The Paddler Early Spring 2019 issue 46

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PADDLER Paddle, portage and play with kids


Minimise the risk

Voyage on

The International magazine for recreational paddlers Issue 46 Early Spring 2019



Into the unknown

INDIAN RIVERS Dave Manby VEYATIE Angela Ward and Adam Evans

A rundown of

Paddling through the jungle

Grab yourself a SUP

Welcome to


24-page early spring issue of


Adventure with less plastic waste Membership survey results Tips for river clean ups


Steve Brooks

SUP experience in the

LOFOTENS Riccardo Marca


Nottingham’s HPP rundown By Mike Shaw

The coach:Transfer of Learning By Dave Rossetter Aqualyte’s new SOT kayak


45 years of NRS

Testing, testing Eight pages of new kit


Ottie Robinson-Shaw in training at Holme Pierrepont. Photo: Mike Shaw Editor

Peter Tranter Tel: (01480) 465081 Mob: 07411 005824

Advertising sales

Anne Egan Tel: (01480) 465081


2b Graphic Design Limited


Canoeing in Algonquin, Canada. Photo: Ray Goodwin

Not all contributors are professional writers and photographers, so don’t be put off writing because you have no experience! The Paddler magazine is all about paddler to paddler dialogue: a paddler’s magazine written by paddlers. Next issue is Late Spring 2019, with a deadline of submissions on March 20th 2019. Technical Information: Contributions preferably as a Microsoft Word file with 1200-2000 words, emailed to Images should be hi-resolution and emailed with the Word file or if preferred, a Dropbox folder will be created for you. The Paddler ezine encourages contributions of any nature but reserves the right to edit to the space available. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishing parent company, 2b Graphic Design Limited. The publishing of an advertisement in the Paddler ezine does not necessarily mean that the parent company, 2b Graphic Design Limited, endorse the company, item or service advertised. All material in the Paddler magazine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction without prior permission from the editor is forbidden.

Issue 46

Early Spring 2019

006 Nottingham’s HPP rundown 012 The coach By Mike Shaw

018 Lightweight, organic & recycled Transfer of Learning by Dave Rossetter

020 Minimise the risk Aqualyte’s new SOT kayak

026 Testing, testing

Safety at sea by HM Coastguard

038 Canada: Algonquin with kids Eight pages of new kit

048 Chile: paddle through the jungle By Ray Goodwin MBE

056 Scotland: voyage on Veyatie By Andi Brunner

067 Canoe Focus

By Angela Ward and Adam Evans British Canoeing’s 24-page magazine

092 India: Saryu & East Ramganga 104 SUP Microadventure Into the unknown by Dave Manby

112 Welcome to Argentina By Richard Harpham

120 Zak Teperman

The Rio Alumine by Steve Brooks

126 Lofoten SUP experience

For the love of marketing, PR and paddling

130 The ultimate utility

An experience by Riccardo Marca

Subscribe to the print issue:

45 years of NRS

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N OT T I N G H A M ’ S F R E E S T Y L E Article and photos: Mike Shaw Holme Pierrepont (or HPP) the national watersports centre is arguably the premier white water course in the UK. Some might be bigger, newer and nicer looking but in my opinion, it can’t be beaten on value for money, opening hours and on the variety of features. The world famous freestyle venue is located in Nottingham, England and is due to be the site of the 2021 Freestyle World Championships. It is home to some of the best UK freestyle paddlers, with many more frequently travelling from all over the country to train, including myself. Some of the top European and international paddlers are now happy to call it home.

One of those is fellow Jackson Kayak team members and Junior World and European Champion Ottie Robinson-Shaw. She and I have been fortunate enough to train together recently and we are here to talk about the features that the course has and some of the recent changes that it has undergone. We shall start at the top of the course and work our way down, talking about each feature on the way.


The first and most popular feature, the reason why people love HPP is the inlet gate. It’s retentive, perfectly uniformed and every move goes with ease. It is where I first learnt to loop and where I’ve taught many, many others. With the recent changes it is not quite as retentive as it once was; you’ll also need a line to pull yourself back up as you can no longer paddle back up against the current.


In my opinion inlet gate is the best feature to learn new tricks in, from your first loop to your first lunar it is a deep and consistent feature which allows you to work exclusively on your technique. Not to mention there is normally a good crowd watching and cheering. Using a rope you can easily pull yourself back up, or be pulled up into the hole which means you can do hundreds of runs in a day!

Inlet Gate



Twin or Twin Waves is the next feature down, it has good eddy access on river right. This used to be a pretty rowdy feature, you’d get the satisfaction of nailing a move and then it would nail you right back! It is a very entertaining and feisty hole. To the relief of many it is not as vicious as it has been in the past, but it can still work you over a little bit if you get lucky!

In the centre of the hole is a hump, you can use this almost like a shoulder to set up on. If you plug just to the right of this as long as you hit it correctly, you’ll be getting some of the biggest loops of your life. You can go absolutely huge here!


I really like twin waves, you have to love its character. It can be quite awkward and annoying at times, but when configured well this feature is amazing. Unfortunately, for a while now this is not quite the case but its quirkiness forces you to have perfect technique in order to retain each move as Twin pushes you towards surfers left, which means you are in a constant battle to push yourself right.

Right moves are a lot easier but if you learn to do left moves in there, your lefts in other features will be great. As the feature is deep you can really plug hard,I’ve never hit bottom and the eddy service is nice. It is also a popular section for slalom paddlers, so make sure you keep an eye out upstream...



Just after twin the course drops in height and forms a wave on river left. For years I have wanted a quality wave at HPP and it seems they have cracked it. It is fairly steep, has a legitimate ramp leading down onto the wave and a decent (river left) shoulder. I have seen Airscrews, Blunts, Helix’s and Mcnastys all go here! It also has good eddy access.


Just before troll hole you’ll find a nice little wave train, perfect for throwing huge macho moves or kick flips. So don’t forget to do that before dropping down into the hole.

Troll is really nice! It was one of the two features chosen for the European championships selection event and was also the site of the 2018 European Open. It can be handful at times and deal out a kicking similar to Twin Wave but it is relatively uniformed and retentive enough without being so retentive it scares people off. It has access from either side and I found it to be the best spot on the course to throw Phonics Monkeys in.

The only drawback is that you don’t have as much space behind it as you would probably like. You do have enough time to roll up and make the eddies either side, you just need to be quick.


Troll hole is right in the middle section of the course near the bridge (hence the name). When configured well it’s an awesome feature where both sides work well. It can be a little shallow sometimes but the air you can get makes it worth the risk.

It is a great feature to learn to entry move in as with a little effort you can paddle back upstream into the eddy above and try as many entry moves as you’d like. If you have a slow roll, you’ll probably find you miss the eddy but at least it will encourage you to work on your roll.

Troll Hole


Under the bridge is a wavey hole that has undergone the most changes in recent years. Many years ago it was the looping pool. It has the remnants of the grand stands for when HPP hosted Slalom Championships and who knows maybe this is the planned location for a feature to be built for the 2021 Freestyle World

Championships. It would certainly make a good spot for plenty of spectators.

Currently it is a river wide hole, perfect for beginners to surf around on. But not really retentive enough to land the bigger moves.

Fairy Wave



I love the muncher, you can throw an airscrew and go for a huge loop the very next second. You need to be quick to make either eddy though! It is the same as it ever was! Munchy but so satisfying when you hit something big.


The Muncher is probably one of the most underused holes on the course, apart from one or two rides on the way down not many people seem to give it the time it deserves. It’s an awesome feature and probably my favourite on the course. Yes, it is hard and fast. The eddy service isn’t much fun either but the satisfaction when you land a move in muncher is huge, so too are the power flips!

I’m not sure why Muncher isn’t as popular as some of the other features but it is so nice to dedicate some time here. If you flush it’s not the end of the world as you can paddle up the chicken shoot or jump out in the huge eddy below, walk back up and put in just above. Muncher is however pretty shallow so watch out if you’re in carbon, maybe don’t plug as hard as usual. However, then again if you hit it right you’ll go huge!


From the looping pool down past the muncher to the get out you’ll find a messy section, which is great for beginners and river runners alike, it looks fairly intimidating but everything is easily run and flushes down to a large Eddy below to catch the pieces.

Apart from the Muncher itself there is not much to play on but plenty of river running moves to make. I usually get out on river right, but sometimes I’ll run down and play on Washing Machine, which is a wide,

Harry’s Hole

retentive but rather shallow hole. Years ago I had the pleasure of watching my little brother take an absolute working in there but since the renovation of the course it’s not as sticky or retentive as it once was. It is not exactly ideal for playing in for any prolonged period of time because of the depth but it is a nice sticky feature nonetheless.


Don’t forget about Harry’s Hole! It’s next to the rather scary looking concrete groin but it creates a feature where you can throw the biggest loops of you life! It’s called Harry’s Hole because no one else seemed to dare to loop in there apart from Harry Price who would throw entries, Mcnasties and Lunars.

I personally stick to loops and right spaces as teeth cost a lot so I’ll pass on the rest. It’s super deep and you can go massive!

From here there is another take out on river left with a nice little wave, which is the perfect area for beginners who want to get some practise catching and surfing on some small waves and practise rolling with a huge eddy. From here on the river bends towards the left where you’ll find a flat section for eddy hopping. There isn’t anything of significance down there unless one of your party takes a swim, or you lose some equipment. I see no reason to go further down, however, if you do you’ll find a set of steps on either side of the river.

Apart from the changes to the inlet gate, the rest of the course has vastly improved for freestyle and has many great features to play on. With Nottingham due to be the site of the 2021 Freestyle World Championships I’m sure we can look forward to some exciting changes ahead!





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Where the focus, is always on the paddler

The last edition explored the relationship between paddler and coach – the dynamic interaction, how to create it and foster it. We opened discussions on ‘Motivation’ – ways to understand the paddlers’ motivations, what drives or inspires the paddler and what coaches can do about it. We also looked at ‘Context’ – about the creation of the optimum learning environment.


This edition is all about the stories, analogies, imagery that we may use as coaches / paddlers to help us with our learning. In other words, we are exploring the theory of…


Definition: “Transfer of Learning is the ability to apply knowledge learned in context to new contexts.”

When coaching I am always interested in if my coaching is effective and working. I am interested in if the paddler is learning. Can they use the techniques and tactics in a range of environments? Is it helpful to their ongoing development? Have they made sense of the learning, owned the learning and able to access when required?

This transfer of learning can take place in many forms. Sometimes the links are very easy to make and understand and is easily seen if there has been learning.

This could be as simple as forward paddling on flat water to forward paddling on moving water. The subtle differences in how the boat is moving in the different environments means that there needs to be adaptions to the inputs to ensure that we have success paddling. This taking the skill from one environment to another helps us see/feel the transfer of learning.

Photo: Ed Smith


ThePADDLER 14 It could however, be more complex – for instance, the difference of paddling a canoe to paddling a kayak. There are differences in equipment, outfitting, connectivity and height relative to the water to name a few. What could possibly help us transfer from one discipline to another?

When you consider the question, it starts to become clearer – the interaction with the water, the grip of the blade, the way the boats will turn or edge and happening in the similar environment. Once tapping into these then again, we can see/feel the transfer of learning taking place.

Transfer of Learning however, can also be out of our domain. For example, if someone can ride a bike they surely can balance a kayak. If you can interpret your surroundings on your drive to work, then surely you can process information while paddling! If you then consider someone able to ride a bike down and through their local trails or a skier descending a ski run, surely then there is an understanding of gravity and how your body needs to be over and ahead of the bike/skis as you slide and ride down the hill. Is this not helpful for those moving down with the water?

If we can create these links for ourselves or coach our paddlers to understand and use these links, then perhaps there are ways to help us improve performance and build capacity to perform.


There are a few things going on with the different examples outlined. Essentially it is about making sense of the skills, owning and ordering these skills to recall and utilising them. By ordering, storing and creating connections with the various aspects we build up a schema that allows us to create those connections, so we can use them in the future. This prediction speeds up some of our decision making and helps with the automatic functions that maybe required.

By telling stories or analogies we are helping to create connections and emotions with the tasks/skills or outcomes we are looking for and therefore we can tap into previous learning. Transfer of Learning can be defined as:

Near: similar skill, application of tactics and similar contexts. In the previous examples this could be forward paddling in the same craft but different environments.

Far: as seemed unconnected and remote from each other.

In the previous examples this is where paddling a kayak instead of a canoe, skiing or riding a bike.

The coaches role is to create these links for our paddlers. In the last article (Winter issue 45), we looked at getting to know your paddlers. If this is the case, then we can start consciously helping with the understanding, connections and tapping into the existing knowledge.

This existing knowledge can be used to construct new knowledge – problem solving in action!

As coaches is this not what we want our paddlers to be able to do without us?

As paddlers how good does it feel to solve the problems that paddling environment deals out with the knowledge and skills we call upon?

Photo: Ed Smith ThePADDLER 15


What is key to transferring knowledge to aid our learning is ‘context’ – context in terms of ‘why’ we need to learn and why we need the skill. Context in terms of ‘where’ we practice and ‘how we practice’.

By practicing in varied ways and distributing it appropriately we are starting to: l Recognise common features on the water, common skills or principles, patterns and problems.

This then starts to create a schema for us on dealing with related issues/problems and helps tune into a response.

It’s information that is linked and stored together for a later recall.

If we create ‘rules’ of how things work and box them off, then it will stunt the opportunity to create the connections that will be there. There needs conscious thought as to where something will be used beyond the initial setting of training. Far too often when I am coaching paddlers there are blocks in the connections and principles have become rules. The learning (or training of the original skill) has been in an isolated setting without support to where else this could be used. Learning should – and is – a dynamic and ongoing process!

Dave has been involved in the development of the new awards and provides expert advice throughout the industry on all things to do with coaching, safety, leadership and personal paddling. He is passionate about all things paddling.

Coaches: support your paddlers by setting challenges for them that ask them to use existing knowledge to solve the problem. Paddlers: explore and set challenges in easy water that force you to think. What do I know that I can use to solve this problem?


If we now reflect on the earlier examples can we see where the connections are? Spend some time either writing down or chatting through with someone what connections exist – why does riding a bike or skiing help us? How can paddling a different craft help me? What do I do when I am driving to process information, and do I do the same when paddling?

Happy paddling/coaching!

Photo: Ed Smith

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Aqualyte® began as the brain-child of Byron Baker-Brown, who recognised that polyethylene sit-on-top kayaks were very often too heavy for many people to handle, a factor that ultimately alienated customers and that plastic kayaks had extremely poor green credentials, especially when imported.

Since 2014 Byron and his world-class team of advanced composite researchers and engineers have worked to produce a brand-new combination of materials that not only matched but surpassed the durability of polyethylene. With a target weight-saving of at least 50% over existing rotomoulded kayaks, the brief was to provide supreme quality and class-leading performance using recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible.

On February 13th 2019 the unique Aqualyte® Pioneer was first presented to the world. It is made from a combination of recyclable ORGANIC material along with RECYCLED P.E.T closed cell foam, all of which can be recycled at end of use. We have taken steps to replace as many plastic components such as handles, with hemp rope and wooden toggles made from off-cuts of hardwood destined to be thrown away.

Remarkably the Aqualyte® Pioneer weighs in at a staggeringly low 9kg, which represents an approximate weight saving of 60%.

This amazing material has surpassed Byron’s initial stringent requirements. Crucially, it is manufactured here in the UK with each kayak being unique and hand-made to order. There is approximately 2m2 of recycled P.E.T plastic inside every Aqualyte® Pioneer, which represents approximately 250 ½ litre bottles that are now not destined to pollute our oceans

Obviously, the technology is top secret – we make no apology for this! Aqualyte® is unique to us and is a registered trade mark and kayaks made from Aqualyte® will be crafted and shipped directly to the consumer. This route to market ensures that you the customer get all the benefits by cutting out any ‘middle man’ profits and help to reduce road mileage and the use of fossil fuels.

Aqualyte® are proud to bring you an aspirational British material and product that is destined to become a world leader.

The Aqualyte® Pioneer will be available to order from 1st March 2019 on

Pioneer prototype pictured

Showing the weave structure






Photos: Geoffrey Lee, HM Coastguard and Ed Smith Every year, kayakers and canoeists find themselves in danger and in need of assistance from the Coastguard, RNLI and independent lifeboats. Even the most experienced can be caught out.

Nobody ever intends to end up in the water but it does happen – and when it happens, it happens fast, rarely giving a person a chance to think let alone call the Coastguard. That’s why it’s important to make sure you minimise the risk in case the worst should happen.

We need to get the message out there that if you’re going anywhere near the water and there’s a chance, no matter how slim, that you could end up in the water, you should be wearing a life jacket.

Photo courtesy of Glenmore Lodge by Ed Smith



HM Coastguard recommends that sea enthusiasts should follow these simple, potentially life-saving tips…


People should steer away from thinking that a lifejacket is an emergency device. It’s by far a kayaker’s best friend on the water and needs to be thought of as a standard piece of clothing – just like putting on a pair of socks….worn 100% of the time. If you go into the sea from your kayak you’re protected, otherwise your chances of survival are greatly impacted.

Worn correctly, a well-fitting life jacket/floatation device will provide a kayaker with precious survival time until help arrives. Advances in technology mean that lifejackets are not the bulky items they once were years ago. For small craft such as dinghies and kayaks, which are more likely to capsize, it is recommended that you wear a buoyancy aid as an inflated lifejacket may trap the wearer under the upturned hull. However, for larger craft, where capsize is unlikely an automatically inflating lifejacket is appropriate.

If you do find yourself in the water wearing a lifejacket, it will give you a chance to raise the alarm with the Coastguard. These days you can buy ones that are fitted with whistles and lights to attract attention and they also can be fitted with a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon – more on this coming up!) allowing rescuers to pinpoint where you are and reach you more quickly. These devices are now very reasonably priced and readily available online and from most angling suppliers.


