Aug
13

Norway – Classics, Seldom Seen Multi-Days, & Girls

10506679_10152400196969064_1370304649544997990_o copy 2

After her run, Mariann Saether sets safety for the rest of us on Sogndal’s Triple Drop (Photo – Ron Fisher)

DSC02481 copy

 

After reading the latest blog Pyranha blog regarding the insufficient number of female brand ambassadors, I again realized just how lucky I was to have spent the last month not only in Norway, but on a girl-dominated road trip.   Paddling classic day-stretches and two incredibly scenic multi-days, we spent most of our trip in Northern Norway (which, although 12 hours north of Voss, is in actuality only halfway up the country).   After 2.5 weeks of eternal sunshine, we headed back south hitting up rivers along the way to Voss where we spent our final days paddling the area’s classics.  Maybe the two males in our six person crew didn’t feel as fortunate about this gender ratio, but we appreciated their company!

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug
12

We Want You!

 

 

 

Futalefeu - Photo Sergio Vidal

We proudly support events such as the Ladies’ Paddle Symposium in the UK, but we’ve realised that across our team, social media platforms, website and boat ranges we have been heavily skewed towards the male participants. Whilst this has not been a conscious decision, there is still no excuse and we’re keen to make it up to all the awesome female paddlers that we know exist out there!

To this end, we need your help in ensuring we champion all people within this wonderful sport, regardless of what categories they fit in relating to gender, age, race or anything else of that nature. We also don’t think that sponsorship should be reserved solely for those who ‘go hard’ and run the highest waterfalls and the hardest rapids, it should be about supporting ambassadors of the sport who inspire others to take part and share our passion, whether they be a leading coach or an emerging young star.

So, if you know of anyone who you feel is a good ambassador for female kayakers, or if you think you yourself have something to offer that will inspire future generations to go paddling, please send an email to marketing@pyranha.com and let us know!

We look forward to hearing from you…

Pyranha

Aug
12

Best day ever in Betws

A few months back I was driving in to work in the heavy rain. I was off to the Alps in less than a week and really didn’t care if I got fired or not, so rather than heading to work I bypassed Gloucester and added 3 more hours to my normal commute and headed to North Wales.

I ran the Dee and Fairy Glen solo before meeting up with some of the Betws-y-Coed locals and had the most awesome day, running five more laps of the Glen and running the Lledr for the first time in a few years. In my mind nothing beats Wales in the sun after a mid-summer storm!

Video time!!!!

Aug
10

A kayaking world without whitewater…

A while back I attended a talk given by Eric Boomer and Sarah McNair where they described an adventure of a lifetime. Eric described it as a very intense ‘ double date’ with himself, Katherine Breen, Eric Mc Nair and Sarah McNair. They handcrafted their own Kayak’s and embarked a 1000km journey across the 5th largest Island in the world, Baffin. Their wonderful account of this awe inspiring journey encouraged me to plan my own little adventure outside my world of white water kayaking.

Our trip was to celebrate a good friend finishing University and to bid him a fond farewell before his move to the South of England. Unlike Boomer we would not have the time, capability or skill to make our own sea kayaks. Thankfully Pyranha very kindly stepped in to support our adventure by providing our kayaks and thanks to Facebook and the kayaking community we arranged transport of our boats to the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Dom picked me up from Newcastle on Thursday morning and after an epic 10 hour drive we finally reached our starting destination, a small bay just outside of Elgol. It was 2am when we arrived so we decided to set up camp and head straight to bed.

Friday morning arrived far too quickly and as we emerged from our tent we were greeted by a glorious sunny morning. We quickly made breakfast and packed our supplies into our boats as we were to be living out of our boats for the weekend. We spent the day familiarising ourselves with the kayaks and making preparations for the trip. Unlike our trip to Nepal we were spoilt for space and so decided to pack everything but the kitchen sink. At around 3pm we were fully packed and set off to explore the remote and inaccessible Atlantic coastline. While I thought that Dominic got the short straw carrying the extra 10k of coal for the bothy fire, the load seemed to give him some magical forward momentum and he glided effortlessly through the waves passing me with a smug smile on his face.

Untitled

 

It wasnt long before we met the first of many new friends some curious seals playing hide and seak.

 

Spot the seal..

Spot the seal…

And again...

And again..

 

Having travelled through some awe inspiring coastline, we decided to camp at a long rocky gully were we carried our boats onto the only patch of rock free ground. Nestled in this remote place, far from noise and light pollution, we made camp and prepared for a nights sleep under the stars.

