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The 2017 Immersion Research 7 Figure Dry Suit

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For 2017 season Immersion Research launched their updated 7 Figure dry suit, which in IR’s range is their highest performance dry suit. With IR comparing the suit to ‘running shuttles in a luxury sedan’ and ‘making you feel like a million bucks on the water’. I could not wait to try one out.

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I have been using the previous 7 figure and was very impressed, so was keen to see how they could improve an already great suit. Form the start of 2017 I was lucky enough to get my hands on one and have been wearing it ever since. Whether it’s for white water, freestyle or coaching, the 2017 7 figure has been my go to piece of equipment. The 3 layer 100% pcw recycled polyester has held up extremely well and keeps me dry even when used day to day for work.

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There are a few noticeable changes to the 2017 model which I could see as soon as I got it out of the packet. Firstly, is the colourway. With green being my favourite colour I naturally went for the Lime Punch/ Black Iris, which not only looks rad in photos it’s also super bright making it easy to be seen (this is great for safety and making sure I can be seen by clients). I found on the previous model the white on the arms could look dirty after time. This has been solved with the introduction of the black iris being used instead of white.

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The second change I noticed straight away was the wrist construction. Gone was the Velcro from the previous model and in was the volcano style neoprene overcuffs, not only looking smart but making the suit super easy to get on and off over the wrists.

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IR have also introduced a handy chest pocket perfect for storing my waterproof key in making sure I never leave it behind on a shuttle, which has happened on many occasions prior to this suit.

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The next substantial change I found with the suit was once I put the suit on. The cut has changed from the 2016 model. Giving the suit a closer feel. I have a medium in both and have found the 2017 model to have less bagginess under the arms for a more athletic feel, but still having adequate space for my IR Union Suit to fit underneath and not being too tight.

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I have been happy how the first 6 months have gone with the suit. It’s been hardwearing enough for long days coaching and durable enough to withstand walk ins to rivers, but still gives me the flexibility for freestyle and creaking in, while keeping me dry. Good job! Immersion Research you have made yet another great product. I will keep you posted on how the suit is doing after a year’s use.

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Catch you on the water.

Alex

 

 

 

 

The Jackson Kayak Antix brings the fun back to your local run’s

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The Antix is the latest creation from Jackson Kayak, this boat is described by Jackson as “a new creeking/river running kayak that is fun, easy to paddle, runs the river like a dream but with some groove in the hull design to allow for continual play all the way down!” (www.jacksonkayak.com)

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So I have been using the new Jackson Kayak Antix for the last few months down in Devon and it does not disappoint. This boat turns quickly, squirts, spins and splats rocks like a dream! While still being able to get you down the river with ease.

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I normally paddle the large zen and I sit at the bottom of the weight category so have lots of volume so with the Antix I decided to go for a medium as I sit at the top end of the weight and wanted the boat to feel more sporty. The slicey stern makes it easy to stern-squirt  and rock splat adding more fun to my local runs. With the fuller bow this boat is not only about spins and squirts but it has the volume up front to get you down the river.

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I have used this boat on most of my local runs and it never disappoints to put a smile on my face, it’s definitely one of my go to boats at the moment.  If you are looking to spice up your local run, the Antix is well worth a spin.

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Alex

First Paddle of 2017

With the lack of water to start the year we finally had a little bit of rain so myself and Chris headed to our local run to have some white water fun!

The Dart is a great place for practising skills and running different lines. It never disappoints and you always get off the water with big smiles.

A perfect way to start the year off! Below are some photos of the run down.

See you on the water,

Alex

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10 Years with Square Rock

This year has been another great year for kayaking for me. I got the chance to travel to the Outdoor Mix Festival in France with Mathieu Dumoilin, head to Hurly, and Cardiff White Water Centre for freestyle, and to top it off, took a trip to Scotland in November. While, of course, also managing to fit in some fun runs down some of my local rivers.

I was planing on doing a year review and a video when I realised that this year has been my tenth year paddling for Squarerock. So, I thought I would go through some of my footage over the last few years and put a together short film with some photos of the fun I have had over the last ten years kayaking for the guys at Squarerock.

I would like to say a big thank you to Aaron and Rhona for the support, let’s see what the next ten years have to offer!

