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GoKayakingAdmin | 11/09/2014 16:12:00
The 9R concept came from a need for a fast river runner to compete in boater X and extreme race events around the world in the short boat class which is 9ft and under.
It was not going to be a production boat at first and was only going to be for team paddlers. However as the design team paddled and developed the prototypes they realised it would be their go to boat for river running if it was in production. So here we are after a number of prototypes we now have the production version available to the masses!!
It is as long as it can be to fit the short boat class however a lot of people might think it is too long to be a river runner. It measures 272cm this is shorter than most river runners and even some playboats in the mid 90’s. The 9R has a much improved hull profile from then as well, so it is not too long for river running! Myth dispelled!
This boat has been designed as a race boat, so no surprises here, this boat is fast. I was out paddling with a friend who was in a Varun and I was putting very little effort in on the flat and he was almost at max revs with his strokes to keep up. Ok the Varun is a bad example as it is much shorter but the effort he had to put in to keep up was crazy. Attainments upstream are great. Eddy hoping passed tired out playboat paddlers. The speed comes from various sections along the hull. The overall hull length and narrow width (5cm narrower than the Burn Large) keeps you fast on the flat. The rocker and wave deflectors dissipate the energy when you hit a wave our drop into a stopper and get the boat quickly to the planning hull. From the seat to the rear there is a more gradual rocker so the planning hull and its length creates speed. The moderate rocker on the rear allows the boat to boof easily enough and still retain speed through drops. I have been paddling the Shiva alot this year and the 9R rides dryer and carries more speed through rapids.
My first thoughts when I heard about this boat was, “It needs to be able to turn as well as go fast” Rivers don’t go in a straight line and neither do extreme river race courses thankfully. Pyranha understand this and have made sure this boat turns. It does not however turn like the Burn where you have a sharp rail towards the front of the boat. You can crank a Burn into an eddy with a bow rudder, lean forward and the boat will turn super tight. The 9R is different. It wants to carry its speed all the time and this includes going into or out of an eddy. The rocker and wave deflectors lifts the bow as you enter slow or fast water then the flat planning hull takes over and speeds you along. The clever bit, and this is where the control comes in, is that there are good rails from your knee to slightly behind your seat, so with the correct weight distribution and lean you have all the directional control you need. When travelling the same speed as the current I found it a little harder to get back on line. This is due to the less aggressive rocker on the rear I think. However get the boat going faster or slower than the current and the control comes back. So to get this boat turning tightly you will have to lean back a little more than with some of the current crop of river runners.
The continuous rocker, wave deflectors, planning hull and width behind the cockpit all work together to allow you to carry speed and directional control over boily sections of white-water. To keep directionally stability if you get knocked off line is not quite as easy as the Burn, but remember this is a boat designed for speed. With the length of the hull as it is I found myself putting on an opposite edge (like you would in a sea kayak) on some flatter boily sections to straighten myself up. Sticking with the boily sections of a river where races can be won and lost there was not really any loading of the deck with water, that could put you off line, especially the front with the huge amount of rocker and wave deflectors. I have not had the 9R on steep drops yet but with the narrow highly rockered bow I would imagine if it pencilled in it would resurface quickly. The front deck is shaped that it will shed water and surface predictably. This is good for direction stability. The speed the boat will carry out of a drop will also keep you out of trouble. I had the 9R surfing on the river waves. Attainments upstream up the tricky eddy had paddlers in playboats cursing me. Once on the wave the bow rocker meant it didn’t dive to the bottom of the wave and flush me off. Using the rails towards the rear I was able to carve on the wave. There is alot of volume in the rear with the length and the height on the back deck to stop the water loading but I was still able to change direction on the wave with relative ease.
We at Go-Kayaking.com are loving Pyranha’s Connect 14 outfitting. The new end grabs are made by a world renowned climbing company so are not going to break and are positioned in a great place to grab without pinching your fingers when lowering or lifting out of tricky situations. The seat assembly is easily adjusted front to back with no tools required which is important as at the top of a drop you can adjust it with little fuss and in a race environment you can trim the boat to suit the course. The way the seat adjusts in height and rake is great. Not as quick to adjust as some out there but it is solid when adjusted and light. Weight is important in racing, and for carrying to and from the river for that matter. We weighed the 9R in at 20kgs. This is 3kgs lighter than a large Burn and 5kgs lighter than a Mamba in River Runner Spec.
What Pyranha say.
Swede form hull: Asymmetric Swede form and narrow width for speed.
High bow: To lift over obstacles, punch holes and resurface quickly.
Continuous rocker: For speed.