 

dom

birds

Saturday morning rolled around and we set off for the town of Elgol. A pesky headwind had got up which slowed our progress somewhat. We planned our route around the tides, allowing them to work in our favour and had hoped to stop off in the town of Elgol for an ice cream! The weather was magnificent and scenery was stunning with sheer cliffs, rock arches and layers of mountains falling down to the sea. A combination of fantastic scenery and Dom’s amazing map reading skills we paddled right past Elgol and landed on the shore of the Soay Island. It wasn’t really the extra 15k I had to paddle that bothered me but more the fact I had missed my only chance to get ice cream!!.Never get between an Irish girl and her ice cream!

dom bag

After a light lunch on Soay, we paddled with the tide to the beautiful Camasunary Bay. This gave us spectacular views of the Cuillin Mountain range and with the wind and tide at our backs, we happily paddled and surfed our way to the bothy.

 

I Think I killed Dom!!!

I Think I killed Dom!!!

 

acd

 

We thought we were ready for everything that the Scottish weather could throw at us. We packed extra thermals, buckets of midge repellent and had even packed our dry suits just in case things got really serious! We did however forget to pack sunscreen, so when the temperature reached 27 degrees and there was nothing but glorious sunshine in the sky my poor Irish skin changed from milky white to red very quickly!! Regardless of the forecast, always include the sunscreen and aloe vera. Me and my bright red face just learned a very serious lesson!!

sun

On the beautiful Camasunary Bay, we camped beside a stream running off the mountain were we could get some fresh water. Once again the marine and bird life on this remote coastline was awe inspiring. One of the highlights of the trip was when a family deer came to investigate our campsite on the beach. It was fantastic end to a great day on the water, We spent our final evening in the company of German & French walkers and fishermen who shared their catch and the camp fire with us.
We set out the next morning along with the tide to guide us around the perimeter of Soay. En route we encountered a yacht and stopped for a chat. Dom decided to challenge them to a race. Yacht vs sea kayak. Guess who won…
Lunchtime again on the west coast of Soay. We decided to pig out to fuel us up for the last big 10k open water paddle to our final destination, Elgol, another very important lesson I learned during this trip was “when padding in open water ALWAYS go to the toilet before you leave dry land” even if you think you don’t need to go!
When we arrived at Elgol, we were welcomed by Dave and his friendly dog Jake. Dave and Jake kindly gave us a lift to the car. As Elgol was packed with tourists swimming and eating ice cream we left our kayaks and kit with a lovely lady called Anne who kept an eye on them while we went to retrieve the car.

sea

 

I experienced sea kayaking off West Cork with Jim from Atlantic Sea Kayaking, this trip was certainly a new adventure for me. While we did not have the thrills of fast moving water, the stunning coastal scenery, amazing wildlife, and planning our multi day trip around the tides, was an amazing experience.
For those white water kayakers who are keen to try something new. Skye with its somewhat sheltered coastlines fantastic scenery and water safari acts as a superb, breath-taking introduction to intermediate sea kayaking.

Our Trip: 57 km + Sunburn+ excellent company= trip of a lifetime.

 

Aug
06

Boating in the Caucasus mountains

A paddling trip to Georgia (the country) has been on my radar for a long time, so when some friends went out there a few years ago I was interested to hear their tales upon their return about some great rivers with easy logistics and largely road-side paddling.

Further information from a German friend who is becoming somewhat of an expert on the area (now running commercial trips out there) and I was sold.

Big moves on the Tskhenistskali

Big moves on the Tskhenistskali

No need for a lengthy expedition to capitalise on this destination, a quick-fire 2 week trip would be ample time to get in the classics and possibly even explore some undocumented runs!

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul
28

On the Road Again – Pacific Northwest

After having the opportunity last year to travel out to the Hood River area in Oregon, I couldn’t miss another year of fantastic whitewater in the Northwest. As May rolled around, exams were finishing up, and school was ending, Taylor Cofer, Ryan McAvoy, Will Rudisill, and I loaded up the car right after our last exam and headed on the long road west. This year we arrived to some truly spectacular water levels in the Columbia River Gorge. Upon arriving to the Gorge, the Little White was at a fluffy 4+ feet and Eagle Creek was going at a roasting flow!!! After driving 40+ hours we started off our trip right, by starting the hike up Eagle Creek. Our first day was incredible falling off Metlako and Punchbowl, but the flow was one of the highest I had ever seen, making the pool below Metlako insanely dangerous and rowdy.

Typical scene of on the way out to the West, out of gas...

Typical scene of on the way out to the West, out of gas…

Coming into HIGH water Metlako. Braaaapppp!

Coming into HIGH water Metlako after the 40+ hour drive. Braaaapppp!

Fred setting down the landing gear off Metlako, day 2.

