Sunday, July 20, 2014

For Canterbury

Over the years I've come across some awesome people from the Christchurch and the wider Canterbury region, add to this we have Family who live there.

It would be fair to say the Region has been hammered for a few years now and are still not quite out of the woods, with constant barriers in regards to infrastructure or simply travelling around from A to B with the threat of constant detours. I love my paddling just as much as everyone else does down South, and I always look forward to paddling with my South Island mates.

Some History:
I finally got into paddling after starting work and saving for my first kayak, and got there at the age of 17, I bought a Q-Kayaks Olympia and drove over to Ashurst from Pahiatua, where Max Grant got me all sorted.

Multisport was the thing back then (and still is) and that was responsible for where I am today, I made it into a K1 in the late 80's and the Long Distance events around the Greater Auckland Provincal Region were those that gave me the most exposure to all the paddle sports. By 1992 I figured surf skis were the best all round craft for me and I was retro fitting flip up rudders onto my spec surf life saving skis and then an Ocean Racing ski in the mid 90's.

Nuts and Bolts
Buying a surf ski when you're along way from a retailer much of the time was a pain in the butt, and it still is, because many of us have made the same mistakes buying a surf ski site un-seen or without even trying one out. Too many cheap purchases led to upgrading too often to find the right ski and it's cost me 3 times as much in the long run. Money doesn't grow on trees, so if we can guide your first investment to being the best investment it may save some heartache......of asking your Partner, Husband, Wife for another crack at it......good luck with that :-)

For me the most important thing is buying surf ski with a comfortable seat........and if I can sit on the ski for two hours without getting a sore butt, and without having to pad the seat........I've found myself a good ski, the rest is building my skills up and figuring how that ski rocks and rolls and getting the very best out of it.

The second part of the equation is not working above my ability, skinny kayaks or surf skis are great in relative conditions on rivers and lakes..........but when it gets rough or you're offshore when the conditions turn to have to be able to get back home comfortably without turning your paddle into an extreme adventure or a near rescue effort.

Nathan Faavae and a few others have documented this approach over the years, not to over reach your skill level...........the Ocean is new territory for many of us and we all have to do our apprenticeship over this new Territory........if you've come from a surf life saving background on surf're home and hose as they say, you're probably more skilled on these craft, than many of us inland paddlers.

Cutting to the chase:
Flow Kayaks, Epic Kayaks and Think Kayaks will be bringing their full range of surf skis to Cass Bay in Christchurch on Sunday November 2..... for a 10 km event around the Shelter Bays where multisport kayaks can compare how they go against surf skis......then straight after, everyone comes off the water they can then demo any one of 13 surf skis on site!

Local Icon's Ian Huntsman and Wendy Riach will be representing Richard Ussher and Andrew Martin's Business Flow Kayaks with their Superstar, Addict and Sharpski surf skis.

From Auckland, 4 times Olympic Gold medalist Ian Ferguson will be representing Epic Kayaks with the V8, V10 sport, V10, V10L, V12 and V14 surf skis.

From Wellington Chester Burt from Welly Paddlers will be representing Think Kayak with the Big Eze, Eze, Evo II, Ion and the ICF surf ski World Championship winning Uno Max.

Our aim is to hold the event on the Sunday November at 11 am (we have an alternate date on the Saturday) ....we will have contingencies and updates through the week leading up and post them on a new paddling website that we'll be setting up for "All Country" events.

The Paddling Event will have a $5 entry fee..... and we'll have a supply of spot prizes to filter out.......the demos will be free!

We're working through Bianca Teague who's an Arawa Canoe Club and Canoe Racing New Zealand member and we'll be contacting as many key people and clubs in Christchurch as we can to make the day, as awesome as we possibly can.....with everyone's participation of course.

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