A Personal Locating Beacon (PLB) is a small device that is ideally attached to a lifejacket or worn around the neck of the user. When activated it will send an emergency alert via a satellite to our Mission Control Centre who will then relay the information to the coordinating Coastguard Operations’ Centres.

Different types of PLBs have different features. HM Coastguard recommends purchasing a PLB with builtin GPS, which alerts the Coastguard to your position.

A PLB without GPS will still alert HM Coastguard that the user is in distress but will not tell us where the distress location is being triggered. When you register your PLB here: we have all the information we need about your vessel right at hand.

This could save the Coastguard valuable time and allows us to quickly task the most appropriate search and rescue asset to your assistance. The cost of a PLB is relatively inexpensive now and for as little as £120 you can make a massive investment to your ongoing safety whilst afloat and put your families mind at peace.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are devices which are installed on your boat and can either be automatically activated upon immersion or impact (eg if your boat capsizes) or triggered manually. They send a distress alert to the Coastguard with

your position and can be accurate to plus or minus 50m! A basic EPIRB will cost around £350 and one with inbuilt GPS and other functions a little bit more. They’re a small price to pay to have a state-of-the-art piece of kit that could save the lives of everybody on board the vessel should the worst happen.


Once things start to go wrong, they can develop rapidly – in our experience people often don’t even have a chance to raise the alarm. Don’t wait for things to improve – you should inform the Coastguard as soon as a potentially difficult situation is developing. We can never get time back – speed is of the utmost importance. When you notify us, we can monitor the situation and do regular check calls with you to make sure the situation hasn’t worsened.

You can use your VHF Radio, VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC), a PLB, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and even 999 on your mobile



phone. All vessels should be equipped with a VHF set and nowadays they nearly all have DSC in-built into the units.

When you make an emergency call to the coastguard from VHF radio you will tell everyone within range what your situation is even if you cannot see them – there might be someone nearby who can help you more quickly.

If you are at sea and only have a mobile phone you will only be able to speak to the person you are making the call to. If mobile network coverage is poor

then you might not be able to make a mobile call at all. Keeping your phone dry is absolutely essential. Whether it’s the sea, rain or bait on your hands, keeping your phone working must be a priority. Keeping it in a drybag or small see-through plastic wallet will ensure that your phone remains functional despite the conditions. Above all, make sure you phone is fully charged before setting out. Avoid kayaking alone in remote spots and if going out at night take more than one light. You can always use your light (even from your mobile phone) to alert someone on shore. If reported, the Coastguard will send a team to investigate the source of the light to check that no one is in trouble.

VHF coverage along the coast is generally much better. For remote locations, consider carrying a 406 Personal Locator Beacon to raise the alarm.

Make sure that hand-held VHF radios and fixed VHR microphones are stowed correctly and that they are not inadvertently transmitting – open microphone carriers can render all communications on channel 16 impossible.

If you’re within 30 miles of the coast you should have a fixed DSC VHF, a charged mobile phone, flares, powerful torch and Personal Locator Beacon. Remember, a hand held VHF set is only generally capable of three nautical miles range from boat to boat and five miles from boat to boat maximum because of the reduced aerial height.

If you’re more than 30 miles from shore you should have a fixed DSC VHF, an EPIRB with GPS and 121.5 homing function, powerful torch and appropriate flares. Remember that a VHF radio can only be considered reliable within line of sight, if you intend on going further than 30 miles offshore, additional suitable radio equipment such as MF or HF might be required.

Kayakers are recommended to carry hand held VHF, a PLB for more remote locations, mini flares and a charged mobile phone.

HM Coastguard also welcomes check calls. Give us a call before you set out to inform us of your plans so that we can log them. In the event of someone raising an emergency we have all the relevant information quickly to hand. This could be as basic as the location, number of persons, contact number, what time you intend to be leaving, a secondary number for somebody at home and a brief description of your clothing. This quick and easy check call will assist the Coastguard in ensuring that the right help is sent quickly to your location.


This seems an obvious action that any kayaker would take before going afloat, but it is so important to check the outlook ahead. Often the sea can be your friend when you depart for a day afloat but a sudden change in weather can happen very quickly. A check of the forecast for the following 24 hours will allow you to determine if the weather is going to change significantly, so that you can alter your plans accordingly. Listen to local knowledge and make sure if exploring an area unfamiliar to you that you are aware of the tides and direction of drift. You can easily check the tide and weather conditions here:


A shoreside contact is a vital part of staying safe whilst kayaking. Before you set off tell someone where you are going and what time you’ll be back. Whilst you won’t always be able to give people an accurate time of your return, having someone at home who can raise the alarm plays an important role in keeping you safe. To ensure you can be located as quickly as possible it is worth downloading one of several apps on the market where friends and family can see your location in real time.

The Coastguard recommends the RYA SafeTrx app which is a FREE tracking smartphone application for owners and skippers of all types of leisure and small craft that monitors your journey and alerts your emergency contacts should you fail to arrive on time. The app allows you to directly contact HM Coastguard in the event of an emergency and could potentially cut vital minutes off the time taken to pinpoint your location. Signing up to SafeTrx will give HM Coastguard the information that they need – including a description of your vessel, shore contact details, and other relevant information – to get you an even swifter response in an emergency.


RYA SafeTrx If you’re planning to go out paddling around the coast or at sea, make sure you download the RYA SafeTrx safety app before you set out ◊ FREE to download and use ◊ Alerts your shore contacts if you don’t return home on time ◊ Gives the Coastguard access to your details in an emergency ◊ Tracks your location and much more! Registration only option available online

Image: Darren Crisp



Testing, Red Original Airbelt Dale Mears

Being on the water is always a priceless time wether on your own or sharing adventures with friends and family, which is maybe why people get so angry when we see people without the correct gear. Maybe it's choice or maybe simply just a lack of awareness of the dangers of watersports. Protecting yourself is becoming more and more important and one of the main pieces of safety gear that is on the rise amongst SUP paddlers is the use of a buoyancy aid or life vest. Yes, you’re strapped to a large inflatable board but that won't necessarily help in all occasions.

Previously on the water I have worn a variety of kayak/canoe BAs, however, there are plenty of other options.This past month I got my hands on Red Originals Airbelt.This is a personal floatation device that offers assistance when or if needed.Think old school bum bag (fanny pack for the American readers) with one of those aeroplane style life vests rolled up inside.

First impressions are good, this is well made, the fabric is good quality and looks like it will last. I have the blue version but also comes in grey and purple and the colours are vibrant, so stand out nicely. There


testin Esea Strap

New innovative products are hard to come by especially ones that are simple and work – the Esea strap has managed just that. It's a board leash that functions like it should but also has a built-in extendable webbing strap that easily hooks onto the front of your SUP giving you a carry strap. Could it get any simpler?

The important matter is the Esea strap manages to look good and performs well. The product is well made, feeling secure both when used as a leash and a carrying system. The strap is easy and quick to remove the extra loop and hook around the front of your SUP. You can then move the padded strap (formally ankle strap) where ever you want on the length of the leash to use as a padded shoulder strap.

You can buy a range of adaptors to go with the strap if your used to using a waist or knee leash, which makes the Esea strap so adaptable. At ÂŁ24.99 these are a bargain and will make life so much easier when carrying a board.

dd lers - email us: review s@thep addle rez ine

m .co

Price wise, this falls between the recreation market buoyancy aids and the more advanced/streamline models but would be a lot less annoying jumping on the water. It is recommended for paddler weight of 40-130kgs. I love the Airbelt and won't be donning a BA again unless on white water and I recommend people check them out, especially coaches and those around the water on the banks.

nte of i

Red Originals give this product a five-year guarantee which is impressive and worth considering as standard BAs do lose their buoyancy over time.

res t to pa

In event of an accident, the vest is easy to pull from the bag but you do have to place it over your head yourself something you wouldn't have to do with a standard BA. You then pull a clear inflation cord and it's inflated thanks to a small gas canister. There is also a manual option by blowing down a tube if time isn't of the essence and you wish to save your gas. Replacement canisters are available, however, it's likely this is one of those products you may hopefully never need!

e will b nd it ed a iew rev uct od

The general profile of the bag is great as it isn't cumbersome when around the waist and represents a massive change from wearing a bulky BA over the top. Let's face it you gotta have some style on the water! The bag has points to clip on karabiners and other items if required.

ou want y ion. If y o u stat rp st r

is a decent sized handle on the top which is easy to grab and a small waterproof pocket on the front which although not massive would be ideal for your car keys. The pocket would possibly fit a phone as is larger but the inflatable vest does impede on what you can store in it.

The Paddle r ez ine te



TitanYantra and Rival Steffan Meyric Hughes

The incredible heatwave summer of 2018 produced some strange anomalies. My nextdoor neighbour had been out watering his garden – in October. And for those of us not paddling abroad last year, the feeling of a standing wave under the hull was a distant memory as Hurley and the other Thames weirs had fallen flat for so long in the hot weather, it’s like they never existed.

It was a summer for swimming, barbecues – and artificial whitewater centres. For those of us in the south east of England, thank God Lee Valley exists. It was a lifesaver last summer, with both courses – Olympic and the easier Legacy – back on top form, with a just about surfable wave on the Olympic, and top hole back in top form on the Legacy. In fact, tweaks have even made the bottom hole on Legacy a worthy feature when the Olympic is also on.


YANTRA 7'9" Length: 236cm/7'9" Width: 63cm/24.8" Height: 35cm/13.7" Volume: 265lt/70gal Weight: 18kg/39.6lbs Cockpit dimension: 85.5x49.5cm/33.7"x19.5" Weight range: 40-80kg/88-176lbs

YANTRA 8'5" Length: 253cm/8'5" Width: 65cm/25.5" Height: 36cm/14" Volume: 290lt/76 gal Weight: 20kg/44lbs Cockpit dimensions: 85.5x49.5cm/33.7"x19.5" Weight range: 60-110kg/130-240lbs

Add in the new, improved Above and Below shop on site, with its brilliant range of demo boats, and you have a boat-test heaven. Last August and September, I took out two ‘new’ models from Titan – the Yantra and the Rival. Titan, by the way, is a relatively new manufacturer, formed in 2011 by top freestyle paddler Anthony Yapp, and their first model was the Genesis playboat, minute even by the standards of the genre. It never took off in this country, and it was followed more recently by these two – the Yantra and Rival.

First of all, the Yantra: it’s a basic river-running, whitewater kayak for ‘all abilities’ according to the blurb, but with no particular niche (it’s not a sternsquirty vert boat or a high-volume creeker or anything else, particularly), it will be best suited to beginners. It compares most directly to boats like the Pyranha Z One, although with more volume in the stern. I did not have scales to hand, but I can tell you this boat is heavy – the website quotes between 18kg and 20kg depending on size. That weight will

no doubt translate to stiffness and strength, but it’s not a compromise everyone will be thankful of, particularly on long carries to the put-it or take-out.

On flat water, it felt slightly slow, but again, I didn’t measure this. Once onto moving water, it came to life. The hull is a nice compromise between carvability and forgiveness. You will not capsize every time you break out in this boat, and there is enough volume in the stern that you will not be endered by every hole you paddle through. It’s sensitive enough, however, to encourage good habits like keeping your body weight over the hull and putting the boat at the right angle.

It’s a neutral boat, vice-free, and easy to roll. It should surf well, with its flat bottom, but I was not able to check this theory. In a hole, it behaved as it should, dropping into the slot and side-surfing in a controlled way. Man-made courses (including both the Legacy and Olympic at Lee Valley) have fast, horrible eddies, and these were never a problem on the Grade 3 Legacy course. It was a good boat to reconnect with the older, simpler joys of breaking in and out sharply, turning hard, and engaging the rails.

Next up was the Olympic course. This is a fairly heavy run, graded at 4, which is technically incorrect (the route is easy to find after all) but a true reflection of the water, which is relentless, with big drops, no let-up and least sticky one hole that will hold a creekboat upside down with the paddler inside (this much I know from experience). The Olympic course strikes fear into the hearts of club paddlers, although in its present configuration, it’s a good bet for those looking to step up to that grade, as it’s not as bad as it used to be. One of my tests on the Olympic is to run straight through the holes and to my surprise, the Yantra did this quite easily. Again, it rewarded proper technique, with a slight boof action keeping the bows above the madness.

It’s just the right boat for the course in fact. The Olympic course and, worse, the Legacy course are regularly run by paddlers in serious creek boats, which is the paddling equivalent of taking a tank to a track day. Creek boats will not teach you the finer

techniques of old-fashioned river running in the way that a boat like the Yantra will. Breaking in and out of the flow is not particularly graceful or fun, and the big creekers will forgive mistakes far too easily, teaching bad technique.

Seeing a Machno or Nomad taking up an entire hole on the Legacy course is a pet hate of mine. Creekboats have, in other words, become the novice’s norm but they are, in fact, specialized kayaks for a specific use: hard whitewater, basically, particularly steep creeking. The Yantra is the sort of boat beginners should be using instead.

Outfitting wise, the Yantra is basic. The footrest is fullplate and the seat doesn’t move – which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned, always meaning it will be in the right position. You won’t be taking this on expeditions anyway, so you’re unlikely to load the back up with stuff, meaning the longitudinal load will always be optimal.


The other boat was the Titan Rival. This is a serious, full-sized creeker, so, practising what I preach, I skipped the Legacy and went straight to the Olympic course. Unfortunately, the boat was a size too big for me, so I was sliding around inside with no points of contact. I can’t really say any more about the Titan for that reason, but it felt like a very powerful creek racer, in the style of other sub-9ft boats like the Pyranha 9R or Jackson Karma. It is well worth checking out this boat if you are in the market for such a thing.


Length: 270cm/8'10.5" Width: 67cm/26.4" Height: 41cm/16" Volume: 320lt/85gal Weight: 22kg/48.5lbs Cockpit dimensions: 90.5x51cm/35.5"x20" Weight range: 60-110kg/130-240lbs

The five grab handles (one at each end, two behind the cockpit and one in front of it) is par for the course these days – it’s worth noting that they are plastic rather than the usual metal but also that the plastic seems very robust.

I started off disliking this boat, for its weight – then not understanding its purpose – then finally, quite liking its simplicity, good manners and robustness. Whether it’s best in class or not, I couldn’t say. The point is that it’s out there and it’s worth a try.








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Whetman Equipment Python 5m By Philip Carr

When I became a raft guide in the late 90s, the way in which we were taught to right an upturned raft posed significant danger. It basically meant utilising the drain holes in the raft by sticking your finger through and using your knees to flip the raft. Get it wrong and you would be seriously hurt. So I am thankful that using a flip line to right a raft is now the default technique being taught and is used by the vast majority of guides.

We are now starting to see these types of lines carried by kayakers and canoeists as a way of getting extra reach in rescue situations without deploying a throwline or for setting up Z-Drag systems. I would highly recommend that all paddlers have one of these and spend some time learning how to use it effectively and safely.

In the past I used to make my own line using climbing tape. The length of the climbing tape depends upon personal preference but would usually be 3-5 metres long. To create a loop for the carabiner a small loop needed to be tied in the end of the tape. That loop needs to be pretty small so the carabiner stays put in the loop and doesn't spin around. The knot was always the weakest pint and needed to be tied using a knot that would not slip. The DIY ones work OK but a system which has a loop stitched into it is a much better idea.

Palm Equipment, Peak UK and Whetman Equipment all make rescue tapes that have sewn in loops. However, Whetman Equipment has taken the design one stage further by adding a super strong stainless steel ring – the same sort of ring you find on a rescue PFD for a Cow Tail.


The Python 5m ring sling as Whetman calls it has been constructed from webbing tape has also been tested and rated with a breaking strain in excess of 10kn. The webbing features a 6mm marine grade stainless steel ring on one end and the opposite end incorporates a sewn eyelet, which is ideal for the positioning of an HMS Carabiner.

The one pictured here has a DMM Boa carabiner installed, which is a fairly large, but relatively light screw gate carabiner. I use an elastic band to keep the Python coiled, tidy ready for use. I can also use the band to fix the carabiner to a paddle blade if I need to get extra reach.You can also see a Whetman Krab Stick attached to the carabiner.This allows the gate to be kept open during a long reach rescue.

I personally carry my tape in coiled up in my PFD front pocket but some guides wear their tapes around their waist. You do need to ensure that the tape does not create a snag hazard. Kayakers can tuck the tape in between their skirt tunnel and cag outer waist. This keeps the tape out of the way but easily at hand.

The great thing about gear like this is the fact it has multiple uses. For kayakers and canoeists, it can be used for setting up a tow, Z Drags, Pig Rigs, short reach rescues, anchor points and even to tie down boat to a rack in an emergency.

ATOM Bright and strong – the Atom suit has new AquaSeal zips. Each zip is individually pressure tested by YKK. And every drysuit is pressure tested before it leaves the Palm factory. A strong look with real strength behind it.


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Exped Synmat UL S

The Exped Synmat UL S (ultralight) is an inflatable sleeping pad/camping mattress from Exped that offers fantastic compactness, warmth and comfort.

A proper cold-weather sleeping mat is essential if you want to go camping in winter. Cheap, thin roll mats made of foam are next to useless when the ground is really cold – regardless of how warm your sleeping bag may be. You’ll end up cold and awake if you don’t have a layer of air between you and the groundsheet. However, you don’t want to be transporting a bulky lilo around either, which is where the Exped Synmat UL 7 steps in. The UL 7 (UL stands for Ultralight) scores much higher in terms of weight and packability.

The UL S is rated down to minus 6 degrees celsius (21.2 degrees fahrenheit), which is more than enough for most conditions that you’ll encounter. The package

Ortlieb First Aid Kit Medium

A must-have for all outdoor activities: is a first aid kit for emergencies – always at the ready thanks to its waterproof case.

Having it with you is everything, no matter whether you’re out for a whitewater first descent, an ocean kayaking expedition or a simple paddle on your local river. The kit should allow you to treat anything from small injuries on location or make a contribution to treating more serious injuries while you’re waiting for the professionals.

