Archive for the 'News' Category
 

The Trip

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

When we got a first email from Will and Beverly, from the North Skye Kayak Club in Scotland, we never imagined that we would have that much in common. They asked if they could join us on our training sessions along the Belgian coast to see how we are doing things, and also to meet the NORTHSEAKAYAK-team. We think that Scotland has sent out their most friendliest inhabitants, there was immediately a good connection between us! Upon their arrival in Belgium we chose to do a variety of training sessions in the four days of their stay. On the first day, we did an offshore trip to the marine farm in front of Nieuwpoort. We combined that with some rescue exercises along the way. The second and third day we did a typical “harbour-training” in Nieuwpoort. It’s a perfect venue to teach/learn a variety of skills. We did balance exercises, trained on self-rescue and assisted rescue techniques. With all the palisades, docks, mooring stations and boats it also makes a good spot to train on boat-control . We use them to paddle around in order to train the different steering strokes while being in a safe environment. We saved the best for last, the fourth and last day we had perfect surfing conditions. The swell was good, and the waves steep but not too high. We gave an explanation on the behaviour of the waves, the wave sets and how to paddle trough the surf and back. Being on a wave, gaining speed and rushing back to the beach is one of the most exciting things you can do with a sea kayak. We think that those smiles we got during the visit of our Scottish friends will stay on for a longer period of time. We hope to visit them in the future, on the beautiful Isle of Skye!!

Anglesey Stacks trip with P&H dealer Manu Redureau

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

On Sunday 27 August P&H dealer Manu Redureau, of Bekayak, Brest, France, joined me for a blast around the Stacks.  This trip also gave Manu the opportunity to try out the Delphin MKII Corelite X in rough water conditions.

Our journey took us from Porth Dafarch to North Stack and back – similar to the route shown below from the ‘Welsh Sea Kayaking: Fifty Great Sea Kayak Voyages’ book.  We enjoyed surf and rough water at Penrhyn Mawr, followed by some small surf at South Stack before lunch on the rocks in Gogarth Bay – the seal pupping season from August to November precluded us from using the beaches.  After lunch we returned to Porth Dafarch by closely following the coastline and exploring lots of channels, arches, caves and rock gardens.  The journey was both fun and a great work out.  Thanks for a great day out Manu!

Geth Roberts, www.seakayakingwales.com

Penrhyn Mawr

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South Stack

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Wen Zawn and Cathedral Arch

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A smaller Gogarth Bay arch

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Below Elen’s Castle

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Abraham’s Bosom

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The Sea Wanderers III

Monday, March 13th, 2017

I have a question. Why do you go paddling?  I asked myself that very same question years ago.  Years ago my answer was because of the sports, the adventure, the close contact with nature…  Now my answer has slightly changed.  I kept telling myself that I’m addicted to sea kayaking, that I needed the workout and the companionship of my teammates.  That is maybe not the whole truth.  Those reasons are merely a cover up for what is maybe the real reason.  I’m addicted to the sea…  Do you think that a fisherman sails the seas his whole life just to catch fish…?  It’s that attraction I think….  That counts for us also.  We are sea wanderers!  We love to be in the salt water, for so called rescue drills!  Yeah right!  While sea kayaking we spend perhaps more time in the water than in our craft.  And the smiles, that’s an extra!

Pollution (Plastic Soup – Marine Litter)

Monday, February 27th, 2017

As a sea kayaker I’m often confronted with pollution. On my many trips I encounter a variety of marine litter. The things I recover the most are balloons, Styrofoam, fishing nets, toys (especially during the summer months), plastic bags, tin cans and bigger things. I’m hoping to convince others to take the initiative of collecting garbage, and to put it where it belongs; in the bin! I know I’m not alone, I’m certainly not the only one doing this on a regular base, but there’s much work to be done. We also have to change our mind set and way of life. We have to stop using that amount of plastic in our daily lives. I made this video with the footage of years filming and photographing, in order to shove it under the noses of those who are thinking that there is nothing wrong! We have to take care of our playground, it’s full of life and beauty. The only thing that is missing sometimes is the will to act! So don’t think, but DO!

 

Wetwork 5

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

This is the fifth “Wetwork” video that we have made so far. We want to take you with us on open water, surf sessions and other stuff that can make you wet! It’s good to share the vibe, and we hope you enjoy it. Nothing world-shaking but honest footage from our spring and summer sessions. See you on the water!

