Page 1

Issue 5

ThePaddler ezine com International digital magazine for recreational paddlers

India Sikkim

By Darin McQuoid

India Kashmir


By Steve Brooks

Stu Morris

By Peter Tranter


By Leslie Kolovich

Dave Cornthwaite By Leslie Kolovich

Lake fishing

By Simon Everett


By Chris Kenyon


By Nigel Gill


By Becky Mason


By Alan Feldstein

First paddle By Phil Carr


By Terry Wright


SUP record distance

Sikkim and Kashmir expeditions

Contents January 13

Photo of the month for January 2013 Derwentwater, Lake District, December 2012. By Geoff Griffiths Editor

Peter Tranter peter@thepaddler.co.uk Tel: (01480) 465081 Mob: 07411 005824 www.thepaddler.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/ ThePaddlercouk http://www.linkedin.com /pub/peter-tranter/36/bb8/134

Advertising sales

Anne Egan Tel: (01480) 465081 advertising@thepaddler.co.uk

Front cover: No pools form on the Teesta River. By Darin McQuoid. Huge thanks to: Darin McQuoid, Steve Brooks, Stu Morris, Leslie Kolovich, Dave Cornthwaite, Simon Everett, Chris Kenyon, Nigel Gill, Becky Mason, Alan Feldstein, Phil Carr and Terry Wright

By Terry Wright.

Not all contributors are professional writers and photographers, so don’t be put off writing because you have no experience! ThePaddler.co.uk ezine is all about paddler to paddler dialogue: a paddler’s magazine written by paddlers. Next issue is February 2013 with a deadline of submissions on January 30th. Technical Information: Contributions preferably as a Microsoft Word file with 1200-2000 words, emailed to submissions@thepaddler.co.uk. Images should be hi-resolution and emailed with the Word file or if preferred, a Dropbox folder will be created for you. ThePaddler 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. The publishing of an advertisement in ThePaddler ezine does not necessarily mean that the parent company, 2b Graphic Design, endorse the company, item or service advertised. All material in ThePaddler ezine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction without prior permission from the editor is forbidden.

Issue 5 Where we’ve been… 6

Sikkim, India

India 06

Descending from the top of the world in a kayak in Sikkim, north east of India. By Darin McQuoid

18 Kashmir, India

Descending solo from the top of the world in a kayak in Kashmir, north west of India. By Steve Brooks

36 Stu Morris

Interview with an Olympic boat designer, European Champion athlete, all round good egg and now owner of VE Paddles. By Peter Tranter

Stu Morris 36

42 Canada

Following Bob Purdy’s ‘Paddle for the Planet’ SUP epic across Okanagan Lake in BC . By Leslie Kolovich

52 Dave Cornthwaite

Tap into Leslie Kolovich’s podcast inteview with the interpid British record breaker. By Leslie Kolovich

Dave Cornthwaite 52

56 Lake fishing

The basics on freshwater kayak fishing from England’s Lake District. By Simon Everett

80 Portugal

Central SUP club and a four-day visit to Portugal’s ‘Capital of Waves’. By Chris Kenyon

Lake fishing 56

86 Spain

Ibiza - the seaside palace of Tyrant King Tourism. If you can’t beat them – join them. By Nigel Gill

94 Canada

The making of the instructional paddling DVD called ‘Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing’. By Becky Mason

Tanzania 104

Spain 86

104 Tanzania

Paddling and safari to complete a truly once in a lifetime experience. By Alan Feldstein


68 First paddle

Canada 94

Phil Carr assesses the Pyranha Nano.

74 Testing, testing 123

Terry Wright reviews the Native Watercraft Slayer 12 plus gear from Snugpak and Lifeventure.

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Huge thanks

Welcome to ThePaddler ezine’s fifth edition and biggest yet at 112 pages. Before you launch into our adventures and advice from across the planet – I just want to say a truly heartfelt huge thanks to all the paddling enthusiasts from all the disciplines and across the world who have contributed to ThePaddler in such an entertaining way, whether it be a feature, coaching, reviewing or just helping to spread the message.

Peter Tranter Editor

‘A picture says a thousand words’, the images you consistantly supply to the Paddler are amazing and together with the quality of the stories continue to take our breath away, truly inspirational!

It doesn’t end there because your sheer enthusiasm and willingness to help has personally kept me sane and happy during the long hours to keep the magazine up and running at the high standard you deserve. Respect! The ezine would not exist at all if it was not for our advertisers – to them – thank you so much for your faith in the project and understanding the need for a publication that is dedicated to the recreational paddler, not just here in the UK but across the world. For those of you who may be interested - the ezine is now also available on Apple’s iTunes and on Android’s Google Play in crisp high definition. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-paddler/id582662941?mt=8 Then press the link to the iTunes store and download the app from there. https://play.google.com/store/apps Then type ‘thepaddler’ in the search box.

Meanwhile back to the subject of river access in the UK, please read on…

It was a simple enough question but one that Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs chose not to answer. Douglas Malpus’s Petition to the House of Commons had asserted that there had been a public right of navigation on all rivers between Magna Carta and the 1472 Act for Wears and Fishgarthes and that as such could only be extinguished by legislation or exercise of statutory power.

Mr Paterson’s side stepping of the question confirms that there is no such legislation and, consequently, is a public right of navigation on all rivers in England and Wales.

However, the rest of his statement makes it clear that his policy is to ignore this. The policy of his Lib Dem partners however is to introduce a new statute enshrining the public right of navigation as in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, 2003 (See their manifesto commitment ‘Liberal Democrats will: Increase the general right of access to the countryside along the lines of the model introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Scotland’ – 2010 Liberal Democrat Manifesto, page 81.)


The website invites those that contest the public right of navigation to challenge these assertions and in particular to say which legislation or exercise of statutory authority ended the historic right of navigation. No such challenge has been received.

He also ignores the views of the 2011 Red Card to Red Tape Report (commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport researched and written by the Sport & Recreational Alliance) which said, “DEFRA should introduce a statutory right of access in England and Wales for un-powered craft to inland water for recreational purposes.This system of rights and responsibilities should be based on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.” (see page 201) and the Select. No agreement either with The Select Committee of the House of Lords on Sport and Leisure who said in 1973, “The legal question of rights of way over water must be settled. A number of different legal interpretations of this right of way have been referred to in evidence and it is time for these to be resolved.” As an advocate of resolving issues by agreement, we are beginning to see how it works Mr Paterson.You tell us what you want, making no reference to the law or the views of others outside anglers and landowners and everyone else has to agree – just like on our rivers!

Sikkim Breathless in

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By Darin McQuoid

All are out of breath from the simple task of carrying their kayaks down a footpath to the headwaters of the RiverTeesta.

Four thousand metres above sea level in the northern Indian state of Sikkim, an intrepid team of kayakers attempt to run what is possibly the steepest flowing river on the planet!

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Crossing high above the Teesta

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The world’s seventh largest country, India is too large to fully experience in one trip. Sikkim is a state with a rich and storied past, tucked away in the far North-east between Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Sharing more cultural traits with Nepal than southern India, but lacking in rampant Western tourism, Sikkim is a great place to explore off the beaten path. The team came to Sikkim for one specific river; the Teesta. Flowing off the world's third highest mountain, Kangchenjunga (8,586m), the river loses elevation in a dramatic manner, averaging an incredible 112 metres per kilometre for 100 kilometres. Heading to arguably the steepest sustained gradient in the world It looks like and minimal beta, the a slice of west group doesn’t know what to expect. It takes four long days of driving, from near sea level to over 4,000 metres. Law dictates high up here in north Sikkim, hiring a local guide in only 30 kilometres from Tibet north Sikkim and Targain warns them that the river will be too steep to kayak. The culture has changed with the elevation gain as much as the flora and fauna. It looks like a slice of west Asian culture high up in north Sikkim, only 30 kilometres from Tibet and 1,500 kilometres from New Delhi. Ice melts on the side of the road as drysuits are put on. They had planned to put-in at Lake Tso Lhamo, but military restrictions halt the jeep in Thangu Valley. No one complains because all are out of breath from the simple task of carrying their kayaks down a footpath to the headwaters of the River Teesta. Through the valley the river is unremarkable for rapids yet exhausting thanks to the elevation. The scenery makes it worthwhile though, with towering snow-capped peaks above and Bhuddist prayer flags lining the sides of the river. The road crosses at the end of the valley and the team pulls off the river.

Asian culture

Unloading at 4,200m ThePaddler 9

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The exit of Thangu Valley

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Making the local drink

Good morning flat tyre

Jesse Coombs hikes into a new section of river

steep with o aj to st

the middle! n i p ee

30 kilometres fromTibet and 1,500 kilometres from New Delhi

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eight hours negotiating the portage

Like ants through a gravel pile, the team spends

Below ThanguValley,

for six kilometres, the Teesta is simply too steep for the team to kayak. This is a rare occurrence in whitewater kayaking on a river of this volume. Day after day the team spends their time running each section of the river possible. It seems like every section of river the team as able to descend is sandwiched between impossibly steep sections often boxed into narrow gorges. After a week full of action one last section of the Teesta is attempted. Kayaks are packed with overnight gear as the river enters another deep canyon of unknown length. Perhaps the wisest – the elder team member decides not to put on to this section of river. The rest of the team pushes downstream, only to find that the river is once again too steep and literally

goes underground in a quarter mile boulder field. Like ants through a gravel pile, the team spends eight hours negotiating the portage, only to find that there is just too much water in the riverbed. Already spent, the only option is to bushwhack a thousand feet out of the canyon and find the road. Relief is palpable when they can hear their local guide calling for them at the edge of a small mountain village. Perhaps Targain really did know all along. While the team didn't attain the classic whitewater they'd dreamed of finding in the upper reaches of the Teesta, there is classic whitewater to be found in Sikkim. Lower stretches of the river see commercial rafting business blooming and there are many rarely done rivers and plenty of more feasible rivers to explore in Sikkim.

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INFORMATION LOCATION: Spread below Mt. Kanchanjunga (8534 m), the third highest mountain in the world and revered by the Sikkimese as their protective Deity, Sikkim shares borders with Tibet in the north; Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west and state of Bengal in the south. Kanchanjunga's five snowy peaks soar high above the Himalayan landscape of Sikkim, sometimes wrapped in mists and wreathed in clouds, sometimes blazing while against a brilliant blue sky. Below Sikkim unfolds its magic and its charm : a garden state with rich green tropical forests; brilliant birds and butterflies; an amazing variety of orchids, rhododendrons and wild flowers; rushing tumbling streams and torrents; and endless vistas of snow-crowned peaks.




PADDLING: Sikkim white water rafting and kayaking have recently developed into an important tourist attraction in the state.The mighty Teesta and its tributary Rangit provide for great opportunities for white water rafting and kayaking in and the tourism department of Sikkim is devoted to develop the tourist profile of the state and promoting white water rafting and kayaking as one of their major projects to achieve this end.

White water rafting in Sikkim takes place on the Teesta and Rangit rivers. Teesta offers great white water rafting opportunities and has successfully placed itself on the international rafting map. Presently graded at four, many water sports enthusiasts arrive every year to experience rafting in Teesta. The trail is serpentine and the scenery is beautiful with great forests lining the river banks. Rangit also offers white water rafting opportunities, however, the stormy Rangit waters are more difficult to raft than Teesta and as such only the highly experienced rafters undertake the Rangit expedition. Between them, the rivers offer certain trails which are graded between two and four where many novices find their thrills. It can therefore be easily said, that Sikkim rafting has something for all white water sports enthusiasts at all levels of expertise. Makha, Sirwani, Rangpo and Bardang are the best places for rafting in Teesta, whereas Sikip, Jorethang, Majitar and Melli are the best spots to experience the Rangit. Kayaking in Sikkim is also gaining in popularity with time.The Teesta is the ideal place for kayaking in Sikkim. However, kayaking in Sikkim can be potentially dangerous and some level of expertise is needed to undertake it.