A First aid kit should be an permanent part of your equipment and the Ortlieb is amongst the best. The size of medium featured here is suitable for most outdoor activities.

FEATURES: l l l l l

Medium-sized first aid kit in waterproof sleeve made of PU-coated nylon fabric with roll closure. Can be fixed to a bag, strap, belt, etc. Comes with first aid kit and fixing straps. Suitable for all kinds of sports. Removable inner pocket for clear organization and quick access.

also contains the Schnozzel Pumpbag that inflates the mat instantly, whilst also preventing the moisture in your breath from affecting the insulation.

The ‘S’ stands for short meaning this mat’s measurements are a length of 163cm and a width of 52cm. Their are three other sizes culminating in the LW, which is 197x65cm.


Synthetic micro-fibre filling that is laminated to both upper and lower sides of the mat which eliminates loss of pressure. l Two year warranty. l Anti-slip GripSkin coating. l Schnozzel Pumpbag UL included. l Proven FlatValve Technology: separate inflation and deflation valves, non protruding and more durable than traditional valves. l Repair kit included. Price approx: £95.00 l

Contents: One pair surgery gloves. l One first aid packet size M. l 5m sticking tape. l Two wound pads. l One set plaster strips. l One gauge bandage. l One rescue blanket. l One first aid instructions, multilingual. Price approx: £35.00 l



0) "/% /08 "-40 1637&:034 0' '*/& '"4)*0/ Unit 7, Holland Park Ind Est, Cyttir Rd, Holyhead, Anglesey LL65 2PU Workshop: 01407 764422 Mike Webb: 07970 298985


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adventure around every corner Robson, Zegul and Tahe Marine products are distributed in the UK and Ireland by Lyon Equipment -

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Ortlieb Safe-it

In our increasingly digital world and one in which sometimes our lives depend upon our mobile devices our smartphones, tablets, e-readers and GPS devices need special protection when you take them along on a paddle. The Safe-it is really marketed at the bike industry, however, with all that cyclists sometimes have to face – it is waterproof and so works just as well for paddlers.This protection is provided by the practical Safe-it pouch, which comes in five different sizes for all of your mobile devices.The proven roll closure offers reliable protection against spray water and dust without limiting your ability to operate the devices, including the side buttons. All Safe-its come with smart drawstring cords that allow you to conveniently carry your devices. Safe-it models in size S and M are also outfitted with loops that allow you to attach your device to your belt or backpack. Available in black or lime.

It has to be said that in the watersport market, the Safe-it is up against some pretty good opposition that have been market leaders for many years and that are cheaper. So it has its work cut out to become established in the eyes of paddlers. That said, here it is – take your pick.


Tear-resistant, UV-resistant polyurethane. Protection against dirt, scratches and liquids. l Adjustable drawstring cord. l Transparent window on rear for cameras. l Lightweight design. l Made in Germany l Five year guarantee. Price approx: £20.00; $35.00; 25.00€ l l

Petzl BINDI headlamp

Ultra-light at just 35 grams, the BINDI headlamp fits in the palm of your hand. With 200 lumens of power, it is ideal for everyday activities and regular training around town or in the mountains. Featuring a micro USB port, so all you have to do is plug it in, wait for it to charge, and then you are ready to go once again. The thin headband adjusts easily and can also be worn around the neck.

In max power you can see up to 118 feet ahead of you, that’s a long way on the river or anywhere else for that matter. To get that range, you have to use the brightest

of the three settings, which does drastically reduce battery length to around 90-minutes. I tended to use the middle setting, which is still good for over 70 feet and you’ll get an extra hour from the battery. The Bindi is rated as IPX(4), which is the water-resistant rating. It will hold up to light rain but not heavy rain or submersion.

Truth is I use this torch for almost everything – it is much lighter than other head lamp I have used and more importantly doesn’t inadvertently move or tilt. Price approx: £35.00; $50.00



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Julbo Paddle sunglasses

The Julbo Paddle sunglasses are high performance and though specifically designed to be used on water, they can also be used both at the beach as well as in the city, which is down to their stylish looks.

The Julbo Paddle sunglasses include features that combine technology and style. The frame's innovative design contains thousands of air bubbles inside to make sure they float on water, and features such as the Grip Tech temples and Nose Grip ensure that the glasses stay put even in the face of wind or waves.

However, for the most challenging of conditions, the glasses come with a cord you can wear around your neck, which contains an extra floating attachment that adds buoyancy just in case they go astray.

The Spectron 3 lenses are made from polycarbonate and can be used for various activities, whether that’s in the sea or the mountains. They have level 3 protection, meaning they have a visible light

Spyderco Pacific Salt By Philip Carr

If you carry a throw line with you whilst paddling, you should also carry a knife that is at least capable of cutting the rope that the line is made from.

For a number of years I have been using the Spyderco range of the folding/locking variety as my main rescue knife. We have found them to be extremely reliable, very sharp and can hold their edge.

I carried a standard steel Spyderco Delica knife in my PFD for a number of seasons without worrying about it rusting or jamming. I did rinse and dry it properly once in a while.That said I never took the knife into the surf or sea kayaking, so salt was never an issue.

transmission of just 13%, so they are perfect for dayto-day wear as well as on the beach, snow and reduces light on water reflections.

All-in-all, a unique bubble frame construction gives the Paddles genuine floatability, however, the Grip Tech temples and a Nose Grip nosepad mean you shouldn't have to worry them falling off and you have the floating neck cord for extra reassurance just in case they do – perfect for watersports.


Designed for use on and around water, with a unique floatable frame construction. l Curved temples give the frame a wrapped shape, enhancing fit and comfort for all-day wear. l Grip Tech temples and Grip Nose nosepad maintain a secure fit even when wet. l Fitted with lightweight, impact-resistant sports grade lenses. l Suits a medium to large adult fit, includes microfibre bag and floating retainer cord. Price approx: £70.00; $109.00; 120.00€ l

What makes the Spyderco Pacific Salt special is the H1 steel that the blade is constructed from. Spyderco's Pacific Salt is designed to offer reliable high performance with a never-rust H-1 steel blade. This makes it ideal for watersports. The blade is made in Japan with a Hollow grind and is 97mm in length. This gives a total open length of 221mm and a closed length of 124mm.

In addition all of the internal steel parts are also treated making them impervious to rust and pitting. The blade’s hole is enlarged to 14mm for easier opening/closing with gloved, wet or cold hands. You could add a small loop of cord to this if required.

You may have noticed that this Spyderco Pacific Salt is totally black. Some might say that this is a bad idea for a knife that will be carried in a PFD. However, I always add a lanyard of some sort and the one to be placed on this knife is super bright!

The knife is available with a range of different blade setups. This one is fully serrated (SpyderEdge), but there is also a non-serrated version available. This serrated blade can easily cut through a plastic boat if required. The textured grip handle is definitely non-slip and the knife feels sturdy with a great lock that keeps the blade fixed in place when opened. There is no chance of the blade closing when it’s being used.

If you did want something brighter, it is also available with a ‘normal’ steel colour blade and yellow handle.







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R AY G O O D W I N ’ S PA D D L E , P O R TA G E Photos: Ray Goodwin and Caitlin Dean

My only child, Maya, was born when I was 57 years old. Over the next years we have undertaken various adventures but I was keen to get her out to Canada and to undertake a family wilderness canoe trip. I wanted her to see something of my world whilst I was still capable. Lina and I were then on the lookout for another family so Maya would have other children to share the adventure with.

Caitlin and Rob had come on a course that I was running with Frontier Bushcraft, a year or two beforehand and had become firm friends. They had three kids and we had done a whole series of family holidays/weekends together. We met up in the autumn and a plan was hatched for the following summer.

So, we now had Alfie (9), Maya (7), Patrick (7) and Orla (5). Four adults and four kids. So how to choose a location? We toyed with Killarney in Ontario but although the area looked stunning, some of the portages seemed just too big with young kids so we decided on Algonquin, some four hours drive north of Toronto. With the help of Gord from Algonquin Outfitters, we settled on a ten-day route building in three layover/explore days.

We arrived at Algonquin Outfitters the day before our trip was to start. Kit was sorted, a mountain of food placed into barrels and then eat, sleep and we were ready for the off.

Gord dropped us at Magnetawan Lake (entrance three). The piles of kit and children were distributed around our four canoes and we were off. Within a few minutes we had the first of our portages of 135 metres, so a nice easy start. The next was 55 metres but there was enough water to paddle that one and then a 420-metre to really cut our teeth. The kids were managing to carry the bits and pieces but the main bulk was to be carried, obviously, by the adults.



Heading for the yellow sign. Photo by Caitlin Dean




ThePADDLER 40 Where possible we carried a barrel or pack along with one of our lightweight canoes. Everything was double loaded so if not a canoe two packs. On the shorter portages the kids could come back and help but once across the longer portages, someone would have to stay with the children as the other three went back for the rest of the kit. This took us through to Daisy and our first camp.


The fire bans were now over from earlier in the season so although we had stoves as back up, all of our cooking was on small wood fires. Saw and axe meant we could scavenge good quality dead standing that others had not touched.

The morning saw us on our way again and facing 13 km of paddling and three portages to get us through to Misty. The first portage was 135 metres and then we were on the delightful Petawawa River, narrow with only flat water. With a face telling me a great revelation was on its way, Maya turned around to me, “This is a silly name for a river,” I was informed, “it sounds like Pet a WAA WAA, which is like a baby crying.” After making this clear she turned back and continued helping me with the occasional paddle stroke.

The map gave the general location of the start of the portage trails but each was marked with a triangular yellow sign with an outline of someone portaging a canoe. We soon had a song to help in this task – see opposite page:

Otterburn Creek

Maya and Alfie’s mini adventure

To the tune of the Muffin Man: Who can see the yellow sign, the yellow sign, the yellow sign Who can see the yellow sign, the yellow sign, the yellow sign That tells us where to walk. Repeated until tired or the sign is in sight when: I can see the yellow sign, the yellow sign, the yellow sign I can see the yellow sign, the yellow sign, the yellow sign That tells us where to walk.

Photo by Caitlin Dean

Morning cuddles



construct s’mores

Rob helped the kids toast marshmallows to

(cracker, chocolate and toasted marshmallow in the form of a cracker sandwich)

The second portage was 450 and we started meeting folk coming the other way, all giving us dire accounts of the rough and muddy nature of the third.


Paddling on, a sudden scream erupted from the front of my boat and Maya leapt backwards.Two mating dragonflies had landed on her leg. Trying to contain my

giggles and calm a shocked seven-year-old, I shouted to Lina. Within a minute or so Maya was good and set about telling mum about these two dragonflies trying to make babies whilst alighting on her leg.

We started unloading at the start of the third 935metre portage, when a round of, “Mud, mud, glorious mud,” was sung by all and sundry. This was turning out to be quite a tuneful trip. Rob looked across at me quiet dolefully, “They are all so chirpy at the start of a portage, I think I am going to cry!” None of us adults were looking forward to this one – 935 metres, up and down with plenty of mud. Rob was going well so was on his way back before any of the rest of us got across. He was to do three trips to Lina and my two. Caitlin had the hard task of minding four energetic and inquisitive kids at the end of this one.

It was a tired team that paddled to an island camp on Misty.


The morning started dry but the clouds were thickening quickly and giving every indication of prolonged rain. Our plan was to travel on to Grassy Bay on White Trout Lake but five portages and 15 km stood between us. Worse still, soon after the start there were no further campsites before Grassy Bay. Not an option if the weather turned. Decision made, we hunkered down for the day.

Within the hour the rain started but with two tarps up and a fire going we were dry and comfortable. The

kids were loving the raw experience, drinking water directly off the spouts on the corners. Chanting, “Rain, Rain stay today,” digging water gardens and with great glee tipping puddles out of the sagging corners of the tarps. While Caitlin, nail polish still intact from some posh conference, was busy splitting wood, Rob helped the kids toast marshmallows to construct s’mores (cracker, chocolate and toasted marshmallow in the form of a cracker sandwich). The rain continued its deluge and our tent was in some danger, yet another adventure for the kids, as we dug a whole series of channels to divert the water.

By late afternoon the rains stopped and we started drying everything out ready for the next day.



Photo by Caitlin Dean

Progress to Grassy Bay was good with six portages but with the long one at the start everything went well. The final section was through a narrow clear channel through extensive beds of water lilies and other plants. Early in the season this is a prime place for spotting moose but all had disappeared back into the forest.

Now we were on under no pressure with three days to amble our way around White and Big Trout Lakes with no portaging. We camped for a single night on Grassy Bay aiming for two nights on Big Trout Lake. The forest floor around the camp was coated in a thin layer of pine needles – a great place for the youngsters to set out great drawings and play a large sized game of noughts and crosses and a chance for parents to wash and dry a whole host of dirty socks (they were particularly muddy) and other clothes.


The sun was now a constant and the paddle through the Trout Lakes very scenic. The kids had the veto for campsites and we looked for one with good swimming and fishing potential. As soon as the right one was chosen the kids were reenergised; bodies that had been loudly proclaimed as exhausted were now racing around madly. With the chance to stay a couple of nights there was a chance to fish. Much to Rob’s chagrin, his seven-year-old son Patrick caught two fish to his one and Lina beat all with one big fish.

With lightweight canoes Alfie and Maya were teed up for a mini adventure. Between them they portaged a canoe, on their little shoulders, across our small island and then paddled back around together.Their pride was so evident. Food was now in abundance and the kids could have chocolate desserts for breakfast. Orla’s favourite was Mud Pie even though I couldn’t convince her it was real mud.

Now we were about to start our journey out along Otterslide Creek. A group of six caught us up at the start of one of the portages on Otterslide Creek. They were quickly chatting to the kids and discussing where we had come from. The kids even did a rendition of the portage song. They were travelling light to complete a day circuit of various lakes so had little gear with them. Within moments they were shouldering a good share of our kit and heaving it across the portage. One carry done far more quickly and with less pain than usual.

A couple of days of paddling and portaging took us through to Burnt Island Lake. Otterslide Creek was narrow and winding with others heading towards us at the start of their own trips.

A 435-metre portage took us through to Joe Lake but even this had been gentrified with nice shallow steps at the start and finish and a gravel surface fit for a trolley or two. We passed a plush looking lodge with its road access and all the trimmings of a thriving tourist clientele. Hire kayaks were out on the water and a launch chugged past with its load of visitors. Waves were exchanged and photos taken of us. Others were passing in the other direction at the start of their expedition.




WANDERING BEARS aps/51https://go UrZQzC42NV UrZQzC42

Campsites were plentiful along this stretch and once out of sight of the lodge we took the first one. With plenty of space and a good view, these sites we had been warned, were often used by folk with no wilderness experience and the previous year had been troubled by a bear exploring for food. Sure enough there was titbits strewn all over the part of the site, probably scattered there for chipmunks. With the kids helping, we cleared as much away as we could find – if there was anywhere on the whole trip to be careful it was here.

With a dry warm evening we settled into our comfortable routine with tents quickly up, a tarp erected and a fire lit for a brew. On the edge of the camp a recently fallen tree provided a great recourse for the kids to burrow in and construct their own beaver lodge – of course they all had to have beaver names like chomp and splash. With no electronic toys or computers, they had to revert to using their imaginations and making up games and activities.

That evening we asked the children what they were looking forward to food wise. Patrick was after some vegetables, whilst Alfie just wanted something he could chew after more than a week on dehydrated stuff. Orla was happy to have leaves.

Once the kids were asleep, we sat around slightly pensive, a chat of what we and the little ones has achieved, looking forward to good food and wine and of course a shower. With the realisation we were going back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle, we were already talking of the next trip.

A final portage took us through to Canoe Lake, where a headwind tried us for the first time. We were amongst numerous day paddlers, motor boats and passed a very large permanent activity camp. We were heading home.


l l l

Ten days, 72 kilometres paddled, six kilometres of portage, all of which had to be carried over at least twice. There is a film of the trip on Ray’s YouTube channel at: with a direct link at Ray’s website is: Thank you to the wonderfully helpful Gord at We used Kevin Callan’s Algonquin guide book for details and inspiration.

On February 13th, Ray was awarded the MBE for his services to canoeing, at Buckingham Palace. Here’s Ray pictured in his finest with family, Maya and Lina. Huge congrats.



Paddling through the Jungle By Andi Brunner “No entiendo,” probably the words we used most during our Chile trip. It’s Spanish for, “I don't understand.”

Not one of our group were able to speak Spanish but we were all smart guys and nothing could go wrong, well, that’s what we thought! Let’s just say we used our arms and legs more in terms of communication than paddling. At some point we figured out that the best way was to say, “Si,” and just carry on.

Our group was: Andy, Kilian, Michi and Benni.

Andi Brunner on the Rio Claro ThePADDLER 49


After the pretence of saying, “Si,” a few more times, we got our car and the trip could start. As some of us already had been to Chile before, we knew which rivers were good, how to get to them and where we could sleep, etc, so we directly headed south to the Rio Claro – THE river of Chile. We arrived at night and just put our mattresses and sleeping bags on the wooden viewing platform and slept – the flight and driving had been quite exhausting!

Dreaming of hard rapids, wonderful days, funny moments, the first sun rays woke us up, or rather the 10,000 tourists who have already arrived super early – it’s an interesting feeling to have breakfast next to some tourists taking selfies. Super excited we drove until the road stopped and from there we had to hike up. Finally at the put-in, we couldn’t wait to get in our boats – we had medium water level and good weather, perfect conditions for the first day! Stoke was high so we decided to run all three sections: the 22 Saltos, the in-between section and the Seven Teacups. The clear water and clean drops felt so good, we truly felt at this point that we had arrived in Chile!

Andi Brunner on the Rininahue


A warning though – take care of the Tarantulas in this valley! Once I was surrounded by three of them and had to perform like a ninja to avoid any unwanted confrontations.