 

 

What Does Brexit Mean for the Kayaking Industry?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The British public have spoken, and they’ve elected to leave the European Union.

The full effects of Brexit are yet to be seen, and this resultant uncertainty in the UK’s political climate has led to a significant fall in the value of the Pound in relation to both the Dollar and the Euro.

For non-UK manufacturers, this means their products have become much more expensive when imported to the UK market, whereas our products (proudly made in the UK since 1971) have remained at the same price to our UK customers, and are now even better value to those in the US, EU and further afield.

However, this won’t last; although we manufacture all of our products in the UK, many of the raw materials and much of the packaging are oil-based, and as oil is traded in Dollars, the cost of these is sure to rise in the next few months once our pre-agreed contract pricing comes to an end.

If you’re asking yourself, ‘Is now the right time to buy a kayak?’, the answer is a resounding yes, as no one can predict by how much prices of the raw materials that go in to a kayak will rise, but as the margins we make on them is minimal, these price rises are sure to affect the consumer.

There has never been a better time to buy a British Canoe or Kayak, check out the P&H Sea Kayaks range now.

P&H Consistency, Flat Earth Sails and Much Deserved Respect

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

About two weeks ago I came to another difficult point in my life where I had to sell another one of my precious P&H kayaks. I’ve done this about 3 times now over the past 5 years and it never gets any easier with the only bright side being the thought it was not only going to a good home but also knowing that 6-12 months from now I will own yet another fine watercraft from P&H with new colors, a new seat and whatever other awesome thing they have come out with. I started kayaking in a Venture Skye 17, an older version of the current Easky 17 from P&H’s little brother Venture Kayaks. I did things with that kayak at the time that, looking back, I wonder how I made it but it started my future of sea kayaking. I have since owned 3 Cetus LV’s a Capella 163 and what looks to be a 4th in the works as selling the last was only to fund the next.

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So in my sad Cetusless world I find myself taking out the Capella 163, which I coincidentally enough just thew one of the new P&H distributed Flat Earth Sails and it has created a whole new level of fun to the kayak. Rigging took more time looking at the deck making the commitment to drill a hole than to do the rest. The sail and all hardware looked really high quality and I was sailing that day. It has really been a blast and has added to the speed of the Capella. I was worried about a sail on a skeg boat but it works fantastically. After doing a full day sea kayak lesson in the Capella (2011) today I was just blown away at how versatile it had become but more so how incredibly sound all of my P&H family boats have been over the years and the craftsmanship of every single one of them. I have taken these kayaks all over the place and put them to the test and never have a I felt the “this boat can’t handle this” syndrome.

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So for now I get to go through the process of dreaming up options for the next Cetus LV and wonder if a sail with meet that as well……

 

Hammer – Reveiw from the Woodmill Sea Symposium

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Woodmill Sea Symposium 6-7th July, 2013.

Test report: P&H Hammer.

I’ve been going to the Woodmill Sea Symposium ever since the first one three years ago. Being fortunate enough to work there as a volunteer coach also means I get to try out the centre’s demo fleet.

However, it’s always nice to see P & H come to visit us so you can see what their latest offerings are. Even better when you can have a paddle of it and put a boat through it’s paces.

Despite arriving early for trip leader & back up coach briefing I managed to find myself looking short changed on the boat front. Our trip leader Pete Brown had jokingly replied that I could always paddle around Hayling Island (our particular trip ) in a Burn!? Many a true word spoken in jest it seemed. I went over to the P & H rep Jim Pearce who kindly stepped in & pointed to a new “ Hammer”.  I looked over to a yellow/ mustard coloured boat that looked like someone had taken a Burn stretched it, added hatches, deck lines & a skeg & then put a Connect system in for good measure.

