Astral Aquanaut Water Shoe Review

The Astral Aquanaut is a great choice for a watersport shoe with the ability to be super grippy, light weight and breathable.

Astral is currently producing the Aquanaut in male and female colour schemes. Navy/Grey, Navy/Lime, Black/Gray & Gray/ Lt Gray for male and Navy/Light Blue, Plum/Grey, Black/Purple & Grey/Turquoise for female.

ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ms_Navy_Gray_Side_web
Navy/Grey
ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ms_Navy_Lime_Side_web
Navy/Lime
ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ms_Black_Side_web
Black/Gray

 

ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ms_Gray_Side_web
Gray/ Lt Gray
ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ws_Navy_LightBlue_Side_web
Navy/Light Blue
ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ws_Plum_Gray_Side_web
Plum/Grey
ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ws_Black_Side_web
Black/Purple
ASTRAL_Aquanaut_Ws_Gray_Side_web
Grey/Turquoise

 

 

 

 

 

KayakingUK New Canoe & Kayaks Store

Elliott Davidson who is an Irish canoe slalom athlete has set up his own canoe and kayak store called “KayakingUK“. Currently, this is only a very small operation and is only supplying canoe slalom equipment at the moment but hopes to expand into recreational canoes and kayaks at some point in the future.

The reason he set up KayakingUK, was to help fund his canoe slalom career. To be able to dedicate the necessary time to his training this meant not getting a full-time job as it would be too time restricting. It would reduce the hours, he could train and the competitions he could attend. Having been brought up in a business environment it was only natural for him to set up his own company. The next logical step was to set up a business in the canoe and kayak industry owing to his first-hand knowledge in this field. This is why he decided to set up a small kayaking business to start selling canoe slalom equipment.

With limited funding, the only way this would take off is if he kept the operation small. This is why he decided to start selling canoe slalom equipment. With already having good connections in this area it meant it was relatively easy to get the business up and running. Hopefully, over the years to come, this will naturally grow and KayakingUK will become one of the UK’s leading canoe and kayak stores.

Please head over to KayakingUK and take a look at what products they have to offer.

Finding People to go Kayaking With

We have all been there at some point in our kayaking career and not had someone to be able to go kayaking with, this is more apparent when you are just starting out. I have found a couple of ways to connect with people so that you can get to go kayaking more.

If you are a beginner joining a local canoe club would be a great idea to start off with. Here is a list of canoe clubs around Great Britan and Ireland.

Most canoe clubs will offer beginners courses/trips this way you can find kayakers at your ability. The local club hopefully will off a few river trips this is a great way to start off and get in that water time you need. This way as you progress you will have formed a few friendships of similar ability and once your ready theres no reason you couldn’t all go kayaking together. A club environment is a great way to start off, once you progress and get better there are other options available to meet people to go kayaking with.

For more experienced paddlers you could still join a canoe club and find members to go paddling with. This does mean joining a club and paying a yearly fee, which some people I know will be against. The second option for you to join a Facebook group such as:

Joining a few of these groups is a good idea as lots of great kayaking information is posted on these Facebook groups, but more importantly introduce yourself. You can connect to other members and once you have been on a few trips and proved yourself you most likely will get invited again. I was pleasantly surprised by the response I got when I did this. In the end you will have your own group of people you enjoy going kayaking with and when it rains you’ll be hitting the rivers.

If you can’t tell already ability is a big part of this. Getting out on the river and paddling with people is how kayaking friendships are formed and it all stems from there. You just have to put yourself out and others with hopefully help out. We are lucky kayakers are a rare breed of people and they AWESOME people put themselves out to help others and that’s what I love about our community.

Yak Kurve PFD Review

The Yak Kurve is a great low profile minimalistic PFD. It’s a fantastic choice for any beginner in the market for a new BA. Not only does it do the job, but it comes with a great price tag making it a very appealing purchase.

Yak Kurve Features:

Mounting Point

The mounting point allows you to add accessories to the outside of your PFD. Some people choose to attach a knife here, though this is a personal preference. I would point out as a safety warning that it might be better to put the knife in your front pocket whilst around beginners.

Yak kurve PFD front mounting point

Front pocket

The Yak Kurve has a great central placed front pocket, it’s on the small side, but considering that the buoyancy aid is not aimed at the more advanced kayaker it’s sufficient. You would easily be able to put your car keys in there plus a chocolate bar.

Yak kurve PFD front pocket

Inside the front pocket, there is a plastic clip, so if you really need to have a knife you could attach some string to this with a knife on the end, instead of using the mounting point on the front of the PFD.

 

Yak kurve PFD front pocket mounting point

On the front left side of the pocket, there’s a drainage hole. This is here as the pocket is not watertight, so bare this in mind when putting items in there.

