Well, it is January and I am on a kayaking trip in Ecuador just now sitting down to write about my kayaking adventures and competitions in Europe from this past summer. Maybe my new years resolution should be writing blog posts a little closer to the event? A little late is better than never right?
This past summer really was one for the books. Climbing in France, kayaking in France, Italy and Norway and guiding trips for Adventures by Disney in Norway. I kayaked some amazing rivers,…Continue
Posted by Laura Farrell on January 15, 2015 at 12:31am
Welcome to the #LongBoatRevolution!
Since kayaking's origin millennia ago what we now consider "longboats" were the norm. Initially utilized by the Inuit, Yup'ik and Aleut people, kayaks were utilized for hunting and fishing. These long kayaks constructed of wood, bone and/or animal skin…
Posted by Todd Wells on January 14, 2015 at 4:00am
It's been three years of drought here in California. Weather channels predict an El Niño winter. This means above average precipitation, but warmer. We certainly seem to be off to that start out here as we just saw over 2" of rain at 7,000' in the High Sierra. While it doesn't do much for the spring, for now it primes the river with early season water. …Continue
Posted by Darin McQuoid on December 3, 2014 at 9:39pm
Posted by Susan Hollingsworth on November 21, 2014 at 1:01pm
Unclimbed peaks, polar bear stew and shifting ice. Ollie Sanders and Liam Flemming braved twenty-five days unsupported sea kayaking and alpine climbing around Cape Farewell, Greenland. Check out Ollie and Liam's thirty minute documentary about their trip.
Olly is no stranger to exploring first ascents in Greenland, check out his Vimeo channel for some more climbs in the north west.
Ollie will be presenting his Artic Dream at Caban, Llanberis on Friday 30th January to promote Welsh sports funding for expeditions.
After arriving home from abroad in early September it was time to start saving for the next mission. I got straight back into work substitute teaching Physical Education and Geography at the local high schools in Rotorua. During this time I got up at 6:30 am each morning before school and joined a few of the local hardcores for ‘six-thirty runs’ which involves a sprint down the river. After school I tried to get in a paddle when possible but also picked up extra jobs serving beer and occasional instructing. Living in Okere Falls is awesome as our local river (Kaituna) is always flowing, its nice and accessible and a short run that if you are in a hurry can be completed in less than ten minutes.
Working at the Okere Falls Store for the Octoberfest.
Boofing Tutea Falls (Kaituna), during the Okere Enduro – photo Bernd Sommers
Wairoa sessions on Sundays :)
Right now it is school holidays so I have been working my second job on a fifty-three foot catamaran that charters around the lake I live next to (Lake Rotoiti). Fitting in paddling around this job is easy as work hours vary between mornings and nights and there is always plenty of time for river runs before and after work.
My boss, he's a badass kayaker and is always flexible with work and kayak events :)
Peeking out of the porthole in one of the cabins
I try to make the most of days off with trips to Taupo to get on Huka Falls and Treetrunk Gorge or the Wairoa River if its a Sunday (it only flows on Sunday).
The second drop of Treetrunk gorge – photo Ryan Lucas
Our Treetrunk Gorge crew :)
Exiting Treetrunk Gorge
With the new year comes new plans and missions to work towards. I am stoked to be able to live somewhere in New Zealand where I can paddle and work allowing me to prepare for more adventures.
At the beginning of last year I received one of Palm's new FXr PFDs to try out. I was sceptical about it as I aready know and love Palm's Luna PFD (now the women's Extrem) but I put it in my bag and took it with me to Norway anyway.
Testing out the FXr in the Timberhole drop on the Raundalselva, Norway
Freedom of movement and flotation: really good, I've used the PFD for kayaking, rafting, sledging, and swimming and have been happy with its performance whether it be from jumping around a raft to swimming into an eddy or lining up for a boof. In the beginning of each season at Voss Rafting Senter we have a 'training day' where our boss Allan Ellard sets some challenging activities in the river and we do our best to survive them. This time it started with flip training; while floating down a fast flowing grade 2 section of rocky whitewater with four guides in each boat we had to flip and re-right the raft five times. This was a good test for my new PFD because some jackets are quite bulky at the front and this can make it hard to get back into the raft. I was happy to find that this wasn't the case with the FXr and in most cases I was able to get up easily onto both the upside down and upright raft and faster than the boys as well. Stoked.
Jordie my model and muse bringing back the burning man
After losing only a few of the crew members we made it out upright
Material: over the summer season in Norway I wore my FXr PFD nearly every day for five months for both kayaking and rafting. I found it is comfortable to wear and I always felt safe wearing it. Some of the photos shown are after I had been using the PFD for a solid eleven months and it is not showing any signs of wear or fade. I was swimming around on the Kaituna last week and despite being worn day in day out and being stuffed into suitcases and carted all around Europe my PFD is still satisfactorily buoyant.
Warm weather jungle paddling
Pockets and other features: the FXr has one big front pocket with some mesh dividers which is big enough to fit three karabiners, a four metre sling, two prussics, a waterproof Olympus camera and a chocolate bar, with a little room left over. The other feature is a knife pocket above the main pocket which happened to perfectly fit my river knife, which is great because it's important to have your knife readily accessible in case you need to pull it out in an emergency. There are also little pockets where the shoulder straps go into the front of the jacket where you can tuck the long ends of the shoulder straps if you're a bit anal-retentive which is a cool little feature but I don't usually bother. The FXr also features a removable chest harness and the shoulder straps come with a load rating of 3.2 kN which is good news if you manage to get yourself into a difficult situation and need to be hauled out.
Visibility: I prefer yellows, oranges and reds for kayaking gear as they are highly visible. I have the sky blue colour and it stands out surprisingly well in whitewater but the PFD also come in red and orange which is awesome.
Pricing: at 119.95 GBP the FXr is one of the cheapest rescue vests on the market (The Stohlquist Descent and Kokatat Guide PFD both cost around 150 GBP and the Yak Hallertau PFD is 140 GBP).
In conclusion: I really like this PFD, it would be great for raft guides and it would be great for any level of kayaker whether you're just learning and swim a lot down those gnarly grade 3 rock gardens or if you're a hard core grade 5 waterfall rider and you want a cheap but reliable PFD 'cause you spend all your money on kayak missions.
This Autmun took me back to sunny Uganda for two and a half months. I spent my time enjoying this fantastic country and river – the White Nile, whilst their I was working for Kayak the Nile. The last time I visited was six years ago, a few years before the completion of the Bujagali dam and we had an epic time. Coming back it was hard to look out over the new lake and let my eyes take in the stillness of where so many awesome rapids had stood for thousands of years. The remaining part of the river is still filled with unique world class rapids and waves, it was a reall joy to be back paddling here and a great classroom to coach in. So many people have had amazing, probably life changing experinces in this unique place. It creates employment oportunity for thousands of local Ugandans in one way or another though adventure tourism. But this remaining part of the river is under threat, from yet another dam. The Isimba dam is getting built in a very illeagale manner – and if it goes ahead it will finish Uganda as a whitewater destination.
Please watch this video that I have made for information on the Isimba project and learn how you can help. Also visit saveadventuretourisminuganda.wordpress.com for more details.
Started by Glenn Leite Nov 6, 2014.
Started by Carl Scarbro Oct 31, 2014.