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So what’s it like? Well actually very comfortable, stable & tracks quite well without using the skeg. The kayak itself has a fairly pronounced rocker at the front; not unlike a river runner. The bow is softly rounded & you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a white water kayak. Following back towards the cockpit the manufacturers have thoughtfully put two recesses for resting the ends of your split paddles into. A little further on is a forward hatch with more than enough space to store a fair amount of kit. The deck elastics continue on before you arrive at the cockpit. I found that the deck elastics were ample enough to keep a tight grip on my splits & still hold my pump & water bottle. The cockpit is a keyhole shape & I found that my keyhole size spray deck fitted on comfortably without the usual dramas you sometimes get with stretching your deck over. The seat is a standard Pyranha type with the connect system for ratcheting up the tension on the back rest & ensuring a snug fit into the thigh braces. A white water type footplate with the alloy runners & plastic nuts for adjustment is there for giving your feet something to brace against.

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Behind you is a day hatch; with loads of space more deck elastics & then another hatch for gear stowage. Interestingly the fore & aft have been fitted with river boat type grab handles as well as the toggle grip on the ends that you would expect to find on sea kayaks. Top marks to P & H on this one as it certainly made portages up & down the beach easier. The hull is a planning type with a skeg recess towards the rear. Again the end of the hull here has been given rocker but in a more subtle way.

I have to be honest & say that initially I was privately having a few misgivings as seeing that everyone else was in a traditional style sea boat I realised that I was probably going to have my work cut out keeping up. I also got a few little off the cuff remarks about my new sea kayak playboat!

Well I’m always up for a challenge to try something new & the old adage about not judging a book by it’s cover is ever true. The Hammer did not disappoint. I was told by Jim the P & H rep that what the Hammer had been designed for was rock hopping, playing in the surf & for being able to get in & out of caves without the usual reverse in or trying to swing the boat around in a confined space with water that may be falling & rising with the swell.

Photo courtesy of Karl Midlane.

Photo courtesy of Karl Midlane.

 

First impressions? This is a comfortable boat that you could put a reasonable amount of distance in without the usual little niggles or cramps that I’ve had with other manufacturer’s boats. You could do a day trip in this boat with long periods before you had to get out & stretch your legs. On launching through a gentle swell I found the Hammer to be very stable with none of the slight twitchiness that some sea kayaks have. This includes following along the coast with a beam on sea; a situation that for some novices is not always comfortable to be in.

The weather for the trip could not have been better.  There was a gentle swell off the coast where we launched & virtually no breeze. Interestingly I noticed that my cadence rate for paddling was no greater than that of my fellow paddlers. I’ve usually found that experience has shown me that if I’m not comfortable in a boat I usually know within the first thirty minutes or so. At this point I was still comfortable & enjoying the Hammer. On entering the harbour mouth to Langstone the usual squadron of jet skiers & holiday boaters were there to meet us with varying degrees of wash to play on. I was now starting to see what the Hammer was all about as I gleefully bounced over the first wave to execute a low brace turn with a surprising turn of speed for a longer boat. Images of surfing larger waves & pulling off surfing type tricks were starting to form in my mind. No such luck in Langstone harbour! But you can’t have everything. The kayak edges & turns easily & would give confidence & comfort to the beginner.

Another hour or so of paddling placid water, albeit with a slight tidal flow working against us didn’t seem to be causing me to work harder than anyone else. In fact the ability to turn quickly in this kayak is an advantage when you have novice paddlers with you & may have to effect a prompt rescue. This didn’t get put to the test on the day, but I got the impression that the Hammers stability would make it ideal for this task.

I swapped with Jim after the lunch break as he hadn’t paddled it before & he wanted to test the Hammer for himself. Somewhat regretfully I found myself paddling Jim’s Cetus MV; a boat which I do like. I’d paddled the Hammer for half of the trips 22km & was pleasantly surprised with it’s abilities & comfort.

Making our way through Chichester harbour back towards the open sea I noticed that Jim was having no trouble keeping up with the group. When we found a nice big sandbar with breaking waves to play on & I watched Jim surf on the wave & then pull off turns on the downward face with such ease, I was envious. Don’t get me wrong I was also having a great time in the Cetus, but you need greater input to achieve the same effects on the wave.

This is the sort of situation where the Hammer comes into it’s own. For me this would make a great day trip boat with the ability to keep up with the pack for the shorter distances. I wouldn’t see myself doing long open water crossings or week long expeditions maybe; but a couple of days wouldn’t be a problem with the roominess of the hatches fore & aft makes short trips a possibility. This would also make a good boat to put a novice sea kayaker in to build confidence & ability. Another thought was as a coaching boat when out with absolute beginners because of it’s swift turning abilities. Unfortunately I have had nothing else to compare the Hammer against as a bench mark for comparison purposes. Possibly because it’s quite unique within the sea kayak world; the nearest comparison I could come up with would be the Rockhopper made by RTM.

