Here’s a quick edits with Skook clips of Mrs. Jed on Skookumchuck. I love that wave and the Jed kills it out there! Side grinding the green wave and throwing pan ams are some of the best things on earth.
After paddling the Octane on Llyn Padarn I wanted to try it out at sea in wind, waves and moving water. My kayaking buddies for this trip were Ed and Abi Loffil.
The Pyranha Octane with the Flat Earth Sail fitted
Ed and Abi had a head start on the outward leg so I followed them 20 minutes after their departure. This leg had up to 10 knots of southerly wind with a slightly post spring tidal current to propel us on the flooding tide to The Skerries. Time of leg – 1.5 hrs.
Approaching Penrhyn Mawr
Approaching the middle race of Penrhyn Mawr
Rush hour in Holyhead Bay
Departing The Skerries
Surfing circuits at The Skerries
The return leg had 10-17 knots of southerly wind against the south flowing ebb tide. Time of leg – 3 hrs.
The rough journey back south
Taking a rest at South Stack
Sailing home to Porth Dafarch
The team returned at Porth Dafarch with our paddling friend Jan
Initial thoughts on the Octane
Previous to receiving the Octane I had never paddled a surfski. The closest speedy boat I had experienced to compare it to is the Rockpool Taran. The Octane, like the Taran, is great fun to paddle fast, especially in surf. At speed the surf ski is particularly stable, locking into its watery path. Its stability seemed further enhanced with the addition of the Flat Earth Sail, as this gave more propulsion. It is even better to sail than the equivalent P&H Scorpio or Delphin sailing kayaks as it is super quick and responsive to the rudder. With its open cockpit it felt a lot like a modern sailing dinghy, especially with the gurgling sound of the self-bailer.
Paddling downwind with swell was far, far better than the reverse into wind and waves. The former situation gave much greater speed than the accompanying sea kayaks, whereas into wind and swell the surfski was only marginally quicker, despite lots more effort from my core muscles. I probably need to improve my technique in these conditions.
The Octane is a very positive boat. It rewards good posture and technique with better performance. This feedback is proving really useful as I try to get better at paddling a surf ski.
Next time I want to try some more downwind runs!
Boundary Creek is a little bit of a mission. You have to paddle about 6K down a lake, then do a 3K hike up Boundary Creek to then paddle down the beautiful limestone gorge. The creeks path cuts in and out of the Montana, USA and Alberta, Canada hence the name Boundary Creek.
Just another day on my backyard run, Tumwater Canyon!
For me it’s not conquering new goals but the steps I take to push me towards the things I thought were once out of reach. It’s in this forward momentum I can see and be inspired by the world opening up in all directions around me full of endless possibilities. If you never push your limits how will you ever know what you’re capable of?
Just in few days I’m leaving Europe and going to take part in another 6 weeks long project. As usually at this time of the year I’m going East. The plan is to paddle all the best rivers of Altai Mountains, move further east to Sayan Mountains (both in Siberia/Russia) and then to take a plane towards mighty Tian Shan Mountains of Central Asia. In the next 6 weeks I will be visiting some of the most scenic and amazing destinations for kayaking! Super excited.
Check out this beautiful edit from our last few trips to Siberia and Kyrgyzstan.
This year has been all about new rivers and new adventures, in turn, I jumped at the opportunity to go on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. I had never even been to Idaho before – this was truly a first for me. The Middle Fork Salmon features over 100 miles of Class III-IV rapids that run within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The elevation begins at 7000ft and drops to just under 4000ft, this gives you constant gradient and eliminates large flatwater sections. There are numerous hot springs along the way, some that you need to hike in to access (Sheepeater, Whitey Cox’s and Loon Creek are all at a mile or less) while Sunflower and Hospital Bar are riverside hot springs.
Between May 28-September 3, a permit is required through the Four Rivers Lottery and Permit Reservation System while the pre and the post season launches are first-come, first-serve. Getting a private permit to float the Middle Fork is notoriously difficult but you can easily avoid that by going through an outfitter. We went through DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking and Northwest Rafting Company. Paddling with Phil and Mary DeRiemer is always a favorite, plus I was able to meet and paddle with our other guide, Ben Morton. We had a group of 18 kayakers, most of whom had done this every year, and most of whom were guys except for myself and my friend Becky.
There are a combined total of seven commercial and recreational launches a day which make the put in at Boundary Creek very busy but well managed. If it is your first time there, it will certainly surprise you when you walk down the path, we even launched after 4 groups had already left and it was still a shocker to see all the activity.
