Gear

P&H Hammer Surfing Test
Monday, 02 September 2013

Simon Osborne from Sea Kayaking Cornwall in the UK got a hold of the P&H's new Hammer sea kayak and took put it through the wringer recently out in the surf. The new P&H Hammer is a new rough water play boat that takes heavy inspiration from the P&H Delphin and the Pyranha Fusion with a dash of white-water kayak design thrown in for good measure. What you end up (as you can see in the video) is a boat that is extremely comfortable in both surf and rough water. It looks like a whole lot of fun. Click through for the full video below:
If you are one of those paddlers who have looked in envy at UK sea kayakers with those funny white stickers on their boat covered in chicken scratch writing then you will be pleased to know the Bryan Hansel from paddlinglight.com has developed his own set of kayak deck slates and is now selling them. If you have no idea what I’m talking about that's ok. Kayak deck slates are basically two vinyl stickers that are positioned just ahead of your cockpit which provide a good writing surface for notes to yourself using a grease pencil. Paddlers on tidal waters can keep track of daily highs/lows or current on the left slate while the right one blank making a perfect location to keep track navigation, weather observations or if you are teaching, student names, notes or a rough lesson plan. The deck slate is printed on 3.5 millimetre vinyl so you know it’s durable. It has also been coated for UV resistance so it shouldn’t fade for some time. Bryan is offering the slates with a Listo grease marking pencil for $24.99 or $19.99 without. Take my advice and get the pencil version. It's one of the good plastic barrel versions and not the paper wrapped ones you see at your local Home Depot. I proved a couple of years ago that the paper wrapped grease pencils last about 1 hour into a typical rescue lesson on the water. More info: paddlinglight.comPhoto credits: Bryan Hansel
In an effort to help those who are researching a future kayak purchase the website, findthebest.com recently rolled out a new section specifically for kayaks. Their system makes it really easy to filter the results by category, price, weight or even suggested type of paddler. With each boat they also provide links to stores online where you can purchase the boat online. That being said, don’t forget to also visit to your local paddling shop check out what they offer as well. Buying a boat online isn’t quite the same as purchasing the latest Dan Brown novel. Making sure the boat fits and experimenting how it handles on the water can’t be overstated. To help keep things simple, I embedded the tool directly into the page below. Just click the "Filter" button in the upper right to narrow down the choices. FindTheBest Kayaks
Delorme, makers of the two-way satellite communicator, inReach have released a major update to the unit. Now called the inReach SE, the biggest change is the addition of a built-in colour screen and virtual keyboard making it even easier to send and receive messages to loved ones back home. The biggest advantage to the new screen is that you no longer need to specifically pair the unit (via Bluetooth) to a smartphone to be able to receive texts as the old unit and now does it all by itself. That being said, you still have the ability to connect to your smartphone to manage all messages if you want. The new inReach SE is now just under ½ the thickness as before so it will be easier to fit in your lifejacket pocket (I always felt the old version to be a little chunky). As with the older inReach models you can use it to trigger an SOS and communicate back and forth with the search and rescue centre or set-up automatic tracking and share your current location with friends/family or social media. The MSRP is $299 plus a minimum monthly subscription that starts at $14.95. The nice thing with Delorme's subscription plan is you can easily suspend or cancel the service during the off-season when you are realistically just going to get lost at the mall. More info: inreachcanada.com
Mobile satellite communication company, Thuraya will be introducing this April a new product called the SatSleeve that will easily transform your iPhone into a satellite phone allowing you to be able to make phone calls and send SMS messages around the world. The new phone case has a couple of features including an extra battery built in to charge your phone and give it more talk time in the field as well as a built in emergency button that will make an automatic call to a pre-programmed number. Right now the SatSleeve will only transmit voice and SMS but look for a version to be released in the third quarter of this year that will also transmit data turning your iPhone into a truly global smart phone. Just think how fun it will be to be able to get work emails throughout your entire canoe trip vacation in Northern Canada. The price for this bad boy isn't cheap with an MSRP around $500. No word on the proposed pricing for the data version but rumours put it at a couple hundred dollars more. More info: thuraya.com
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