Fred setting down the landing gear off Metlako, day 2. Photo- Dylan McKinney

mmmm Punchbowl.

mmmm Punchbowl.

The beginning of our trip was followed by a excessive amount of Little White Laps. Yes, go ahead and do your self a favor and get out to the LDUB, it is hyped up for good reason. No doubt one of the best runs on Earth!! Check out a few images from the Little White!

 

Myself getting Spiritual off of the Iconic Spirit Falls.

Myself getting Spiritual off of the Iconic Spirit Falls. Photo- Taylor Cofer

Floating off of Boulder Sluice.

Floating off of Boulder Sluice.

Boogieing down the LDUB.

Boogie down the LDUB. Oh. So. Good.

Stove pipe Rapid.

Stove pipe Rapid.

In-between being eddyed out in Hood doing LDUB and White Salmon laps, we made the journey north to Leavenworth where we did a fair bit of camping in the truly gorgeous cascades, took a soul lap on the Skykomish, and went on a true mission on Nason Creek with the crew and fellow Pyranha teammate Clay Lucas. After leaving Leavenworth we made it up to the classic Robe Canyon, just north of Seattle. Robe (possibly the Linville Gorge of the Northwest??) was such a spectacular place surrounded by a fantastic boating community! Just before heading back east we camped out by the White River, near Bend, OR and sneaked in a clutch stealth dawn patrol mission at 4:30 in the morning so we could grab the iconic Celestial Falls.

...and the spectacular light during our dawn patrol of Celestial.

…and the spectacular light during our dawn patrol of Celestial.

A spectacular view of the Cascades on the Skykomish!

A spectacular view of the Cascades on the Skykomish! Good for the soul.

Camping out in amidst the Cascades, just outside Leavenworth.

Camping out in amidst the Cascades, just outside Leavenworth.

The brutal and unexpected portage on Nason Creek.

The brutal and unexpected portage on Nason Creek.

Check out the short I put together up on EpicTV of our trip!!

— http://www.epictv.com/media/podcast/paddling-the-fine-line-between-kayak-heaven-and-kayak-hell-%7C-everlasting-flow-ep-5/277575

Having too much fun in route to Celestial!

Having too much fun in route to Celestial!

Thanks everyone for your gracious hospitality in the Northwest, especially Clay and Hayley Lucas, and Preston (P-Money) Brown!! Till next year!

Cheers,
Dylan

 

Jul
25

Pyranha Kayaks welcomes Kyle (King Hesh) Hull to the team.

Shortly after receiving his 1st kayak from Pyranha Kyle suffered a major break to his leg.  We have been in touch with Kyle during his recovery and he is back on his feet.  More important  he is back in his boat.  A Shiva is Kyle’s boat of choice.   In his few weeks in the Shiva he fired up the highest decent of the Little White Salmon somewhere over 5 feet!   Kyle will be at the Feather release in California this coming weekend.  So if you see a long haired guy, limping, carrying a Shiva say hello and welcome back.  We really look forward to having Kyle’s strength in a Creek boat, Style in a Freestyle kayak, and wild personality as a part of our team! Welcome the King!

KYLE HULL
Age: 23

Location: North West California

BIO: Born and raised in the most Northwest Corner of California I have grown up and around river my whole life. I started kayaking when I was 6 but really got the bug when I was 12 or 13. The last 4 years I have been spending most of my time in the Columbia River gorge and traveling up and down the west coast boating the best white water the lower 48 has to offer.

Current Missions: On march 21 2013 I broke my tibual plateau in four places and now have 9 screws and 2 plates holding it all together. I am off crutches now and getting back in physical and paddling to head to one of my favorite places, The Grand Canyon of the Stikine.

Boats: I love the Shiva and the Large Burn III.



Jul
24

Rowan Stuart on the World Cup in France and Spain

These last three weeks of my life have been spent doing everything possible related to the 2014 ICF Freestyle World Cup. The world cup is a series of three different events, in three different features, over a three week period. That means a competition every weekend (sometimes starting as early in the week as Wednesday) and very few days prior to the event for training. There are long lines in the eddies, it´s stressful, it´s exciting, and it has been some of the best weeks of my life.

DSC_0103

It´s my first kayaking event out of the United States, and the events have taken place in Millau, France, and Salt and Sort; both in Spain. To make everything more exciting, I barely speak any French, and only enough Spanish to have passed the minimum requirements for school. I´ve made most of my plans at the last minute, imposing on other kayakers for rides to the river, between events, and sleeping on their couches, floors, or spare beds.