Photo courtesy of Ben Lawry
Photo courtesy of Ben Lawry

Like all things in life it’s horses for courses. If you can afford a traditional sea kayak as well as the Hammer for playing in then you’ve got the best of both worlds. However, if you don’t want to do multi day expeditions, but do a couple of days away, still keep up with your mates, but have the advantage of quick manoverabilty when it’s playtime out on the sea, then the Hammer may just be what you’re looking for. I was certainly impressed & if funds allowed I would buy one.

Pete Sarginson – Volunteer Coach at Woodmill Outdoor Activity centre.

 

 

East Coast Kayaking

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

The East coast is alive with paddlers. Christopher Lockyer www.committed2thecore.com

Well it has been a busy spring for all the P&H team members.  I have been fortunate to paddle in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Fundy in the month of May.

South Island Sea Kayak Association  http://www.siska.ca/

I had the pleasure to work with SISKA on a number of paddling sessions while I was in Victoria.  It was great to have 30 plus enthusiastic paddlers out on the water during the sessions.  I got to see some great paddling area, Baynes Channel, Trial Island and Race Rock area. Team Member Matt Nelson and I went out to Trial Island for a fun paddle.

Matt Nelson and I hit up Trial Island for a nice little paddle in Victoria area

Matt Nelson and I hit up Trial Island for a nice little paddle in Victoria area

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Great bald eagle.

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Trial Island Lighthouse

Pacific Paddle Symposium http://www.pacificpaddlingsymposium.ca/

Right after working with SISKA I was off to the Pacific Paddle Symposium. This is a new paddle symposium on Vancouver Island.  It is the newest symposium for Paddle Canada.  Janette and her crew sold this event out in a little over 12 days.  The event took place at Pearson Collage. The area had so many options for an event like this.  Race Rock one of the most exposed tide races on the Vancouver Island was going to be used by plenty of the session during the event. We had plenty of fun during the event.  Friday was a coach update fun day, Saturday and Sunday were a mix of sessions on and off the water.

End of the day review

End of the day review

Matt Nelson taking it all in

Matt Nelson taking it all in

Fun and games in boats

Fun and games in boats

Instructor development day.

Instructor development day.

A talented coach and an up and comer for sure. I will be back on Vancouver Island in October and I can’t wait to see the pacific in Fall mode with a little more energy.

MEC Paddlefest Toronto and Halifax

MEC has been running Paddlefest for many years. It started in Toronto and has spread across the country.  I was invited by Erik to take part in the Instructor development program that would run at Harbor Front on Friday.  We had a great turnout of 20 or so Paddle Canada instructors. The aim was to share some new idea about SUP, Kayaking and Canoeing.

I was only able to attend day of of Paddlefest but it turned out to be a great day. Plenty of eager students and people walking around looking at gear and boats. The P&H crew was there Kelly Blades, David Johnson and Erik Ogaard. The event was very well organized. MEC Paddlefest will be in Halifax on June 16th.

MEC Paddlefest Toronto booth

SUP portion of that instructor development day

SUP portion of that instructor development day

CN Tower with David Johnson

CN Tower with David Johnson

Coastal Adventure Kayakers Meeting

After jumping on the plane at 8:00 pm in Toronto I got home repacked and headed down to Tangier Nova Scotia to take part in day two of the Coastal Adventures Kayakers meeting.  After hearing the stories from Day one I was kind of glad to have missed the driving rains and winds they experienced.  We spent the morning working on skills development and then heading out for a little rock hopping session in the afternoon. The swell was kicking up which provided a great deal of energy for us to play.

photo by Ryan Brake

Watching the swell – photo by Ryan Brake

photo by Ryan Brake

photo by Ryan Brake

 Sea you out there

Christopher Lockyer – Committed 2 the core Sea Kayak coaching  We need the sea because it teaches us.

 

The Mississippi Challenge 2013 – May Madness

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The next instalment from Sam and the Mississippi Team who set off on June 5th.
Find them on Face book HERE
And the web HERE

 

 


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