeping warm rather than the fishing.
Me on a very cold day and you can see that I am happy sitting there in the cold conditions.
I started wearing the Palm Tsangpo suit at the begining of the year and instantly fell in love with it, its exactly what we need from our thermal gear and has handled some testing conditions, down to –3° C and even -8° on one occasion on the River Loughor fishing for flatties. It's comfortable to wear, feels quite light and keeps you warm which is what I want from a suit. It's made from Palm's Core 4 material, the warmest in the range, but you wouldn't think it when you pick it up or put it on as it quite light and not too bulky as other suits I have owned or seen. A good undersuit or baselayer should be of a high wicking material, so it can work with your breathable drysuit to expel as much vapour as possible, and the Tsangpo does just that.
The 3D cut with flatlocked seams looks great on and is a superb fit, it has a chest pocket which is ideal for keeping your keys or other valuables, the full length zip actually goes down to a good level when you need the toilet unlike my other suit which is a little high and was a struggle at the best of times.
The fabric has a smooth touch on the outside with a nice warm pile on the inside, the cuffs have thumb holes to keep the sleeves in place there is nothing worse that the sleeves rising up when you put your drysuit on,
So after a good few outings with this suit I can honestly say that its fit for purpose and does what it says on the tin, a very comfortable suit to wear all day and although it is meant to keep you warm you do not overheat in it. My only bugbear with the suit is the legs, I have short legs and just wish they would do a suit to fit my leg length apart from that its an outstanding bit of kit that realy needs to be looked if your thinking of buying a new or your first undersuit this winter.
For the ladies (I have not modeled it) you need to look at the Trisuli suit, its the same suit with the added drop seat for relief.
First off all we need layers, the colder it is the more layers you need, make sure they are high wicking material, the same stuff as the runners/joggers use, very thin but very effective, not bulky to wear either, one baselayer under the Tsangpo suit in extremely cold conditions should be OK. Don't wear cotton or normal T-shirts as this will keep the moisture on your skin and can turn you very cold very quick.
Second, choose a good, highly breathable outer shell. A good drysuit to go over your thermal gear is the best option, the Aleutian has been a godsend with its hood which keeps the biting wind off my neck and head.
Third, take care of your extremities. Paddling, and fishing, we've got plenty to keep our hands busy, but warm feet can keep your comfort levels high. Choose a couple of pairs of socks, I now own the Palm Kosi socks, made of the same stuff as the Tsangpo suit, quite a good match for the winter months. And you'll want a good pair of boots, I use the Palm Kolas, very warm for the cold waters if you like to hang your legs over the side while at anchor. And don't forget your head gear, any thermal hat is the simplest thing you can add and remove as conditions change. I know its a Palm item again but I love the Kosi hat! I've had a few of these over the years, some gone to Davie Jones' locker, but they're a firm favourite. Some people wear gloves but I don't wear any, I keep my hands warm in the pile lined pockets of the Kaikoura PFD.
Stay safe this winter and make sure you stay warm as this is the key to a good day fishing afloat, Ed.
Here is another quick little edit of my adventures along the road :) Episode 4 shows a bit of touring around Canada and the United States of America.
If you missed Episode 3, the Grand Canyon, Colorado River you can check it out here.
At the beginning of autumn each year, manufacturers and retailers from the global paddlesport industry meet in Nuremberg, Germany to unveil what's new in paddling for the upcoming year. Paddle Expo was a great show this year, with lots of exciting new stuff, and we're really proud to have won the 'Coolest Gear of the Show' award for the new Gradient boots. The new products will start arriving in shops from December, through the new year and into spring 2015, so stay posted or subscribe to our newletter at the bottom of the page for product news as they arrive.
Three things you should do to every whitewater boat.
Water is a kilo per litre, so two thirty litre airbags in your boat means about sixty kilos less boat to rescue!