Yak kurve PFD front pocket drainage hole

Slim Fitting Cut

As I’m from a slalom background I’m used to low cut, slimline PFD’s and this was just that. It allows great movement and didn’t restrict you. The foam edges are cut on an angle to allow to PFD to fit the body shape better, which is a nice touch.

Adjustable straps

To make the PFD fit you well, as we are all different sizes and shapes, it has two sets of adjustable straps. The easy to use adjustable straps are located on the shoulders and side. There are two side adjuster straps to really make sure that the PFD fits and locks onto your body.

Yak kurve PFD adjustable straps

The shoulder straps have a nice excess loop to feed the strap under. This way it won’t be flaring around whilst paddling.

Yak kurve PFD adjustable straps

Size chart

 

Yak kurve size chart

I’m using the Medium/Large

Summary

I think this is an ideal purchase for someone that’s just getting into kayaking and is looking to buy their first PDF.

The fit is low profile and very compatible with a range of paddler sizes. It doesn’t have the features needed for the PFD of a river leader but then again it’s not targeted at them.

The added bonus is that it won’t break the bank. Escape Watersports have a great deal for you and are offering the Yak Kurve at £39.99 instead of the retail £72.00.

BUY YAK KURVE NOW!

Gerd Serrasolses (Sickline Champion) Interview

Background Information

Name: Gerd Serrasolses

Age: 27

Home location: Sort, Catalonia

Kayaking discipline: creek boating, extreme racing

Profession and educational background: Industrial Design Engineering degree

Years in sport of any kind: 14

What got you started in kayaking?

I watched the 1999 Slalom Worlds at La Seu when I was 11 and a few years after when I saw some paddlers on our local river I decided it was time to give it a go.

What is your biggest accomplishment in kayaking?

It is always nice to win competitions, paddle first descents… but my biggest and proudest accomplishment is to live for and from kayaking. I never thought it would be possible when I was a kid so I’m really happy about how my life turned out, it’s been a long way.

Sickline 2015 winning run

Gerd Serrasolses winning all roundsGerd Serrasolses crushing this years #adidassickline by winning all rounds. This is the winner´s run.

Posted by Sickline on Saturday, 3 October 2015

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

I try to paddle new rivers and hard/technical whitewater as much as I can. This keeps me motivated and helps me get better. Also my Pyranha 9r makes kayaking easier and so much fun.

What would be your ultimate achievement?

To paddle and love kayaking as I do now in 25 years when I’m over 50… everyone’s goal in life is to achieve happiness and enjoy life so I hope I can do that!

How do you set your goals?

I think about what I want to do and achieve and what I have to do to make it happen. It is important to set the right goals, go step by step and work hard towards them, at the end its always worth it.

What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

Sometimes its hard to be on the road year round,

csm_JKlatt_aS15_3203_ebe96b2f73

What is your favourite piece of kayaking kit?

My 9r and my Galasport paddle, they make me enjoy my paddling a lot more.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

So many… “listen to your body” for example…

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

I like Bob Marley’s “where there’s a will there’s a way”. Know what you want and make it happen.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The World is full of inspiration; I love watching other athletes push themselves and take their sport to new heights. Inspiration is key to stay motivated and it comes from many places and all kind of people, movies, books… you just have to find the one that’s best for you and makes you get out there.

Serrasolses Brothers Highlight Reel 2015

If you could be anything besides a pro athlete, what would you be?

It’s a hard question because sport means so much to me… I’d be whatever I loved most, an environmentalist or something with animals like big cats would be cool.

Who is your favourite athlete?

I really like Usain Bolt, he’s the best and enjoys what he does like no one. His philosophy of life and attitude towards the sport, competition, training… is admirable, he’s always having fun and loving what he does.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to thank my family for supporting me, my brother Aniol for being the best paddling paddler and an amazing inspiration, all my friends for all their support and good times and my amazing girlfriend Ali for always being there for me, helping me achieve my goals and making life a lot more fun and enjoyable. Stoked to share it with all of you, thanks!

And finally thanks to my sponsors who help me chase my dreams: Adidas, Pyranha, Galasport, Immersion research, Picky Bars, Watershed Drybags, Go Pro, SBP.

Mariann Sæther (Sickline Queen) Interview

Background Information

Name: Mariann Sæther

Age: 35

Home location: Voss, Norway Futaleufu, Chile.

Kayaking discipline: Extreme kayak, freestyle kayak, canoe slalom

Profession and educational background: Lecturer/whitewater kayaker

Years in sport of any kind: For ever

Other personal information you would like to share: I also do and have done.Snowboarding, jazz-ballet dancing, baton twirling in a marching band for 11 years, synchronized swimming, horseback riding.

What got you started in kayaking?