After the Rio Claro we continued our way south. The water levels were not that high, so we decided to go as far south as fast as we could, making only one stop before Pucon. This stop had two waterfalls: the Blanco del Sur and the Tomatita.

The Blanco del Sur is an easy ten-metre waterfall, perfect to practice the right waterfall technique. Again there were some tourists but this time they cheered us up. To be fair, they also made some selfies…

After we finished with the Blanco del Sur we went on to the Tomatita – a 15-metre high waterfall that offers great scenery. There’s not much on the way to the waterfall and you could count yourself lucky if you met other people, the only meetings we had with lonely trees – not even tourists.


Fired up after the those two amazing waterfalls, we were in the perfect mood to go to Pucon, one of the kayaking centres of Chile, with many rivers and kayakers. Our stoke was even higher and we decided to go to the Palguin because the Palguin is just fun. It’s a short run that takes just 15 minutes if you know it. We had quite a lot of water and we proceeded to enjoy each



technical run

Rio Gol Gol

It is a really

and one of my favourites in Chile!

Andi Brunner on the Rio Gol Gol

lap more than the other. At some point t was decided to do party laps, mis amigos and I had a great time on the Palguin!

The Rio Palguin


A few days later we left Pucon. The next river on our list was the Fuy. It’s a beautiful river which has it all – drops, waterfalls, steep rapids, good waves for surfing and an incredibly picturesque landscape. We had quite high water levels, so it was even more fun, which for me made the Fuy, the best river in Chile!

At the triple combo there was a nice viewing platform where we found some tourists – I hope we didn’t ruin anyones new Instagram profile picture! Our trip continued with driving into the direction where the sun reaches its highest point – towards the mighty Futaleufu! Going there we had to pass the border of Argentina, where just before there is the super classy Rio Gol Gol. We drove to the put-in and had a look on the first drop. Yes, good flows, so we immediately started changing to get on. Basically, this section is just about six drops/waterfalls but those six are unique. One of them just makes you go deep, yet on another one you have to do a ferry just before an intense drop of five metres. It is a really technical run and one of my favourites in Chile!

If you ever get the chance to paddle the Gol Gol, you should stay at the Camping del Indio! They are superfriendly to kayakers and offer them us a great price! Do not camp in the wilderness as rangers may appear and ban you from the area. We wanted to cross the border but after hours of paper chaos they told us that it is not allowed to bring fruits and vegetables. As we didn’t want them to throw them away, we decided to stay one more day on the Gol Gol, eat everything we had and then cross the border. It sounded like the best plan ever with great runs on the Gol Gol, good food and a hot shower on the campsite.The next morning we went to the border again (just five minutes driving from the campsite) and proudly told them we had no frutas y verduras.

Again some paper chaos, they checked our car and disinfected the kayaks and one hour later, we were eventually allowed to pass. Already quite hungry but still in a good mood, we started driving. “Let’s stop at the next supermarket to get some food,” somebody said, naive as we were. First we had to drive through the noman’s land, which extended over 30 kilometres.Then we arrived at the Argentinian side of the border, again more paper chaos and checking of our car.They were probably looking for a dog, as the growling of my belly sounded like one.They didn't find one and let us pass! So we started again to look for a supermarket and it felt like an eternity until we finally arrived at one. Some Empanadas later the world looked bright again.


With full stomachs, we set off for the Futaleufu – actually us paddlers call it the Futa. When we arrived there we realized there’s very little there, except for a small village and an endless dirt road, which is quite nice. Unfortunately we couldn't impress anybody with our “Si” as nobody was there... not even tourists. It has to be mentioned that the Futa is a magical place. Its crystal clear blue water makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of a fairy tale.The first part of the river is

Andi Brunner on the Tomatito

The group



ThePADDLER 54 called ‘Inferno Canyon,’ which is not very long but quite pushy. Before you go my advice would be to do a warm-up on the lower section. After Inferno Canyon the Futa becomes calm with about 15 kilometres of flat-water, however, there are three rapids in this 15 km section that are quite hot. After that you will find the famous ‘Bridge to bridge’ section – a nice class III-IV run.

We spent several days at the Futa before we set off to the north again.


Our way back up north led us once again through Argentina.This time, we knew how the border worked and we wouldn't starve to death a second time, as we cooked ourselves a huge dinner and everybody got really stuffed. We still had some oats and milk for the breakfast to survive until the next supermarket – I mean, what could possibly go wrong with this plan? So with full stomachs and no frutas y verduras, we arrived at the border. It was 21.00 hours and there was nobody with the exception of one soldier. He told us that the border had closed at 20.00 hours. So we slept there, had a delicious breakfast in the morning and started with getting through the border. We already knew how this would evolve and so many hours later, we had a big snack and some Empanadas. The next river we did was the Puelo, which is very remote. First you have to take a ferry and then drive and drive and drive on a dirt road.The Puelo is a big water run and reminded me of the Futa. It's like a continuous Inferno Canyon where you paddle an hour of class IV-V big blue water in an amazing landscape.The Puelo is terrific, just behind the Fuy, this one is my second favourite river in Chile!


Rio Claro

We had only a few days left so we drove further north to Pucon for one last party lap on the Palguin before we sold our kayaks. It was time to start the journey back home. We spent one day driving to the airport, handed back our car and got on the plane. It was a great trip with many experiences, paddling many cool rivers, big rapids and waterfalls. If you’d ask me if we had an amazing time there, I answered with one word: “Si!”

Rio Fuy A beautiful river which has it all – drops, waterfalls, steep rapids, good waves for surfing and an incredibly

picturesque landscape



By Angela Ward and Adam Evans Photos: Adam Evans and Angela Ward SATURDAY – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2018

As has become customary on expeds, we drive up the day before so we can have a lastminute check of the weather forecast and finalise our itinerary. After checking in at our accommodation (Achilty Guest House, Contin), we headed into Dingwall in search of an evening meal. For such a small place, there was a wide selection of eateries to choose from and so I opted for fish and chips (deep-fried) and Adam had cheeseburger and chips (also deep-fried). Deep-fried Mars bars were also on the menu and that’s where they stayed!

Day one: Sunday

Fuelled by approximately six-million fried calories (each), we warmed ourselves up nicely by lugging our boats and kit down the track towards the departure point at the Elphin Hatchery.

The loch stretched out before us and the faint breeze was just enough to ruffle the water and let us easily paddle up to Loch a Mhadail for a scout-round.This was the inaugural exped for Terje (pronounced Terry) the Nortent Tipi and we found a particularly inviting stretch of sugar-like sand which looked perfect for his first pitch. Unfortunately, the sand was just too soft for even our snow pegs to bite so we loaded up our boats and moved on.





After skilfully

poling through The Narrows, we moved further onto the loch and so were afforded some shelter from the increasingly gusty conditions. Headwinds of F4-F5 gave Adam the perfect opportunity to see how well his new Hou Prospector would perform on its maiden voyage. It’s always interesting to learn about a new boat and its character, especially with Prospectors having a reputation for being difficult to control in windy conditions. A little bit of trim and a slight edge combined with deep strokes soon translated into a look of glee on Adam’s face, as he quickly became at home in his new boat.

Working further down the loch to look for a more sheltered location revealed no suitable areas of flat land. We paddled back out onto the main body of the loch and located a perfect elevated spot within sight of The Narrows and with Suilven beckoning in the distance. As we unpacked the Nortent bag, rain began to fall, but with a little prior practice (always advisable in these situations) we quickly assembled Terje to gain a splendid shelter in an idyllic spot.

Within no time at all, the MSR Whisperlite stove glowed cherry-red as we whipped up a hearty meal of ribeye steak, moist Jamaica Ginger Cake and lashings of sumptuous yellow Devon custard with the added luxury of clotted cream. It was yet another calorific bombardment although not deep-fried!

Within no time at all, the MSR Whisperlite stove glowed cherry-red as we whipped up a hearty meal of

ribeye steak

We always recognise the importance of adaptability on expeditions and as per usual, I’m in charge of bringing the provisions. We’d brought an equal measure of heavy fresh food to eat early on in the trip and a supply of lighter dried food in case we encountered any sections involving silly portages.


Any photographer will tell you that it’s a good plan to have an early morning recce to both answer the call of nature and check out possible locations for taking pictures. However, in the wilds of Scotland, this also means being live-bait at feeding time for the local wildlife. Being of Germanic ancestry, I got up even earlier than the midges and avoided being eaten. Adam went out slightly later and ended up a living banquet for the renowned Scottish midges. Possibly even more ferocious than the Scottish wild haggis. He returned with enough bites that if you were to join them together in the style of a dot-to-dot, it would probably resemble every star constellation that would be visible on a clear bright night sky. After a breakfast of freshly-cooked pancakes and mocha spread, washed down with filter coffee, we packed up camp, slipped through the shallow narrows again and through onto Loch Veyatie. As the loch narrows, it gently becomes a river only just deep enough to float a fullyladen canoe down. Using paddles to propel our boats would only serve to clatter our paddles and have limited control. Instead, we decided to stand tall with our big sticks as we snubbed down the flow under control. It’s a traditional skill which I really enjoy although it takes a great deal of concentration to stand tall with a long pole on moving water. Guiding the boats slowly down, sliding to the side of rocks and holding our ground in the flow was such a lot of fun.

We followed the flow and entered Fionn Loch, in the shadow of the majestic Suilven. Under the watchful eye of the late autumnal sunshine, it was wonderful to set up camp leisurely on a small promontory, at the foot of such an iconic summit.

Our surroundings, although awesomely stunning, became slightly less appealing as we felt the appearance of a few hungry midges. At this point, we retired to the sanctuary of our midge-free Terje the Nortent Tipi and its bug-proof inner tent.

Once our sumptuous evening meal had settled and the midges had retired to bed, a little night-paddle was definitely in order. Way beyond the reach of city lighting, we were surrounded by deep inky-blackness and a light mist augmented the effect by obscuring the sky above. We affixed small white LED lights to the bows and a small red LED light to the sterns. Terje was also adorned with LED lights, both inside and outside, so he lit up like a conical beacon in the wilderness.

Sliding quietly through the water in the still night and gazing skywards under the clouds, we spied pin pricks of light on the summit of Suilven and pondered on who was up there and what they would make of our small red and white lights zigzagging on the black background of the loch below.

With such little ambient light from nature, it was difficult to make out the loch edges in the dark and so we ran aground more than once during our gentle two hours of playpaddling in the starry darkness.


Experience is definitely a great teacher and my tactic of getting up earlier than the bitey little critters appeared to be successful when answering the call of nature. I even dared to venture outside without the added protection of my midge-mesh pantaloons and jacket.

Today was going to be our summit day as Suilven beckoned in the distance. Boggy conditions on the approach meant that paddling boots and waterproof socks were the perfect combination. I decided to adopt precautionary measures and don my midge-mesh hood and mittens for the first section of the walk. This proved to be a prudent prove because every time we stopped walking, the midges swarmed towards us.

From a distance, the route up Suilven looked impassable until we got a little closer. Progress was slow but steady and we took regular breaks. After all, what’s the rush? Far too often, people hurry their adventures and thus diminish their time spent surrounded by nature. My lung function wasn’t the best but fuelled by Prednisolone and a seriously determined attitude, I knew I’d get there in the end, albeit slowly. Adam led the way, methodically zig-zagging onwards and upwards with his hands clasped behind his back in his easy-going, ubiquitous ‘Wilderness Guide’ walk.

Encountering several other walkers en-route was lovely and we exchanged pleasantries about where we’d come from. It was especially entertaining to point to the precise location where we’d pitched Terje far below because the tent and our canoes lying adjacent, were the only man-made objects visible from that side of Suilven.

Reaching the summit of Suilven was wonderful.There was a light breeze and azure-blue skies with just a few wispy white clouds.The distance cast out as far as the eye could


ThePADDLER 60 see in stunning 360-degree views over to Loch Sionascaig and Stac Pollaidh.This was a day and a place to simply be for a few minutes, allowing the moments here to create memories, which would last for a lifetime.

On such a high point and relatively near the coast, we picked up a faint phone signal, the first in several days.This technological connection with the outside world allowed Adam to open his emails and discover that he’d been awarded British Canoeing’s ‘Wilderness Canoe Guide’ qualification, a rare feat in itself. A celebratory hug ended up with us losing our footing on a slope and collapsing onto the ground in a heap. I like to think that I saved our lives that day by pinning Adam to the ground, thus preventing us both from rolling down Suilven to a certain death. The reality is that I ‘possibly’ just fell on top of him in a fit of laughter.

After our brush with death, we gathered our thoughts by looking out over Loch Sionascaig and working out our plans for the next few days. One possibility was to paddle across Fionn Loch and portage across to Shielding which would involve a combination of dragging boats and paddling across Na Tri Lochan.

We’d planned for a possible portaging element to our trip by bringing along a supply of dried exped food in case we needed to travel light. After spending a day off the water, I felt that I’d accomplished a great deal by summitting Suilven and there was no need to challenge my lung function any more than was necessary. Dragging my boat and kit across rough Scottish moorland could be avoided and it made sense to be kind to myself and take things easy.

Instead, we came up with a plan B which involved staying in our present location for another night and go on a paddling day trip to visit the Falls of Kirkaig. To learn more about this area check out the John Muir Trust at:


A cooler duller day greeted us as we paddled down the loch into a gentle headwind. Arriving at the end of the loch, we were greeted by a group of walkers who appeared completely bemused by our arrival. They asked where we’d come from and they seemed even more confused when we replied, “From over there” and pointed in the general direction of our basecamp. Trying to grasp how two canoes had made their way to this high and remote iconic loch was probably beyond their comprehension.

One of the group said he could save us the trouble of walking to the falls because apparently they, “Weren’t anything special and we shouldn’t bother going.” We obviously decided to ignore his advice and went anyway. I’m not too sure what he was expecting to see there but our walk along a muddy track and then down a steep rocky path, led us to a beautiful wooded glen, inside which was carried a white mountain river. Admittedly they weren’t on the same scale as Niagara or Angel Falls but the location was marvellous. Not quite so marvellous was the appearance of bitey little critters, although I was well-prepared with my life-saving

midge-mesh hood and mittens.There is something very satisfying to be able to defend myself from them, although it did hamper my attempts to eat lunch!

As a strong woman, I am clearly capable of fighting off attackers at any time and in any location. I fully advocate the use of midge head nets in the wild and possibly the use of a well-timed right hook in an urban environment. After a leisurely few hours of day tripping, it was good to paddle home to Terje to enjoy another evening of fine dining and watching films. It’s a hard life but someone’s got to do it!


The day began early with another extremely well-timed answer to the call of nature, after which we enjoyed yet another leisurely breakfast of freshly cooked pancakes with maple syrup. Nothing in particular was planned for the day other than to enjoy our surroundings.The wind was a consistently gentle F2-F3, which enabled us to sail towards the end of Ffion Loch again. Now evenly matched in terms of sail size and sailing speed, we were able to cruise along together in the late autumn sunshine. Our Endless River sails are great



downwind sails although by using our paddles and adjusting the trim of our boats, it’s possible to sail crosswind and almost upwind.

In years gone by, Adam would need to stay in close proximity to me. Now that I’m a reasonably competent paddler and sailor in my own right, this isn’t usually necessary. It does mean that we can both alternate between paddling/sailing but also manage to capture photos of each other in action and then catch each other up.

We played around for a few hours until it was time to head back to Tipi Base Camp for a late lunch in the sun. The plan was to stay put in that location for our final night.True to form though, after lunch, we decided differently. In true expedition-style, plans can change very quickly depending on circumstances at the time. We knew our way back to Loch Veyatie was upstream along the river again and as the weather was currently good, we decided to pack up camp and make our getaway whilst we could.

combination of skills, fitness and determination becomes more difficult for me so rather than spend hours getting nowhere slowly, I switched to tracking my boat upstream to get ahead. From my vantage point, I was able to watch Adam standing tall with his big stick. I’m very much a visual learner so it was a good use of my time to observe and learn.

Once we were both clear of the shallow rocky rapids, the water still wasn’t deep enough to paddle. Adam carried on poling whilst I carried on tracking.The river

Within around 30 minutes, everything was packed away and loaded into the boats and we were ready to leave.

On our homeward journey, our traditional exped skills came into fruition. Entering the upstream section, we decided to pole up. I struggled to make consistent headway, which was less to do with poling skills / fitness and more to do with the fact that my lung function was reduced. Any task involving a



Often during multi-day trips, things can become challenging and at the same time, seem worse than they actually are.These moments can be due to many factors such as fatigue, conditions, health and terrain. Afterwards, having overcome these temporary difficulties, we appreciate just how much we’ve achieved and how far we’ve come in our journey.

As the river began to merge with Loch Veyatie, the water again became deep enough for us to paddle again. I eagerly jumped back into my boat and powered away. After only a few minutes, the wind speed picked up and Adam and I exchanged knowing glances of anticipation.This could mean only one thing. It was time to set sail again!

It was a slick transition from paddle power to sail power and within no time at all we were effortlessly cruising on Loch Veyatie. We had no particular agenda other than to find a suitable place to pitch camp for our final night. Like a gift, the wind was smooth and consistent and blew straight down the loch, so allowing us to sail downwind and tack across wind with ease, our boats carving beautifully in the turns and our sails flicking overhead with each change of direction.The previous days of sailing practice paid off as each of us took turns to sail and recce small areas of land that heralded the possible promise of a place to pitch for the night. It was wonderful

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Justin Snell of Hou Canoes ( for his guidance in selecting a new all-round expedition boat. As a professional Canoe Guide, I ask a lot from my boat. My new Highline Prospector is a dream to paddle, it performs beautifully on both open water and moving water throughout.” Adam

“I'd like to say a big thank you to Kjetil Knudsen at Nortent ( He has thoughtfully designed a brilliant combination of a lightweight tipi, groundsheet, inner tent and stove which is suitable for paddle expeditions all year round.The craftsmanship is superb and I'm incredibly fond of Terje the Tipi and Red Hot Stig the Stove.” Angela Last but definitely not least, we’d both like to mention Bill Todd at Freebird Paddles. ( legacy of Downcreek Paddles lives on in Freebird Paddles and offers a seamless transition in terms of paddle design and craftsmanship. Rockguard tips come as standard and because they have an extensive collection of handcrafted paddles in stock, the dispatch time is usually within 2-3 days.Worldwide shipping is also available.

to effortlessly and precisely sail around headlands and turn in small bays without pausing, as we searched for a pitching place. Several spots were worth disembarking for and doing a recce on foot although in comparison to our previous perfect locations, we were reluctant to make do with a rough pitch for our final night.