The water level was right under 3′ which is a perfect level for the first time and in the first few days there are plenty of the larger rapids- Sulfur Slide, Velvet Falls, Powerhouse, Pistol Creek and Tappan Falls, to challenge you and keep you on your toes. The constant gradient allows the 15-25 mile paddling days to fly by and there are endless amounts of surf waves and eddies to catch along the way as well. If you are not careful, you can easily paddle through dinner. At 3′, the larger rapids were Class III+ although you could easily see that with more water they would become solid IV’s with strong current, large holes and tight lines, they would also become continuous as many of the rapids would run into each other. The rest of the rapids are all read and run, make your own lines with numerous options.
We were very lucky to get Marble Camp- it is a beautiful campsite with lots of space to spread out, trees for shade and trails along the river but best of all, you have Marble Wave right below you. The best eddy to surf from is on river left, you can catch the top eddy if you aggressively cut left immediately after the drop, if not you can either catch the one right below and work your way back up or ferry across from river right. It is an amazing wave that you could easily spend all day at- I was lucky that in the morning, Miles was taking pictures and I was able to jump in his Jed and catch a couple quick surfs. The rest of the morning, I stood in the lower eddy pulling boats up and guiding them into the top eddy. Since I wasn’t surfing it, I could help others get back up to the eddy, plus it is good river karma.
Big Creek was also flowing at a medium/low flow which gave us the perfect opportunity to hike the boats up and paddle it back down. Kurt, Tristan, Jerry, Daryl, Brett and I decided to hike up along with our fearless leaders Phil and Ben. It was a mile up to the bridge, which took some time even with the boats emptied out of any extra gear. You can scout most of the rapids from the hike, the hardest rapids are the last one due to wood on the left side and the first one which is directly visible from the bridge.It is a beautiful creek that reminds me of the North Fork American back in California, the green hued, crystal clear rapids with boulders strewn throughout. The mile plus of paddling went fast, before I knew it I saw the confluence of the Middle Fork Salmon. Many people asked if it was worth the hike up, my answer was always a definite “yes!”
Overall, the Middle Fork Salmon is a great run and I would highly recommend it if you get the chance. I know that we are already signed up again for next year!
The British public have spoken, and they’ve elected to leave the European Union.
The full effects of Brexit are yet to be seen, and this resultant uncertainty in the UK’s political climate has led to a significant fall in the value of the Pound in relation to both the Dollar and the Euro.
For non-UK manufacturers, this means their products have become much more expensive when imported to the UK market, whereas our products (proudly made in the UK since 1971) have remained at the same price to our UK customers, and are now even better value to those in the US, EU and further afield.
However, this won’t last; although we manufacture all of our products in the UK, many of the raw materials and much of the packaging are oil-based, and as oil is traded in Dollars, the cost of these is sure to rise in the next few months once our pre-agreed contract pricing comes to an end.
If you’re asking yourself, ‘Is now the right time to buy a kayak?’, the answer is a resounding yes, as no one can predict by how much prices of the raw materials that go in to a kayak will rise, but as the margins we make on them is minimal, these price rises are sure to affect the consumer.
There has never been a better time to buy a British Canoe or Kayak, check out the Pyranha Kayaks range now.
Always stoked and privileged to be able to have the opportunity to do some traveling through whitewater paddling. Thankfully, 2016 has been packed full of adventure, action, new and old friendships. I am ecstatic to be surrounded by so many fantastically influential individuals. These individuals continue to inspire me to keep pushing my personal limits and goals on a daily basis. This is just a short glimpse of some of 2016’s most exciting traveling and paddling moments, these are The Good Times. Get out there and explore!
Who are the Torryd crew and what the hell does that mean?
Trent McCrerey, Knox Hammack, and Edward Muggridge met up while attending the World Class Academy with the same goals of pushing their kayaking, and having fun doing it. Over the years they have been able to meet up and kayak in some incredible places and document their experiences through great film. As for Torryd, they aren’t really sure how they came up with it, but remember looking up the word “Torrid” on google and finding out it was a retail clothing company for plus sized women. It seemed right up their alley.
To myself and co-manager Big D they are the “future”. We are super stoked to add these guys to the roster and see what they come up with! Stay tuned for some great media from these young guns. If you want to check out what they are up to they have plenty of entertainment on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/torryd42/?fref=ts . We are really excited to see what they do in those new Pyranha kayaks! Welcome the Boyz!