I started dating a kayaker our first date was a roll session. I got hooked right away.

What is your biggest accomplishment in kayaking?

Phew these questions are hard! Obviously I have run some big ones, like Rheinfall, Laksforsen, Flemming´s falls on the Rauma, Double Drop on Teigdalen and endless first-descents and burly rapids around the worldBut I think perhaps I have to say that every time I have a course or when I have done some youth kayaking programs in Norway and hung out with the kids I feel accomplished in the sense that I can give back to the sport a little bit.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

Never give up until I get it right (especially in canoe slalom) and planning my lines properly down a section of river or race course. I also have done quite a lot of interval training in my kayak this summer because of canoe slalom.

What would be your ultimate achievement?

This past season it was making the semi-final at the World Cup in canoe slalom in Pau, France. To realize I was among the top 30 fastest in the world in a discipline I have not trained too much in was motivational to say the least. Also, winning the Adidas Sickline World Championships was an amazing experience.

How do you set your goals?

I try to set an end-goal that is actually possible to reach and then I break it down into smaller goals on the way there. I also accept that the end goal might have to be changed along the way, or that some of the smaller goals in the end do not work in the process to reach my end goal. I try to be gentle to myself if I do not reach all my goals, and rather look for positivity in the path instead of negativity.

What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

I get bored too easily. It is the reason why I used to switch in between freestyle and creeking a lot, and I guess it is also the reason why I am these days switching in between canoe slalom and creeking. I seem to always need a challenge in my life to be happy, instead of being able to simply just chill. I am working on it though!

What is your favourite piece of kayaking kit?

My Sweet Protection Intergalactic dry suit!

 What was the best advice you were ever given?

Early on in my kayaking career legendary Flemming Schmidt asked me (while we we were running Åmot canyon on the Sjoa) why I kept paddling backwards. He was referring to the fact that I was always turning my kayak with a break stroke. So he taught me then and there some basic technique that was the first step on the path to become a faster and more efficient kayaker. 

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

It is a bit cheesy but I know how short life can be, and I just want to make sure to live my life so that if I die tomorrow I would not be regretting all the things I did not do. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Nature and the outdoors. I could never live happily in a city I need fresh air, a living nature around me and tranquility. That is also why I have a place on the Futaleufu in Chile and an amazing place to live on the Raundalselvi in Voss, Norway.

If you could be anything besides a pro athlete, what would you be?

A doctor. 

Who is your favourite athlete?

I would have to say Emilie Fer (France) and Maialen Chorraut (Spain) at this point. They are both super strong and smooth in their kayaks. Emilie is the gold winner from London Olympics in canoe slalom, but also one of the nicest people I have met on the slalom circuit Maialen was also on the podium in London and I find her especially inspirational from the fact that she is also a mother and still in the very top in a super competitive field.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I think we need to fight dams in a global perspective. I also think that kayakers in general do a poor job in this field we tend to use arguments that just are not relevant (e.g I want to kayak down that river, don´t dam it) in discussions with people around us, politicians and beyond. I think we need to take responsibility to educate ourselves when it comes to the benefits and drawbacks of both small and large dams so that we can secure our sport for our kids and so on. The first step I would say is to check out the damplans going on in your area what is happening and why? Can you oppose them on valid grounds? On a larger scale it is qood to go to www.internationalrivers.org and start reading their blogs, articles, scientific reports etc to get a good grasp about the world situation. Get out there and DO something.

Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championships 2015

This last weekend was the Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championships 2015. The event is held in Austria’s Oetztal on the Wellerbrücke rapids. They use a 200m section for this timed race which has a 10% gradient.

Each athlete must make there way down the course which involves:

1) “Seal Launch”, 6m gradient

2) “Mandatory Line”, 3m gradient, entry cataract to the core section

3) “TNT Rapid”, 5m gradient, core section with a S turn

4) “Champions Killer -1”, the hole above the real Champions Killer

5) “Champions Killer”, 3m exit drop

Top 3 Men

1. Gerd Serrasolses (ESP) 2. David Bain (GBR) 3. Sam Sutton (NZL)

Top 3 MenHere are the runs of the top 3 men. #adidassickline

Posted by Sickline on Saturday, 3 October 2015

Top 3 Woman

1. Mariann Saether (Nor) 2. Jennifer Chrimes (GBR) 3. Alona Buslaieva (UKR)

Top 3 womenOur highest respect goes to Norway and Mariann Saether and her victory in the adidas Sickline World Championship women’s contest. Here are the runs of the top 3 women. Enjoy! #adidassickline

Posted by Sickline on Saturday, 3 October 2015

These are full results for the 2015 Addias Sickline race

Sickline 2015 Men Final Results

Sickline 2015 Women Final Results