As the light began to fade, we decided that we may as well head back to the Hatchery which proved to be the right decision as we found a perfect Terje-sized place to pitch right near the water’s edge. It was somehow fitting to spend our final night at the place where we’d departed several days previously. It was a great end to a perfect adventure.


bank was very undulating so rather than risk falling over and snapping my ankles, I decided to get into the shallow water and wade, dragging my boat behind me. It was hard-going and I will happily admit that I became progressively more bad-tempered and frustrated. Adam did attempt to offer me advice but I was too busy ploughing through the icy-cold water to listen to him. I wish that I had paid attention sooner though because his advice was to shorten the length of my swim lines to reduce the amount of drag on my boat through the water. Once I’d done this, I made much quicker progress and my veil of self-inflicted grumpiness soon lifted to reveal my usual cheery self!


Just Because It’s Rare, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Not There! Read more on page 8

How To Adventure With Less Plastic Waste Read more on page 12

Membership Survey Results 2018 Read more on page 10

Photo Credit: Hannah Barrett and Olivia Whittle

Early Spring 2019

Chris Hopwood, Cotswold Outdoor Expert

In partnership with

Betws-y-Coed, Wales

“Swapping walking for paddling allowed me to look at the map anew and get a different experience of the outdoors. You’re no longer linking woodlands with ridges and footpaths, you’re linking them with lakes and rivers. Being on the water gives you a different perspective of the land and you interact with the outdoors in a completely different way.”

15% discount

for members of British Canoeing Full T&Cs apply. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Selected lines are exempt. Maximum 10% discount on bikes. Only valid upon production of your British Canoeing membership identification in-store or use of code online. Offer expires 31.12.19.

You can also use your discount with:

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Let’s go somewhere



Welcome Welcome from John Coyne

Coaching and Leadership 4

News News


Upcoming Events What’s On?


New Personal Performance Awards and the Scout Paddle Sports Activity Badge


Trade Partners 6

Featured Interview Just Because It’s Rare, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Not There!

A stepping stone into Coaching & Leadership

Jaffa to partner British Canoeing


Cotswold Outdoor - I am Chris



Jaffa to partner British Canoeing p18 Just Because It’s Rare, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Not There! p8

Membership Membership Survey Results 2018


Go Paddling!

Top Tips for a River Clean Up


Invasive Species Week


Paddlesport 12

How To Adventure With Less Plastic Waste p12

Why Polo Players Love Summer


Why Polo Players Love Summer p24

Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

How To Adventure With Less Plastic Waste

Access and Environment



to the early spring edition of Canoe Focus. If we thought that 2018 was fast paced for British Canoeing as an organisation and our community, overall the way 2019 has started looks set already to make 2018 seem leisurely. It is a great feeling to have such momentum in all areas – competition, recreation, adventure, events, coaching, access and inclusion to name but a few, and you will see this reflected fully in the current content of Canoe Focus. As a Board charged with the responsibility of leading the organisation we have been focused upon ensuring that we see everything through the lens of our members, our clubs and our community. We have paid particular attention to ensuring that in 2019 we deliver the key components of our strategic plan and demonstrate by touch and feel what ‘Stronger Together’ really means. The re-launch of ‘Go Paddling’ may seem to be just a name change, but we are using it to energise our offer and be even more inclusive in attracting people to the joy of paddling. Already record numbers of events have been scheduled for Go Paddling week but it is not too late to put forward your own ideas. Close to home our Paddle in the Park will be bigger, broader and brighter than ever before. We appreciate the support of all our partners and Chris Hopwood, ambassador for one of our longest standing partners, Cotswold Outdoor, gives his insight into the essential kit for enjoyment of the outdoors. His appreciation of nature is a characteristic that binds our community: the love of the outdoors and an appreciation of the natural environment where you can enjoy a waters’ eye view - leaving no trace behind.

And it is vital that we don’t leave a trace. As we enjoy paddling we must also promote our environmental responsibility as we campaign for greater access to our waterways. It is what adds ethical strength to our case. Clare Osborn’s article combines passion and practicality in advising how we tackle waste. I am certainly taking to heart tip 10 – I never miss an opportunity to encourage and promote our responsible community.

This year will see us host the first World Cup Slalom of the season at Lee Valley on June 14th – 16th. We have been delighted at the early ticket sales, the meticulous organisation and being able to welcome a new principal partner in Jaffa. An iconic ‘brand’ for the mighty orange and a great fit for our sport. We have an ambition to host more international events and to ensure that the quality and appeal of all our domestic events continues to grow. To this end we have formed a new events management company as a wholly owned subsidiary, British Canoeing Events, to which we have recruited first class events expertise – all adding to our volunteer pool. An exciting summer programme for our highly successful Polo community is covered in this issue with great competitions in prospect. Now that our new coaching structure is in place we will be working hard to promote it and let it ‘bed in’ – our coaching community needs the space to breathe as they give great service to paddlers. We have also launched, in our online store, bespoke clothing to further emphasise our links into the coaching community. A great start to the year and a terrific paddling year in prospect. There is much to look forward to and we shall be working to ensure that our members and stakeholders continue to get the service they require from us. A great opportunity to meet will be at our conference, AGM and awards event in March – work to be done but a genuine celebration of our community too. Professor John Coyne CBE Chair British Canoeing



For the latest news from British Canoeing head to our website! If you’re not a member sign up for free updates through regular newsletters

British Canoeing supports Surfers Against Sewage on The Big Spring Clean British Canoeing will once again be supporting Surfers Against Sewage on The Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit to Sea between 6-14 April. It’s the UK’s biggest beach clean event and this year, mountain cleans are included for the first time, alongside beach, river and city locations. Alongside British Canoeing, The Canoe Foundation will once again be supporting the initiative by funding a number of paddler clean up kits which will be available to clubs.

Click here to find out more

Club+ portal available to all clubs British Canoeing has made available an online portal to help make managing your club quicker and easier. The entry level is available to all clubs as part of the affiliation, at no extra cost, and means you can keep you club details up to date, complete your affiliation online and register your club members as Club Associates with British Canoeing. We have recently launched Club+ as part of the portal to manage your own club membership, events, communications and finances through the same portal. This costs from £12 per month for clubs, but will put you in full control of your club administration no matter your club size.

Claire O’Hara and Ray Goodwin have both been awarded an MBE for services to canoeing in the New Year Honours list.


Click here to read more

Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

New Year Honours for Services to Canoeing

All club secretaries can access the entry level system via the GoMembership Portal already, and if you are interested in learning more about the Club+ portal, visit the Club/Centre Resource section on the website, speak to your Area Development Officer or contact:


What’s On? MAY


Scottish Women’s Paddle Symposium: Findhorn Friday 17th - Sunday 19th May 2019

Join your fellow women paddlers at this year’s Scottish Women’s Paddle Symposium for a weekend of inspiration, confidence boosting, skill development and most importantly FUN! The SWPS is returning to the beautiful Moray coast and the fishing village of Findhorn in May 2019. Whether you want to try a new discipline, increase your confidence in a specific area, or improve on a specific skill or technique, there is a workshop for you. There are sessions in Sea Kayaking, White Water and Open Canoe, and new for 2019 is Stand Up Paddleboarding, Surf Kayak and Yoga. British Canoeing and National Association members are also entitled to discounted entry. For more information on the weekend and to book, visit the SCA website or follow this link



Paddle to the Heart 2019 West Midlands Saturday 8th June 2019

West Midlands annual mass paddle. Organised by West Midlands Regional Development Team, finishing in Brindley Place.



2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup: Lee Valley Friday 14th - Sunday 16th June 2019

The countdown is on for the ICF 2019 Canoe Slalom World Cup presented by Jaffa! Taking place from the 14th to 16th June you’ll be able to watch some of the world’s best slalom athletes compete on the international stage. Head over to for tickets and more information!


17th May | 19th May Findhorn


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㘀欀 搀椀猀琀愀渀挀攀 挀栀愀愀攀渀最攀 圀栀椀琀攀 圀愀琀攀爀 圀漀爀欀猀栀漀瀀猀 倀氀甀猀㨀 洀甀猀椀挀 ☀ 挀愀洀瀀椀渀最Ⰰ℀

䘀漀爀 洀漀爀攀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 瘀椀猀椀琀


LE 8



Rae Baker is a paddler on a mission to raise awareness of Weils disease after the condition, which was misdiagnosed as exhaustion, nearly cost her her life. We Check, Clean and Dry our boats and equipment to ensure they are removed of invasive species, we wear buoyancy aids, helmets and spray decks, and ensure we follow basic safety precautions, but the threat of waterborne diseases often goes unmentioned, and it’s this that Rae Baker is wanting to change!

What is Weil’s disease? Weils disease is a bacterial infection believed to be spread by infected rat urine, though it can also be transmitted by cat, fox and rabbit urine. Transmission is usually through an open wound or abrasion but can also be caused by ingestion of contaminated water.

If you feel ill after paddling you should tell your Doctor as soon as possible and let them know where and when you have been on the water.

Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhoea, headaches, vomiting and muscle pain; sometimes referred to as flu like symptoms, if untreated it can be fatal. For NHS guidance on Leptospirosis and Weil’s disease visit:

British Canoeing advice on prevention Prevention measures against water borne infection are largely common sense, however they should be exercised at all times:

Refer to Paddesafer guidance on the BC website

Cover all cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters Always wear footwear to avoid cutting the feet

Avoid capsize or rolling practice in suspected waters Where possible shower soon after the activity As a minimum always wash your hands or use antibacterial gel after paddling and before eating or drinking

Prevention is key




Rae Baker of Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club shares her story... “When I first started feeling unwell, I assumed it was flu and I didn’t associate it with paddling at all. “As I had been on a bike ride the weekend before and initially had pain in my legs, I was firstly diagnosed with exhaustion, but over the coming days things were getting worse and I knew something wasn’t right. “My partner insisted on getting me further help when I started to change colour - I turned yellow! “In the space of a week I went from feeling a bit off colour, to being unable to walk, having dialysis and blood transfusions as my organs began to fail, to being put in an induced coma as a result of having seizures. “I did know of Weil’s disease, but because of the rarity, you don’t hear about it, and because you don’t hear about it you don’t know how to spot the symptoms and assume it will never happen to you. “I have always made sure I have all the equipment I need. When you think of paddling precautions you think of spray decks, helmets and buoyancy aids but even so, you never think you’re going to get ill like that. “I didn’t fully understand the symptoms and had no idea how serious it could be. I’ve been ill from paddling before, the usual 24 hour bugs we’ve probably all experienced at some point, but this was totally different. “My aim isn’t to scare people, it’s to inform people of simple steps they can take to protect themselves. Water is a fantastic medium for sport and leisure but it is only fun if you respect all of it’s prospective hazards and play safe. People can’t see what Weil’s disease can do and it’s not at the forefront of their minds, this needs to change.

“Eventually my partner insisted they tested for leptospirosis (the bacteria that causes Weil’s disease) and they eventually agreed. We were told that hospitals don’t keep the testing kits to hand as it’s so rare.”

Despite making a good recovery from her ordeal, Rae is yet to return to the water. Weil’s disease has left her with a serious lack of physical strength which means she is currently unable to paddle safely, and worries about putting others at risk. “I haven’t paddled since this happened because it’s taken my core strength. I’m used to doing long trips and big events, but I can’t do that because my physicality has gone. Luckily my organs are good, but all my muscles have deconditioned, so I have to be reconditioned and that’s the frustrating part. “My canoe club were shocked when they found out what it was. Not only that I had Weil’s disease, but at actually how serious and life threatening it turned out to be. As paddlers we are part of a community, which needs to be informed about the risks, no matter how rare they seem to be. “I want to say a huge thank you to the staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary who saved my life. My consultant told me that I was as close to death without dying.

“I look back at the photos of me in hospital and can’t believe that it was me. I feel so lucky to have come through it, and I am incredibly grateful to those who saved my life.” “Despite everything that’s happened, I can’t wait to get out there on the water. Of course I will be apprehensive but I can’t let this stop me.”

Please help us to raise awareness! If you become unwell and Weil’s disease is suspected let us know as soon as possible via our incident reporting form. We will use this information to advise members and improve safety for everyone. access-to-water/incident-reporting

Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

“My partner was told if I’d got to hospital 4 hours later than I did I most likely would have died. What is more scary is that many medical professionals haven’t even heard of it because it’s so rare. They did lots of tests and asked all the questions, just not the right ones. We went through many different scenarios from gallstones to a reaction from a protein drink, but nothing was adding up. I nearly died and I had no idea how serious it could be.



Membership Survey Results 2018 In September 2018 we invited all members to complete a survey on your membership experience, involvement in paddling, coaching and competition experience. Members also provided lots of feedback on what we are doing well, and where we needed to improve. Number of Members completing the Survey: 1026 members completed the survey

Membership Fulfilment Satisfaction with membership fulfilment has improved since last year Still more to do to improve administration

How satisfied are you with the fulfilment of your membership?

2017 5.9/10

2018 7.2/10


Look at reducing plastic in line with articles published and campaigns being run

We did:

We have introduced biodegradable membership cards - the cards are produced from a “Natural Plastic” and under normal conditions they perform exactly like standard cards but when introduced into a fertile environment (eg compost, landfill, rubbish dump, the ground) the break down process starts, completing in 1-5 years. We’ve also introduced e-certificates to reduce the amount of printing we do.

Coaching Improved satisfaction with the level of service received of respondents who are “Extremely or Very” satisfied with the level of service has increased from 28% to 32% E-learning has been received positively with over 30,000 people accessing courses Still more to do to provide support for Coaches and Leaders to reduce calls being passed around.


There’s been a lot of change over a 2/3 year period and it needs to consolidate.

We did: Continue to develop the e-learning platform to provide a range of resources. Introduced e-certificates to reduce printing. Awarding Body website launched. Introduced a “Find a Provider” tool to make it easier to find British Canoeing qualified paddling training providers.

Places to Paddle


To tell you more about where to go paddling

We did:

We did:

We have our 150 canoe trails to give you ideas of places to go, and we also have a number of challenge routes and paddle challenges. In 2019 we are working on providing you with even more information and maps on where to go.

In 2019 we will begin to send out information based on your interests or location. Action - help us by logging in to your membership area and selecting your areas of interest!

Check out to search for trails, paddle awards, clubs and centres

We are publishing more articles on the website covering a wide range of topics. Visit or Facebook to see all the latest news.

Communications Improved satisfaction with the communications we produce and what you receive.

How satisfied are you with British Canoeing communications as a whole?

2017 5.67/10

2018 6.41/10

YOU SAID You’d like more local and personalised content, rather than receiving information on everything that is taking place. You’d like us to cover more disciplines and provide more information on noncompetition paddling Improve the website to make it easier to find information

In February 2018 we launched a partnership with the Paddler magazine. We now include Canoe Focus as part of the magazine. All members receive a digital copy, plus members can choose to purchase an annual subscription at a reduced rate of £20.99. We have launched the British Canoeing Awarding Body website, the British Canoeing Events website, and the Go Paddling website to improve how information is shared.

Access & Environment


There’s been an increase in the information shared on access campaigns and environmental awareness

But you have also said you want this to continue and for us to do more.

We did: In November 2018 we launched our Access and Environment Charter - Clear Access, Clear Waters - a campaign which sets out a vision to confirm access to the rivers and inland waters of England and to protect the environment. It brings together the views of members, the wider paddling community and other key stakeholders to clarify our vision for fair, shared, sustainable open access to water. Visit access-and-environment/access-charter-campaign to find out how to get involved.

Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

Lots of members have been asking for a printed version of Canoe Focus.



How To Adventure With Less Plastic Waste by Clare Osborn

Clare Osborn is a British Canoeing Women’s Paddling Ambassador with a huge passion for the environment. Clare’s enthusiasm for sustainable paddling and adventuring is infectious! As well as the awesome Clare Talks Rubbish website and public speaking, she has also started the #PaddleCleanUp movement, to empower paddlers to clean up our waterways. The article below is reproduced from Clare’s great blog, where you can find buckets of inspiration and a little more about Clare herself.

We are all more aware now of the impact of single use plastics / plastic waste and the fact that we can’t carry on consuming it in the way we have done. The great thing about this pandemic is that it is so easy to do something about it and to make your actions and choices create a wave of change. I tried to use as little single use plastic as possible on the last Paddle Pickup Expedition and I keep seeing posts in forums asking how we can reduce our impact so I thought I would share what I have learnt. As for adventuring plastic free, I just want to expel that instantly. Plastic itself is not a bad material indeed many of our adventure safety gear and vital kit that helps us to do the adventures we do in this new ultra light world are made from plastic. It is not plastic itself that is our enemy, only the way we use it and the way we value it.

Here Are My Top Ten Tips For Adventuring With Less Plastic Waste: Tip#1. Buy Good Quality Gear Support ethical brands that are leading in the way in waste reduction and providing quality products that last. Brands like Patagonia, Finisterre and Craghoppers have a return and repair lifetime guarantee on their products so if it is damaged you can contact them and they will help you fix it, often for FREE!

