Archive for August, 2009


Sea Kayak Training

A competitive runner friend of mine once told me the the key to speed is distance. So, clearly that applies to kayaking (right???). So as part of the training for Etive River Race, we are trying to get in some distance paddling. And we decided on the speediest option for that distance paddling i.e. sea boats.



Photos: Swans, vista, Chris

Heading out in the sea boats from the bark store on the Upper Hamble at Botley we tanked it down to the Jolly Sailor pub for mid paddle refreshments *cue Howards Way music* . Yes, the jolly sailor was a Sunday night regular the great british population on the BBC…not many shoulderpads in the jolly sailor tonight tho…

Photo: Howards Way; Britains answer to Dynasty 

We were treated to local wildlife delights in the form of great blue herons, swans, ducks and even bats- yep the paddle back was mostly dark but thankfully I’d packed a head lamp to help…

Photo: Coming into dock at the Jolly Sailor in Hamble.

Tonight I used the most comfortable stick I’ve ever paddled with. I believe it was a Werner “Ikelos” (but don’t quote me on that). It felt like a had nothing in my hand and it cements my thoughts about Werner being my favourite paddle manufacturer. Anyone want to buy my ATs?


Etive River Race Training

The Etive River Race is the only “extreme” kayak race that is run in the UK. Its been over 1 year since I competed in an “extreme” down river race. I haven’t been doing too much creeking recently  and I havent paddled the Etive (yikes!!). But Chris and I will be going up for some training weekends soon; yippee. I have got back into gym training to help with conditioning and injury prevention and I am trying to implement a fairly committed kayak based physical and mental training schedule. I’m aiming to do the race as a charity fundraiser. Competition team name “HUCK IT AND SEE” is now up on the 2009 competitors list…now if i could just calm the nerves down….Its gonna be AWESOME!!!




Surfing Boscombe

I checked the surf webcam several times today and was excited to see the surf building throughout the day (from flat to 1 foot-woohoo…hey; I’m desperate, what can i say) . As soon as school let out, I called Chris and we headed to Boscombe with my surf boats. I wasn’t really expecting anything much but to my surprise was half decent surf there.

Photo: Me with my two surf babies.

Surf was fun and less crowded to the left of the pier. Chris and I swapped out boats 1/2 way through the sesh. I was going to sell my reflex, but based on today’s session I’m not so sure…It is soooo fast…I love it! One of the really cool things about Boscombe is that you can carry on surfing even when its dark..check out the floodlights.

Photo: Boscombe pier at night.



Just How Many All Stars Does a Girl Need…?

…The answer is one of each…colour, CLEARLY. Looking through some old photos I’ve realised that I’ve owned nearly 1/2 colour in the range, not a bad number of boats to go through in 2 years!

Photo: Where the love affair started;Me in Jesse Coomb’s RED All Star at Spencer’s hole on the N. Santiam, OR, USA

Photo: My BLUE All Star on the Dead Cow Wave, N. Santiam, OR, USA.


Photo: In my GREEN All Star, 24/7 Eugene, OR. Welsh colours :-)

Photo: My PURPLE All Star on Morriston Weirs, UK

Photo: My YELLOW all star about to be Christened in the Pacific Ocean, OR, USA

Having paddled all these colours extensively I can say that I haven’t actually noticed too much differences in size between each boat. Which boat did i like best? Well all of them of course! esp my green one (purely because of the Welsh colours green/red) until it was stolen. Tweekers suck! What colour is next? Whatever I can get in the new 2010 range. Man, that puppy looks sweet.


Woodmill Weir

We are lucky in Southampton to have a fun weir that is so close to where we work and live. This little spot is about 15 min from home and we are taking full advantage of light evenings and warm weather after-work sessions. At present flows I’m digging the far left corner. Its a bit sticky and i love it. Its possible to do the same as the squirt boater below, but get more vertical in a playboat. Here are some photos from a recent sesh.

 Photo: Local squirt boater

This weir works best just immediately after low tide. Its amazing how it varies dependant on how low the low is and how much rain we’ve had. Theres an nice spot on the weir to practice piroettes (and begin to learn the phonics monkey).

 Photo: Tim in my new All Star

Photo: Chris on the weir