Paddles. The most personal piece of gear you'll ever own is your paddle. If you want to get really good, don't keep changing your paddle: get a good one and if you're growing, get one that will grow with you by means of an extending shaft. Talk to Jez or Wendy for advice before you spend a couple of hundred quid.
Here's some basic easy to find stuff that's a good idea to have and use.
A fairly waterproof kit bag and your own squeezy thing of hand sanitizer. If you wear spec's, a spec case so your 'Bans don't get crushed.
Towels are really useful. Some people like to have their own mat to stand on.
Keys: On string round your neck or in a waterproof pouch?
Mark is wearing the usual thin shoes so he fits in his slalom boat. Long wetsuit trousers and a thick thermal layer under his paddling cag. This is thick Gore-tex with latex wrist seals. His neoprene spray-deck helps keep him warm. He is wearing a close fitting competition buoyancy-aid and a light-weight helmet.
Connor is wearing the usual tiny shoes and boardies that give hime great contact with his very tight fitting kayak. He has on a thin wicking layer under his cagdeck. A cagdeck is a combined cag and spray-deck which is lighter and slimmer fitting than seperates, but not as warm. He is wearing a slim-line competition buoyancy aid and a light-weight helmet. He often paddles under flood-lights, so he wears a white helmet.
How safe is Connor in this minimal gear? Very safe in our opinion. He has the fitness and skill to keep moving and keep warm in cold conditions and he hardly ever swims out of his boat so leg protection is not an issue for him.
Jon has on substantial neoprene boots. His water-proof trousers and cag has seals so he stays completely dry. His buoyancy-aid has loads of pockets. Under all that water-proof kit he is wearing thermal long-johns and a thin thermal tee-shirt and fleece jumper.
Jon's helmet is a bright colour so that we can see where he is as he swims down rapids. It's got great head coverage and it fits well enough to stay in place when things go wrong.
His spray-deck is seperate from his cag (ie it's not a cag-deck) because on a long day out, you never know when you might want to wriggle out of it.
Getting this gear on and off again can count as your daily 30 minutes of strenuous exercise.
Tuesday 24th September 10pm
Deadline for ordering pies (veggie or meatie) for Thursday night. Wendy
Thursday 26th September
Club night Judith
Pie and peas after. Order with Wendy.
Tuesday 8th October
Pool night Mags
Thursday 14th November
Our AGM Mark