Rounded edge bow: For forgiveness helps keep you on line.
Flatter bow profile: To direct water under hull for quick bursts to hull speed.
Slight edge: Starting centre running to stern for control.
Peaked bow deck and stern: For shedding water and clean release off stern with edge
Low profile front cockpit: And recessed rear cockpit to prevent water loading.
Not many. To get the most out of it you want to paddle it fast everywhere. This could get tiring! If you have been used to paddling the current crop of river runners you will have to paddle this a little differently and some people might find it hard to get used too. So it is not for everyone. For river running you could argue that it needs a quick clip on the front deck to clip a karabiner to in an emergency. I think this has been taken out to save a bit of weight for the race aspect of the boat. If you are into super tight Scottish Creeks it might be too long. Buy a Pyranha Nano or a Jackson Hero. There are no flat spots on the deck to mount your GoPro so you are going to need to get inventive.
Who is this boat for? This is not a boat for the beginner market. This is an intermediate to advance paddlers boat. It is narrow which for the beginner may feel a little unstable and it is quick which will make rapids approach a bit too fast for some people. Someone who is competent and is looking at doing laps on their local class 4 run will love this boat. It will show off dynamic paddling well so it will work as a coaching platform. Those lucky people who go off on expeditions will love its ease of paddling on the flat and load carrying capacity. If you like the forgiveness of a displacement hull creeker like the Pyranha Shiva or Dagger Nomad but want the speed and directional stability of a planning hull boat like the Pyranha Burn or the Dagger Mamba then you will like this boat. Oh and of course all those who want to be competitive at the SCA Garry BoaterX next year better get one!! My feeling is this is a boat that will work well in many river environments so to answer my first question, it is both a Race Boat and River Runner and I think it will be my go to river running boat this winter. The competitors out there are Liquid Logics Flying Squirrel, the Dagger Phantom (yet to hear about it coming to the UK) and the Jackson Karma.
More information on the Pyranha 9R Kayak Here!
GoKayakingAdmin | 10/09/2014 13:24:00
Long are the days gone where hardened paddlers have had to put up with floppy paper like neoprene shoes, as are the days where we had to ruin a pair of decent mountain boots to go paddling.
Paddling footwear has improved drastically over the recent years with one brand in particular leading the way.
Now, from the arctic climate of Canada, there is a new product on the market, and I had the chance to test out the new Baffin BV1 shoes for kayaking available at Go Kayaking North West RRP £89.99.
Selecting the right pair of shoes for kayaking can be tricky.
They need to fit over a dry sock and potentially 2 other neoprene socks, fit your feet, be comfy in the kayak, grip on rugged terrain and most importantly be secure and have no snag hazards.
Companies have dabbled in trying to squeeze all these qualities into an affordable shoe, but only now can I confidently say this has been achieved.
So for those of you who are new to the Baffin brand (like myself) here’s a little information about them.
The brand was established in 1997 in Canada, a country with uncompromising landscapes and rugged extremities.
The company realised the need for footwear which could provide the utmost protection from the elements.
By understanding and modernising the fundamental layering system which inspired the Inuit’s, the Baffin brand developed different layering systems for their different shoes allowing you to be fully engaged with your environment, regardless of the elements.
The BV1 shoes are constructed of 6 layers each with different functions – breathability, drainage, cushioning, a rugged outer sole and a mesh which prevents stones and grit from entering the shoe.
This is all held together with an elastic fastening system. So does it all work? – Yes.
I’ve worn the shoes on a few river trips in the UK which involved wading in, portaging, scrambling and rescue drills on slippery, wet limestone and not once was I inhibited by my footwear.
The rugged soles provided me with plenty of protection and grip on the wet rocks but were flexible for me to fit my large feet (UK13) in the kayak comfortably.
The outer ventilated layer ensure they are breathable and lightweight. The drawstring fastening system is quick, simple and secure.
The excess string can be neatly tucked away and secured under the tongue of the shoe, minimising the snag hazard.
The most impressive element of this shoe was the draining system. Often with shoes, water and silt accumulates in the shoe.
The drainage system in the BV1 shoes ensures that water and silt drains out through the sole, thus keeping your feet warmer, dryer and protecting your dry sock.
The most important part of this intelligent feature is that silt cannot filter upwards through the drainage holes. Water and silt filter out, but silt cannot filter in.
So, any compromises? Well, yes. There is one. The lightweight, breathable outer doesn’t exactly keep your feet particularly warm but a shoe that can keep your feet warm, won’t be particularly lightweight or breathable. So unfortunately, there is no having your cake and eating it too.