We're all between swims – airbags will help minimise the damage
Airbags provide vital extra buoyancy should your boat end up in the water without you. Airbags should be tied in (to your seat) and fit snugly (we make a whole family of sizes to help with that). If you, like me, have short legs and lots of space in front of your footrest, consider putting airbags up front too. Even with only a small space in front of your footrest you might be able to squeeze in a partially deflated kids plastic football. Every kilo counts and buoyancy in your bow will help.
The Heavy Weight float bag family from Palm
Palm’s range of airbags fit perfectly inside modern whitewater kayaks. The dimensions of our 30 litre float bag have been adjusted to fit snugly in today's larger creek boats like the Mamba 8.6. The 15 litre float bag has been updated to better suit the stern space of modern playboats like the Jitsu. The 25 litre float bag is still our longest float bag, which is great for old school and longer boats like the Green. We've added dump valves to the 30 and 25 litre bags, so that you can deflate and pack away these larger float bags much more easily.
To prolong the life of your float bags: First, take them out of your boat occassionally to let them dry and to clear any sand, grit and river detritus that has built up in the bilges of your kayak. Second, don't leave them permanently fully inflated. Let a little air out before you put your kayak away, and top them up with a couple of breaths when you're about to go paddling, that way they will not be under constant pressure, and should they warm up in the sun, they won't be over stretched.
First, set your seat position, this usually means having your centre of gravity at the kayak’s mid point (or centre of floatation). Too far forward and your nose will tend to catch and bury itself, too far back and the tail will become catchy and your nose will ride way up in the air when surfing. As a rough guide, when floating on flat water in an upright position, your kayak’s nose and tail should be about the same distance from the water.
Up, down, forward backwards – take take the time to get this right.
The height of your seat also changes things drastically with only a few centimetres difference. Extra height will give you more forward reach and more leverage, but balance will feel a little twitchier. To increase your seat height, insert a layer or two of foam under your seat pad. Dagger's Contour Ergo system also features a leg lifter strap to support your thighs and get that rally driver's bucket seat feel.
With you seat positioned, it's time to set up your hip pads, thigh grips, and backrest. Good points of contact with your kayak will help you to control your boat at extreme angles and should hold you firmly in place whether upside down, on your side, or bouncing between the two. Hip pads, thigh grips, and backrest should be supportive, but you'll know it's too tight if you start to get pins and needles. In my opinion, the Dagger hip pad kit is the best there is, with two retaining straps and velcro backing, it's an easy addition to improve any make or model of kayak.
Small changes to your backrest setup can also have a marked effect, especially for longer days out. Your backband should be supportive and stiff, without causing discomfort. It should promote your upright, slightly forward, active paddling position, and sit low on your back so it doesn't immobilise your spine (can you still lean against the back deck or rotate your torso fully?). Loosening the upper cockpit rim straps and tightening the lower strap that holds the backband to the seat will help keep your backband low and also prevent that unfortunate ass-pinch! Most modern backrests come with adjustable ratchet systems, but if not you can often retrofit one. The Dagger Freestyle Backband is simple, strong and another simple upgrade to any make or model of kayak.
Hips, back and bum – padded, but still firmly supported.
For effective forward paddling, a good footrest is vital. Creek boats should have a full plate footrest which ensures there are no gaps for your feet to slip through, and plenty of foam padding to cushion you from full-on frontal crashes. Our playboats come with stackable foam blocks, which are really easy to adjust.
A full plate footrest should leave no gaps for your feet to slip through
Ideally your footrest should be angled to support your heels as well as the ball of your foot. It's a good idea to add small foam wedges for your heels to rest on. Even if you have big feet, very little room in the bow, or inflexible ankles, adding heel blocks can help to reposition your feet to make paddling a whole lot more comfortable.
Dagger's Creek and River spec expanding foot cups make adjusting your foot plate a breeze
Take some time to get these three things right and your time on the water will be safer, comfier, and much more fun. Now I'm all set for some winter paddling, let's hope for a rainy one. See you on the water!
PS Don't expect any help rescuing your boat if it doesn't have airbags.
PPS This is all much more effective if you don't cut big holes in your kayak beforehand.
Started by Scott Reinders on Monday.
Started by Shanna Gachen Jul 7.