Archive for May, 2010


A Taste of Italia

I’ve just returned from a fantastic 10 day paddling trip with friends to the Piemonte area of the Italian Alps. Here’s a teaser photo demonstrating some of the super-cool drops on offer…


Photo: Tom on the bottom drop on the Sorba Slides


Customising my Nomad- A riveting read

After reviewing recent photos, I’ve realised that I’m sitting way too low in my new nomad. I wanted to put an 0.5 to 0.75 inch of foam on the seat, but I didn’t want to destroy the outfitting. With other boats, I’ve always pulled up the outfitting and stuck the foam to the seat and replaced the outfitting on top. But the nomad seemed to have rivets on the seat.

After consulting with the folks on UKRGB, it seemed it would be easy to remove the rivets by just pulling gently-it worked. I took off the seat pad, traced around it on an old karrymat and cut it out.


I placed some duct tape on the foam, where the rivets should come through (to stop tears) and made new holes. I then tried to replace to seat pad (with foam underneath) using the same rivet. Nomad says no –> Sad face. The rivets were too small, with the new foam added. I went to screw fix to get new rivets. Screw-fix said no. Then I went to Halfords and guess what- they said yes! Apparently they are car trim rivets.


 Photo: The old (top) and new (bottom) rivets

So that was the seat raised up! Now to waterproofing. This was a trick I learned from my old boating buddy EJ (not Mr Jackson, but Oregon EJ).  Buy some duct tape in the same colour as your boat (Chris managed to find me some at a Chandlers).  Find a friend to help you. Cut up some small pieces. Get your (or your GF/mum/sis/friends) hair dryer and heat up the duct tape. Place over the screws and try to seal while heating with the hair dryer without air bubbles and as neatly as possible. Hey presto a nice watertight boat…hopefully…Italy will tell… :-) only 4 more days till chilling with mates, eating pizza and pasta and drinking fine wine in Campertongo!


(1) cut the peices and heat ‘em up


(2) Cover up the screw and heat more, getting all the bubbles out


(3) Stand back and admire your handy work and reward yourself with a beer!


Cardiff International White Water Centre

I went to check out this great new CIWW facility in my home town, Cardiff. Built by the same team responsible for the Beijing and Sydney Olympic sites and given the build time, I was expecting a lot. Although i didn’t paddle as I was just back from Corsica and was hanging with my parents (who live 3 miles from this place), I was very impressed.

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Photo: The CIWW

The course is circular with some nice rapids…and the piece de resistance was of course the travelator.  The guys are continually adapting the course as they get feedback and as they receive more of the plastic buoys. But so far so good.

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Photo: The CIWW cafe

And theres the cafe to warm up in after a fab session. What you cant see is that the terrace overlooks Cardiff Bay (and all its sail boats). I think my folks will be seeing a lot more of me  than they bargained for this summer.


Woodmill-UHCC demo day

The local canoe shop in Southampton (Woodmill outdoor centre) and Upper Hamble Canoe Club joined forces to host a “demo” day for the UHCC members. On offer were all of Woodmill’s demo fleet including playboats, river-runners, creekboats and sea ‘yaks.


Photo: Paul enoying the new ’10 All Star


Photo: Mal- diggin’ the sea boats on stable ground


Photo: Heather taking the Ammo for a test drive.

There was a good turn out from club members despite the weather being a bit off putting and the weir not working for most of the day.


Photo: UHCC members demo, demo, demo

But we had a tonne of fun on the rollers…


Photo: Paul loving the rollers.


Photos: Rollers-kate :-) in an axiom


Photo: Maria trying  Dagger’s agent.

Boats that I tried-  Playboats: All star 2010 (wicked, fast and super easy to squirt, triple thumbs up-will order soon), Dagger Agent 6.2 (hard to slice nose, short, comfy, might be nice at hurley). Fun (like they peeled the sticker of the old All Star and put the fun sticker on…having paddled the old All Star for the last 3 years Iam probs its biggest fan; so, yes, I adore the 2010 Fun too)

Creek/ river runners. Dagger Axiom (L, fun, oldstyle boat, good river runner, wouldn’t take of big drops but would consider buying). Pyranha Burn (L, super easy to turn on edge, responds really well to duffecks, not quite as fast at nomad, paddles like a playboat, would consider buying). Pyranha Karnarli (fast on flatwater in straight line, harder to turn, narrow, not comfy for me).

I think Chris’ face sums up the day!


Photo: Chris is a happy chappy

Thanks to Kev for organising and to all who came and made it such a fun day. HUGE thanks to Woodmill (and especially Mike) for use of facilities and boats.