Tip#2. Buy Gear That Is Not Made From Virgin Plastic Fourth Element, Ruby Moon, and GRN Sportswear

all make performance wear from upcycled fishing gear, and Riz Boardshorts are made from upcycled plastic bottles. Yes I admit that these products do not solve the microfibre problem but they do reduce the use of virgin materials and highlight the possibilities if we embrace a more circular solution. For washing these products I would recommend using a Guppy Friend Bag or a Cora Ball to reduce the release of microfibres into our waters. If you are a kayaker, check out the awesome upcycled marine plastic kayaks made by Palm Equipment and Odyssey Innovation (aka Fathoms Free). I paddled one on Paddle Pickup and it was great!


Tip#3. Buy/Sell Secondhand or Borrow/Share How often have you had a whim to take up ‘X’ activity, bought all the kit and hardly used it only for it to sit around in cupboards? With the digital age now there is no excuse not to put this stuff back into the secondhand market or to use this resource to grab yourself a bargain. If your trip is short and a one off then try forums like Yes Tribe, Love Her Wild and Adventure Queens to see if there is someone local to you that you can borrow gear from.

Tip#4. Cut Single Use Plastic Out Of Your Wash Kit

Tip#5. Make Your Own Snacks This avoids unnecessary food wrappers, one of the main polluters of our waterways. I made my own energy balls and granola bars for Paddle Pickup. Top tip: make the ‘balls’ into a brownie type slab in a tupperware for adventuring as otherwise the balls can turn into gunk. Lots of recipes out there but I like the Ultimate Energy Bites by Deliciously Ella. The ingredients I buy at a local unpackaged store. You can always try dehydrated fruit and veg too. I haven’t tried it yet but after reading a blog by Cal Major – Paddle Against Plastic I am inspired to give this a try in the future.

This is becoming easier and easier as more products come onto the market. You can see below, my wash kit for Paddle Pickup and also the wash kit for my fellow team mate and Plastic Free Ovingdean champion Jessie. A quick list of tips are below, I haven’t listed brands as there are a lot of options out there at the moment and I haven’t tried them all yet: 1. Metal or Metal and bamboo safety razor 2. Moon cup or similar for the ladies (these take a bit

of getting used to but once you do, you never look back. Also think of all the money you will save!) 3. Flannel (no more wet wipes please!) 4. Shampoo/conditioner bars are the way forward 5. Bamboo toothbrush 6. Toothpaste in a jar or tablets 7. Soap or solid shower gel (for adventures I just cut off a smaller piece instead of taking the whole bar) 8. Deodorant in a jar or in a stick in a cardboard tube 9. Refills (this is another option for trips where weight isn’t an issue. I buy some products in bulk and then decant it)

Tip#6. Food Shop Wisely It depends on the type of adventure you are doing and your dietary requirements as to the type of food you need to take with you, but my main advice is to shop wisely.


Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

Try to support unpackaged stores, try to buy produce that is not wrapped in plastic and take your own bags and containers with you when you shop.



Tip#7. Buy Food In Compostable Packaging I found Outdoor Food super helpful when I enquired about plastic clever expedition food. Recommended to me by the amazing Sian Sykes just before she set off to circumnavigate Wales. I tried a variety of flavours and have been told that they have added more vegan options so there are now even more choices. It comes in compostable packaging and in my opinion is a winner for those trips that need a lighter weight alternative. Disclaimer: I am not vegan – I strive to be for environmental reasons but I believe if I tell myself I can’t ever have meat and dairy I will want it more. I would say I am a reduceatarian/flexitarian – some call it a conscious eater but that isn’t a label I identify with.

Tip#8. Take Reusables With You If you are adventuring in places that you can restock then take reusable bags with you, take a refillable coffee cup, take your own cutlery with you. Take a refillable water bottle – I use Water to Go. The filters used in their BPA free water bottles are created based on technology originally developed for the NASA space programme, and their filter removes over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants in water.

Tip#9. Take ‘Leave No Trace’ To The Next Level Not only do I take my waste home with me but I pick up whatever rubbish I can along the way. If it is plogging, paddling against plastic, diving or hiking I tend to pick up what I can carry. For tips on what to do with the waste that you find see my blogs on what I did with the waste on Paddle Pickup.

Tip#10. Talk about it! The more adventurers tell their followers about these tips and any others they are using, the more we can spread awareness.

If you’re thinking of doing a river clean up head to the

Access & Environment section of our website for some top tips and to let us know what you’re doing: britishcanoeing.

Can’t get enough of Clare’s wisdom? If you loved what you read today don’t forget to head to the Clare Talks Rubbish website for more articles and links to her social media:

Love what you read?

Time to get fit

Time to explore

Time for fun

Time to relax

Time to learn

Time for adventure

For events, activities and adventure ideas visit


A stepping stone into Coaching & Leadership Although the warm summer days still seem far away, we know that lots of you will be preparing to become Instructors, Leaders and Coaches no matter what the weather. For full details on the recommended awards, please view the Personal Performance Awards FAQs.

With a range of direct entry awards now available, you have the choice of how you upskill your personal paddling ahead of the course to ensure you can focus on the course content. The NEW Personal Performance Awards are a great stepping stone for those looking to undertake Coaching and Leadership qualifications and provide appropriate milestones and acknowledgement of personal skills. These are not compulsory but act as a guide of your development.

Want to become a Canoe Coach (Sheltered Water)?

Want to become a Sea Kayak Leader?

Want to become a Paddlesport Instructor?

Core Coach Training Canoe Award or Touring Award

Coastal Sea Kayak Award

Touring Award/ Canoe Award/ Wild Water Explore Award

White Water Award/Surf Kayak Award/ Racing Explore Award

Canoe Coach (Sheltered Water) Assessment.

Canoe Coach (Sheltered Water) Training

Sea Kayak Leader Training Sea Kayak Leader Assessment

SUP Sheltered Water Award/ Sea Kayak Award

Polo Explore Award/Slalom Explore Award/ Flat Water Freestyle Award

Paddlesport Instructor course


New Personal Performance Awards and the Scout Paddle Sports Activity Badge The NEW British Canoeing Personal Performance Awards have been mapped with the exiting Scout Paddle Sports Activity Badge Scheme. If you achieve the Personal Performance Award, it would allow you to gain the relevant Scout Badge.



Paddle Start Award

Paddle Discover Award

Paddle Explore Award






Surf Kayak

Canoe Award

Flat Water Raft Racing Award

Surf Kayak Award


Sea Kayak


Flat Water Freestyle Award

Sea Kayak Award

Touring Award



White Water

Polo Explore Award

Slalom Explore Award

White Water Award


Stand up Paddleboard

Wild Water Racing

SUP Sheltered Water Award

Wild Water Racing Explore Award

Racing Explore Award


For further information visit

Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019



Jaffa are delighted to be partnering with British Canoeing for what promises to be an exhilarating 2019. We are committed to inspiring and enabling both adults and children to stay active, through being involved in all types of physical activity. We believe our partnership with British Canoeing is a demonstration of the way in which we continue to achieve this ambition. In the coming year we look forward to being involved in the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. Our teams will be present at the event, on hand to supply both athletes and spectators with juicy, citrus treats throughout the competition. Exclusively available in Tesco stores nationwide, Jaffa is one of the leading fresh produce brands in the retailer’s fixture. We have experience of supporting both top class sporting events & teams, through to projects in schools and Tesco stores to educate on both the quality and health benefits of Jaffa products. So why not give us a try? Please find enclosed a 50p voucher so you can get ahead of the crowd and fall in love with the taste before we see you at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in June.

You can also use your Jaffa oranges to create these delicious Jaffa recipes... Enjoy!

Team Jaffa


Jaffa Orange Sm o


PREP TIME 5 min s



1. Combine all ingr until smooth

edients in a blende r and blitz

• 2 ripe, frozen ba nanas (peeled, cut into 1-inch piec es and frozen for at least 2 hour s) • 225ml orange ju ice (we use freshly squeezed Jaffa oranges) • 1 orange, peeled and cut up into chunks • 170ml cup almon d milk • 1 tsp vanilla extra ct • 1 carrot, peeled and cut up into 1-inch pieces

s r a B la o n a r G e g Jaffa Oran ins PREP TIME 20 m

COOK TIME 30mins



• Zest of 2 Jaffa oranges • 225g rolled porridge oats • 100g dried fruit • 50g roughly chopped almonds s • 25g sesame seed • 25g crispy cereal l • 75ml sunflower oi • 75g runny honey • 50g light muscovado sugar


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At Jaffa we are committed to offering quality citrus fruit, available year-round in Tesco stores across the UK. We are also intent on encouraging healthy diets and lifestyles amongst children and adults alike.

Expires 31.12.2019

Save 50p On Jaffa Citrus At Tesco Hand this coupon to the Tesco checkout operator to receive the benefits as above. This coupon has no cash redemption value and no change given. Can be redeemed only once and by the person to whom it was issued. Valid in the UK and IOM and at selected Tesco stores. Not redeemable through Offer is subject to availability. Copied, damaged and defaced coupons will not be accepted. This coupon is, and shall remain the property of Tesco Stores Ltd and is not for resale or publication. Offer expires 31.12.2019

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By partnering with British Canoeing, we are excited to spread this message together; by sharing knowledge and enthusiasm around the importance of fuelling the body with healthy foods, whilst sharing plenty of juicy oranges and easy peelers along the way!

Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

g tin 8-inch square bakin °C fan), and line an 50 (1 C 0° 17 to en 1. Preheat the ov per with greaseproof pa ge zest, dried nflower seeds, oran su ts, oa e th er th ed ix toge gether until combin 2. In a large bowl, m and crispy cereal to s ed se e m sa se , fruit, almonds pan and melt d sugar into a small an y ne ho , oil er ow 3. Now pour the sunfl heat until boiling ium ed m a on til together ht away, stirring un y ingredients straig dr e th o int ix m 4. Stir the hot liquid everything is coated g it down firmly ared earlier, pressin ep pr u yo tin e th 5. Pour out into lp to mark the til golden. It may he un s te inu m 5 /3 for 30 rm ilst they’re still wa 6. Bake in the oven bars into shape wh ur yo t cu ll u’ yo e lines wher 18 bars board and cut into then remove to a d an ol co to e av Le


Chris Hopwood, Cotswold Outdoor Expert

Betws-y-Coed, Wales

Chris believes that being outdoors is all about finding new ways to journey. With the mountains and rivers on his doorstep, he and his family can simply open the door and walk straight into adventure. Heading out on the water is one of Chris’ favourite ways to explore. Chris takes any opportunity he can to get out there and experience the incredible outdoors every day, whether it’s on the water, in the mountains or undercover of woodlands. There are a wealth of ways to get outside and a whole host of kit to help you prepare for adventure. Off paddling? Here are some of our favourite adventure essentials and a few of Chris’ too.

Trusted by our partners since 1974 Stores nationwide |

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15% discount

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Thermarest Slacker Hammock House

“Being on the water gives you a different perspective of the land and you interact with the outdoors in a completely different way. You’re no longer linking woodlands with ridges and footpaths, you’re linking them with lakes and rivers.”

“A hammock changes everything. You’re now looking for little crops of woodland where you can put your hammock.”

Montane Fleet Jacket

Montane Terra Pants

Full T&Cs apply. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Selected lines are exempt. Maximum 10% discount on bikes. Only valid upon production of your British Canoeing membership identification in-store or use of code online. Offer expires 31.12.19.

Let’s go somewhere


Top Tips for a River Clean Up Following on from a hugely successful Autumn campaign we’ve joined up with Surfers Against Sewage for their Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit to Sea! It’s the UK’s biggest beach clean event and this year, mountain cleans are included for the first time, alongside beach, river and city locations. River clean ups are a great way to do something good for our environment whilst having fun with fellow paddlers!

Here’s a few tips to get you started… •

Agree a date time and location

Prepare your risk assessments and permissions; British Canoeing public liability insurance covers affiliated club events

Arrange disposal of your litter

Invite your MP to come and join in

Share details of your event with local press, they may wish to come along and report on it!

Have your kit ready– pickers, gloves, eco bags, first aid kit

When on the water use an open canoe to carry the eco bags and use kayaks and SUP’s to ferry the litter back and forth

Thank your volunteers for their time and effort

Let us know how many bags you collected and send us some photos so we can share the good work with government and inspire others! access-and-environment/river-cleanups#waterways-clean-up-online-tracker

For clean ups in March, April and May register your event as part of the Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean Summit to Sea; and receive a clean up kit, a limited edition SAS insulated Hydroflask and a step-by-step guide to organising your clean. Register at or by emailing

For top tips including a template letter to send to your MP and information on how to produce a press release, take a look at the environment pages on the British Canoeing website.


Access and Environment - how you can help! Help British Canoeing stop the spread of invasive plants and animals around the UK

Why? 1. Invasive non-native species can have a damaging impact on native British plants and animals by spreading disease, competing for habitat and food and preying on our native species.

If you are attending a Sprint Regatta this year: Before you leave home and arrive at the regatta, please ensure that all your equipment is Check, Cleaned and Dry by:

2. Plants that grow profusely can block waterways and damage riverbanks. These have economic impacts on our environment and add significantly to management costs for navigation authorities.

CHECKING there are no visible plant matter or animals on or in your boat – put them in a bin! CLEANING AND WASHING your boat inside and out away from any watercourse.

3. As canoeist, you may unknowingly be helping to spread invasive species from one water body to another on your equipment or clothing. 4. Help stop this happening by following 3 simple steps: Check, Clean and Dry British Canoeing is providing practical measures to prevent and tackle invasive non-native species, including the provision of washdown facilities at the 2019 national sprint regattas.

DRYING your boat thoroughly. There will also be wash down stations, please visit them before you leave to learn more about biosecurity and have your boat washed down.

For further information please follow: cfm?id=1780 cfm?id=1790

Now is your time to help us with Clear Access, Clear Waters! Thinks you can do NOW:



Write to or meet with your local MP to talk though the campaign & Charter


Ask your MP to sign our ‘Early Day Motion’ (#2056) early-day-motion/52552/ access-for-canoeists



Ask your MP to sign the Gareth Thomas MP amendment to the Agriculture Bill


Canoe Focus Early Spring 2019

Organise or join a River Clean up this spring, as part of our joint campaign with Surfers Against Sewage. (Apr 6th-14)

Ask your MP to table a written question to the Minister

Ask your MP to write to the Secretary of State with your concerns


Why Polo Players


By David McBay

David McBay from British Canoe Polo shares why, despite a packed winter schedule, polo players love the summer and why the warmer weather is the best time to come and see polo in action! Over the winter months, the National and Regional canoe polo leagues take place in swimming pools across the country. With the growth of the Women’s, Youth and Regional leagues, between October and March, over 140 tournaments took place! Despite the action packed schedule of the colder months, if you ask any polo player they are always counting down the days until summer starts.

These tournaments are much more than just an opportunity to play the sport we love; they are a chance to spend quality time with teammates and adversaries alike that goes missing over the winter. Many teams, including the GB international sides, will often travel further afield to take on the best club teams in Europe before the national teams come together, this year in Portugal for the European Championships. If you’ve never tried your hand at polo or seen it in action, summer is the best time to get yourself or your family down to a session or one of these spectacle events and see what you have been missing!

Upcoming events 30th Liverpool International

1st - 2nd June Princes Dock (part of the River Festival)

29th Joy Davis Hull International The warmer weather (and longer days) shifts training from sparse club pool sessions, gym work and frozen fitness sessions (for the most committed!) to regular outdoor training sessions in the evenings and weekends. The summer also brings the big outdoor competitions, both at home and abroad with our friends in mainland Europe.

Closest to home are the 4 long-running competitions in Hull, London, Wales and Liverpool that bring together teams of all ages and skill levels for a weekend of intense games in a relaxed community atmosphere.

For more information on Polo visit:

Follow us on facebook: /canoepolobc

22nd - 23rd June Dacre Lakeside Park

21st London International

27th - 28th July Danson Park

24th Welsh International

3rd - 4th August Cwm Hedd lakes





By Dave Manby Photos: Dave Manby and Alan Fox These two rivers rank as the best runs I have done in a while but they are almost unknown in the kayaking world!

So what is wrong with them?

Well, I can think of one reason: you can’t boast about them in the pub because no one has heard of these rivers.








A group of mates,

became our next destination. That was the research we did and later I discovered my mate, Rob Hind, had been on the exploratory trip who said, “You’ll enjoy it,” which knowing Rob was sort of reassuring!

the majority of whom are over 50 and some over 60 years old, have been running rivers in Northern India. Using Himalayan River Runners for our logistics we have run a bunch of rivers including the Tons, the TsrapChu-Zanskar, the Ganges and the Pindar. So why am I promoting the Saryu and East Ramganga when I have run these other classics? They are a great introduction to multi-day self-support river paddling. They are not super hard with most rapids being grade 3-4. They are probably too good as a first trip; anything after these may well be a let down!

October was (almost) randomly selected by people’s work commitments and the following year we landed at Delhi airport. We were met, as usual, by Yousuf ’s man and his Mahindra jeep to take all our kayaks and other gear off to the river, while we were taken to a hotel booked by Yousuf, to chill out in before catching the night-sleeper train to Kathgodam railway station.

How did I hear of them? We were having dinner with Yousuf, the owner of HRR, after one of our previous trips and Yousuf suggested these two rivers for our next one. Yousuf had scouted them as a possible raft trip but had never got further than that. He passed around two or three pictures, they looked OK, so it

By taking the night sleeper we: a) avoided driving across the Ganges plain, which is not good for your nerves or life expectancy, b) experienced Indian Railways at their finest, c) found the best way to cure jet lag. It is not fast but why would you want it to be; who would want to arrive at their destination at 3am? Sometimes you wake in the night to find the train is stationary in a siding whilst a goods train clanks passed, but then there is a clunk as your train starts clik-clakking you back to sleep.


We were met at the station and taken for breakfast before an 8-10 hour drive into the Himalayas. This is not hard-core suffer-fest expedition paddling! A night


The river valley narrowed slightly and the

rapids proper

arrived, always with a flat stretch after to recover and laugh.


in a government-run tourist lodge was rewarded by views of the snow-capped peaks in the morning before we headed on down to the river in Bageshwar. That afternoon there was time to walk around the town, to do some last-minute shopping and get organised for paddling the following day.