WEATHER: Due to the extreme altitude, there is an immense variation in climate and vegetation. With a rainfall of about 140 inches in Gangtok, the climate is tropical up to 5,000ft, temperate between 5,000ft–13,000ft, alpine at 13,000ft, and snowbound at 16,000ft and above. The best time to visit Sikkim is between mid-March and June but especially, April and May, when the rhododendrons and orchids are in bloom. However, temperatures can be high, especially in the valleys. During the monsoons, from the end of June until end September, rivers and roads become impenetrable, though plants nurtured by the incessant rain erupt again into bloom towards the end of August. October, when orchids bloom once again and November tend to have the clearest weather of all. As December approaches, it gets bitterly cold at high altitudes, and remains that way until early March, despite long periods of clear weather. VISAS: Visitors require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) in addition to normal Indian visa to enter Sikkim and can visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang and Pemayangtse.

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A solo descent down the Tsarap Chu and Zanskar Rivers



Steve Brooks ThePaddler 19

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What a brutal journey I am finally dropped off next to a bridge some 4,300m above sea level. I had left Manali the day before and crossed the Rohtang Pass, not before stopping and waiting for a light truck to be rolled back the right way.The back part of it was somewhere over the side of the mountain.Then as we head towards Jispa, locals tried to rob the bus but luckily the bus boy fought back to prevent them gaining entry. In the meantime the bus driver did what he knew best (and had been doing since we left Manali) and that was to put the pedal to the metal!

So as I pack the final contents of my kayak I wave to every truck, jeep and bus that drives by and blows its horn. I am finally ready. Over 300Km of white water lays ahead of me and a few box canyons. Will there be people around? Just how remote is the Tsarap Chu and Zanskar Rivers? These questions and others were going to be answered, I put in!

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It was only three hours to my first camp, the weather was not great and I knew the box canyons were relatively close. The night went smoothly, except for the kerosene (I had decided to take kerosene for the trip but I was now thinking this was a mistake). The morning brought snow, sleet, rain and more sleet. It took a lot of hot tea to get some warmth into me. I was seriously thinking why I had decided to take kerosene instead of petrol! Though one thing was for sure, as I was putting on I was glad to have a set of Pogies. Just minutes downstream I got to the first box canyon, with plenty of boils it was just a taste of things to come. I lunched at Satok, a good landmark for the next box canyon. This time it was a portage around the first two-thirds of the rapid, some rocks had formed a nasty class VI sieve. I could not put my kayak on my shoulder as it was heavily laden down with all my food and expedition kit. No matter how well I had acclimatized I was breathing hard dragging my boat at a height of over 4,000m. The next three box canyons kept me on my toes until I reached the Lingti Chu confluence and the village of Yarshun. I decide to push on feeling great and wanting to get my first night in the canyon. The night did not disappoint as the darkness closed in the canyon walls made an amazing foreground and the crisp clear night air made the stars even more intense! I set off early this morning as I was wanting to get to Phugtal Monastery, a truly amazing place. I left my kayak and kit at the river and carried my camera up some 400 vertical metres to get to the entrance. At first I met no-one, I had seen a few monks on the roof as I walked up so I kept heading on in. Finally I met up with a German guy who was studying the Ladakhi culture and language. He showed me upstairs to meet the monks. I got a tour of the monastery, including the prayer room, social areas and the kitchen. The setting too was dramatic, hanging off the cliffs, windblown and whitewashed, prayer flags draped, hanging or flying in the wind, the monastery is certainly something special. The only way to reach this place if you are not a kayaker is some three long days of trekking from the village of Padum (my halfway point), the journey to Leh is at least a week long!


TSARAP CHU Hanging off the cliffs, windblown and whitewashed, prayer flags draped, hanging or flying in the wind,

the monastery

is certainly something special

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We just both made it into a sheltered cove as a

massive explosion

went off and rocks came flying down from everywhere

From Phugtal

it was just 30 minutes to the confluence of the Kargiak Chu. The river picked up and I was running some classic Himalayan class IV. Camp tonight was close to a local farmer, the wind was brutal and I could not help get sand absolutely everywhere, dinner was going to be late tonight. My final day on the Tsarap Chu, could I had heard also be my hardest, though it turned out to be the best white water day! I just had to negotiate Reru Falls. For me it was a portage, though I would consider it within a group but I was having enough trouble from the Indian Foreman, or what I would call a supervisor! He was running down screaming for me to take cover, I grabbed my camera, paddle and ran for it with the foreman chasing. We just both made it into a sheltered cove as a massive explosion went off and rocks came flying down from everywhere. The foreman looked at me and said, “You were very lucky!� I just hoped my kayak was still in one piece! They were blowing into the canyon walls to make way for a road that would go from Padum to Darcha (in-fact a road is planned to go from Leh through the Zanskar Gorge via Padum and finally onto Darcha). With the excitement of dynamite behind me as well as Reru Falls I now had some three hours of class IV read and run. It was great to be in these big pushy rapids, it kept me smiling all the way down to Padum. I had now reached my halfway point and place to finally get rid of the kerosene and buy some petrol. I did want to spend the night in Padum but it would have meant trying to drag my kayak up to the rim and then wait for however long it took for a taxi to come by. I left the boat and kit again secured to a rock by the river and headed into downtown Padum. The first priority was the fuel the next some to eat. I had been living off rice and dhaal since the put in and now it was time for the taste buds to get a treat! I was not disappointed, fried Momos and a Coca-Cola! I camped just below Padum close to the confluence of the Stod River, once the Stod and Tsarap Chu come together the Zanskar is formed! That night I received a few visitors but for me I was mesmerized by the lights of the village of Karsha. After three nights of complete darkness the lights of Karsha was something unusual. As I kept staring towards civilization I realized how my I had enjoyed the Tsarap Chu and will the Zanskar be just as good?

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A 300km white water solo journey through an amazing canyon and one of the remotest

places on the planet,

next...Well that was going to be Peru! ThePaddler 27


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The little clear blue stream that I was using for water turned into a red brick coloured

mud torrent

I arrived at the start of the Zanskar Canyon with the weather worsening, by the time I reached camp thunder had started and the noise the rebounds was making was immense. The little clear blue stream that I was using for water turned into a red brick coloured mud torrent, the noise of all the rocks tumbling into the Zanskar just added to the atmosphere. The next day saw me running some huge waves, negotiating tricky currents and get-ting occasionally tailed in the box canyons. I got to an oasis in the canyon, water was spurting out of the canyon wall bringing a piece of green to the dusty arid environment. As I came close to the village of Chilling, the weather turned on my again, thunder, heavy rain and lightning. I had exited the canyon just over an hour ago and I had made camp noticing the water was getting darker. An hour after stopping one of the side streams must have broke as the river was getting higher, darker and the wood started to mount up in the eddy down from my camp. Firewood would not be a problem tonight! This carried on for most of the night meaning the final river day was fast and bouncy all the way down to Splash Rafting Camp close to the Zanskar and Indus confluence. I was offered a lift back to Leh which meant of a hot shower, clean clothes and a beer watching the day finish over the grand Leh Palace. A 300Km white-water solo journey through an amazing canyon and one of the remotest places on the planet, next...Well that was going to be Peru!

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Steve Brooks Steve has clocked up a fair few kilometres of whitewater so far in his career. In fact he has paddled in over 16 countries, on five continents including first descents along the way!

In the summer you will find Steve at his home near Landeck, Austria where he has been running a successful kayak school and guiding service for the past couple of years. When the Autumn sets in, the weather getting colder and rivers drying up, Steve heads with his kayak to sunnier climes, always looking for that piece of river heaven. He seems to have found it in South America and the Indian Himalayas! For more info check out: www.gokayaking.at and www.stevebrooks.at

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INFORMATION GETTING THERE: Kashmir: Srinagar now has an international airport and direct weekly flights are operating from Dubai. All major airlines operate regular daily flights to here from New Delhi and other major cities in India. Srinagar Airport is 14 kms from the city

Kashmir-India Ladakh: Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate regular flights to Leh from Delhi and shuttle services to Srinagar and Jammu (thrice weekly to each city) and to Chandigarh (twice weekly). Leh airport is 6kms away from the city centre.


Jammu: Jammu airport is 8kms from the city centre. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Kingfishers operate scheduled services between Jammu and Delhi and Jammu and Srinagar/Leh.


PADDLING: The Lidder river in Pahalgam has stretches where its gentle gradients are well suited for beginners. Sonamarg is another favourite place for rafting in Kashmir as the river Sindh roars through the area and makes sport challenging for the players. The grade scale at Sonamarg touches up to Grade 4.

Paddling in Ladakh is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. It provides the best opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural beauty of the spectacular landscape with deep gorges, towering snow-capped peaks, hilltop monasteries, hillside villages, and glimpses of the unique wildlife. Ladakh offers a range of rafting options on the Indus and its major tributaries.The best stretch for professionally guided runs in white water is on the Indus between Spituk and Nimu or Saspol, which rates 4 to 5 in the international river grading scale of 1 to 6. Upstream of Spituk, the Indus has the easiest stretch up to Karu, which is ideal for basic training or ‘scenic floating’. The most difficult but exciting rafting option is available on the Zanskar River, along its spectacular course through a gorge in the Zanskar Mountains, between Padum and Nimu.This is suitable only for wellorganized white water expeditions, prepared for a week of rafting and camping in absolute wilderness. Participants are required to be trained rafters themselves while the arrangements should be assigned to a dependable professional agency. Adequate arrangement for rescue backup is an essential prerequisite for embarking upon this white-water expedition and Indus River (Ladkah) and Suru River (Kargil).These rivers range from Grade 3 to 5.

WEATHER: The weather in Kashmir is like that of Europe, as it can rain any time in any season. Kashmir offers a variation in climatic conditions from region to region. Ladakh and Srinagar are the coolest, whereas Jammu has a tropical climate. Autumn with dry, yellow and reddish leaves has a charm of its own and in winter, can be covered by a blanket of snow. VISITOR INFORMATION: Srinagar tourism reception centre, Srinagar. Tel: 0194-2452690-91, Email: dtk@jktourism.org Jammu tourism reception centre, Jammu. Tel: 0191-2548172. E-mail: dtj@jktourism.org

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Kali River – Adventure for good causes By Andrew Theobald, Phoenix Canoe Club

After 18 months of meticulous preparation involving trips to the Rivers Wye, Tryweryn, Usk and Teifi (to name a few), various fundraising events and grants, 37 members of the Phoenix Canoe Club, Barnet Network Scouts and Barnet Explorer Scouts set off from Heathrow for a two week trip to India, with the highlight being a six day expedition down the Kali River.


To read further visit:

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BSc. Hons

Level 4 Coach

European Cup Champion 13 years British team athlete

Olympic boat designer Director ofVE Paddles

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here and what was your first paddle?

First time was on holiday when I was around nine-years old. There was an Army open day and canoeing was one of the activities. I was smitten!