On the positive, this can make the shoes more versatile, as both a summer shoe or with the addition of a set of separate neoprene socks, a warmer winter shoe as well.
It is also worth noting the lack of ankle support, but they are designed as a lightweight kayaking shoe, rather than a boot. Baffin do offer a Boot with ankle support called the Swamp Buggy, available at Go Kayaking North West for £99.99.
This show has all the features of the BV1, but with more ankle protection.
Overall, Baffin has taken another step at getting a ‘perfect’ shoe for kayaking with very little to compromise on.
They are lightweight, robust, breathable, secure, tough with a solid protective sole and features to protect your dry suit and made by polar explorers.
Whether you need the Swamp Buggy or BV1 you are guaranteed to get a top quality shoe that will only strengthen your grip on the elements, ensuring you’re the best you can be.
Buy them here at Go Kayaking North West.
Sources of information & further reading:
Baffin Brand History
Go Kayaking North West Website
Go Kayaking North West Facebook
GoKayakingAdmin | 19/03/2014 14:44:00
Over the years the choice of helmets available on the market have grown. This gives the paddler a huge amount of choice as to what they should be using.
To aid with this choice this article aims to look at what you should be looking for in a helmet – specifically for white water kayaking.
Four key areas go into the choice of the helmet with a fifth potential issue over the cost -
1) Fit / extent of coverage / Comfort
2) Retention system
3) Designed for
Fit / extent of coverage / comfort
These three aspects of helmet choice are arguably the most important. The helmet must have a good fit around the head and ensure –
· It covers down to the base of the skull
· It extends out past the ears
· It covers the forehead
· It comes out at the front far enough to come past the nose
Once these characteristics have been met then you need to ensure that the helmet has sufficient paddling / lining to touch your whole head. The forces put on the helmet when going through rough white water or rolling can cause the helmet to move around and expose parts of the head which can lead to severe injury. By ensuring that the key areas are covered and the helmet has sufficient paddling / lining will help with the fit and comfort. After all you could have the helmet on for a long time and over consecutive days. Touching shouldn’t mean pinching or squeezing. Too tight can be just as bad as too loose.
To aid with this fit and comfort many helmets come with adjustable mechanisms at the back / base of the helmet. These really aid in ensuring that the helmet can’t roll around on the head and will help with the amount of padding / lining required. This is particularly good if you get a haircut / let it grow or if the padding / lining have lost some of its shape.
All helmets should have the ability to add extra padding and many are supplied with extras at time of purchase.
Once you have a god fitting helmet it’s time to ensure that the retention straps are fit and comfortable for you. These should be adjustable so that you can get them equalised without changing the helmets position on your head. They should be webbed and have a minimum of four anchor points on the helmet – 2 on each side.
The rivets should be enough to withstand being wet as well as flush both on the inside and outside of the helmet. You shouldn’t be relying on the straps to hold the helmet in place. They help with this and are the last part of the fitting process.
There are quite a few helmets that appear to be similar in design and function that come from other sports. There are also some that have been designed with multi-sport in mind. All of these on the surface may seem to be a good idea and also may look attractive due to price as well. However, they haven’t been designed for the dynamic white water environment.
One of the common ones at the moment would be the Sweet helmets. For example the Trooper v’s Rocker. On the face of it they look very similar and you could think that it’s okay to use one helmet for both winter sports as well as white water. Or, looking at getting whatever is cheaper regardless where it has been designed for.
Even though the helmets might look similar, there might be – and in this case, there are several differences which make a helmet more or less suitable for different sports / activities.
A winter helmet is specifically designed to deal with impacts at a higher speed than a white water helmet and most importantly it's designed to do this under totally different conditions (freezing temps, etc.). There're also different requirements for coverage, among other things. Most importantly, a winter helmet is not designed to be totally submerged or designed to deal with any corrosion that might occur being exposed to water for a long period of time and does not met the safety requirements.
A white water helmet on the other hand is designed to deal with water. This means that not only is there a requirement for the helmet being buoyant, but it also needs to deal with impacts when submerged. All materials are specifically designed to deal with water, both in terms of performance and durability. The CE EN 1385 test procedure also include a test for multiple impacts.
What is CE Marking?
If you look inside your helmet, or read through manufacturer’s brochures or websites, you will see a reference to a CE Marking.
The letters CE are the abbreviation of French phrase ‘Conformité Européene, which literally means European Conformity. CE Marking on a product is a manufacturer's declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health; safety and environmental protection legislation as laid out in what are known as Product Directives. Canoeing and kayaking helmets must conform to the CE EN 1385 Standard.