The next morning we drove a few miles upstream and had the normal struggle on day one of a selfsupport trip between getting what you want to take on the river and what you can fit into your boat, before setting off down the river. We were quickly rewarded with a beautiful narrow canyon and some minor rapids to stretch our limbs. Then, after paddling on down through the gravel-bar rapid and under the Bageshwar bridge, the intrusion of roads and towns were left behind. The river valley narrowed slightly and the rapids proper arrived, always with a flat stretch after to recover and laugh.

From Bageshwar we paddled for three days, running mostly read and run grade 3 to 4 rapids There was one portage which was a definite portage – you just

don’t paddle rapids that go under boulders – and one we looked at long and hard before humping boats. We stopped for the occasional excursion to a temple at a confluence or just for a stretch before camping on beaches, cooking with driftwood and gazing at the stars until sleep took over.


On day three the valley widened and we arrived at the take-out where the East Ramganga joins the Saryu and where a smiling Dewan and his trusty minibus were waiting. We loaded up and set off for the put-in for the East Ramganga.This run was a day shorter but just as scenic and the rapids just as entertaining. We had discussions on the flat between the rapids about which was the better river: the Saryu or the East Ramganga but we came to no conclusion before we arrived back at the confluence.

You could resupply again and paddle on down the Saryu to join the Seti River, which forms the border with Nepal and then experience some big volume

paddling and even bigger sandy beaches to camp on before arriving at Tanakpur, which is where the raft trips down the Seti finish. One day I will have the two to three days spare to add this to the trip. An alternative is to visit the Jim Corbett National Park, a tiger sanctuary, for a night or two and not far off your route back to Delhi. So what is so good about them?

Well I can think of one reason: you can boast about them in the pub because nobody else will have run them, so you can lie as much as you like!




These rivers, like all Himalayan rivers, are monsoon rivers so they will change year to year, so portages may arrive or disappear. September would be high water with July and august being madness, why would you want to paddle and camp in the rain?!

We have done these rivers on two occasions, in october and november. The november trip had lower water and so each river took an extra day: three nights on the Saryu and two nights on the East ram Ganga. Bear in mind, however, that our group doesn’t start paddling till the sun is not only up but has hit the beach and warmed, if not dried our paddling kit. We do like to stop in plenty of time so we can cook and set up camp before it gets dark. We always stop for lunch.

If you were super motivated were fit and got up early, you could halve these times – but why would you? remember the mantra, “The faster you travel the more tedious it gets.” The Gora Ganga is the next valley north and was reputed to have been an equally good paddle. When we went, there had been a major flood down the drainage the year before and the river was a mess, boulders just dropped anywhere, sandy beaches stripped away and no real form to the river – we got off fairly quickly. You could paddle it by careful scouting and frequent portages but it would have been an effort without the reward! By now it may have formed channels that did not end in a syphon!


We had warm weather and clear skies on both our trips on these rivers. We paddled in dry cags and shorts – a full dry suit would have been overkill! Youth could get away with shorty cags. november was decidedly cooler at night – I think I need a new sleeping bag before I paddle it again in november. You will need a bivi bag or tarp or a tent; the dew is heavy so don’t leave your kit out to dry – it will get wetter!


Himalayan river runners can be contacted at If you visit their website you will see they do offer guided trips based at their camps on the Ganges and Tons.The Saryu and East ramganga are your own trip; no one is guiding you, telling you what is round the next corner, where and


ThePADDLER 100 when to camp. It is all the better for that! HRR have run the logistics for our two trips on these rivers (and the other trips) faultlessly. If you have more than eight paddlers you will need a second minibus and if there are eight of you, don’t take too much extra baggage! Obviously the fewer paddlers in your group the higher the individual cost will be. If you can’t fly your own boat to India boats can be hired in India, Himalayan River Runners have some and there are other operators on the Ganges basin who will hire boats and organise their transfer to Delhi for you. You should take your own paddles, dry bags and everything else for the river.

The overnight sleeper trains are very popular and book up months in advance. HRR can book these for you. They will need photocopies of passports, visa numbers and the like to book tickets – required by Indian Railways for no apparent reason.


Sandy beach camps. We had occasional visitors – more on the second trip as roads go in – mostly the visitors were people collecting sand from the beaches for building works or firewood. Occasionally we were the tourist attraction but for India it’s remarkably people free.There is little habitation on the river banks and if you want to you can always paddle on a bit!

The best bit of kit we had on the river – a Katadyn BeFree water filter. Best advice for food if you are taking dehydrated food – the sort you ‘cook’ in its foil bag – take a kettle not a saucepan they are easier to use!


Food in the guest houses is veggie curry, rice, chapatis with dhal and it is hard to tell the difference between breakfast, lunch or dinner. Occasionally chicken was added to the menu but the area is predominantly vegetarian – the Hindu influence. We found great ‘street’ food, especially the samosas, to break the drives en-route and between the rivers. Alcohol is available – but only at government-run liquor stores. Be warned the beer tends to be 6%+ – why would you transport anything less alcoholic up those roads!


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Canoeing adventures on the Loire river France logistic & canoĂŤ hire Canoeing is not just our passion. It is also our main excuse to spend more time outdoors and traveling.

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Grab yourself a…

MICROADVENTURE By Richard Harpham Some pics by Ashley Kenlock A SUP adventure is one of the most rewarding and accessible means of completing a river journey or microadventure. Either rent a SUP or if you have access to one, plan a route, arrive, pump it up and paddle off into the sunset. Obviously a little planning will make your trip run smoothly with the correct kit, people and transport logistics in the right place. HOW EASY IS IT?

One of the best things about SUPs is the ease with which most people can pick up stand up paddle boarding. Usually within five minutes of taking to the board you are standing up and paddling. After that of course, it can take a lifetime to master with different tricks, skills and paddling strokes. Thicker, wider boards with more volume are more stable, whereas longer and narrower boards are generally faster. Also worth a mention is the benefit of inflatable technology, meaning the iSUP boards fit easily on planes, trains and automobiles, allowing you to access more remote locations or end to end travel more easily.

At the initial stages when learning, you can use your paddle at a 90-degree angle to the board in the middle as a stabilizer to stand up. Most people start with feet placed either side of the carrying handle before moving onto the ‘guide stance’ and moving their weight along the board. Sticking the paddle in the water in front of you (the catch), allows the board to move forward. Initially it is much easier to keep changing sides with the paddle to stay in a straight line until you can get to grips with paddling on one side. To learn forward paddling on one side it is effectively combining a forward paddle stroke with steering (corrective stroke).

Once you have mastered the basics then you can develop your skills in different conditions such as increased river flow, catching a small wave through to headstands and pivot turns. The good thing about a SUP is it provides great fitness and core strength training, ensuring you are almost always in calorie credit.



How can you plan your microadventure? Maps are a great place to start with planning adventures and microadventures – there is nothing quite like the feel of a paper map on a journey. The Ordnance Survey maps are perfect where you can either use their waterproof maps or get a decent map case. Pesda Press do a series of paddling guides for canoeing and kayaking that may also provide inspiration for routes, including access points, hazards and other route planning information. Al Humphrey, pioneer of the microadventure movement also has a good book with plenty of great suggestions.

There are various sources of inspiration for adventures including the Canal and River Trust and British Canoeing have a section on canoeing trails: You can read more on about my adventures and also where we offer guided, ‘free range’ and other paddling adventures.

Consider daily mileage, seasons and likely conditions, your fitness and the ability of the group in your planning. If conditions are particularly windy or choppy, like my Majorca attempt, then 2.2m waves and strong winds can mean paddling on your knees. Generally as a rule, we suggest training and completing the required mileage beforehand, so you know you have it in the bank. Similarly, it is better to know you can handle the conditions before a microadventure/trip rather than facing the eye of the storm and wondering.


Make sure you are comfortable with the board and equipment you are using and try different boards before buying. Plenty of SUP schools, like us, run demo fleets so you can #trybeforeyoubuy. On the sea or open water in particular, make sure you use a leash as falling off can result in your board getting blown away from you. On moving water and rivers with flow, then

a leash can provide a snag hazard, so it is important to consider the risks at your location. Personally I prefer to wear a buoyancy aid to carry kit and provide personal floatation, although some people prefer a waist belt or relying on the board floatation.

Check out local conditions and river access by getting a good weather forecast and always ‘ask a local’ for the best spot. There are some brilliant apps including Windfinder Pro and River App for weather and river levels respectively. Wild camping needs to be ‘stealth camping’ if you are using a non-designated campsite with an absolutely ‘leave no trace’ policy and be up and out early. If you can’t stick to these simple rules then perhaps a designated camp spot is a better option for you.

Don’t forget to consider the ‘what if ’ scenarios and make sure somebody knows your route and finish time. If you are not sure then there are plenty of great guides and coaches around the country to help you learn the ropes, or paddle strokes! You may also want to search out some of the new SUP clubs that are springing up as part of the world’s fastest growing watersport.



Be aware that river access is a contentious issue in England and Wales, with the majority of water being privately owned under riparian ownership (if you own the river bank you own the water and river bed). In Scotland there is a right to paddle but obviously respecting other water users such as anglers. In essence in England and Wales, much of the river access is linked to the right of navigation, so anywhere with bigger craft will usually be accessible to SUPs, canoes and kayaks. You can support the campaign for greater river access by joining this movement for increased wild swimming, SUP’ing and responsible use of our rivers. Have a look at the ‘Clear Waters Clear Access’ campaign. Beyond this there is a brilliant encyclopaedia of paddling info for rivers @ UK Rivers Guide for paddlers (mostly white water).

When paddling coastal locations, there are increased environmental and weather conditions to be aware of including tides, sea state and weather. Off shore winds, rip tides, overfalls and tide races can make conditions challenging. Again find out about the weather and location conditions. Magic Seaweed and local webcams can help with this or ask the local life boat crews, as they have fantastic inside knowledge. Coastal and open water journeys generally require a greater level of planning, so ensure tides and conditions are within your ability.


As microadventurers, we quickly need to learn a few lessons about packing light but also making sure we determine the difference between what we ‘want’ versus what we need. So a statement that also rings true is nothing weighs very much but everything weighs something. With this in mind, a simple idea is to pack considering the rooms of your house as a guide. For example for the bedroom, I will either need a camp mat, bivvy bag and sleeping bag and maybe a tarp, or mat, sleeping bag and lightweight tent (I use an MSR Elixr 2). Similarly for the kitchen I may opt for ready made meals like those from Adventure Nutrition, where I reheat or add water or go for a more culinary experience by cooking from scratch.

One thing I always pack is a ‘grab bag’ or ‘DS bag’ which contains all the essential elements I might need in an emergency or incident. This might include items such as spare torch, fire lighting equipment, gaffer tape, leatherman, first aid kit and other important items. There are many lightweight options for SUP adventures in particular such as MSR dromedaries for carrying water, water filters, Pocket Rocket and small gas canister, DD small tarps and other kit you will figure out over time. A mobile phone and charger is a good plan for communications and if you are going further off grid, a Garmin In reach has great tracking and communications in wilder areas.

On coastal waters I also take an ICOM VHF radio (you need a licence), EPIRB and marine flares, to ensure I have several ways to contact the emergency services.


There are many incredible places to paddle around Britain’s coastline and further afield. As an island nation there are many nooks and crannies to explore but as mentioned above, start with flat calm conditions on the sea, no white caps or wind and paddle within your limits. Similarly the lochs in Scotland offer a majestic backdrop for any paddle, although these like many lakes, may behave like small seas in stormy conditions.


ThePADDLER 110 England’s capital city boasts the River Thames with its many iconic locations to learn SUP’ing, check out Active 360 ( who run trips on the Thames. Leaving London and heading out into the sticks, less than an hour by train, you will find leafy Bedfordshire with the River Great Ouse and the Canoe Trail team and next door in Northamptonshire, there is River Spirit SUP on the Nene. There are some excellent SUP locations in West Wales with its rugged coastline and golden sandy beaches including TYF in St Davids and the Big Blue Experience on Newgale Beach. Linking along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO world heritage location you might also like The Watersports Academy, another family run friendly business.

Also check out the Canal and River Trust for places to paddle closer to you for a day trip or overnight camping adventure.


Don’t forget to purchase a licence. Joining British Canoeing will provide you with a waterways licence for accessible rivers and lakes as well as other membership benefits. Alternatively, you can purchase a licence from the Environment Agency although this often has regional designation. The Canal and River Trust have an Explorers Licence, which provides up to 30 days of paddling in a year.


Start with some easier routes and build skills in your tool box such as camp craft, rescues, first aid and different paddling strokes so you can expand your range and goals. Be warned, wild camping and outdoor activities can be addictive. Try different seasons, night paddling on rivers and explore our

amazing country or further afield. If you want to book the same SUP microadventure we shared with the team, then get in touch with the Canoe Trail team (

SUP’ing offers a fantastic way to access our incredible rural waterways and connect with wildlife, our heritage and escape the digital world we live in. Personally just writing this has reignited my plans and I have some cool SUP microadventures in the pipeline including a 24-hour SUP as part of my Project 24 adventures, Bedford to Birmingham using waterways and roads and some longer trips. Stay tuned…

Happy paddling

Richard works as a professional paddling coach, teaching SUP with his wife Ashley at Canoe Trail, where they share SUP adventures with a wide range of people from around the country. Canoe Trail has been voted top 52 things to do in the world by Lonely Planet and also featured at number three in Red Bull’s list of best UK SUP adventures. They recently hosted a SUP microadventure with Red Paddle Co, where people could come and try a SUP microadventure. The crew left London late afternoon, paddled to our private riverside woodland and then returning the following morning. It was interesting to open people’s eyes to the possibility of a digital detox and some rewilding on an overnight microadventure.

Richard is a human powered adventurer and inspirational speaker who has completed over 10,000 miles of expeditions by kayak, canoe, bike and on foot. You can follow his adventures through social media and

protect yourself from the elements




Story: Steve Brooks Photos: Steve Brooks and Ute Heppke

It is not exactly easy getting into Argentina from Chile in a truck with kayaks on the rack. We arranged our car insurance in Pucon then headed towards the border stopping along the way to get our kayaks, paddles and kit disinfected from the problem of Didymo (an algae that has caused huge problems in the Lake District and Northern Patagonia areas of both Chile and Argentina).

At the Chilean border, passports checked and stamped. Temporary import papers getting organised with the customs officials. Going through all the paperwork: l My truck papers and registration document to say I am the owner. l My Chilean RUT (tax) number. l Argentine car insurance. l Didymo certificate. Brands and colours of the kayaks on the roof rack, paddles and kayaking kit declared and it finally looked as though we were on our way. Oh, wait a minute this RUT is not the normal one? Luckily for us one of the customs agents had in-depth knowledge of the complexities of Chilean tax and law, so after a short explanation to his colleague they wished us luck and we were now heading to the Argentine border.

After 10 minutes we got to the first check point where a military police officer went through the same questions and wanted proof of our Didymo certificate. We were given a little bit of paper and told to park over there! Another 30 minutes later we had completed passport control, temporary imported our truck, kayaks and equipment and were now having our kayaking equipment inspected by the military police just to make sure it had been disinfected!

It was done, we were given the green light and we were finally allowed to go into Argentina. It had gone smoothly and had only taken us just under one-hour to depart Chile and enter Argentina.

I N ! Ute and Sebastian kayaking on the Rio Alumine.






The first time we tried to cross this border when we were in Chile two years ago, we were stopped from going into Argentina and were sent back to Chile. As we got to the Chilean border post they went on strike and so we sat in the Gringo Loco van for the next five hours! A couple of months later during the high summer season, we waited in the queue for 4½ hours just to get to the border post. This is when I realised just how good it is to be in the European Union with frictionless travel throughout the 28 countries (at the time of writing this piece)!

San Martin de Los Andes

Ute and I were heading to one of our favourite places in the world – San Martin de Los Andes. We had spent a winter there skiing and snowboarding back in 2003 and had managed to visit our friends there a few times over the years when travelling up and down to the Futaleufu River.

With the stunning Lanin Volcano towering over and maintaining its ever presence on the drive from the border to San Martin – it was just a pleasure. Last spring in Austria we met Lucia who is from San Martin and it felt as though we had been friends for years. We were going to spend a few days and check out some of her favourite places to chill out, hike to and of course to eat. After a fair few bottles of Malbec wine, plenty of steak, ice cream, chocolate, copious amounts of maté, some big hugs and our bellies full, we were on our way to the Rio Aluminé.

The drive up was pretty cool, the terrain in this part of Argentina is very different from the lush green of Chile. We were on a mini altiplano (high plateau) so it is more arid, desolate and we could feel the wind sometimes hammer the truck with the kayaks high up on the rack. The tarmac road had finished a long way back and every time a truck coming in the opposite direction brought clouds of dust and our speed was severely reduced. When the dust settled we could see granite blocks of rock in the distance reminding us more of a North American western feel, especially when we passed Gauchos herding cattle and sheep on their way to higher pastures. On the rare occasion a big truck or vehicle passed us we were greeted with a friendly wave, it was great to be in Argentina!

Volcano Lanin

Ute Heppke kayaking on the Rio Alumine.

Steve taking a stroll along the Lago Alumine

Stopping on the way up to Villa Pehuenia

The fruit of the Araucania Tree



We finally reached the lower section of the Rio Aluminé, by the sides of the river the different shades of green were in stark contrast the barren and arid altiplano. We were now going to follow the river all the way to its source at Lago Aluminé. Just after midday we arrived the small town of Aluminé and tried to find somewhere to eat and get a drink before the final leg of our journey. However, as it was after midday, it was siesta time and after driving around blocks looking for something open it had more of a ghost town feeling.