White Water Weekend on the Upper Dart

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This weekend we finally had some rain in the South West and both myself and Chris thought we would take full advantage of a little water in the rivers. The Upper Dart is one of my local rivers and it does not matter how many times I have paddled it you know your going to have a good time! We even got a lap today in the sunshine. Check out below some of my Go Pro shots of the fun times we had on the river.

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Scotland 2016

 

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So it was that time of year when Myself and Pete headed to Scotland for some white water action. This year we were joined by fellow team Squarerock paddler Nick Williams for some Scottish stomping.

 

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Scotland is such a great place for any outdoor enthusiast with mountains, lochs and amazing views, but we’ve headed there for the wide variety of rivers and waterfalls which make for some great kayaking adventures.

 

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This year due to low water levels we spent most of the week kayaking in the amazingly beautiful Etive valley.

 

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The Etive valley is the host to some fantastic rivers that can be paddled in different levels, making this a perfect location for some low water boating. During the week we had some fun runs down the Etive and some of its tributaries including the Allt A Chaorainn and the Allt Mheuran. Both these tributaries have amazing views and some nice slides and drops providing some low water entertainment and a chance for us to practice a little down river freestyle.

 

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At the end of the week we had a little rain so we took full advantage and got some great laps in on the Etive.

 

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Even though the water levels were not in our favour we all still had a really good time on and off the water, with the opportunity to paddle with friends and to explore some of the Mountains Scotland has to offer.

 

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See you on the water,

Alex

Bank Holiday and Flat Water Freestyle

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The sun is out this weekend and with the lack of water in the rivers I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get out in my playboat for a bit of Flat water freestyle. So  I grab my  Jackson Kayak Rockstar and my Sandiline shorty dry cag and head out on the water.

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It been great being on the water in the sun, But I can’t wait for the white water session to start down here in the South West, and we have already started to plan this winters trips.

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See you on the water

Alex

 

France 2016 Road Trip and Outdoor Mix Festival

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For the last two years we have done trips to Italy, this year we decided to do something a little different.

OutdoorMix festival – France

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This year we decided to check out the OutdoorMix festival in France, after being invited by Mathieu Dumoulin to compete in the extreme river race. We thought it would be good to have a go at racing and enjoy the other sports going on.

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OutdoorMix is basically an extreme sports and music festival. So lots of different sports during the day such as, kayaking, slacklineing, bmxing, longboarding and more! The evenings were party time, with the music side of the festival starting at 7pm going on till 3am for the ones that love the party.

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We split the journey up by stopping off on the way at a little Whitewater course called Saint Pierre De Boeuf. Straight away we loved this place! It had two nice freestyle spots, just took a bit of practising to work out where the deep spots were.

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We had a great time at the course getting back into proper freestyle kayaking and practising some new moves.

OutdoorMix started on Friday 13th May, with the first kayaking event being a sprint race, with the top 32 competitors going forward into the boatercross. With no previous race experience, and having only paddled the section once, about 20 minutes before, it is fair to say we didn’t come in the top 32, but we still had a great time on the water as well as watching the other competitors race.

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The next day we thought we would chill out in the sun and check out some of the other sports going on in the event. We also managed to have a go at standup paddle boarding on the lake. We also thought we would try some slacklineing, as they had various lines set up on the trees, and also across the lake. As we were in board shorts already, we thought we would try one over the lake.We got wet. A lot. But it was great fun!

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That evening we thought we would hit up the party as we had been told they were meant to be really good, and they weren’t wrong! Great music and a great atmosphere.

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We liked doing some freestyle on the white water course we stopped at so much, we decided we would skip the last part of the festival and go back there. The next morning we packed up camp had a little walk around the festival again, then started the 4 hour drive.

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We got there in good time so were able to get a good few hours paddling in that day as well as a full solid day the next day. By the end of it we had both learnt some new things and refined our freestyle paddling some more.

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It was then time for the big journey home with Aaron and Rhona from Squarerock kindly letting us stop at there to continue the journey the following day.

We had a great time in France, and look forward to another trip there to explore some more of the rivers available.

Big thanks to Hatherleigh Motor Services for lending us their wicked T4 van for the trip!

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See you on the water

Pete and Alex