Another successful Paddle Sports show is in the books, and we’ve chosen our top 6 takeaways and products that got us excited for 2024!
PFAS Forever Chemicals & Sustainability
This is important. These miracle chemicals used since the 40s for a massive range of products as a magic formula to help keep things dry and stain free have turned out to be incredibly toxic and unfortunately can now be found everywhere in both the environment and our bodies. Typically used in the waterproof repellants that featured on many of the products used in paddle sports, already some countries are moving to ban the use of ‘forever chemicals’ and this is going to change how our kit is made and performs. As these forever chemicals are coming under increased scrutiny the good news is that in many cases, they are being phased out of many suppliers ranges and supply chains. Responsible brands are looking for alternatives where they can, and some like Level 6 are already PFAS free. Palm Equipment are moving in that direction with 88% of their supply chain already PFAS free. Others like Peak PS are pushing hard to make it easier to recycle products at the end of their life and have also removed PFC’s from their DWR coatings, and use recycled yarns for the fabrics used in the making of jackets, fleeces and legwear. More than ever before as consumers we have the chance to make better choices when it comes to the products we buy and use.
Aqua Bound Aerial Whitewater Paddle
Aqua Bounds entry into the whitewater market hasn’t been done half-heartedly! The Aerial comes in 2 blade sizes the larger ‘Major’ and the smaller ‘Minor’, and either straight or bent shaft with glass or carbon blades. So far so standard – however then you notice the Lamlock technology; aramid stitching around the blade edge that binds the material together protecting it from abrasion and delamination to dramatically increase the life of your paddle. Factor in the wide flattened foam spine, the reinforced 100% carbon blade peg for increased strength and durability and you can believe that this paddle has been built to last. The 100% carbon spread tow carbon weave shaft blends strength with optimized flex features an extra-long ergonomic grip – not just an oval – all finished with a tactile coating to help keep your hands where you want them. We really like the little graphic design details hidden within the paddle as well. Purposely built with durability in mind the Aerial range is coming in the next 3-4 weeks to Whitewater The Canoe Centre and we can’t wait!
Palm XP4 Stretch Fabric featured in the new Fuse Jacket and Suit
A four-layer material with two way stretch that feels soft, supple and performs fantastically? Yes please! Palm have used the new fabric in two new products the Fuse Jacket, Fuse suit, exploiting the extra movement of the fabric to create for a more athletic fit while still allowing for active movement while paddling.
The jacket features a ultrastretch neo neck gasket which provides increased comfort for only a small penalty in terms of dryness while the wrist seals are latex and you also get a twin waist. If you love the Palm Zenith then this is going to be even better!
The Fuse Suit comes in mens and womens fit. It’s a chest entry suit, also with the ultrastretch neo neck, latex wrist seals but with the addition of a removable storm hood. As it doesn’t feature a twin waist the suit is mostly going to appeal to paddles who dont use a spraydeck so Canoeing, SOT’s and SUP paddlers. One thing to note is the while the women suit features a drop seat zip the mens suit doesnt have a relief zip? We need to follow that up with Palm!
We are expecting the new Fuse products around March 2024. The RRP of the jacket is £300 and the suit £650. Check out the new Palm range here New for 2024| WWTCC | New gear from Palm! (whitewaterthecanoecentre.co.uk)
Islander Voro M
The Islander Voro goes under the radar a bit, but the introduction of the newest kayak in the Islander range has certainly got our attention. Combining proven ‘must have’ features like the drop down skeg and rear storage, the super comfortable ‘Cocoon’ outfitting and sleek looking designs this is going to be a fantastic addition to our offering in 2024 for those wanting an easy to use, compact little boat to explore the Thames and further afield. Islander are also offering this boat in their recycled option using every scrap of waste from the finishing of each kayak made in the Islander factory. The Voro M is due before the end of year RRP £799 or £649 for the recycled version.
Whetmans Hydrosil 250 Dry Bags & Hatches
Steve’s been busy this last year working to improve the humble kayak hatch and drybag. Using silicon micro injection moulding he’s created a range of colourful and functional options for upgrading your gear!
The range of hatches are made using UV stable Hydrosil 250 silicon in bright colours and feature carefully thought-out textures, tabs and useful lash points on the underside. Soon to be available in 5 colours and all the standard hatch sizes. There are even a set of lightweight emergency use covers for those who like to be prepared for the worst.
Whetmans one piece drybags feature a super dry tongue and grove style closure, with moulded in lash points.
Pyranha have new boats!
Of course they do! Still innovating and producing some of the best designs on the whitewater market we are eagerly waiting to hear more about the new Pyranha ReactR coming in spring 2024 and the team up with GuiGui on the new playboat design!
Finally, we couldn’t not mention the P&H composite line up getting a new ultralight layup option and the addition of a composite Virgo. These 14kg boats going to be the answer to a lot of people’s prayers! Keep your eyes on the P&H confirgurator for more details and pricing
It wasn’t easy picking just 6 things to feature with the new Palm Tika PFD for women and the NRS PFD range refresh all looking really good. We’ll have more on those soon!
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