The six major requirements-
1. Field of vision
2. Extent of coverage
3. Shock absorbing capacity
4. Retention system performance
The following comes from the Sweet user manuals stating the following:
"WARNING! Action sports (skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, white water sports, mountain biking etc.) are real life. Natural and man-made obstacles are always present. This product is scientifically designed to reduce the probability of injuries when used properly. However, Sweet Protection makes no claims that this item will eliminate all possibility of injuries even when properly worn. For maximum protection this helmet must be fitted properly and all adjustments secured. All our helmets are thoroughly tested and certified for their specific area of sports and use. Never use a helmet in activities it’s not intended for."
For centres, people using helmets for work and coaches -
There is a potential issue here in that if an accident occurs on their site with someone using the wrong helmet then the insurance they have, could be invalid as they are using the wrong safety protection.
Modern white water helmets need to be able to withstand a lot of abuse that we as paddlers throw at them. From chucking it in the boat for the carry to the water, bottom of the wet bag at the end of the day to rolling around in the boot of the car. This is all before we put them on and paddle some great white water.
For the helmet to withstand this they need to have a strong shell that is impact resistant and be able to take this abuse over multiple occasions. Be wary of helmets that feel soft and can change shape in your hands easily when you apply pressure to it. This would be the squeeze test.
Be very wary of buying a second hand helmet. You just don’t know how many ‘hits’ it has taken. They are designed to take multiple impacts unlike a bike helmet but you won’t know if it has been weakened by these. This is most important when buying over the internet.
Cost is always an issue when looking at equipment. You do need to be realistic in what your needs are when looking for a helmet. If you are paddling at the top end of white water i.e. grade 4 / 5 then ensure that the helmet is going to meet the needs of this environment and cover your head to its full potential. This may mean looking at full face protection and ear coverage as well.
There is plenty of choice available in the market that will meet the needs of the extreme white water warriors through to those that cruise around on the mellower white water.
Look after your head – it’s the only one you have!
My helmet of choice after making the decisions –
Sweet Rocker Half Cut!
Happy Paddling and hope to see you on the water.
About Dave Rossetter:
Dave is the full time paddlesport instructor at Glenmore Lodge – Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre. He has been involved in the development of the new awards and provides expert advice throughout the industry on all things to do with coaching, safety, leadership and personal paddling.
He is passionate about all things paddling and specialises in white water kayak and open canoe where he will most often be found. He is supported in his paddling adventures and coaching by Pyranha Kayaks, Mad River Canoes and Palm Equipment.
Mad River Canoes
GoKayakingAdmin | 30/01/2014 13:46:00
I have been doing quite a bit of sea kayaking for the last couple of years so most of the kit I own and use has been for sea kayaking.
The item that I own and probably use the most is the Peak thermal rash top that I wear for everything from rolling practice in the swimming pool to using as my main layer under my cag or drysuit.
The thermal rash top works really well in keeping me warm whether it is wet or dry and fits really well.
On the warmer evenings I just wear that top with my BA which is a women specific touring PFD the Palm Halo which fits my shape extremely well and has lots of storage space at the front to keep all my bits and bobs in.
I own two touring cags, a Peak tourlite hoody and a Palm Thalassa cag which cover all weathers and situations quite well I feel.
For the nice sunny, warm days the tourlite cag keeps the spray, wind and sun off while being very lightweight to stop me from overheating while paddling.
It has a hood to keep me warm and dry if the weather takes a turn for the worse or when I stop for lunch etc and the adjustable neoprene wrists do a great job of keeping the water out.
When I need something a little more substantial in the winter months I use the Palm Thalassa cag which is a heavier material compared to the Peak Tourlite hoody and is a lot drier with latex seal wrists and a double neck system.
The Thalassa cag keeps me warm and dry in most conditions all I do is adjust what I wear underneath the cag to suit to the situation.
The diagonal zip and fleece lined collar and mouth area is amazing protection when there is a head on wind or you stop for a break and start to feel the chill.
I have been paddling the P&H Scorpio LV for most of the year with a Werner Shuna paddle and have been getting on great with both, the Scorpio LV fits me perfect with the adjustable outfitting and is versatile enough for me to use it on the longer and shorter trips I go on.
I really like its initial stability you get when the kayak is both empty and full of kit. The skeg system is easy to use and the extra fourth hatch that sits just in front of you is great for putting your hat, gloves or a little snack in.
The Werner Shuna paddle I use is a straight shaft with glass blades and 210cm in length; it fits me and the boats I use perfect.
A nice midsized blade and high angle paddling suit my style of paddling so I can go out all day without feeling like I am losing power or performance in my stroke.
admin | 21/10/2013 21:10:00
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