Unsuccessful in our quest we continued driving upstream. We passed a few signs for tourists saying photo point or view point and we also came across our first sign of the IRF world rafting championships that had taken place a few weeks before. Close to this sign we saw some kayakers getting ready to put in on a mellow section of the river. We popped down to say hello and after initial greetings we suddenly realised that one of the kayakers, Sebastian, was the contact we were given from Lucia. He was running an informal beginners kayaking course and so we made a plan to meet up later in the evening at his home/rafting base!

We finally arrived at Villa Pehuenia a small hamlet on the shores of Lago Aluminé. It was absolutely stunning, with deep dark blue water and snowcapped mountains all around. It has been a while since our jaws dropped with stunning natural beauty and such a serene landscape. We met up with Sebastian and his wife later in the day over a maté or two and made a plan for the next day. I have to say midday, as morning to an Argentine is very different to an Austrian’s idea of morning! That evening we headed to the best restaurant in town, just a 15minute walk from our cabańa. It was low season so with hardly anyone around, there were plenty of tables and the staff were happy to see and serve someone. We ordered the local Malbec red wine and while they tried to tempt us with the house dish of roasted lamb, we ordered the bifé de chorizo. Well, we were in Argentina and it had been 24 hours since our last succulent fillet steak! After a 350g lump of the finest beef Argentina produces from the Patagonia pastures, washed down with the wine and topped up with a piece of chocolate cake, we wobbled and dragged our heavy stomachs back to the cabaña, thankful of the walk!

Sebastian Clemente kayaking on this home river

Ute and I met up with Sebastian and his wife,Veronica. Loaded his kayak onto our truck and headed to the putin. We had heard only great things about the Rio Aluminé and we were really looking forward to seeing just how good it was. With the water exiting the lake, we started our trip right from start of the river. A little bit of flat water to warm up and then the rapids started to pick up. Pool drop with Class 3 with easy moves and some nice waves to surf.The surroundings were stunning and none more so than the Araucana Tree. Commonly known as the Monkey Puzzle Tree, it is one of the oldest trees in the world. It grows at a very slow 1-2cm per year so the big trees with their thick trunks have been around for thousands of years and because of its longevity it is called a living fossil.

The rapids were also picking up and we were coming to the crux moves, in the spring, the water is pumping from all the snow melt entering and then flowing out of the lake. We were avoiding some big sticky holes and punching through others. The lines were becoming a little tighter and we were using the full width of the river with some smooth lines from Sebastian. The whole day Sebastian had a big cheesy grin on his face, he loved this river the very first time he kayaked it and decided he wanted to plant his roots here and has not looked back since. He was so happy showing someone his home river, something I can relate to when we are back home in Austria.

Crystal clear water on the Rio Alumine


The sun was out, the river was a stunning colour and it was just fun, no stress Ute Heppke running El CanĚƒodon on the Rio Alumine


ThePADDLER 118 That evening Sebastian suggested we meet up for a beer at the local bar. Not the easiest place to find but with a rough description and a few directions later we met up. It was a complete winner, they had IPA on tap and with happy hour in full swing, we were talking rivers, mutual friends we had met along the way on our travels over the past 20 years. The music was pumping, no reggaeton here in this bar just some good old rock from bands like Led Zepellin, The Who, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. The beers were flowing and all the locals were super friendly and were really happy to see us.

Argentina has seen some hard times over the years and the Peso had lost a huge amount of its worth. Really bad for the local Argentines but for us, well, a beer was €2.50 half price at happy hour and where can you find the best steaks in the world for under €5? The local towns and villages are relying heavily on tourism to help them beat the economic hardships and the tourist office and municipalities are working hard to bring a variety of tourists. Not just kayakers, our really good Kami ran the small ski resort the previous Winter and with the altitude and snow they receive it has huge potential to develop into to a great area for ski touring and backcountry skiing!

Sebastian Clemente of Aloha Rafting kayaking on his home river

We stayed for a few more days before saying our goodbyes with some Abrazos muy fuertes (strong hugs) and a promise to return soon. We headed back into Chile via Paso de Icalma, this time it was a lot quicker and smoother as at this time of year they hardly see anybody. On the other side of the pass we headed to the Rio Truful Truful for a quick blast before journeying back to Pucon.

We now know why our friends who live in Pucon like the Rio Aluminé so much and that is why we headed back again nearly a month later with Jimmy to show him just what was so special. Now we have got the paperwork and routine dialled the border crossings are becoming a lot smoother.

We would like to say a BIG thank you to Sebastian, Veronica, Lucia and the locals of Villa Pehuenia for making us feel so welcome and of course David Joos from Pucon Kayak Shop for implanting the seed of kayaking the Rio Aluminé those years ago.

We will be heading back there again in November 2019 and if this article has not persuaded you to go then here is a short video we made of the river.

Who wants to come?

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For the love of marketing, PR and paddling By Robert Parkwire & Tracey Stein In his early thirties, ZackTeperman has led a successful, young life that proves to us all that you can live the life you want, whilst still enjoying the things you like to do.

Zack, currently the President of Los Angeles-based public relations agency ZTPR (, started his career as a radio disco jockey in Miami, Florida, Bracebridge, Ontario and a special on-air gig at Mix 100FM in the capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories,Yellowknife. For those who may not know about this hidden gem in the north,Yellowknife is home to some of Canada’s most scenic and natural lakes including Great Slave Lake, Long Lake, Frame Lake, Reid Lake, the Lower Cameron River and the Tartan Rapids.

While living and working in radio in his late teenage years, Zack described to us how beautiful Yellowknife and its lakes were. “I wasn't in Yellowknife for too long, just one summer, but it was one of the most incredible summers there. Going down the Ingraham Trail and paddling in all the lakes was just mindblowing.The water and air is just so fresh.You could just put your hand in the water and drink it out of your palm, and it tasted better than anything out of a bottle.Working on-air at the radio station weekdays, I was able to spend my weekends just exploring all the nature around me... It was an experience I’ll never forget, and probably where I fell in love with being out on the water in just a canoe or kayak for some ‘me time’.” After hanging up his radio microphone and headphones in Yellowknife, Zack travelled back to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to continue his work in the radio industry, while starting to tone his craft in marketing, sales and public relations.While living in Toronto, Zack tells us he was able to escape from his normal 9-5 work day by heading down to his family cottage near Algonquin Park to relax on the water. “Being able to work in the city and drive a few hours to relax my mind in nature was a real perk. I was never really a 'city guy' but that's where work was, so I had to be there. However, whenever I could getaway, I would.”

His time in Toronto came to an end when he took a chance at a job opportunity in Hollywood, California. It was there that Zack took everything he had learned previously to work up the ranks in the public relations industry, starting his own agency after a few years and taking it global with clients in entertainment, music, technology, fashion, food, health and business.




What started as just an agency in Hollywood, grew over the years to all parts of the United States and then finally back to Zack’s home country of Canada, where he was able to connect and help represent a company that fitted in with his own passion of paddling. That company was TRAK Kayaks (, makers of the portable kayak and with Zack’s expertise and guidance, TRAK in on track for a very successful 2019 ahead.

“When I first spoke to Nolin [Veillard] and the team at TRAK, I just knew they had something special. Being someone who likes to travel myself and kayak, I was blown away with everything TRAK had created and been doing. I had to get involved.”

With big plans for TRAK this year, Zack and his team at ZTPR have been able to insert themselves into a market they love, which makes their job even more enjoyable. Zack says, “When I first started out in PR, I had to work for someone else and was given clients to handle, whether I thought they were great or not. Since I started my own firm a few years ago, I feel very lucky that I am able to now select and work with companies, products and people who I’m actually fully dedicated and passionate about. It makes work fun, and it’s very satisfying to watch start-ups and companies like TRAK go from a concept to something everyone wants to own.”

While Zack enjoys kayaking in the latest TRAK 2.0, he still tries to canoe and stand up paddle board whenever he can, whether it be in Marina Del Rey, Lake Elsinore, Lake Arrowhead or Malibu around his hometown in California, or in other parts of America such as his recent trip to Spencer Glacier in Alaska where he kayaked around the ice and snow, or overseas from him in the clear hot seas surrounding the island of Bora Bora in the French Polynesia.

“Being able to work, travel and do the things I love has been a blessing. Everything in my life, from my days being an intern getting people coffee at radio stations, to being on-air myself, to now being in marketing, public relations and investments, has happened for a reason.”

With ZTPR now expanding its reach beyond North American waters to places like Australia, the UK, Singapore and Switzerland, the future for young Zack looks bright. He has a loving wife, baby girl (who is one of Hollywood’s youngest television actresses), and has also started a marketing platform/portal that anyone on any budget can use called MEDYA ( In addition to all these companies he has even written a humorous bestselling marketing guide book entitled, ‘Cut The Bull$hit’. Through it all though, Zack's love of the water and paddling has continued forward and helped him stay ‘relaxed’ through any changes life throws his way.

Follow Zack’s life in full via Instagram at or on his company website:



A stand up experience in the…

LOFOTEN I S L A N D S By Riccardo Marca Photos: Adam Sims

I had heard many times about the Lofoten Islands but I never really considered to go there. Now though, I have to say the Lofoten Islands are one of the most amazing places I have ever travelled to. It wasn’t easy to get there for sure but it has all been worth it.

I used to look for just warm locations to travel to, but this year I felt it was the time to try a new adventure that was 4,000 kms away from home and a 43-hour drive. I have to be honest and say that when I firstly checked the route out I wasn’t that sure anymore about getting into this adventure. The drive from home to Oslo was just really tedious and the landscape was nothing special, just a long straight road.



However, it all changed driving from Oslo up to Bodø, the scenery was just amazing. From Bodø, the ferry to Lofoten would take four hours to cross the treacherous Vestfjorden and we arrived in the early hours for a drive down to Å, the most southern town in the Lofoten Islands peninsula. It’s a beautiful place, with impressive scenery.

We moved on up to Reine, the most iconic town in the region, where we had our first accommodation booked. Reine sits across a handful of small islands, interconnected with bridges, surrounded by snowcapped mountains that plunge vertically hundreds of metres straight into the ocean. Our house was one of those classic Norwegian red houses, right in front of the sea, it was like living a dream.


Whilst being totally overwhelmed and consumed by the scenery, we quickly realised that the fast changing tide wasn’t really making it easy and safe to get on the water, so we drove around searching for the best spots. The best sessions were actually the ones in the early morning, when the sunrises were two to three hours long. It’s amazing to be out on the sea with that special light – the water was usually really calm without any breeze and the only noise you hear are the ones of your board sliding through the water and sometimes the birds singing.

After a couple of days searching, I discovered a lake just above the sea in a mountain facing the ocean. It was a pretty long climb with the board but once there, the scenery was insane. SUP’ing there was an incredible experience, paddling in a lake and looking at the ocean at the same time was just amazing! Over the next few days we kept on driving through the islands, where every corner was very different and special. As the days passed we found the Reine and Flakstad areas were the most impressive places and we managed to score quite a few sessions there.

Paddling in a lake and looking at the ocean at the same time was just amazing! ThePADDLER 127

ThePADDLER 128 The life there is so much different, everyone is really far from that stress and chaos of the city. On the one hand it made me think that many things we consider essential on a day-to-day basis, are actually unnecessary and yet on the other hand after a few days, I started to miss a little bit of that connection with society and the people who you know within it. It was really cool to meet local people living in Lofoten. but I found the decision of living in such a beautiful place as a bit crazy.

Looking back now, I’d personally say that the Lofoten Islands are one of the most stunning places I have visited and can’t wait to return in the future.

Stand up paddling in the Lofoten Islands has been one of the best experiences in my life, I felt closer than ever to the ocean, just being out on the sea alone, without any external sound, lost in it. In every corner of this place you were connecting with nature and its purest elements, this is what made it so special for me. Nowadays we are not that used anymore to be so closely connected to nature, without distraction and it has been a totally new feeling for me.



Main Symposium Weekend 4th – 6th May 2019 Course Week 6th – 10th May 2019 Email: T Telephone: +44 (0) 1407 765550 To advertise email: or call +44 (0)1480 465081




U l t i m a t e With more than 45 years of experience as the world’s leading paddlesports supplier, NRS is dedicated to providing equipment, inspiration and expertise that empower adventures on the water. Founded with a vision to prove a better way of doing business, US-based NRS is committed to the stewardship of clean, healthy waters and is 100% employee-owned.



Since 2014, NRS

has operated a European distribution centre to better serve paddlers in the United Kingdom, and throughout Europe, with quality technical paddling gear and apparel.

In the spring of 1969, NRS founder Bill Parks found his way aboard a river trip in the Grand Canyon, an experience that would change his life – and the paddling world – forever. The trip introduced Bill to the thrill and challenge of navigating rapids, the unique way that rivers invigorate our bodies and minds, and the sense of community that develops among boaters on the water.

Bill became hooked on the sport and began talking his way onto any paddling trip he could. He saw the potential for the sport to grow, and the potential for a company to supply that sport with solid gear and a commitment to service. He named his company Northwest River Supplies.

A legacy for providing premium-quality equipment informs every new NRS product design through a philosophy we call Ultimate Utility.

Ultimate Utility is about more than building rugged gear that gets the job done. It’s about purposedriven, user-focused solutions that are clever, not complicated, and about comfort and convenience to improve experiences. You can check out NRS kit at kayak shops throughout the UK, and at

A legacy for providing premium-quality design through a philosophy we call

equipment informs every new NRS product Ultimate Utility




Tailor-made Canoeing, Kayaking & Rafting Holidays 020 8742 1556

Explore Jersey by sea kayak Guided tours, courses and offshore trips. Open all year. Sea kayaks and sit-on-tops available.

Call: +44 (0) 7797 853033

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I live in Vancouver BC and I am passionate about SUP touring. There’s nothing I love more in life than paddling to a remote island, harvesting seafood from the area and cooking it over a campfire and sleeping on the beach. So in the last four years I’ve been getting deeper and deeper into island chains and exploring the coastline with my SUP board.

Word and pics: Aya Kristina Engel

My reason to SUP: freedom, healthy for my body and the best views! The feeling I had the first time I did an over night paddle trip was akin to that feeling when you get your first car. A giant new found sense of freedom. I can go anywhere, whenever I want feeling! Except this one is on water with no ‘lanes’, less rules and more beaches. I love paddling on my SUP board because it’s so versatile. I find when I’m doing distance paddling in a kayak, my back gets stiff and cramps. On my SUP board, I can move my body in a more ergonomical way that feels good. I can rotate from standing, sitting or kneeling. Also, when you’re standing on SUP you get a way better view of the wildlife beneath you. I have now paddled over the top of orcas, humpbacks, seals, sea lions, and dolphins – and saw them all while standing on my board.

Our goal: Broughton Archipelago This summer, my friends and I (Ariane Tasca and Valtteri Rantala) decided to go to the northern tip of Vancouver Island to a place called the Broughton Archipelago. It should be noted that most Canadians have no idea where this is or have never heard of it – it is that remote. We chose this location due to its immense whale activity. We wanted to paddle with whales… and did we ever! s t a n d

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LENNY'S WORLD Kai Lenny in profile PLASTIC PATROL Lizzie Carr interview DOUBLE TAP SUP surfing knowledge THAMES FIRST The London Crossing AQUA INC Behind the brand SUP CHALLENGES with Sam Wilson CLAIRE GLASBY photographer profile SUP X white water frolics

ISSN 2397-8597 October 2018


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of the Forest of Dean Ltd. The Tank and Drum Experts

New & recycled lockable plas c containers for canoe safes etc. Available from stock. Also recycled steel drums for pontoons.

Collect from our Gloucestershire depot or na onwide delivery available. Visit or call on 01594 833308.




Alive, kicking and ready to order in print or digital…

SUP Mag UK covers all the latest features, stories, interviews and gossip. Whatever style of riding floats your boat (or board), your perfect SUP magazine is available – posted straight to your door. Printed on top quality paper and perfect bound and with so much awesome content from the UK and further afield, SUP Mag UK is your perfect SUP companion.

To subscribe to the digital copy with approx 60% savings over the print issue: To buy a printed issue on top quality paper with varnished gloss perfect bound covers please visit: The printed paper copy costs £7.49 inc P&P for a single issue or £27.99 inc P&P for a subscription of four magazines. Please contact us: 01480 465081 Email:



Low Premium! Comprehensive

Canoe & Kayak insurance

Quick and simple - at the touch of a button or call: 03452 607888

Santorini is probably the most beautiful island in Greece and where we chose to establish our sea kayak club. In July 2011 Santorini Sea Kayak ran its first day tours and since then, more and more guests of our island join our tours and have had a memorable adventure. Santorini’s coastline offers many different venues to paddle to enjoy the dramatic landscape. Santorini Sea Kayak is running half day tours on double and single kayaks plus SUP tours. With our van we pick up guests from all over the island.

However, it is now time to move on and therefore the company is for sale. Anyone interested should contact us via email at

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Sea Kayaking Kefalonia Ionian Sea, Greece

Calluna Self Catering in Fort William

Need a base for your courses or personal activities, summer or winter? We have the place for you, whatever your activity! • Legendary drying rooms • Private parking • Lecture room • Free and fast fibre WiFi • Winter kit hire • Owned by a MTA/AMI/ • Secure kit storage BMG member

01397 700 451 or 07776 414 491


Day-trips around Kefalonia, multi-day trips in Kefalonia, Ithaca and all central Ionian, BCU courses, accommodation

CONNOCHIE ROAD, FORT WILLIAM PH33 6JX Alan, Sue & Victoria Kimber

AS Watersports, Exeter, EX2 8DP

01392 219600


Kayak • Canoe • SUP Only the best brands. All under one roof. In-store & online. O

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A-6574 Pettneu am Arlberg Tirol







Photos: Steve Brooks • Graphics:



PS : I R T E N I R U S T N N O I E T V I D D A PE X E & RU E P rakhand



IA SLOVENSocˇa INDIA Himachal Pradesh Tel.: +43 (0) 676 530 38 78 •

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