Easter fun at Nottingham

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With a week off for Easter and little water in Devon I decided to head to Nottingham for a spot of freestyle Kayak. Check out the Photos below

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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!

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

Freestyle Boating at Cardiff White Water Center

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So last weekend was Easter weekend and Chris and I decided to spend the holiday at the Cardiff White Water Center for a bit of freestyle kayaking. The journey up from Cornwall is a bit of a trek but well worth it as it was nice to get back into a playboat following a winter of river running and creeking .

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So it was the perfect opportunity for a bit of practice and have a laugh with some friends. The White Water Center in Cardiff is a great place to brush up on your freestyle skills with some good challenging features.

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It was a great day boating, and even the random rainstorm towards the end of the session didn’t dampen our spirits. I always have fun playing around in my Jackson Kayak Rockstar due to its versatility and its ability to go big while looping. Can’t wait to get back out in it soon!

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Alex

 

Hurly Weir on 3 Gates with the 2016 Rockstar

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With the lack of water down here in the South West it was the prefect opportunity to head up to the Thames Valley for a spot of Hurly on 3 gates with my 2016 Jackson Kayak Rockstar . It was a great day with good levels in the sun what more could you ask for. This boat is so much fun!

Alex

 

Paddle Fest at Cardiff White Water Center

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So last weekend was the Paddle Fest at Cardiff White Water Center run by Canoe and Kayak Store. I headed up from Cornwall to help run the Squarerock stall as Aaron was in Canada for The Worlds Freestyle. It was a great event where there was an opportunity to try out the full range of boats from Jackson and other brands. There was live music, a freestyle competition and ducky race.

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After a full day helping people in and out of Jackson boats and watching them having a great time on the water, I decided to stay the night and paddle the next day. This gave me a great chance to try out the New Jackson Kayaks 2016 Rock Star. From first look this boat is fast on a wave and super easy to cartwheel in a hole. I will do a review when I have paddled the boat more but on first paddle it’s great.

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Thank to the guys at Canoe and Kayak Store for putting on the event, can’t wait for the next one.

Catch you on the water,

Alex

Kit Review: Sandiline Shorty Dry Cagdeck (Pete)

One thing I love about kayaking is being on the water in the sun. Everything just feels a lot better and way more relaxed, none of the annoying shivering, brain freeze or having to keep moving to try stay warm, but best of all, you get to wear a shorty cag!

For some reason I always feel I paddle better in a short sleeve cag, whether that down to the cag, I’m less restricted as I don’t have material all down my arms, or if it’s some physiological thing, I have no idea, but I just seem to paddler better and feel better, and I love it!

I have a Sandiline long sleeve cagdeck and I really like it, and ideally want to stick to a cagdeck if possible, I find them so much better, not having the tight feeling around your waist where you deck is normally. So when the chance for me to get myself a Sandiline short sleeve cag deck came around, I thought I’d jump and the chance and get one. I went for the green, black and white option.

My Tuesday night club session was happening and it had been a nice hot day, so thought I’d try my new purchase and do some flat water freestyle. Just like the long sleeve version, it felt really comfortable to wear, with the latex neck seal keeping my dry and neoprene arm seals which are really easy to get on/off, and still hold the water out. Not once did I feel any water seep in, and I had a great evening on the water, and I will definitely be wearing this throughout the summer.

I’m really happy with this cagdeck, so if you’re on the lookout for a short sleeve cag, I do recommend you give Sandiline a try!

Check out the Video below of my session in my new cag!

See you on the water,

Pete

Kit Review: Sandiline Semi-dry Cagdeck (Alex Read)

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So I have recently got a new cagdeck for the summer the Sandiline Semi-dry cagdeck this is a great cag for the summer and if you dislike uncomfortable latex neck seals then this is the product for you.

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The upper garment is a 4 layer breathable fabric, available in green, blue or pink. With twin neoprene cone shaped Neck seals. Latex inner wrist seal with outer neoprene seal protection.

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The cut of this cag deck is based on the Slightly closer fitting Slalom winter combo I have gone up a size as my Sandiline dry cag deck is a medium but in this cag I have gone for a large. The deck on the cag deck is a more durable whitewater spray deck than the one on the winter slalom combo. The deck is available in Keyhole or big deck with a latex inner coating.

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I have only been using this cag for a week and it is perfect for summer freestyle session on whitewater and flatwater. I have been using it in our sea pool and it’s great as the pool is salt water and due to the twin neoprene neck I do not get any rubbing on my neck. As I use this cag more I will keep you posted on how it is going

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This cag deck is Available here for only £199.00 and if you need more information checkout www.squarerock.co.uk

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See you on the water,

Alex