Gear

Anything that's 3D printed is just awesome in my books. Doesn't matter if it's this thing or that thing, it's awesome. Leave it up to Jim Smith over at Grass Roots Engineering to take things to the next level with his latest project, a 3D printed sea kayak.
For me, the worst part about paddling in the winter is the cold hands. It seems that no matter what I try my thumbs are always unhappy inside of 30 minutes. To help address the problem, UK wetsuit manufacturer, Ianovated has come up with a unique wetsuit design with an integrated breathing tube to deliver hot air directly to your hands. The idea is that when your fingers get cold, all you need to do is blow into the tube and deliver a stream of hot air. The manufacturer says it works well with both gloves and open palm mitts. So far the wetsuit has been marketed towards the wind surfing community but I think it could easily be used for paddling due to its loose fit above the waist for freedom of movement. To keep the top from filling up with water it has a neoprene gasket that you can tighten. Here is a quick video of the suit in action. Right now Ianovated has a deal going on where all their suits are £250 ($415US). You can also give the new suit a try for six weeks and if it doesn't work out you can return it for any reason. That's a pretty generous offer. More info: ianovated.co.uk Photo credits: ianovated
Monday, 02 September 2013

P&H Hammer Surfing Test

Simon Osborne from Sea Kayaking Cornwall in the UK got a hold of the P&H's new Hammer sea kayak and took put it through the wringer recently out in the surf. The new P&H Hammer is a new rough water play boat that takes heavy inspiration from the P&H Delphin and the Pyranha Fusion with a dash of white-water kayak design thrown in for good measure. What you end up (as you can see in the video) is a boat that is extremely comfortable in both surf and rough water. It looks like a whole lot of fun. Click through for the full video below:
If you are one of those paddlers who have looked in envy at UK sea kayakers with those funny white stickers on their boat covered in chicken scratch writing then you will be pleased to know the Bryan Hansel from paddlinglight.com has developed his own set of kayak deck slates and is now selling them. If you have no idea what I’m talking about that's ok. Kayak deck slates are basically two vinyl stickers that are positioned just ahead of your cockpit which provide a good writing surface for notes to yourself using a grease pencil. Paddlers on tidal waters can keep track of daily highs/lows or current on the left slate while the right one blank making a perfect location to keep track navigation, weather observations or if you are teaching, student names, notes or a rough lesson plan. The deck slate is printed on 3.5 millimetre vinyl so you know it’s durable. It has also been coated for UV resistance so it shouldn’t fade for some time. Bryan is offering the slates with a Listo grease marking pencil for $24.99 or $19.99 without. Take my advice and get the pencil version. It's one of the good plastic barrel versions and not the paper wrapped ones you see at your local Home Depot. I proved a couple of years ago that the paper wrapped grease pencils last about 1 hour into a typical rescue lesson on the water. More info: paddlinglight.comPhoto credits: Bryan Hansel
In an effort to help those who are researching a future kayak purchase the website, findthebest.com recently rolled out a new section specifically for kayaks. Their system makes it really easy to filter the results by category, price, weight or even suggested type of paddler. With each boat they also provide links to stores online where you can purchase the boat online. That being said, don’t forget to also visit to your local paddling shop check out what they offer as well. Buying a boat online isn’t quite the same as purchasing the latest Dan Brown novel. Making sure the boat fits and experimenting how it handles on the water can’t be overstated. To help keep things simple, I embedded the tool directly into the page below. Just click the "Filter" button in the upper right to narrow down the choices. FindTheBest Kayaks
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