Rowan loop 2

The events themselves have been incredible. All three have run smoothly, and the athletes have been well taken care of. The features have been very different between each event. The first in Millau took place in a very very small hole, the second in Salt in a slightly larger and much steeper one, and the final in Sort in a pretty sizeable feature, maybe four times bigger than the one that the first event took place in.
DSC_0117
My showing overall was a solid second place – 2nd in Millau, 2nd in Salt, and 1st in Sort. I’ve definitely gotten more motivated to improve my paddling even more after these last three weeks. Moving up from juniors into the women’s division next year is going to make it interesting, but I’m ready to represent! Packing now to spend three days in Barcelona, and then it’s back to the USA for some more kayaking!!
Photos by: IV Stuart, Jason Searle
  DSC_0050
Jason Searle

Jul
23

Kenya Creaking

Kenya creaking 2014

I have always heard good things about Kayaking in Kenya. That there are countless rivers and that the area is almost completely unexplored. In late April 2014 I went over there to see it for myself and what I found was beyond my wildest expectation. Myself, Colin Wong, Timmy Flowers and Rachel Johnson set off on a creaking mission with the goal to run a series of first descents around Mt Kenya. We had timed it perfectly to arrive in the middle of the rainy season to have plenty of water running down the mountain. It was a great plan except for the first time since anyone can remember the rain never came. With very limited water flow we were struggling to find rivers that were big enough to run. But that was not going to stop us. In the end we still managed to tick off 4 first descents but having scouted out the area it’s just a matter of time before heavy rain will fall and we will be back. Having been kayaking in a lot of different places in the world what struck me most about the rivers around My Kenya is the style of the bed rock and the rapids. On every river we ran I found river features I have never seen before. With a mix between volcanic basalt and granite, two of the best bedrock types when it comes to kayaking the rivers we ran were a mix between pool drop style drops and slides to lava tube mini gorges with beautiful clean waterfalls splitting up in countless channels. Imagine running a first descent five times and not run the same channels or rapids twice. With enough rivers and first descents to last for a lifetime in an extremely cheap country I believe Kenya should be on every kayakers hit list.

colin on nithi

Colin tuchi

IMG_5312

Tim tuchi

timmy shoosty

Jul
22

Masters of Water- Dala Floda, Sweden- Pyranha Team Tour

We left Sjoa on Thursday morning, after attending the infamous Pimp and Hoe party run by Gene 17, and began the 5 hour drive over to Dala-Floda. Using some local knowledge from Anton we found a tiny road leading straight up over the mountain and along a huge plateau above the tree line, the views were epic.

_MG_8988

We arrived in Dala-Floda to find a lovely little white water course along with one of the best run kayak clubs I have seen. Our dealer James from Kayaktiv came across to meet us and show us around his shop.

_MG_8967

Friday, the first day of the festival saw several clinics run by Kayaktiv staff and ourselves on the white water course and huge expanse of flat water below the course. Dala-Floda has the privilege of also having a beautiful area for kayak touring and stand up paddling, so many people from all disciplines are on site doing their own branch of the sport, and some even doing both.

IMG_0722

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday was competition day with 20 competitors competing for the Masters of Water title. The competition combined 3 events, with the person collecting most points overall becoming the “Master of the Water’. The first event was the Pyranha Speeder event, which ran in a WWR format sprint race, top to bottom as fast as possible. This brought a new experience for many of the white water paddlers using a boat that is designed to track rather than white water. The results from this were then used to seed for a Boater X event that would take place later that afternoon.

IMG_0651

The freestyle event was held next, with young and old all taking part in a multitude of current and old-school boats. The hole was quite flushy, making it tough to stick moves but with a rodeo type format, and the 2 best tricks from each ride scoring, everyone had a fantastic time. We had the Van set up beside the feature so we ran commentary along with local, David Levren.

_MG_9093

After a break for lunch from the Kayak Club BBQ burger stand (These guys love BBQs!) and a sleep in the sunshine it was time for the final event, the Boater X. Heats of 4 were lined up at the top of the course, which consisted of 5 gates including two upstream gates beside the decking were the crowd had gathered. The competition was tough, with a good amount of carnage throughout all rounds, making this event a crowd favourite!

 

IMG_0825

 

The final results saw the positioning from all events being added together for a final score. Due to good results in the racing I managed to take the title with local boys Mats and Eric coming closely behind in 2nd and 3rd positions.

 

 
The main event was still to come however; James and his Kiwi companions had organized a big BBQ party in celebration of Kayaktiv’s 20 year anniversary. Loads of people turned up from the event as well as old work colleagues, friends and family. The food was fantastic and both Barney and myself were made up with quality and excessive meat after spending 3 weeks budgeting in Norway. Live music was provided all evening where the kids danced and old friends caught up over a glass of wine.

_MG_9109

 

http://kajaktiv.se

Older posts «