Monday, April 25, 2011
New Gear Reviews
Recently I've picked up some new gear from Western Canoe and Kayak, after having a good chance to try it out on a recent Washington creeking run and some other gnar, I figure I'd put out some reviews!
I actually bought this boat back in February if I remember correctly, and wrote up a short introductory review on it. For a comprehensive review that I totally agree with I'll refer you to a comprehensive review at fraservalleywhitewater.com. I'll add that after this last weekend I have an even higher opinion of the boat and how it handles. Worth every penny in my opinion...also has tons of space for my new creeking shoes with no center pillar!
This paddle is amazing. Carbon bent shaft with carbon/kevlar blades that are a visible green and large size that I went with. It can be broken down into 2 pieces for travel, and you can adjust the length up to 5 cm (maybe more?) and the feather to whatever angle you want. Adjustment is quick and easy (2 screws) and I haven't had any difficulty with it being loose. I replaced my Warner carbon bent shaft 200 cm Sherpa with it, went with the 194-199 cm, though it looks like you could potentially extend it a bit more if needed. It feels a little bit better than the Werner, and I'm glad I went with the bigger blades this time.
Teva Gnarkozi water shoe:
I never thought just from looking at them that I'd ever find creek shoes comfortable! Boy was I wrong, these are the win in shoes, drain water like a seive (wear gortex socks!), seem to keep my feet quite warm, more than I expected anyway. The ultra-spider grip material on the bottom is great for traversing those canyon rocks and horrible mossy portages. Nothing will ever grip wet, slime laden rock, but these are as good as it gets! So much more comfortable than neoprene booties! I wish I could fit them in a playboat...then again I wish I could fit my legs in a playboat...
FNA Headgear X-Stream full face helmet:
This thing is sweet, I'd actually bought a Cascade full face, and it just didn't do it for me with fit or style...sorry Cascade lovers! Fit of course being more important...this helmet I found instantly comfortable with minimal outfitting (it comes with LOTS of foam), I still have plenty of foam left if I want to change things in it. It is extremely hard shelled made of a strong 80%(?) Kevlar blend. I think it actually weighs the same (or almost) as my Predator 'ball-cap' helmet that I hate so much. It barely restricts vision at all, and I'm glad I got it, got a big scrape on the chin guard already! I don't see why I need to weat anything but this helmet...maybe in summer when it gets really hot on play runs I'll go out and get a non-full face, and you can bet it's going to be FNA.
Another good thing I've purchased are Raceface elbow/armguards, with easy sizing and 3 velcro straps as well as material that whicks away water, these things are great, and stay on without much difficulty and in place.
...on a separate note, I've been having problems on and off with the blog editor for a few months now, this is why I can't attach links, all my pictures just appear before the text, I can't post video and don't have an opportunity to edit my layout, apologies for this, but until I get the energy to solve the problem I'm just working with what I can...