Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020- The year that was

 

2020 was one hell of a year.
Here's a little grab of some of our favourite moments, the trips, the events, the weekly paddles, big water, flat water and everything in between, and most important, the people with whom we shared our adventures.
To everyone who has supported our business this year, we say thank you for your good company, good custom, and good humour.
Roll on the good times in 2021!
Rob, Sharon & Mark.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Video Journal - A Post COVID Paddle out to Broughton Island

Tim, Bob, Rob & Mark head out to the spectacular Broughton Island, some 20km north of Port Stephens in NSW, for three days of caves, dolphins, fresh fish & sunshine.



Tuesday, 3 November 2020

The Inaugural Morison Cup


2020 has been a wild ride for paddlers, with many around the country forced from the water as lockdown restrictions were put in place to stem the potential for pandemic outbreaks.

Here in NSW, at the critical moment, our peak body negotiated a sensible deal with the health authorities which kept us paddling. Paddlers responded in turn by being......sensible! No incidents, nobody being seen to do the wrong thing, and the result was a winter of uninterrupted paddling in pairs through the most serious stages of lockdown.

The benefit of this advocacy flowed through to all paddlers, regardless of whether you were a member of Paddle NSW, and it's something to think about if you ever wonder what a peak body actually does for you.

When the Myall & Hawkesbury Classics became the latest casualties of pandemic prevention, Paddle NSW announced the Morison Cup. Run along the same inclusive lines as the Myall, with a 50km, 25km, and 12km option, on an out & back course beginning at Windsor in the afternoon and into the night, it promised to give us our Hawkesbury night-time experience, as well a challenge to suit your ambition.
pic by Ian Wrenford
pic by Ian Wrenford with thanks.

Named in honour of the late great Joan & Bruce Morison, it had special significance for my own paddle club, and the Sutherland crew were out in force as usual. Axe and I decided to let our Big Bird loose, the mighty V8 Double.

Our training schedule composed of a game of golf with old cricket mates at Mollymook and a night on the cans where we decided we'd done the Hawkesbury last year, and we'd be fine for a race half the distance, just on the basis of experience. We call it the tapering strategy, just pure tapering. In the broad church of sports science, it's not a well known strategy.

It was very apparent that a winter without racing had the marathon crowd primed for this one, and the speed off the start line was a little too hot for mugs like us. Nevertheless, we settled into our cheerful rhythm of banter and chirp, but being a little off the pace, sadly we didn't have the usual number of mid-packers around us to annoy.

Sometime around the 15km mark amid teeming rain & electrical storms, the heavens opened up and dropped a good ten minutes of stinging hail in our laps. Having never seen a hailstorm last that long on the water, and certainly never being stupid enough to stay out in it and keep racing, I got a shock at how fast the temperature dropped and revealed our poor choice of ice-resistant paddling clothing.

We decided to soldier on despite getting cold enough to be quite concerned, and thankfully the weather eased, the wind stopped and the normal muggy spring evening resumed soon enough.
Just as we approached the 25km turnaround, Annette & Mark piloting the safety boat advised us that we had to turn & head for home.

We later learned that there had been a problem with the other safety boat which made it hard to continue the race.
Whilst our trip downriver was fast & cheerful, the slog back into the tide was a little more character testing, or maybe character revealing, or maybe even preparation revealing.....

Along the river as we chugged home almost all paddlers either passing or being passed would shout out a word or two of encouragement or crack a joke, which proved that in spite of some crappy weather and a genuine handbrake tide, everyone was happy to just be back out there among their peers.
We were treated to a golden sunset, something I've never encountered on the Hawkesbury because I'm usually going the other way. It was a stunner, worth the entry fee alone.

The new Windsor Bridge and the finish line beckoned soon enough and we were done, maybe not in great style, but certainly looking damn stylish. And truly, the next race we go in, other paddlers should heed our warning, nobody ever beats us 33 times in a row.

