Gear

Face it, nothing is quite as frustrating as getting your boat stolen from the top of your car while you are sleeping at a hotel on your way north to the trip put-in. To keep your canoe, kayak or surfboard from walking away; invest in a set of Kanulock stainless steel reinforced straps. For the past couple of months I have been eying them online but since I don’t own a car, I don’t get to experience the joy of tying down boats very often. I finally had the opportunity to play with them this past Spring while teaching a several kayak courses with my good friend Tony Palmer, owner of the paddling shop Undercurrents. Over the 10 days of teaching we hauled boats back and forth to the local lake every day. The Kanulock straps are exactly what you think they are. They are constructed of tubular nylon webbing with two braided stainless steel cables running the length inside the webbing. The wire reinforcement is designed to keep an opportunistic thief away as the straps can’t be cut with knives or scissors while the synch-down cam has a built in lock to make the system even more secure. The first time I tied down a boat I thought that straps would be really stiff but I was pleasantly surprised at how pliable they were. You can easily tie the straps in a knot or loop the ends around the racks to eat up the extra strapping. The Kanulock straps come in three lengths 8 feet, 13 feet and 18 feet and pricing ranges from $79 to $99 so check out your local paddling shop or visit online at kanulock.net.
Kokatat has just announced the fruits of their labour with the recently announced partnership with Eric “E.J.” Jackson and his son Dane. Starting January, 2013, you will be able to purchase the Kokatat Jackson Collection which will include specially designed dry suit, dry-top and shorty dry-top. Everything will be unveiled at Outdoor Retailer in a couple of weeks but they released a couple of sneak peek photos below. As you can see, everything is designed from a whitewater kayaking perspective so most of the bells and whistles (like pockets) that come on their touring gear have been left behind with a focus on sleekness, function and flexibility.  GORE-TEX Icon Dry Suit The new Icon Dry Suit is a tangerine coloured suit with nice graphics on the arm. The most obvious design change (compared to their other suits) is that they moved the entry zipper from across the front of the chest to the back of your shoulder. I don’t know all the reasons for the change but my guess is that it allows the front of the suit to be more flexible and move more comfortably during whitewater tricks.   GORE-TEX Legend Dry Top The new Legend Dry Top has many of the same features and colour pattern as the Icon Dry Suit (minus the pants of course). If you have a tighter budget, the dry-top will also be available in their new Hudrus 3-Layer fabric. More on that below.   Hydrus 3L Mythic Shorty Dry Top The new Mythic Shorty is going to be available in a new material called Hydrus 3L. I don’t know a whole lot of information about Hydrus 3L but it looks like somebody has finally figured out how to make a waterproof breathable nylon material. Here is the description I found: The Mythic shorty, part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection, features Kokatat’s new Hydrus 3L, a three-layer fabric that is exceptionally waterproof and breathable thanks to its super tough Nylon outer layer with a DWR finish, a proprietary polyurethane micro-porous coating, and a soft polyester inner layer to manage moisture. I wrote to Kokatat…
Several weeks ago I had the great pleasure of getting a package in the mail from the watersports clothing manufacturer, SeasonFive. Inside the package I found a short sleeve Barrier Top which is made of a very cool material called Atmos 1.0. SeasonFive markets the Barrier Top as a garment to be worn when it’s to warm for a wet suit but it’s still to cold to go without any type of insulation while on the water. What sets the Barrier Top apart from other insulating tops on the market is their proprietary ultrathin material they call Atmos 1.0. The waterproof, windproof breathable material is designed to fit snugly and provide support for your muscles. I tried this garment out in some very intense testing conditions which included a family vacation (playing with the kids in the ocean and sitting by the pool avoiding my kids) as well as several days out paddling or teaching in a kayak. I will start-off by saying I was quite impressed. The Barrier Top was considerably warmer then I thought it would be based on the thinness of the material. That being said, it doesn’t provide a huge amount of insulation when you go swimming (compared to fuzzy rubber or a wet suit) as water flushes down the neck but it was more then enough for playing around in the water. The fact that it cuts the wind was really nice as it took the chill off as soon as I was out of the water. Since the garment is waterproof and hardly absorbs any water so I also found that it dried quickly. If you are looking for a new top for out paddling in semi-cool conditions check out the Barrier Top from SeasonFive. They are a newer company so their products are only available in a couple of paddling/surfing shops so check their website for your closest dealer. They do sell everything through their website which might be your best bet for purchase. When I first put on the top I found it to be a touch tight for my liking but…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hi-N-Dry Rolling Aid

After writing and scrapping a piece about this, I decided you can make your own conclusions if this is worth the $87.50 they are asking or if it would be better spend putting it into a rolling pool clinic. You can find more info about the Hi-N-Dry here. Thanks to the Bloyd-Peshkin’s at Have Kayaks, Will Travel for the awesome heads-up. Photo credits: Hi-N-Dry
If you have ever dreamed of making customizations to your sea kayak you need to check out Gnarlydog's summary post of every single hack he has made to his boat over the years. You need to check it out as his site is fantastic and always a great read. There are links on the page to articles he has written over the years highlighting his homebuilt electronic pump with magnetic on/off switch or instructions on how to build your own custom fibreglass replacement seat. If you are scared about putting holes in your brand new kayak, just remember it’s only the first hole that really hurts (in theory). Photo Credit: GnarlyDog News

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