How did your first paddle progress into what is now a very successful career? Well, I swam both the Tryweryn and newly opened Holme Pierrepont white water courses in my first year. At the time, I recall they were the two scariest but most exciting experiences of my life. At fourteen, I entered my first canoe slalom event at Stafford and Stone C.C. I won and gained promotion at both this, and the subsequent event. By 16, I had switched to C1 and was training full time. I earned a place on the GB junior canoe slalom team and competed at the Junior World Championships in 1995, Czech Republic. I progressed through to the senior team and competed at numerous World and European events before switching to the GB freestyle team in 2000. Freestyle competitions at that time were more like kayak festivals, I would go along with my boat, see all my friends and have a great time, who won and who lost was not important. This was a refreshing break from the high intense demands of slalom competition.

What were your competition highlights?

Winning the 2006 European Freestyle Cup Championships.

What was your first international competition like?

I think it was a Pan Celtic Cup in Castle Town Ireland, I was competing on the English junior team, can’t really remember too much except it was fun to travel somewhere new and go paddling.

manufacture kayaks

I had a unique opportunity to design and

that were solely for a particular individual

Explain your PhD research…

Do you design other paddling equipment?

As many of your readers will know, a successful kayak is a compromise of speed, manoeuvrability and stability. The difference in a kayaks form attributes, affects the relative performance relating to each of these parameters. Previously, kayak designs had evolved slowly over time through trial and error. There is currently no scientific methodology for comparative testing of white water kayaks or measuring resulting performance.

There have been many great influential people, within the sport, for me the one that stands out is 1992 Olympic Silver C1 Medalist Gareth Marriot, his skill and dedication to the sport made him an icon at the time.

I have designed and made every piece of paddling equipment at some point. When I was 13 I taught myself to laminate and I produced my own helmets. I went on to make canoe kit for Peak UK, designed and made many kayaks over the years for myself and companies such as Robson. I now design and manufacture VE paddles. I enjoy designing and making stuff that you can interact with and use to have fun.

What is the single biggest improvement you can make to a kayak in the design process?

Making it suitable to the individual and the environment in which it is to perform. Kayaks are generally ‘off the shelf buys’, as the Olympic boat designer I had a unique opportunity to design and manufacture kayaks that were solely for a particular individual, their weight, technique, fittings all custom built to fulfill their needs.

My UK Sport sponsored research took place at Nottingham University’s Engineering Department. It was entitled ‘On The Effects of Kayak Geometry and Athlete Performance in Olympic Canoe Slalom’.

Stu Morris

Is there anyone in particular in the sport that has influenced you?

I set out to change this. To give you a bit of background, it is important to know that canoe slalom competitions are regularly won and lost by fractions of a second. The difference between gold and silver medal positions in the 2011 Men’s Kayak World Cup race in Bratislava was a mere 0.15 seconds — that’s just 0.17% of the total run time. The event takes part in a demanding, highly variable white water environment. Canoe slalom is a heavily equipment based sport, where that kayak and its interaction with the water is extremely important, athletes look to improve their equipment to produce performance gains.

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I actually think the next major development will come from the materials they are manufactured from.

I manufactured a series of identical kayaks with a succession of iterative changes made to certain areas of their form (rocker, depth, width and seat position) to highlight the effects they had on performance. I laser scanned the different shaped kayaks and analysed their hydrostatic properties using 3D computer-aided design to define each of the kayak forms. Two GB athletes then undertook three field tests – a flat water sprint (for speed), a turning task (for manoeuvrability) and a white water task (for race performance) – to define the relative affect of each geometric form parameter on the boats’ performance. The tests were timed and the athletes’ provided structured feedback on how each kayak performed. An onboard six-degrees-of-freedom inertial measuring unit captured acceleration and angular velocity recording three-dimensional movement. All of which were logged and compared against the geometric properties. The kayaks were taken to the Strathclyde University tow tank facility where each form’s drag characteristics were analysed at multiple speeds and accelerations. This research showed that all areas of form had an impact on how a kayak performs, as did the relationship between these parameters and how they interact with one and another.

How would you say your work on Olympic designs influences what kayakers paddle every day?

You now run your own company: VE Paddles – is this the next step in your career?

Yes, it is hard going and I am very busy, but at the same time, it is very enjoyable. I love it when I receive emails from paddlers saying how amazing their new paddle is, it makes it very worthwhile.

If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be? Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was an English mechanical engineer that pushed the limits of what was possible in his time. He built many amazing things to last the test of time, these included dockyards, railways, steamboats, bridges and tunnels – all on a grand scale.

What would you say to him?

What did you plan to build that you thought was too ambitious?

What was the best advice you were ever given? ‘Be careful’ by my Mother.

Where is the best paddling place you have ever been to?

Austria/Swiss Alps every time! I have paddled many places in the world over the years but Austrian and Swiss Tirol area is by far my favourite. It has lots of amazing white water in a very small radius, great scenery, nice food, it is never too cold or too hot and the people are extremely honest and kind.

Well, I have developed a protocol for designing future kayak’s based around both objective and subjective scientific measures allowing designers to have a greater understanding of the needs and wants of the paddlers and how to create geometries to fulfil those objectives. All in all, this will result in kayaks that although may not look too much different they will be refined in such a way making them very user friendly. This will allow kayakers to keep pushing the limits. I actually think the next major development will come from the materials they are manufactured from.

Thanks for your time Stu

What do you do in what must be your very limited leisure time?

Well I try to get away from it all really and do something that clears my mind. I always enjoy a trip to North Wales, good company, a bike, a boat or just a set of walking boots and my dog.

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Bob in downwinder.

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Bob’s plan was to paddle the entire length of

Okanagan Lake,

roughly 80 miles, in one day

On the road with Leslie Kolovich

World paddle


for the



had just quit my 9-5 uniform-wearing, clockpunching, rules-and-regulations, numbersgame job, working as an Activities Director at a nursing home! Interestingly, it was the sweet residents there who were encouraging me to fly out that big white door, and live my life with passion! I will cherish their wisdom forever. They are the angels who guided me to Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, to cover an event, which would change my life. The mountains of the Okanagan sent a vibration to my heart from the moment I first spoke to Bob Purdy who had been paddling everyday since January 2011, to draw attention to his cause, “To change the way we live on the planet.” When Bob asked me to join him for World Paddle for the Planet Day, I was honoured, but I had no idea this edition of ‘On the road with Leslie’ would touch the depths of my soul. I know the planet is struggling, but it is easy to look at pictures and see only the splendour. At 1:30 a.m. on Friday, June 16, 2012, we packed into the van in the light rain and headed out to Penticton, our starting point for World Paddle for the Planet. Bob’s plan was to paddle the entire length of Okanagan Lake, roughly 80 miles, in one day. Rayburns Marine World provided the support boat and two captains, one for each half of the event. The rest of the crew

consisted of only the photographer, Joan Vienot, and Chief Support John Anderson. Bob’s wife, Sharon, would join us at mile 40. The morning was still dark when we launched our paddleboards. Knowing I had not trained or ever paddled more than seven miles, so that was my goal. Bob and Stefan Idzan, (Bob’s friend and training partner) went on ahead, their pace being much faster than mine.

Here’s where it gets personal

I was alone in the middle of the lake. The dark of the night began to lighten, as the sun was about to make a morning appearance. My senses were in an acute state. I could hear individual raindrops falling on my jacket, hitting the water, and I noticed the sound the blade of my paddle made as it sliced into the water. Surreal. I also heard my heart beating, not because of exertion, because I was ‘in the moment’ and I knew it. I always talk about how stand up paddling is the sport that truly puts you ‘in the moment’ -- well, this experience nailed that statement completely solid!

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It was then,

alone on that lake, that I understood why Bob was so passionate about paddling for the planet. I fell in love with the lake that day. I also fell in love with the planet. I heard her heart beating, I felt the pride of her looks, I saw the moods of her weather, and her desire to be there for the humans who need her every single second they breathe. I have interviewed many people, who have paddled some astounding distances, and I have been truly amazed, but I never really understand why anyone would want to do that. It was when Bob told me that I had just paddled 10 miles that my tears began to flow. I actually had done something I had never done before, nor thought I could. I felt so good, knowing I was doing it for a cause greater than just personal satisfaction. The rain started to come down even harder, but the water remained calm. Bob was focused, his

Bob in flat rain

breath steady, his balance perfect. Always smiling, always concerned, and always appreciative, he encouraged me to take it just one hour at a time. So I kept paddling. At mile 16, even though my breath was steady and my heart was strong, but my arms were on fire and I couldn’t take another stroke of my paddle. I kneeled down on my 12’ Naish board, knowing that my guardian John Anderson would see me, and bring the boat back to rescue me. I crawled into the boat, tears in my eyes from the pain and also because I had just achieved another milestone, a 16-mile paddle. Mr John, expertly massaged my spent arms and shoulders as I sipped our magic elixir, coconut water, and ate an avocado-tuna sandwich. Bob carried on, strong and steady. About an hour later, I felt recovered enough to get back on the water.

John Anderson with Leslie.

My breath was steady and my heart was strong, but my arms were

on fire

Bob paddling into the sunset

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This is when I surprised myself by paddling four more miles, but that’s when my body said, “Hey girl, I believe you understand the needs of the planet now, and you will not be any good if you kill me!” I felt pretty damn good, with 20-miles under my paddle. But enough about me! Around hour 16, I saw Bob waver for the first time. A downwinder, with big twisting waves, so close together that it took all of his energy to stay standing. Wisely, he put on a lifejacket. I began to wonder if this was worth the risk. I began to be scared for his life, and I think we all were, but we said nothing. It

was getting dark, with more rain and wind, and we still had three hours to go. I could easily have called it good at that point, but Bob was determined, continuing to take food and water every hour, still managing to speak kind words. Telling us how close we were to the finish, he was the one giving the pep talk!

With darkness quickly approaching, we were concerned that we would not have enough light to keep track of Bob on the water. Miraculously, we saw this bright alien vessel coming towards us, and to our joy it was Kevin O’Brien with glow lights on his board and paddle. Symbolically and literally he lit the way for the tiring Bob and crew. Nearing midnight, after 19-hours on the water, a surge of energy came to us all when we saw the glittering lights of our final destination, Vernon. Bob glided into shore ahead of the boat, and we all cheered as we heard him call out, “WAHOOOO!!!” There was no fanfare, no TV cameras, just the lucky few who were there to

The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show

The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show has been an integral part of the SUP Explosion since July 2009, with creator and host Leslie Kolovich giving the sport a unifying “voice”. An avid Stand Up Paddler herself, Leslie’s interviews are about the stories behind the paddler, the stories behind those who love the water, the stories of all of us who care about humankind and the planet we live on. Listen to podcast interviews from around the world with passion being the one thread that joins us all. If you have a story idea or topic feel free to contact us. supradioshow@gmail.com

witness the super-human strength of this planet paddler. Tears and emotions of all kinds poured from us exhausted earthlings. I’m pretty sure Bob’s completion of the 80-mile length of Okanagan Lake is a world record for continuous paddling. The story doesn’t end here, as Bob continues to paddle daily for the Planet and has not missed a Daily Paddle since his mission began on January 1st, 2011. The next World Paddle For the Planet Day is set for Lake Powell, in Panama City Beach, Florida, October 10-13, 2013 (see panel).

After 19-hours on the water, a surge of energy came to us all when we saw the

glittering lights

of our final destination

Sending a SUP wave of change around the world!

My name is Bob Purdy, I am the standup paddle surfing, elder in training from ‘Paddle for the Planet’. I have been paddling my standup paddlesurfer every day since January 1st, 2011 to,“Change the way we live on the planet!”

