Hey Team, just a quick note to say that I'm back on deck after a great few weeks of chasing deer around Fiordland. The weather was perfect, the deer were roaring, and the freezer is now full.
Also this year is the first year that NZ Kayaker will be open all of winter! Tours, lessons, and kayak sales are all go so please feel free to contact me at any time. It was a great summer so thanks for all your support so far this year.
Just a quick note to say that NZ Kayaker will be closed until Monday the 17th of April. It's been a huge season for me so I'm taking some much needed time away from the water and going to find a few deer.
Please feel free to ring and leave a message or send me an email and I'll respond on my return to civilisation.
over the weekend I shot down to Omaio with my old mate Morm. It was a rough-as-guts day but we managed a few hours and a few fish before we pulled the pin. Check out this blog for all the details.
I recently had some fantastic news. I am now a certified assessor for the Grade 2 Coast to Coast certificate. If you are looking at doing the Coast to Coast multisport race either next year or further into the future, you are required to complete a grade two course to prove that you can paddle. I have options available for complete novices right through to experts who just need to be signed off.
last week we got a good amount of rain which enabled us to get up and paddle one of our favourite streams in the Kaimai Range - the Tuakopae. This stream only flows after 80mm of rain so it needs a lot of water, and at grade 5 it's not for the faint hearted. Click on this blog to check out the video.
I had a really great fishing session last weekend out from Papamoa Beach. I launched at 6.30am and was back on the shore by 8.30am with my limit. It was hard and fast fishing, and that's exactly what I love about autumn time...it just goes off.
just a quick update to let you know that NZ Kayaker is closed for all of April. It's been a crazy season and I always need a break to refresh the batteries. I'll be traveling around the South Island going on lots of adventures so if you're interested in seeing what I'm up to please check out the NZ Kayaker Facebook page.
While I'm away I will still be checking emails when I can so please feel free to contact me. As I'll be spending a lot of time in remote areas it may be awhile before I get back to you but I promise I will just as soon as I find civilisation again.
many of you might not be aware but the BOP regional council is currently seeking submissions on some new rule changes. The big one is the compulsory wearing of lifejackets on vessels under 6m. Now I'm all for wearing a lifejacket, in fact I advocate it on a kayak (due to our size), but I think on a boat is a different story. I believe this new rule would be an impingement on our enjoyment/freedom of the water and I for one am sick of bureaucrats making piss poor decisions based on emotion and not fact!
The fact is this - lifejackets don't stop people from dying. Understanding the conditions; learning how to safely operate your vessel; only going out in conditions that you're competent in. These will save your life. Not some shitty piece of nylon and foam wrapped around your neck i.e. don't make dumb decisions in the first place!
What do you think? In fact don't tell me, make a submission on this form as it only takes 5 minutes. You've only got until the 18th.
last week I was fortunate to have guided a couple of guys (Haydon and Steve) across Cook Strait. It was a bloody hard trip, even by my standards, but a huge achievement overall. If you like to check out the photos and the trip report click on this blog.
About once a year I get a customer(s) who comes along wanting me to guide them across Cook Strait. Normally they’re doing some sort of adventure, such as the Te Araroa Trail, and they want to include the kayaking because it makes the whole trip completely human powered. When they inquire my first question is “do you know what you’re getting yourself in for?” They normally reply something along the lines of “oh yeh, I’ve done heaps of kayaking before”. This is my clue that they have absolutely no idea, and that I will have to work my backside off to keep them safe. During my latest trip across Cook Strait I had a lot of trials and tribulations. None of these put my customers in bad situations, but it required a high degree of experience and judgment to keep it that way. It got me thinking, “when I’m executing a big trip what are the most obvious things that I plan for?” I thought these things might be useful to you if you’re considering your own adventure.
I'm just about to head away on a big charter and I was doing some maintenance on my Lowrance HDS 7 while getting things organised. I thought this might be helpful for any of you that run a fish finder on your kayak.
Click on the title (above) to see photos and instruction.
The Viking Profish 440 is a kayak that will be familiar to most kayak fishermen in New Zealand. She’s been around for years, and even if you’ve never owned one you’ve probably had a mate or two that has. For a long time she was the top dog in the Viking fleet, and after numerous small modifications she was still holding her own against the competition. Then the Profish Reload came along and things changed. Suddenly there was a faster kayak in the fleet; a kayak with that ‘new car’ smell. The 440 was forgotten.
Well here at NZ Kayaker I’ve stuck by the Profish 440. There are currently nine of them in my shed, and while I love the Reload I won’t be getting rid of the 440’s any time soon. To put it simply, the 440 is my workhorse. She’s a kayak that’s user friendly, a kayak that covers all the bases, and I thought it might be time that NZ was reminded why we loved her for so long.
For a recent trip I needed a bait runner to help target big snapper. I didn't want something too bulky, and I new it would be taking a hiding under the kayak conditions, so I wanted a mid-range combo that wouldn't hurt the wallet. This is a quick review on the Shimano 8000D and Vortex 6-10kg combo.
Now I've stopped running I wanted to drop you a line to say a massive thank you for your incredible guiding services to get us across the Cook Strait. You put faith in us, with a lot of unknowns, and it was so cool how we pulled it off. It adds such a special twist to what I've achieved, and I think it will be very difficult to re-create.
It's been a very special adventure and we're so grateful for your contribution towards it.