Thursday, 30 July 2009


I ended up in the North for a few days so I decided to go for a paddle while I was there. Unfortunately due to the series of buses I had to take I wasn't able to bring a boat with me. That left paddling Kevin's Crazy-88. It had been quite a while since I paddled a K1 playboat so I had a little trouble at the start with the 2nd blade getting in my way when I tried to do anything. This was especially true when I was surfing the wave below the bridge. The first couple of times i was surfing on my left side I kept tripping over my left blade because I was so used to just sticking my hand in the water like I do in C1.
The river was at a low enough level but there was a couple of decent waves running further downstream. One of the nice things about the benburb is it can usually be run in either high or low water.

There was a huge amount of fishermen out on the river. Coming down through the triple steps one of them was giving me a real hard time about how we were disturbing the fish and scaring them off the bottom, despite being water that is 8ft deep and full of silt! I didn't even bother arguing back.

It amazes me how narrow minded fishermen can be sometimes. Having fished myself for years it is clear that kayaks do not scare fish in the slightest, certainly far less than some guy running around in the water wearing waders!

Myself and Kevin played on the water for about 3 hours before getting off, we then got a text from some of the Jordanstown lads saying they were heading to the same river after work so we got on for another 2-3 hour session. When we finally made it off the water it was almost completely dark having spent most of the day on the water.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Team Training

On Saturday I headed down to Curragower for the team training session. However as it turned out only six people turned up to paddle including three of us from the team. Because of this we all got plenty of time on the wave!
The wave itself was great for most of the session, with the wave only dying off after 5 hours of decent running. The weather was also quite nice. I spent the whole day in a shorty cag for a change.

For the first hour or so of the session I was having no luck at all. I am still coming to terms with the agent, it is far more responsive than my old boat and I think it will be another session or two before I am fully comfortable with it.

However for the last 3 or 4 hours of the session I got some pretty decent runs and threw some decent modes, but also had some absolutely horrible wipeouts. I think the problem is the rails are far sharper (The wheelboy has round rails!) so i am tripping over myself, particularly on the offside.

Unfortunately I had to head home early and missed today's session. Hopefully gower will work in the next while as I could really do with the wave time.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Squirt boating

After It finally rained enough to bother, I headed to the meetings
of the waters in wicklow.
The river was running at a medium-low
level so I decided to try checking the meetings out
to see if it offered up any kind of decent downtime.

I got consistent shoulder deep mystery moves of about 5 seconds.
Unfortunately i got nothing deeper at all but then again I only
spent around an hour there so I hope that ill get deeper on future

The margin for getting a mystery seemed very
tight but with further exploring hopefully I will get a better
understanding of the spot.

At least the spot seems relatively deep, I didn't strike the
bottom at all during the mystery moves though eddying out
is difficult due to the fast flow downstream and much shallower

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Boat testing

Having finally completed my new C1 (Dagger agent) I brought it out on flatwater to check the trim etc before I try running anything in it.
I was actually pleasantly surprised! Its very stable which surprised me considering it is such a narrow boat in comparison to anything ive paddled as C1 before. It is also very easy to roll.
Thankfully I got the outfitting right pretty much first time. The trim is all correct all I need to do is adjust the knee padding slightly as my knees are able to lift slightly when I cartwheel.
My only complaint with the boat itself is there is a lot of volume in the back so it is difficult to flatwater cartwheel, which is a non issue anyway as It will be pretty much only used as a wave boat.
I can't wait to get it out on a proper feature and test it out for real.

I also got to test out the new spraydeck. Snapdragon made up a spraydeck for this boat for me. Because the seating position in C1 is so far forward in comparison to how the boat is normally paddled the deck had to be custom made. I am very impressed with the deck too. It proved very dry and comfortable and fits perfectly.