At 12 noon on October 12th, 2013 I will stand up in Florida for 24 hours at Lake Powell – a rare and unique coastal dune lake. For ‘change’ – environmental, social and economic ‘change’. I have also invited some of the world’s top paddlers to join me in Florida to paddle for the ‘change’ they are passionate about. On October 12th, I am inviting you as well to paddle for the ‘change’ you want to see, wherever you are in the world! Paddle for all 24 hours, or for 24 minutes. Paddle by yourself, or with a group. Create a relay team. Paddle a river, an ocean or a lake, just paddle, and join me in creating a healthier planet! Our planet is asking us to change. Look at the air – is it clean? Look at the water – is it clear and healthy? Look at the land – what do you see? The effect we have had on the planet is evident.The one home we have needs our help – today!

The David Suzuki Foundation has been asking us to ‘change’ for a very long time. Dr Suzuki and the Foundation together have influenced the world in a positive ‘way’ for decades. My wife Sharon and I are long time contributors to the Foundation and we invite you to contribute what you can to help fund their amazing work.Visit www.paddlefortheplanet.ca for more info on ‘Paddle for the Planet’, ‘World Paddle for the Planet Day’ and the David Suzuki Foundation. Click on the donate button to contribute, with our thanks every penny donated will go directly to the Foundation! Many thanks to everyone for standing up and making a difference, especially Sharon! A special thanks to Leslie Kolovich and Joan Vienot from the SUPRadio Show (www.supradioshow.com) for inviting me to paddle in Florida! More thanks to our incredible sponsors and the biggest thanks of all goes to you, for sending an ‘SUP wave of change’ around the world! One person is the difference, stand up and be that person! www.paddlefortheplanet.ca https://www.facebook.com/pftplanet

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INFORMATION Weather: Climate in British Columbia is influenced by latitude,

mountainous topography and the Pacific Ocean. This diversity causes wide variations in average rainfall, snowfall, temperature and hours of sunshine, sometimes over very short distances. In general, however, temperatures are warmer in the south than in the north, and rainfall is heaviest along the coast and lightest in the southern interior. BC is a large province and therefore has a number of different climatic zones.



The climatic zones are: Coast Mountains and the Islands; the Interior Plateau; Columbia Mountains and Southern Rockies; Northern and Central Plateaus and Mountains and the The Great Plains.


Paddling: Ocean kayaking: Paddling hotspots on Vancouver Island’s west

coast include the Broken Group Islands and Clayoquot Sound. The Gulf Islands archipelago and Nanaimo are popular destinations on the east coast. Near Vancouver, Bowen Island provides the gateway into island-dotted Howe Sound, with the neighbouring Sunshine Coast communities of Sechelt and Gibsons and Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park (near Powell River) close by. Heading north, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast's popular areas are along the lush, pristine coastline around Klemtu, Bella Bella and the Hakai Luxvbalis Conservancy Area. Paddlers can truly escape in remote areas around Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in Northern British Columbia. For convenient paddling near the city,Vancouver offers the protected waters of Deep Cove, False Creek and Jericho Beach.Victoria offers paddling directly from the Inner Harbour. Explore the Gorge Waterway and nearby Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park.

Lake paddling and canoe routes: The Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, a 72mile chain of four lakes in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, is arguably BC’s best-known canoe route. In the Thompson Okanagan region, Wells Gray Provincial Park offers excellent lakes, wildlife and waterfall viewing and includes Murtle Lake, North America’s largest paddle-only lake. Nation Lakes Canoe Circuit draws paddlers to Northern British Columbia.The four pristine lakes that make up this chain are considered an undiscovered jewel. Another option is the Powell Forest Canoe Route, located on the Sunshine Coast in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains region. It’s a gorgeous circuit of eight lakes and five portages with 35-miles of paddling.

Whitewater kayaking: BC's whitewater crown jewel is located in Northern BC on the Stikine River, called “the river of a lifetime” by world kayak freestyle champion Olli Grau. Known as one of North America's greatest whitewater challenges and best pure class V whitewater rivers, the Stikine was first run by kayaking legend Rob Lesser in 1981. The Grand Canyon of the Stikine has sheer, 1,000ft walls and is considered unnavigable except at low water flows (normally in August or September). It’s only been successfully run by the world’s most accomplished whitewater paddlers. Northern BC also has the pristine ecosystem of the Tatshenshini-Alsek river system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and kayaker's delight. BC is famous for another kind of whitewater challenge – surfing the standing waves at saltwater tidal rapids. Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park, on the Sunshine Coast in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains region, is popular with expert kayakers and spectators. The consistent and thrilling rapids and the tide change that happens between the Sechelt and Jervis Inlet, easy putins, and stunning scenery make Skookumchuck an exciting area to explore.

The Blue Chip SUP School The First ASI accredited SUP School in Europe for Flat Water and Coastal Open Water conditions. Principle and head instructor: Brian Johncey www.windsurfer.co.uk/ SUP_SchoolLessons.htm There is no substitute for Knowledge, Experience and Passion

The Blue Chip SUPer Club The Largest and most Active Paddleboard Club in the UK with over 230 Members and a record breaking illustrated Blog Paddling twice a week every week with Free Membership Often Imitated Never Duplicated

020 8715 0040

www.windsurfer.co.uk <<<<<<<<<<<<




ThePaddler 52

Dave Cornthwaite

Dave Cornthwaite is a British adventurer, author and motivational speaker. He has broken five world records, written two books and completed more expeditions than you have fingers since he gave up a graphic design job in 2005.


Shaped by a passion for combining sport and travel to encourage people to look after their own little corner of the planet by thinking big, staying healthy and smiling as much as possible, Dave’s take on adventure is unique. He is best known for his Expedition1000 project, – an ambitious series of 25 journeys of at least 1,000 miles in length, each one using a different method of non-motorised transport. He aims to raise £1,000,000 for his selected charities by the end of the project. Leslie Kolovich, host of ‘The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show’, interviewed Dave at her studios in Florida and you can link to the podcast on the following page.



ThePaddler 54

www.davecornthwaite.com Follow Dave on

Lake Geneva crossing in Switzerland. In April 2010, Dave and his friend Sebastian Terry became the first people to Stand Up Paddleboard the 87km length of Lake Geneva, from Villeneuve to Geneva. Photo: Dave Cornthwaite.

Expedition1000 Leslie Kolovich podcast interview with Dave Cornthwaite Hey there, this is Leslie Kolovich. Joining me on the podcast on the facing page is my friend Dave Cornthwaite from an interview I did with him last October.

Swimming the Missouri River, USA. The hardest yet, Dave swam 1,004 miles along the Lower Missouri from Chamberlain, South Dakota to St Louis, Missouri. His team paddled alongside him on Lakeshore SUP boards and in a Mad River canoe. Photo: Dave Cornthwaite

This guy is THE list of ALL positive adjectives! He had just completed his 7th adventure out of 25 by swimming 1001 miles down the lower Missouri River! He began the swim on August 10th, and finished in two months to the day on October 10th. Dave tells me he did not know how to really swim when he decided to do this adventure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; he did it because his mother gave him swim goggles for Christmas. She must have known he would learn to swim on the Missouri donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you think?

Dave had a great team of stand up paddlers and a kayaker: Emily Bell, Vanessa Knight, Ben Stiff, Annabel Hancock, David Zaple, Louisa Currie and Sarah Mortiboys throughout the journey. He tells me in the podcast, that this was by far the most difficult adventure he has ever done. Dave also spoke about the perspective from being in the water verses on top of the water on a stand up board or kayak. His passion for his message and causes has become even more clearer in his mind from the experience in the river. Dave expresses his thoughts on the planet’s dire situation, and how his focus is on ‘people’. Changing the way people think, and live on the planet, “If we pursue money all of our lives, we are just gonna be absolutely miserable, if people can experience nature they tend to care more about it.” Dave feels we would have a much happier planet if everyone took to the outdoors, for their own adventures. I’ll second that! You know that feeling when you are sitting around a campfire with the sparkle of the Milky Way Galaxy above and the gentle breeze coming off the beach or through the forest? Your soul is crying out for it! You are the one that can make that change in your life. Your sleeping bag is in the garage – so go get it. Congratulations Dave for your huge accomplishment on the Missouri and for inspiring many!

Listen to the podcast.

ThePaddler 55

Kayak - Murray River, Australia. Dave kayaked the 1540 mile length of Australia's most important waterway in 2009, investigating why the Murray is struggling to reach the sea. Photo: Dave Cornthwaite

www.supradioshow.com Follow Leslie on

ThePaddler 56

Simon Everett gives us some ideas about fishing the lakes from a kayak

We are privileged to have some wonderful lakes throughout the country that are available to fish from a canoe or kayak. The most obvious places are the large waters of the Lake District, but there are smaller, secluded lakes that can be just as productive and in some cases so secret that only a handful of people know about them. There are good venues in Wales too, with Llangorse Lake and Llyn Tegid, or Lake Bala being the most easily accessed. In Scotland there is myriad of opportunities with the large, wild lochs being the most popular. Like our pure paddling brethren, in England and Wales the kayak angler is still looked down upon with suspicion and incredulity, whereas in Scotland it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the access that is the problem, it is the fishing.



ThePaddler 58

Shutters come down It seems that one aspect is fine, whether that be the fishing or the paddling, but as soon as the two are combined the shutters come down and dogma returns, with most approaches being met with a solid stonewall, even though there may be boats and float tubes being used to fish from.

Some fisheries, however, have taken a more pragmatic approach, such as the South West Lakes Trust who positively welcome properly equipped kayak anglers on their lakes, a few fisheries in other parts of the country. Rudyard lake in Staffordshire was one of the first to open its doors to fishing from a kayak and thanks to the work of the Angling Trust to promote their kayak fishing safety courses and a code of conduct, more fisheries are trying to accommodate requests from keen anglers who use a kayak as a vehicle to access the water. The education process is slowly taking effect. For those lakes where there is access, the majority of fishing is done with lures or fly and the intended targets are predatory fish, with trout, perch and pike being the three major species. For anyone camping on a big water, a fresh trout makes a wonderful camp fire supper, but the majority of fishing is done on a sporting basis. Certainly as far as pike fishing goes, taking care of the pike is at the forefront of any anglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind, whilst they are ferocious looking creatures they are also quite susceptible to damage and they do need careful and considerate handling. Pike also need to be handled correctly from a

pike’s teeth if you get sliced by a it is like being cut with a scalpel

safety perspective because they have razor sharp teeth with an anticoagulant on them, which means if you get sliced by a pike’s teeth it is like being cut with a scalpel and the wound will bleed profusely for hours. I can assure you, it isn’t pleasant.

Environment Agency rod license

Catching pike is very exciting, especially with the prospect of a fish of 25lbs being a realistic possibility from many of the waters that can be accessed for fishing from a paddle craft. Now I know this will be a bit alien to most paddlers, but private waters have the right to charge for launching and for fishing, anglers are used to this concept and are happy to accept it, knowing that there is a cost to maintaining the facilities and fish stocks. For the wild waters, such as most of those in the Lake District, the fishing is free and on the larger ones so is the paddling, but wherever you fish, even in your own garden pond, you need to have a valid Environment Agency rod license which covers you to fish with up to two rods, or hand lines. It is the law and if you are challenged a sizable fine will ensue, the agencies are having a massive crack down on ‘license dodgers’, you can buy one on line, or from most Post Office counters, so there is no excuse for not having one.

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There are also different seasons for the different species

these are in force to protect them while spawning. All freshwater fish use shallow water to spawn, with gravel beds or weed beds being the two habitats that are important for breeding success. Pike and some coarse fish, such as perch favour weed beds while trout and other game fish use the shallow gravel beds of feeder streams or exposed areas on aquifer fed lakes.

