Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A.S Watersports - New Shop.

 A. S Watersports are celebrating their 30th Year in business with the opening of a new store.
In 2011 they won the Retailer of the year award from Canoe and Kayak UK mag and continue to deliver the best products for paddle sports along with fantastic customer service and expert advice.
The new shop is only 20 meters from the old one that was home for the last 17 years. Doubling the size, taking it to 3000square feet makes the whole experience at A.S so much better. Better displays, more gear and more services. Be sure to check it out. It is set to become one of the UK's destination paddling shops.  Here is a little photo story from part way through development to the opening day.

The new shop was fitted from scratch.
 The A.S Team getting busy on the build.

 Livery colours going down on the floor.

 Just a very small portion of the stock on the move.

 A long term brand for A.S Watersports and my long term gear sponsors.

 Yak Brand Manager Pete checking it looks good and up to spec.

Oooh, the colour.

 Are we sure thats it? Night before the opening.


 A family affair. Boss man Mitch and son Dan.

Palm have been at A.S since the start. They play a large role in the business and are also just over 30 years in the industry.

 Womens gear looking like it could be in a snow sports department.

 Custom made Dagger Axiom 8.5.  How its done is a trade secret.

 Bubbles and cake is the only way to start the day! Our great friend Lutzy from the near by cafe dropped in some of her amazing brownies.

 Thumbs up from the team. Tired, but happy with the result.

 Guest staff for the day - Ben Hall of Palm Equipment. He only came for a bit of cake and ended up working hard all day.
The carpet gets seal of approval from a future paddler!

Pop in and  see for yourself the next level in canoe and kayak shops.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Val Sesia River festival

So following a couple of weeks back in the UK after the Pyrenees its off to Italy. A bit late in the season for my liking but when you get asked to DJ at in international River festival in one of your favourite places on earth for kayaking, you don't turn it down.

This is the 2nd Valsesia River Festival organised by friend and kayak nomad Simon Westgarth of Gene17.
It will my 5th? visit to the area in search of granite steeps, gellatto, wine and Pizza.

Here's what they say: "

After years of going to Valsesia, introducing paddlers from all over the world to the steep creeking delights of this perfect slice of Piemonte in Italy, Gene17kayaking will host a completely new white water paddling festival. This Spring we’re run another Valsesia River Festival, situated at the Campsite of il & la Volpe in Campertogno. White Water Kayaking is full of choice, and at this festival you’ll have lots to choose from. The Valsesia River Festival is for all White Water Paddlers, with open races with competitive classes, accessible Steep Creeking Clinics, Photo & Video Clinics too, and to top it all off, some great evening entertainment.
We plan to have the leading lights of the kayaking industry to guide, coach and inspire paddlers, along with leading kayaking brands and a retail presence"
the Gene17 Team

 Get ya tickets sorted and get out there

See the website for more:

Pair of Knees

Ooh, nothing like a cheeky Euro kayaking trip to kick off the summer. Val Sesia in the Piedmont regionof northern Italy was all set for late May/June any way. All good.
And then... Find out about some wayward souls with a space in their car going to the Pyrenees in late April. Bonus!
This is somewhere I have wanted to visit again after my biking trip in 2010. This time a little further north and more into the Spanish side but I reckon its all good.

A few vids from the tube to whet your appetites:
Im not if these guys are making it look harder than it should.... of if its 'ard. a touch more bedrock than the UK but not to disimilar in places.

Looks good. Lots of tight steep creeking. Bingo.

Probably the most exciting/scary bit is going with a team I've never paddled with, let alone go on a 10 day mission!