Kayaking in 2015 gets even better!
Yep new kayak gear is coming out, some of which we still won’t be able to get for a few months BUT lets just sit and salivate for a minuet on what might be coming our way for kayaking in 2015. Here are some of my favorite picks for best paddling gear coming out this year.
First of all 2015 should be called The year of the Paddling Shoe!! From low profile, high stick, to multi-functional canyoneering boot there are a lot of great looking designs.
Preview of New Kayak Gear: Paddling Shoes
Astral has been making a name for itself in the shoe market in the past two years creating some of the best paddling gear out there. It first came out with the Brewer a light weight super sticky all purpose shoe to be worn on the river or on the street. The rassler followed in 2014 for high stick high-top option. For kayaking in 2015 Astral has 3 new shoes with high potential for paddling.
Meet the Highyak (right), LowYak (in red above) & Aquanaut (left). All of these shoes use Astrals G-Rubber their secret ultra sticky rubber compound. All the new designs look promising but I especially like the looks of the Hiyak, high stick, low profile looks like it will fit in most boats and stay on your foot during a unintentional swim.
ADIDAS Paddling Shoes!
in 2013 Five Ten was bought by Adidas, and we are happy to finally be able to say that Five Ten’s proprietary “STEALTH RUBBER” is now showing up on select paddling shoes. Adidas came out with a variety of great looking paddling shoes for 2015 here are 3 of the most promising!
The Hydropro (left),
developed to be a heavy duty expedition or canyoneering shoe, you can hike in or out with this shoe, it had high grip in wet conditions and will stay on your feet when you swim.
The Terrex solo,
(right women, men left other colors available) The Terrex solo looked so promising the river store staff got a set for our staff to test out. We tested them on the grand canyon, on California granite choked class IV and V, backpacking, here on the south fork and around town. The rubber held up great, they are super sticky, and low enough profile to fit in most boats. These shoes are designed as a assent shoe so the tip is extra tacky rubber designed to allow you to fit it in crevices of rock if you need to do a little on the fly rock climbing. There was only one drawback a bit of a lip on the heal that for some caused your foot to sit a little funny in the boat, we shaved this off and the fit was great. This shoe is a lighter weight option from the Five Ten Canyoneer or Hydropro listed above, holds up great in varied conditions, I found it a great replacement for my favorite five ten savants!
Finally a low volume paddling shoe with both real drainage that keeps out sand and great traction! I was given a pair of the climacool boat lace shoes from adidas two years ago these shoes are amazing they are comfy and the drainage in the sole is like no other shoe out there the only bummer was the lack of grip. Well Adidas has one upped their original shoe in producing the jawpaw this shoe comes with ultra sticky stealth rubber, high drainage, tightly laces to you foot and is extremely low profile. This will be a exceptional shoe for play-boating should fit in most kayaks but still gives you the ability to climb out in on slick rock if you need to assist in a rescue. Great looking shoe can’t wait to get this out on the water.
Five Ten still has its solid Water Tennie and Canyoneer for those of you who are purists and for those of you who want to design your own shoe check out Five Ten Rubber that you can add to your favorite Keds, Flips, Sandels etc..
New, Layers, Shells & PFD’s
This union-suit is super cozy covering your body completely leaving no drafts. A unique double neck closure allows you to enter your fuzzy warm paradise from the neck you then re-position then neck sealing you in. The insulation is Polartec® Power Dry® fleece provides exceptional warmth and superior wicking action.
Now if they would just make a womens version….
The Idol Drysuit
Kokatat’s new dry-suit design is revolutionary to dry-suits creating a dry-top, pant, dry-suit combo. The dry-top zips to the dry-pant right around the middle making it not just versatile for multiple paddling conditions but also way more practical, everyone has easy relief. The only true question here will be whether Kokatat will eventually sell replacement tops or pants if you already own one or the other. If I was to truly use this as a dry-top as well as a dry-suit the top would get substantially more wear then the bottoms making it important to be able to replace it without having to replace the whole suit. Not to mention you could in theory now have multiple looks to match your boat, for those of
you who like to make a “Fashion Statement on the water”. We look forward to where this Sweet looking dry-suit evolves and see great potential for a MUST HAVE piece of gear!
Kahuna by Stohlquist
New Kahuna PFD from Stohlquist, Simple & comfortable front zip PFD with plenty of pocket space. Foam is contour cut to fit your body better and the sizing is graded fitting a larger range of body types while still keeping a low foam footprint for more mobility and comfort. Great choice for a pfd for any body type our staff tried this on and it fit all of us equally well from short to tall, big to small.
These super popular pfd’s got new facing & slight tailoring to make the fit more contoured to your body. The Abba has been long popular for a womens jacket because of its short torso length, kapok front
panels that conform around your curves and attention to detail of user friendly pockets and hand-warmers. The Norge also uses kapok in its front panels conforming smoothly around your body no matter your body shape. Kapok is renewable resource of plant fiber sustain-ably grown making this jacket one the greener choices you can make in paddling gear.
Astral also spent quite a bit of time redesigning the V-Eight PFD which is a excellent choice for folks have high seat backs in their craft of choice. This jacket has long been popular for its great ventilation around the body keeping you cool in the hot months, now the mesh backing has been raised even further up your back accommodating even the highest seat back.
, With new inner shell to protect your head this helmet is lighter, breathable and can absorb 20-30% increased energy absorption when compared to traditional EPS foam used inside the liner of many helmets. This helmet also has a new retention system for a better fit.
Boats for 2015
This boat promises to take you anywhere, and fast! You get all the length you need without feeling like you’re sat in a bath tub; the narrow width not only increases the dynamic speed of the boat, but along with our innovative C4S outfitting and a lower knee profile, it also increases your connectivity to offer ultimate control. Having not tested the boat we will see how she performs but one thing is for sure any improvements on the outfitting will be welcomed and having a longer hull design is becoming increasingly popular for more dynamic river running. We look forward to checking this boat out. Specs Here
The Crossover Sit on top designed for outdoor enthusiasts who need performance and versatility for an adventurous lifestyle, with features equipped for whatever the moment throws at them. Whether you’re a beginner looking to add paddling to your quiver of outdoor activities, you’re an expert paddler out for a quick run on your local class 3 river, or you need a platform from which to reach the best climbing, hiking, or fishing in the area, the Roam Series provides quick and easy access to gear and more freedom, more adventure, and more of the lifestyle you want than any series dagger has designed before. Available Jan 2015 See Specs Here
Available starting in late May this popular sit on top design has been redesigned to carry two. Same comfortable ride, with a additional seat, this boat looks like the fast, stable solution for those looking for a shared adventure.
New Wilderness Systems Polaris 180T.
Available mid February 2015, The Polaris 180 will be a roomy, stable, two seat boat, with ample foot and cargo room. See Specs Here