By knowing a little of the habits of the various fish it is possible to narrow the chances of finding them. A venue such as loch Lomond or Windermere is a large expanse of water to look for a needle in a haystack. To this end modern electronics can be a great help, not so much for finding the fish, but for finding the structure or topographical features that will be attractive to them. In open water, shoals of bait fish can be a good guide to the whereabouts of the larger predators, because where there is a food source

The size of the trout will dictate the size of the lure, in most instances, but even very large trout have been caught on the tiniest fly, but this is the exception that proves the rule. Brown trout can grow very big, loch Awe is famed for its huge brown trout, the term â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Feroxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is used to describe these monster fish that have turned cannibal and prey on all fish up to the size of a mackerel. Specialist anglers will use a big lure trolled deep, or a natural fish bent into a curve and weighted to take it down into the depths where these monsters

predators are never very far away. Using a sonar device can help locate your target species.

lurk. The British record Brown Trout currently stand at 31lb 12oz, a fish that was a yard long!

Anglers with experience can read a water and instinctively have a good idea where the fish are going to be, in much the same way that a white water paddler reads the current and the shape of the water to pick the best route. Different types of fish use different parts of the water, according to their feeding habits.

Perch will also come to natural bait, small flies and spinners or lures used for trout, but being voracious predators they will also take a fly or lure meant for bigger trout or pike. When you catch a perch be careful not to get spiked by the sharp spines in its dorsal fin or on the edge of its gill cover. These colourful fish are also a sporting proposition on light tackle and there are many anglers who specialise in fishing for big perch.

Loch Awe is famed for its huge brown trout, t monster fish that have turned cannibal and pr

Trout can be found on the surface in deep, open water dimpling the surface of the water as they suck down floating insects as they hatch or those hapless ones that have been blown on to the water by the wind. They can also be tucked in under the edge of rocks or a weedbed, where they prey on the tiny coarse fish fry. To catch trout one needs to present an artificial representative of their natural food, or even a natural one. Traditional anglers will use flies to very good effect but a small spinner is also very effective as it appeals to their predatory instinct.

Lobworms are a favourite bait, you can gather them at night by watering the lawn, then collecting the worms by the light of a torch â&#x20AC;&#x201C; tread carefully all they will feel your footsteps and dive for cover very quickly. Digging humus rich soil will also yield good worms, to condition them for use, keep them in a bucket or ice cream box with a good layer of moss for a few days before fishing. The moss makes their skin toughen and helps to keep them on the hook better.

the term ‘Ferox’ is used to describe these rey on all fish up to the size of a mackerel.

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Coniston Water, Lake District

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Lure fishing is easier, both in terms of the actual fishing and in bait collection. It is so easy to set off with a rod and line and a small box containing a selection of lures, circumventing the need for labouring to collect bait or the messy business of putting the worms on the hook â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even if they are very effective at procuring fish. As the kayak angling trend continues, the appeal is being discovered by keen coarse anglers and the various technical methods of catching freshwater fish are being employed, even if it means anchoring the kayak from both ends to prevent the kayak from swinging in the wind. Fly fishing is a very popular way of fishing from the kayak in freshwater, trout, pike and perch are the main species targeted, but chubb will also happily take a fly in the summer, as they hide under an overhanging tree or a deep back eddy. Tackle for fly fishing is even more specialised than that for spinning or lure fishing, different tackle is required for pike than for the smaller fish. Using a rod and outfit classed as 10-weight is the responsible way of fishing for pike. They are big fish but are quite delicate and a prolonged fight on light tackle will almost inevitably result in a dead fish, even if it is released seemingly happily, unfortunately the fish often die days later. Using suitable tackle will allow the angler to play the fish harder, get it to hand faster and released with less stress. It is beholden on all anglers, however casual they may be, to have the welfare of the fish as a priority.

It is beholden on all anglers, however casual they may be, to have the

welfare of the fish

as a priority.

k a y a K

G N I H FIS hack S .co.uk

Everything for the Kayak Fisherman

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ThePaddler 66

Unlike saltwater fish, other than trout or other salmonids, freshwater fish are not used for camp fodder. It is illegal to remove most freshwater fish, they have to be released by law. Trout and other game fish are governed by both size limits and the number of fish per angler that can be taken in a day, each fishery is different but the rules of that particular water will be published, either at the waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge or within the rules at the booking lodge or, of course, on the internet. Play by the rules, because being caught with prohibited or restricted fish can result in more than just a hefty fine. Taking a salmon or sea trout without the correct license and permission can result in the seizure of your craft and any vehicle used to get to the water. Coarse fish seasons differ to the game fish seasons too, the closed season is there to protect the spawning fish, generally the trout season starts on 15th March and runs through to 30th September, salmon and sea trout seasons vary from river to river and the coarse season runs from June 16th through the winter to the last day of March. Whatever type of fishing you end up doing, it provides an additional facet to your paddling and in many cases has brought new paddlers into the fold, for others it has added a new dimension to their paddling and enticed them onto new waters. There is one rule that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t written anywhere, but it is compulsory,

you must enjoy your fishing!

Play by the rules, because being caught with prohibited

or restricted fish

can result in more than just a hefty fine

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The runner is creeking

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A short creek style kayak is nothing new and Pyranha themselves developed the very successful Microbat series a number of years ago. I owned a Pyranha Microbat for years and always enjoyed the way it paddled, so I was keen to give the Nano a try. Northshore Watersports kindly allowed me to loan their demo Nano.

By Phil Carr

ThePaddler 69


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From the very start it was clear, as it was with my Jed, that the Nano is a boat that performs best w

paddled aggress

of years, UK based Pyranha have brought out a number of top class high performing boats including the Shiva creeker and Jed playboat and now they have brought us the Nano. Many of the newer creek boat and playboats on the market incorporate a continuous rocker and hard edges as core design elements. These elements are designed to allow kayaks to be both quick in a straight line yet still retain the ability to turn easily. The Nano shares these same key features. Anyone who has paddled a Pyranha designed kayak over the last couple of years will be familiar with the Connect 30 system. The system consists of a fully adjustable padded seat with gear racking system, adjustable hip pads, adjustable thigh-braces and ratchet backrest. With the ease of adjustment getting a custom and comfortable set up in the Nano was very easy. The Connect 30 outfitting is very effective, may be less luxurious than the Liquid Logic BADASS system, but never the less is very good. In some ways I much prefer the Connect 30 outfitting for a number of reasons. For example the hip pads are provided with numerous shims that can be swapped out very quickly, the backrest is supportive and firm and the thigh-braces can be adjusted and positioned very quickly. As a result it is very easy to set up the Nano for a positive/aggressive paddling posture. The Nano comes supplied with a full plate footrest and despite being over six-foot tall and wearing my creek shoes I still had plenty of foot room.

This is what Pyranha says about the Nano

The Nano is a short creek boat with a playful nature, it has influences from Shiva, Jed and Burn make for a super manoeuvrable, compact creeker with the ability to run harder lines as well as open up play potential.

Aspiring creekers will find the Nano stable, easy to roll and playful enough to enjoy river features. Experienced boaters will get big fun in a small package

Numbers comparison Based upon M sizes Nano Stats Length: 218cm Width: 66cm Volume: 259 litres Burn Stats Length: 245cm Width: 65cm Volume: 279 litres Shiva Stats Length: 259cm Width: 67.3cm Volume: 305 litres

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Over the last couple

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Whenever I paddle

a new boat I like to try a roll on flat water just to make sure that it isn’t going to do something weird and that my outfitting setup is correctly. I as I began to paddle around to get accustomed to the Nano I found that it was very stable on edge and was easy to roll. There were no nasty surprises or strange behaviour to worry about. After a few rolls in some very cold water I took the boat down the long course at the Tees Barrage. This is a piece of water I know really well and I find it an ideal venue for comparing boat against boat.

seem a little confused – Is it a creeking playboat or a playboat creeker? Well, I think that it is actually a little bit of both. The Nano is a blend of the best of both worlds, which shouldn’t work, but somehow does. I suspect that any paddler on Grade I to IV water will enjoy the comfort, stability and performance of the new Pyranha Nano.

Despite its relatively short length (218cm) the Nano paddles like a much longer boat, which is exactly the same experience I have had with my Pyranha Jed. As both kayaks share the same genetics this does make sense. I found the acceleration of the Nano was pretty good, a couple of powerful strokes each side moved the boat up to top speed. The Nano tracked well but also turns really well, which isn’t always an easy feature to achieve. Although the Nano has quite hard edges, they don’t run the full length of the hull. Instead they stop around 50cm short, approximately mid-way along the stern, which helps the back end of the boat to feel nice and stable even in confused water. I was able to utilise the hard edges to power the kayak into the eddies and then swiftly back out into the main flow. From the very start it was clear, as it was with my Jed, that the Nano is a boat that performs best when paddled aggressively. So much so that Pyranha describe the Nano as a freerunner kayak that not only has the creek boat character but can also play down the river as you go. This makes the design of the Nano


Nano was pretty good, I found the acceleration of the

a couple of powerful strokes each side moved the boat up to top speed

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www.evergreen-corps.co.uk/engineering.html ThePaddler 73

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Testing, Native Watercraft Slayer 12

http://www.nativewatercraft.com A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ant Perkins from System X, who are the importers of a large range of kayaks and related products including Native Watercraft, Kokatat, Ctug and Scotty. I was asked to do a review for the Slayer and so here are my findings. By Terry Wright. Ant was interested in the growth of coarse fishing from kayaks and saw a link to the American Bass fishing scene and wondered how a US boat would fare on UK freshwater. He decided to take a gamble on importing a Slayer 12'. For those that do not know, Native set up a Facebook page in the states for anglers to offer likes and dislikes through the Native range and what they would like to see in a new boat.

Native already have a wide range of very popular boats in the US but are best known in the UK for the Manta Ray, which has a reputation as a competent and well-constructed boat. Many will see links between the Manta and the Slayer but I digress. The Slayer is as I have said a fisherman's boat, stable, comfortable and spacious. First impression was the great finish with everything having a ‘quality’ feels about it. Native Watercraft states that this kayak is designed by anglers for anglers. That's American anglers… how would UK anglers find it?

As many of you may know the majority of American kayak anglers fish on what they know as 'flat water', what we in the UK know as freshwater. That is lakes, canals and rivers and perhaps the odd estuary or sheltered bay. Would it be any good for old fashioned, ‘stuck in their ways’ UK anglers. So Terry (Izzetafox), Daz, Simon (Dorado) and Steve (Lureman) from www.coarsekayakfishing.co.uk set out for a post Christmas trip to the kayak friendly Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire. A beautiful lake created in Victorian times as a ballast reservoir for the canal network.



n ed a iew rev uct od pr

d it




I have to say that the Slayer paddled nicely into the wind when you consider that the paddler is sitting high in the chair. I have to say at this point that this is not a ‘paddler’s’ kayak, it is an ‘angler’s’ kayak. This is not a criticism; often a fast sleek kayak is great for speed but lousy for carrying as much gear as some anglers (me!) want to take. There will always be a compromise. The Slayer is by no means a slow kayak though, it is a kayak built for a job and as such it is plenty fast enough. I have to say that as I paddled across the lake the side wind, albeit not the 18mph predicted, caused me no problems. I was beginning to like this lady.

to pad dler s email us: review s@

the pa


uk .co. ler

After a few minutes familiarization and setting the foot pegs and adjusting the backrest on the chair to compensate for the ‘bulge’ in the back of my PFD I was off for a paddle upwind and along the beautiful lake. Despite the gloomy light, the Rudyard still has its own charm.