Well done to everyone who made the trek out to Windsor to take part, it sure felt good to be among a big bunch of paddlers again in this wacky year.

And thanks again to the unsung folks at Paddle NSW for getting this event together at the last minute & giving us our night out on the Hawkesbury.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

A Capes Run the Expedition Kayaks Audax

 


A cruisy run from Kurnell, 17km out to sea and downwind to Port Hacking in the Audax. The Capes Run, sea Kayaking as you've never known it....

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

The Nadgee Solo - an EK Review




A full and comprehensive run down of the features and characteristics of Australia's most iconic sea kayak, Dave Winkworth's Nadgee Solo, by Robert Mercer, who has personally paddled the Nadgee many thousands of kilometres along the Australian coast.
The Nadgee Solo is now being manufactured in Australia by Expedition Kayaks, available in two layups, and built to exacting standards of thew Audax and Azure.
For full details on the Nadgee Solo, including pricing and specs, go to 
https://shop.expeditionkayaks.com/products/nadgee-solo-sea-kayak

The new Think Six - an EK Review



A comprehensive look at Think's brand new Six, an intermediate ski designed to be a little more user friendly than many in the market. Expedition Kayaks have been Think dealers for many years and have a broad knowledge of the design and handling of these excellent skis. If you'd like more information get in touch through their website www.expeditionklayaks.com, or comment below. Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Expedition Kayaks & Made in Australia

We have never considered a decision to buy a product made locally as something motivated by 'patriotism' or some vague nationalist intention. It's the reason you don't see us putting our Australian Made credentials front & centre, because we'd prefer that our products stood on their own merits. 

Rather, if something made locally is as good, or obviously if it's better than the import, then we'd hope consumers would take a hard look at the local product. 

Whilst we began our business importing British sea kayaks, and continue to bring in the very best quality gear from brands reknowned for innovation like Peak UK and Reed (UK), North Water (Canada), KajakSport (Finland), Tiderace (Portugal) and Shelta, NRS and Snap Dragon (USA), we've also spent much of the past six years developing or supporting kayaking products that are made here in Australia. 

These include the three kayaks we build, the Audax & Azure, our designs, projects which employed scores of people and businesses through the myriad stages of development, and more recently the Nadgee Solo (designed by Dave Winkworth). 

We have Keiran Babich's innovative Y-Rack system, Simon McGuire's kayakers tarp (developed in close consultation with Rob), Neil Tasker's precision made sails, and Greg Davis' years of experience and skill in bringing Rob's BigFoot and Skegfoot designs to fruition. 

Winky also makes us his 2 litre water bags, foam seat and hull saddle points, maybe not the slick commercially packaged finished item many are used to, but all forged in the heat of years of expedition paddling in remote places. 

We also support local businesses like Vaikobi and Sea to Summit, both Australian owned and run companies that have become international success stories. As the world appears to be going down the gurgler, we see exciting possibilities for niche Australian manufacturing in relation to paddling, kayaks and kayaking products. 

So we're not finished yet, with further developments to the Audax range well down the pipline, as well as a range of safety products utilising the expert craftsmen and women in our broad network of friends and colleagues. 

You can see the twenty-five plus locally manufactured products we stock through this LINK. Please consider these when you next eye up a similar product from overseas.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Sunrise, Funrise




One of our favourite early morning paddles, out to sea from Port Hacking, chasing the southerly swell into Cronulla for a coffee, then running the gauntlet past Shark Island & back into the bay. Sometimes we're even lucky enough to get a wave on the Bundeena Bar before we head for home.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Installing the EK BigFoot Plate System


Here's a video we've put together with comprehensive instrcutions on fitting the EK BigFoot plate system.

This design has been out in the market now for five years and continues too win friends with it's simplicity, universality and performance once installed.

You can order the BigFoot through our online store HERE (overseas buyers please get in touch via this email for BigFoot shipping)



2020- The year that was

  2020 was one hell of a year. Here's a little grab of some of our favourite moments, the trips, the events, the weekly paddles, big wat...