The first thing I missed was the rod holder. Looking on Native Watercraft’s website I saw that they have a ‘Fishing Buddy Bag’ which it would appear many American anglers favour. So I used my crate with rod tubes but also laid a rod on the in cockpit rod top rest. So no real problems there.


f you want tion. I y o sta ur

We hit the slipway with a dubious forecast of rain and 18mph winds, Potentially a good test for the Slayer. As this was a test of a fishing kayak I decided it needed loading up. With the front and rear wells full as well as the cockpit space, it looked as if even an “I’ll take it just in case” angler like myself might be catered for.


t es

We followed in the footsteps of the first Channel swimmer Captain Webb and the great tightrope walker Blondin, we would be in good company.

ThePaddle r.co .

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Many thanks to System X (www.systemxeurope.com) for the loan of the kayak and to Desperate Measures of Nottingham (www.desperatemeasures.co.uk) for supplying it. Thanks also go to Ray the Ranger – who was very welcoming. He is always ready with a cheery word, a cup of tea and the latest information of how Rudyard Lake is fishing. Just £10 includes fishing, parking and launch fees. There are toilets, changing facilities and a cafe. www.rudyardlake.com

Tag along stern wheel

I tied off by the Lady of the Lake boathouse and suddenly wondered about the lack of a paddle park. Now if you owned this kayak and really wanted one, then 10 minutes with a drill, rivet gun and six-inches of bungee cord and you would be sorted. However, I found that the front well bungee did the job adequately. As I paddled around the lake I was constantly feeling that the high chair and the high centre of gravity should affect stability. I need not have worried I felt secure at all times, in fact more secure that one or two kayaks I have paddled.

As it is a fishing kayak access to the storage areas is essential.This is where the Slayer really scores.Turning to get gear from the rear well is safe and easy and moving to the forward area is simple with the flat cockpit floor. Easiest way is to just kneel and get your gear. No worries of swamping if you take the hull cover off, no need to put your feet over the side to straddle the kayak to maintain stability.Two large scuppers in each well ensure swift drainage.The Slayer just fills you with confidence making life so easy.

As I have not fitted an anchor trolley I just used a concrete mud anchor and tied off to the side handle, but again fitting a trolley would be an easy enough job. For those who love personalizing their kayak, there are six lengths of the ‘Groove’ system on the gunwales and a length on the hull access hatch so fitting Scotty accessories will set things up just as you want them. Towards the end of the day I had to hand the kayak over to Daz and Lureman for their opinion and a bit of a play. Low light and slow shutter speeds spoiled the pictures a little but you can see that the promised 'You can stand on this kayak' is true.

So what is my opinion?

I love it and I want one! This is indeed a freshwater kayak anglers will appreciate. It is stable and spacious, plenty of easily accessible storage and enough speed to keep an angler happy. What do I think of ‘That American Chair’? Native Watercraft calls this the ‘First Class’ chair. A lot to live up to.

After sitting on it for about five hours I have to say 'First Class' does not do it justice. When sitting on a kayak for long periods I suffer the dreaded 'numb bum' and stiff legs. At the end of the day I felt great it is a very comfortable chair, which is soft where it needs to be and supportive in other areas. It has high and low positions, though personally I cannot see that I would want anything other than the low position. Paddling is a little awkward in high and I guess you would only ever use this whilst actually fishing and not when travelling. It makes you wonder why us UK freshwater anglers have missed out on the comfort that our American friends have been enjoying. Not anymore.

What did Lureman and Daz think?

Lureman is a very experienced paddler both at sea and on freshwater. He liked it very much and appreciated the stability. Daz? Well Daz is in love! Daz has a constant back problem and no kayak he has paddled has eased the problem. Until now! Daz loved ‘That American Chair’ he found it very comfortable and his back loved it too!

I should add that although this is an angler’s kayak, it would be ideal for the nervous paddler who finds most kayaks too tippy for their liking.This is a perfectly stable kayak.

High low first class seat Adjustable foot rests

Open stern storage with scuppers

Open bow storage with scuppers

Hatch with bucket Console compartment for electronics

Native Watercraft Slayer 12: £820 UK. $1179 US. Colours: Camo (featured), sand, olive, lime, firebrick and mango. Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5: £940 UK $1279 US. Colours: As above.









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New videos

Jamie Mitchell is one of the undoubted stars of the booming SUP scene, but he made his name as a traditional paddleboarder, in the prone position by winning an amazing 10 straight Molokai2Oahu World Championships.

Every year the world's best paddleboarders gather in Hawaii to contest the World Championship of Paddleboarding. To claim the world title, the winner must cross one a fearsome stretch of water: the 32 mile Ka'iwi channel, or more popularly known as the 'channel of bones'. Jamie Mitchell has made the world title his an incredible nine times in succession - could he make it the perfect 10! One more victory would cap off a decade of dominance in one of earth’s toughest events. Decade of Dominance follows Jamie as he prepares for and contests the most important race of his life. To win he will have to overcome not only the competition but also the ‘channel of bones’ and all that the ocean can throw at him. Directed by Brent Deal.

Apart from plenty of incredible ocean footage, it also features the Gerry Lopez, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Dave Kalama. I found it fascinating and interesting and would highly recommend buying a copy. www.decadeofdominancemovie.com

Snugpak Subdivide http://www.snugpak.com Two for one deal

A few months ago we tested the Lifeventure Wheeled Dufflebag and came to the conclusion of not being overly impressed. So when we received this I must admit to being more than pleasantly surprised. It addresses all the points of where we felt the Lifeventure product let itself down.

Collapsable handle Elastic cords for coats etc

Like the Lifeventure bag – the wheels on this are rugged and sturdy and there the similarity ends. The collapsible handle is indispensable in all these type of bags if they are to work correctly. The guide rails for the handle also give the bag a strong spine with no sign of weakness.

Inside there are more pockets than you shake a stick at and even better – it can be divided halfway down, which saves the usual frustration of accessing items at the bottom. Straps on all four sides allow it to be compressed when not in use, and the elastic cord on the top is ideal to store a coat or jacket so it is easier to move around an airport or train station. Perfect!

Dividing zip Wheels

Available in black.Volume: 90 litres. Dimensions: 79cm(L) x 36cm(W) x 40cm(H). Weight: 3200g From £79.95 UK; From $149.95 US; From 119.00 Euros

Lifeventure Thermal Mug and Jacket http://www.lifeventure.com Staying warm in the chill

Stylish and with a dazzling array of colours lifeventure’s thermal mug is classy looking and perfect for its use of keeping your coffee or tea hot for up to four hours. In summer it changes 180 degrees and keeps ice cold beverages – well – ice cold and this time for up to 12 hours! It has a waterproof sleek design made of stainless steel and a very classy brushed finish. A very clever design that is just right as it amounts to one large coffee.

Thermal jacket

Just in case the mug’s thermal properties are not quite good enough for some people, Lifeventure have also produced a separate jacket, which it claims increases the heat retention by up to 25% and protects the mug itself. The Lifeventure Thermal Mug Jacket is made from tough Cordura fabric and features soft inner lining with foam padding for maximum durability and protection. All I can say is we have been inseparable for the past ten days!

Thermal Mug: 300ml capacity in blue, black, pink, green, orange, purple and steel. Jacket in black Mug: £10.99 UK; $17.99 US; 13.49 Euros jacket: £9.99 UK; $17.49 US; 13.19 Euros




Available every single day ThePaddler ezine daily

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The fastest growing watersport in Europeâ&#x20AC;Ś

Central SUP club as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Capital da One of the great things about the Stand up Paddle scene in the UK is the fact that it is in its infancy, thus giving us the opportunity to grow the sport in the right way. By Chris Kenyon

Chris Kenyon dropping in on a Starboard converse at a beach break near the legendary Supertubos.

visit Peniche, Portugal known Ondaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (Capital of Waves)

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Scott Warren tu cking into a nic e left hander on his S tarboard Pocke t Rocket.

It was through th is common inte rest that we m et Jason and Sa the owners of lly, SUPxscape, ba sed in Peniche, Portugal. Wor king together these two ASI organised the schools first SUP exch ange trip in O this year. Both ctober Central SUP an d SUPxscape ar fully accredite e d ASI schools offering course lessons throug s and h the ASI path ways. The link with the Centr came al SUP ASI Le vel 2 paddlers wanting to pr ogress their sk ills from flatw SUP Surf and ater to where better to learn than Peni Portugal know che, n as the ‘Capita l da Onda’ (C of Waves) apital Once the logi stics were sort ed Dan, Jade an joined Chris Ke d Dan nyon and Scot t Warren, the owners of Cen tral SUP for a four-day trip ou Portugal. Bein t to g awoken by yo ur alarm at 3a make a flight m to is not the best experience, bu was worth it fo t it r what was to come. The fligh smooth and w t was e were in Port ugal to a warm reception from Jason and Sally in no time.

Obidos Lagoon

They took us directly to our accommodatio then it was ou n and t for lunch an d a paddle on th Obidos Lagoon e . The lagoon w as breathtaking and Sally guid ed us across as we soaked up atmosphere of the Europe’s larges t salt-water lago A few skills w on. ere polished be fore the big da tomorrow whe y re we would hi t the surf. One the first sights of we had of the At lantic Ocean was from the cliff side at so me perfect waves barrelling in off shore

Jason Periera le ading a level 3 A SI SUP Surf course wit h Central SUP club members Dan, Jade and Dan.

cal restaurant lo a t a t u o t h ig Enjoying a n SupXscape. f o lly a S d n a n with Jaso

conditions. It was a sight to remember, Pe Baleal and all niche, the surroundin g beaches cert captures the im ainly agination. Afte r we paddled lagoon it was the time for a bite to eat and som ready for the fir e rest st day in the w aves.

SUP surf cours


The following day we headed out to look fo some suitable r waves for the SU P surf course, thing is for su one re that Penich e has waves an of them! Hav d lots ing the local kn owledge of Ja was a huge bo son nus as it meant we could find somewhere th at would be id eal for beginn ers. We were taken to a great loca tion at Baleal with beaches Island on both sides of the causew where Dan, Ja ay de and Dan be gan their SUP instruction by Surf Jason whilst C hr is and Scott headed out fo r their first SU P surf in Portug We had the be al. ach to ourselve s and the twooffshore waves foot were a great w arm up to the The SUP surf day. course was un de rway with all participants en joying their fir st experience catching the su of rf on a paddle board. Having advantage of a the paddle in the surf makes it ea to catch the w sier aves and gives a whole new experience to riding them. W hilst this was on Scott and C going hris caught th ei r fill of waves were ready for and lunch at the be ach cafe. In the afternoo n it was onwar ds with the co whilst Scott an urse d Chris caught some bigger w on the beach aves to the south of Baleal Island. to the consiste Due ncy of these w aves it was easy catch one, padd to le out and then catch another. Meanwhile on the north side of the island it a pleasure to se was e Dan, Jade an d Dan progress through Jasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s instruction an d begin to star watching the t swell and catc hing waves of own. their

The lagoon wa s breathtakin g and Sally guided us across as we soaked up th e atmospher e of

Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest

salt-water lag


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Paddling out into some offshore swell on the last day of the trip.

After a full dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SUP surf we were ready for one of the local Portuguese restaurants where you can eat out for around â&#x201A;Ź10 per head which includes beer and as much barbecued chicken and ribs you can eat! Just what we needed after a day out in the waves.

The next day the conditions were not as favourable as the previous day, Jason, Scott and Chris did a quick reccy of possible spots but due to strong winds it was not suitable to be out in the water for a beginner. However it was a perfect opportunity for the group to learn about different surf spots and conditions and to recognise rips and currents, which is all part of becoming a good surfer. It can save you a lot of time and effort if you are able to understand how a wave works and what kind of swell and wind conditions are going to make it the best option for a good SUP surf session. After a tour of the surf spots we were then treated to a mini downwind paddle on the lagoon for the afternoon. Another great day.

For more information

on the courses and Central SUP paddle boarding please contact Scott Warren of Central SUP on scott.warren@centralsup.com. For more information on SUPxscape and Stand Up Paddleboarding in Peniche, Portugal please contact Sally on sally@supxscape.com or visit www.supxscape.com

On the last day of our trip Jason took us to a great beach not far from the legendary Super Tubos to have our last SUP surf and for the guys to complete their ASI Level 3 Beginner SUP surf course. There was a strong offshore wind to begin with so Jason used the opportunity to evaluate the skills that Dan, Jade and Dan had learnt. Chris and Scott headed out into some super clean chest high surf. Chris caught the wave of his life as he dropped into a chest high wave that seemed to jack up and go overhead. For a moment we even saw him go inside the barrel! By now the wind had dropped and the group were all out in the surf catching waves in the brilliant hot sunshine before the flight home. Back on the beach photos were taken and certificates were awarded. Dan, Jade and Dan all passed their SUP Surf beginner course and had achieved a lot in a short space of time.

Grow the SUP scene on an international scale

The trip was so worthwhile; it was an opportunity to network between organisations and clubs to help grow the SUP scene on an international scale. Central SUP and SUPxscape have already put plans together offering the opportunity for paddlers to come out in May and October 2013. The group are also looking at building a free diving course into the holiday to help build confidence and breathing skills for out in the surf. This was a highly recommended experience and a great way of getting two schools working together and sharing the aloha! Sally and Jason were so welcoming and perfect hosts with a brilliant and professional set up in Portugal which is well worth checking out.


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ThePaddler 86

The mood is convivial and on the beaches bronzed seanymphs splash and laugh. Love, young and old, is in the air!

Paddlers hoping for a remote expedition around Ibiza are going to be sadly disappointed. Ibiza is the seaside palace of Tyrant King Tourism. All the best beaches with road access are swamped with parasols and sun-loungers – people are everywhere; all seeking a small taste of the Mediterranean good life. For the expedition kayaker it’s a case of ‘If you can’t beat them – then join them!’ So you sit back in a beach café at sunset and enjoy an ice-cold beer with olives.The mood is convivial and on the beaches bronzed sea-nymphs splash and laugh. Love, young and old, is in the air!

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We launched from a ramp

close to where the ferry from barcelona docked. The five day

forecast from Windguru was reassuringly benign, but we knew that mid-September was the start of the storm season. Turning a corner out of Ibiza town, 5km of packed beaches with high-rise hotels behind, stretched before us. I was shocked! Half way along there was nothing else for it - Eli shouted ‘NOW!’ and we drove the kayaks up the beach and jumped out at a run. Hearts pounding, elbowing left and right, we fought our way up the beach. Hot and sweating, mission accomplished, we withdrew to the boats with supplies from the supermarket and two half-digested breakfasts!

remote sea cave,

It seemed that everything – even a

was co-opted for tourism


There are quieter spots to camp at, sometimes with a row of picturesque fisherman’s boat houses, the ‘zizz’ of crickets and the scent of pine. We usually sought these o


out, but were careful to erect the tent only at the last moment – camping isn’t allowed by the authorities. Day three brought us to the beautiful offshore island of Es Vedra, looking like a vast cathedral slumped into the sea. Opposite it is the Cap de Jueu or ‘Head of the Jew’, which bears an extraordinary resemblance to a Mongolian face in profile. Next came Calo Codolar, a fine cave with exposed rock strata. We paddled inside, where at the back a small tunnel had been cut. The next moment a commercial group of coasteerers poured out through it – it seemed that everything – even a remote sea cave, was coopted for tourism!

I have to remind her that I’m a Level 4 Coach. She reminds me that

she’s Spanish

and that this is her home patch!

My rear hatch cover was starting to perish. Then Eli found a cute little orange rubber duck and mounted it on my boat as a mascot. The next day the hatch cover had split full width – the duck was obviously jinxed, so we quickly gave it away to a crying child. San Antoni is notorious for its clientele. The locals joke that even football hooligans need to take a holiday. We lay in the tent listening to a distant ‘yee - aha’ live band compete with a ‘chunga-chunga-chunga’ disco, and despaired of ever getting to sleep. Boats are everywhere around the island. In one spot I counted 23 of them seaward of us. The few gulls sit silently on rocks, as if utterly bemused by the extraordinary array of passing craft – yachts, ferries, motor cruisers, fishing smacks, RHIBs, outboards and jet skis. With Eli, I often have a leadership crisis – usually over which route we are going to take. I have to remind her that I’m a Level 4 Coach. She reminds me that she’s Spanish and that this is her home patch! So I remind her that the British defeated the Armada. There’s little scope for European cooperation!

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And so it was on to the very fine Punta de sesTorrates,

an arch flanked by a phalanx of ragged pinnacles. The wind had picked up to Force 4 and an international conference had to be convened to decide whether we go around the exposed point or through the sheltered arch. Anyway â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all good leaders sometimes need to adjust their decisions.


Days five and six saw us storm-bound. The sea was wild, sand was airborne and rubbish bins were rolling down the beach; so we took a bus to Ibiza town. The old quarter was charming, but more memorable was the Fish Therapy Clinic. You pay your money, then climb into a tank of water, surrendering yourself to a shoal of small fish. They nibble off anything they judge you need to have removed (....Yikes!) Bless her, Eli offered to pay for me.


We set off again the next day, but got defeated in the late afternoon, trying to round Punta Grossa. We faced an offshore Force 6 and a small but vicious sea. The next day the wind had eased. There were waves that were over head height at some of the headlands, but with well-loaded boats, we never needed even to brace. We completed the circumnavigation on the ninth day. It had been a fun trip despite the overburgeoning tourism. We had eaten well and basked in that fabulous Mediterranean warmth, colour and friendliness. I was happy as I pulled my boat up the ramp at the Nautical Club in Ibiza town. Then I noticed something bobbing in the water beside me. I could not believe my eyes - it was that blasted

orange rubber duck! ThePaddler 91

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INFORMATION Location: Ibiza is located in the Mediterranean Sea, to the east of the Spanish Peninsula, and is one of the Balearic Islands. Ibiza, which covers 572 square kms, is a whole world in miniature and stretches from the coast inland. Ibiza, with its smooth relief, along with Formentera, make up the so-called Pitiusas islands.The Greeks referred to them as the islands of the pines, Ibiza itself being the larger of the two.



If you have ever wondered about the name of this place and found it intriguing, here’s something to make it more so. When Ibiza city was founded, in 654 BC, it was called IBSM (Ibosim). How’s that for exotic?


Coastline: Throughout the 18kms of natural sandy beaches, fringed by crystal clear waters, Ibiza offers a huge range of possibilities to cater for all types of preferences. On the majority of our beaches, there is the chance to do all kinds of water and outdoor sports. For those who enjoy hill walking or rambling, the Ibizan coast is a paradisiacal place to spend time. Moreover, many of these beaches are not only of great natural beauty but also have a historical worth in that there are many remains of past civilisations, old defence towers and other signs of Ibiza’s past history that are of great interest. Getting there: You can reach the island either by plane or ship. Ibiza

has its own airport, Sant Josep, set in the southern part of the island. Several airlines provide direct access from the Spanish Peninsula and Europe.The three main ports are the ports of Ibiza, Santa Eulària and Sant Antoni.The ferry companies of Balearia, Iscomar and Acciona, sail to the ports of Ibiza and Sant Antoni from different places on mainland Spain. Apart from the ferry crossings, it is also possible to reach the island by private ship, chartered crossings and various cruises.The regular sea crossings reach the island of Ibiza from Barcelona,Valencia, Dénia and Palma de Mallorca.

National Parks: Ibiza has two National Parks of particular ecological interest and natural beauty; the ses Salinas National Park and the nature reserve of es Vedrà, es Vedranell and the little islands to the west of Ibiza. Ses Salinas National Park consists of an area situated between the south of the island of Ibiza and the north of Formentera. A wide variety of differing natural features can be found, from salt lakes and beaches to lunar cords with centuries-old ghost trees, cliffs and rocky coastlines. In these places a peregrine falcon or a fishing eagle can be spotted, along with the little Freus islands including s’Espalmador, s’Espardell, and the isle des Penjats.The nature reserve of es Vedrà, es Vedranell, and the little islands to the west of Ibiza is situated to the south-west of the island of Ibiza, in the town of Sant Josep de sa Talaia.This protected area is made up of small islands, marine environment, cliffs, streams, beaches, cultivable fields, forests and hill ranges. A special feature of this reserve is the fact that it includes the highest point on the island; sa Talaia is 487 metres above sea level. Paddling: The island is awash with caves, gullies, nooks, crannies and cliffs. Some that have experienced those claim it is like another world – another world easily and comfortably accessible by kayak! One of the most popular kayak services on the island is Ibiza Mundo Activo, a service which offers the hiring of kayaks, lessons and tours among other sports.

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The idea of making my instructional paddling DVD ‘Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing’ had been on the back-burner ever since I made Classic Solo Canoeing way back in 2000. I had written much of the advanced script in 2000 but then to keep the original film under an hour so I decided to leave all of the advanced strokes for a second film. Over the intervening years a couple of tentative attempts were confounded by scheduling and funding issues but then it became apparent that 2011 was going to be the year it really would happen. Throughout my life I've always been told that creative endeavours are 90% hard work and 10% creativity – this formula proved to be true and this is the story of the mysterious 10%.

By Becky Mason

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Shooting Underwater footage

A well thought-out script and storyboard was the

most important thing

you can do for a film project

Many people have mentioned that the underwater footage in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Advanced Classic Solo Canoeingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is one of the features that makes my movie sparkle. I'm inclined to agree and feel that it is a major part of that creative 10%. That being said you can't have it without the hard work side of the equation. They both are equally important, it's just that the creative part can be elusive. The 90% is made up of planning, problem solving and going over details with a fine tooth comb. It's preparation and ground work and that's the key to the

success of any project. My Dad was a filmmaker for the National Film Board of Canada and through his career he taught me that having a well thought-out script and storyboard was the most important thing you can do for a film project. I've taken that advice to heart and it has been invaluable. So for this movie I wrote and rewrote the script until I knew every word and then recorded all of the dialogue. After I nailed the commentary down Reid (my husband and coproducer) and I drew each scene so the words

came alive for me in my imagination. When I was confident that the script stage was finished I then interviewed and selected my production crew. Picking the right camera technology suited for my project was difficult because there was such an array of camera choices. In the days of my Dad's career you had a narrow selection of cameras that




With all the prep done this allowed me to be able to focus on my storyboard and shot list as well as being precise and clean with my paddling technique during the shoot. The real estate adage of "location, location, location" rings true for film too. After much debate the location we chose for this movie was Lac Vert, Quebec, a pristine wilderness lake 50km north of Ottawa. I thought it was perfect for profiling my strokes and one of the main reasons we chose it was because of the stunning clarity of the water; we knew that it would look spectacular on film, both above and below the water.



shot 8mm, 16mm or – if you were super rich, 32mm. Definitely not the case now! I often wonder what my Dad would make of the digital era and the amazing technological advances it has brought. One thing that I know he would have loved is that these days with a bit of money and some computer know-how you have the ability to make your own films from start to finish right at home. But if you're the canoeist then you will need a cameraman. So I rented a high definition digital camera and hired cameraman Neil Carroll and asked Ken Buck, Dad's former cameraman for his canoeing films ‘Path of the Paddle’ series, to direct the shooting. Ken also was a big help on location offering advice and his wealth of experience. It was a challenge to arrange the shoot in the secluded site I had chosen so I strong-armed a friend to haul all the heavy gear in and out of the canoes and up cliffs for shots.

Reid the unwilling cameraman

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We borrowed a GO-PRO camera because it seemed to be

simple and compact

Becky Mason

enough to allow for the creativity we were after

In 2000 I had tried

to capture some underwater footage but, after trolling my scuba diving cameraman around Meech Lake on the end of a rope for half a day it ended badly with a broken camera and no footage. Thankfully technology has come a long way since 2000! When we wrapped all of the traditional shooting for my new film I was both excited and

apprehensive about going under the water again. This time I enlisted my partner Reid and we set out to get the underwater shots. We borrowed a GOPRO camera because it seemed to be simple and compact enough to allow for the creativity we were after. We read the instructions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pretty straight forward â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but the big "OH NO!" moment happened when Reid went online to research further and found that it was essential to have a flat lens attached to the GO-PRO waterproof housing

Underwater circle stroke

Underwater front sweep

Underwater low circle stroke for underwater shooting. He read with consternation that the convex lens on the waterproof housing was good for out of water footage but underwater the curved lens bent the light and made for a fuzzy image. Because of earlier delays we were on a very tight deadline at this point and we were booked to edit soon. We had one day. So Reid, my handy husband, beetled downstairs to our basement the

night before the shoot, found a piece of plexi-glass and cut a round lens and glued it to a PVC plumbing pipe he cut to fit. He then discovered that plumber's putty would seal that sucker on the underwater housing of the GO-PRO without damaging the borrowed camera. Three hours later he emerged successful. Desperate times indeed and an episode I like to consider as part of the creative side of the equation, but Reid may disagree!

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Capturing the underwater

scenes involved a radically different approach from the bulk of the shooting for the movie. It's where Reid and I let the 10% inspiration shine through. We knew that we needed to trust our artistic instincts and even though we had pinned much of our hope for the success of the film on the underwater segments we realized that we just had to let things unfold unscripted, as they may. Perhaps that is the key to creativity, being able to trust in your intuition. As forecast, the morning dawned bright and sunny as we drove to Lac Vert. I had brought along a 50lb battery pack with my laptop so we could charge and download the camera and spot check the footage and we were in business. Our borrowed GOPRO didn't have a viewfinder so we were basically shooting blind – ‘point and pray’ we called it. But all seemed to align that day. Mother Nature shone down on us and gave us sun and just the right amount fluffy gorgeous cloud cover and everything jived for us in one day. The location, the light, the fish, and my paddling were spot on and, remarkably, the technology didn't get in the way of our creativity and most importantly it didn't fail us. Reid got our spectacular underwater and overhead shots. With a few clamps and some pieces of lumber he got creative, attaching the camera to the canoe for a variety of underwater and overhead shots and finally with great trepidation, standing up to his neck in water on the edge of a steep drop-off with the camera far below me on the end of a 12' pole following me as I had fun doing what I do best, dancing with my canoe. With no script to follow we experimented, letting our creative muse loose and chasing the ideas and images that were in our heads. It was thrilling, exciting and a little nerve-wracking too. It wasn't until we got home and downloaded the three hours of footage that we discovered that not only was the footage all that we'd hoped for but that we got fish too! They sure were curious fellows swimming right up to the camera for a look; they even ruined a couple of our best shots. But Freddy the Fish as we came to call him inadvertently stole the show and became the star of the movie.

Freddy the fish

DIY guy with his lens

The location, the light, the fish, and my paddling were spot on and,

remarkably, the technology

didn't get in the way of our creativity

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GO-PRO shooting overhead footage

There were of course many moments throughout the production where I felt bursts of creativity. Whether I was writing the script, storyboarding, editing or even recording the narration there would be moments of clarity where I would feel a shift to the right side of my brain and some random yet brilliant connections would occur. These moments, the nebulous 10%, are truly remarkable, even miraculous and I often

wonder at how I could have had them. They are indeed gifts. But the greatest and most memorable was that day we left the rules at home and followed our whims and instincts. Some of it worked, some did not, but the freedom and joy of creativeness that we felt was even more rewarding than the results themselves. How could you ask for more?

About Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing underwater shooting (http://youtube/W7B3mCWsyq)

Becky Mason

acquired her paddling skills and her fondness for canoes from her father, Bill Mason, the author and film maker of the ‘Path of the Paddle’ series. She continues the family tradition of sharing her passion for canoeing through her paddling instruction, film making, writing and presentations as well as being a water colour artist. She has been through much of Canada and the northern United States teaching and presenting and in 2010 and 2011 her touring took her to UK and Europe to introduce Style canoeing. Her introductory and advanced solo canoeing instructional videos from her Classic Solo Canoeing series are considered excellent teaching aids. Mason continues to teach canoeing at her home near Meech Lake, Quebec. Details at www.redcanoes.ca Becky is a Patron of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Boreal Program and a Quetico Foundation trustee. She has Flatwater Paddle Canada Style instructor status and is honoured to be a patron of Paddle Canada. Her Advanced Classic Solo Canoe in 2011 won Best Instructional movie at the Waterwalker and Reel film festivals.




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At a recent adventure show a speaker discussed the top three places you should visit before you die. She said two should be wherever you want but the first and number one thing you should do is go on safari in Africa. I could not agree more! It is a once in a lifetime experience to stay at beautiful camps and lodges with comfortable beds, toilets, showers and amazing food and have the ability to see lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, monkeys and all the other animals that continue to roam the vast plains. It is life-affirming to witness the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;circle of life

By Alan Feldstein

feâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. In fact it is so wonderful that I decided to share it with others and started a safari company Infinite Safari Adventures (www.infinitesafariadventures.com).

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’ y a d e m o ‘S !

w o n is ThePaddler 106

I have been travelling to Tanzania since 2000.

In 2008 I and Steve Chumbley, my ground based partner became one of if not the first to kayak off the coast of Tanzania in kayaks hand built by Steve. After four days of blissful paddling I realized that this was something that many people would want to do and started Infinite Safari Adventures.

The port ofTanga

We now take clients on kayak adventures a short drive from the port city of Tanga. Tanga was a major strategic port for the British in WWII and is still bustling. Our base is the unspoiled Fish Eagle Lodge. It is the only lodge in the area and is operated by a wonderful couple from Zimbabwe whose lodge has been blessed by the local village elder. In fact on the day Fish Eagle opened, he had the owners go out in a boat and throw crystals in the bay.


Despite being a bit skeptical right after it was done a large sailfish and two dolphins appeared. Coincidence? No one will know, but afterwards, the local elder took him to a cave – his ‘office’ he called it and gave him all his contents which was a treasure trove of old stuff collected over the years. Nothing better could explain the spirit of the people of Africa. Fish Eagle Lodge is an amazing place to stay and kayak. You stay in a beautiful ‘banda’, where each one is open to the ocean with incredible views. The rooms are spacious and fully equipped with showers, flush toilet and a lovely deck to

Weaver bird sit out on and have afternoon tea that was brought to me every day. The main lodge, where you have your meals, enjoy a cold beer after a paddle and meet staff from the local village, also has an observation deck to view the unspoiled coastline. This is the way to kayak!



The days are relaxed and simple. After going to bed with the sound of the ocean and Bush Babies putting you to sleep you arise from a restful sleep and head to the main lodge for a full delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, fruit, and fresh juice. Then it is time to paddle.

You stay in a beautiful â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bandaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, where each one is

open to the ocean with incredible views ThePaddler 107

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There are a number of paddle routes

depending on people’s experience and desire. Each bright yellow boat has been hand-made by Steve and is equipped with state of the art equipment from the United States and Australia. We paddle to villages, down mangrove tributaries keeping an eye out for egrets, fish eagles, a goshawk and many other birds. Because it is salt water and shallow there are no hippos, crocs, sharks or any other dangerous creatures to worry about. Being down the groves is amazing – the only sound heard are the birds and your paddle dipping into the still waters. After a paddle you can fish, snorkel or take a nap in a hammock. A few days later it will sadly be time to go home. After a drive to Tanga it is a short plane ride to Kilimanjaro Airport and then on to home. As you leave Tanzania, relish the fact that not only did you see spectacular wildlife on safari but you truly saw Tanzania, its people and its beauty in a way very few have.

Many people tell me Africa is on their bucket list. To them I say “Someday” Is Now!

Infinite Safari Adventures (www.infinitesafariadventures.com)

hippos, crocs, sharks It is salt water and shallow there are no

or any other dangerous creatures to worry about

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INFORMATION LOCATION: Tanzania is located in east Africa bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique.The capital is Dodoma (but the commercial capital and largest city is Dar es Salaam).

TANZANIA CLIMATE: Tanzania lies just south of the equator and on the whole enjoys a tropical climate.There are two rainy seasons, generally the heaviest rains (called Masika) usually fall from mid-March to May and a shorter period of rain (called mvuli) from November to mid-January. The dry season, with cooler temperatures, lasts from May to October.


POPULATION: Around 39 million people live in Tanzania.


ATTRACTIONS: Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater – part of the ‘northern circuit’ of parks, these two wildlife parks/reserves are the jewels in the crown and arguably offer the best safari experience in Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain draws hikers from all over the world. It takes about a week to climb and no technical expertise is necessary to summit Uhuru Peak.

Zanzibar – gorgeous beaches, romantic islands as well as a fascinating capital built by Arab slave-traders and spice merchants called Stonetown, make Zanzibar a unique destination.

GETTING THERE: Tanzania has two international airports, one outside the commercial capital Dar es Salaam (airport code: DAR) and the other near Arusha (and Mount Kilimanjaro) called Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code: JRO). Charter flights and some international operators fly directly to Zanzibar Island (airport code: ZNZ). If you’re planning to visit northern Tanzania, the best airport to arrive at is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). KLM has daily flights from Amsterdam. Ethiopian and Kenya Airways also fly into KIA. If you’re planning to visit Zanzibar, southern and western Tanzania, you will want to fly to the capital Dar es Salaam. European carriers that fly into Dar es Salaam include British Airways, KLM and Swissair. There are long-distance bus services between Tanzania and Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Mozambique and Uganda.

LANGUAGE: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar) and many local languages. RELIGION: Mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, and indigenous beliefs 35%. Zanzibar, more than 99% Muslim. CURRENCY: Tanzanian Shilling.

VISAS: Most nationalities need a tourist visa to enter Tanzania, they are valid for six months from the date of issue. Check directly with a Tanzanian Embassy for fees and procedures. Tanzania’s Tourist Board: E-mail: safari@ud.co.tz.Tel:(255) 022 2111244 http://tanzaniatouristboard.com/

Your paddles, courses, jobs and travels To advertise your ÂŁ20.00/$32.00 ad on this page email: ads@thepaddler.co.uk


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ThePaddler ezine issue 5 Jan 13  

Canoe, kayak, SUP, sea kayaking magazine. The International digital magazine for recreational paddlers, canoeists, kayakers, stand up paddle...

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Canoe, kayak, SUP, sea kayaking magazine. The International digital magazine for recreational paddlers, canoeists, kayakers, stand up paddle...


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