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Friday, February 21, 2020

Winging It!

If you have been considering making the move to winged paddles but not sure what to look for this article is for you. As a long distance racer ad expedition paddler I use wings a lot and get asked about them more than anything else.
So here are the main 4 points you need to consider and why.

  1. Blade size - Bigger is NOT better! I know your logical brain is trying to tell you that if you have big blades you will move more water and then go faster but it's wrong. You will for about 200m and then die. Most people are surprised to learn that getting a small blade will actually allow them to paddle fast, with better technique and for a very long time without exhausting them. My personal paddle is 740 cm2 and I have used it for 5km time trials to 95km expedition days without burning out.

  1. Paddle Length - Like blade size you probably need to go shorter than you think. Depending on you craft and your size of blade, you should definitely play with length. Buy a paddle that is adjustable by 10cm and you can vary the length depending on the conditions, the kayak you are using (e.g. Surfski or sea kayak) and how long or far you are paddling. For example, when I was kayaking around Ireland I would usually start the day at 210cm in my Rockpool Taran 18. As the day went on I would shorten my paddle to allow me to maintain the same cadence and usually end up at its shortest of 206cm. If I was particularly tired I might just start at 206cm. Think of the gears on a bike, as you get tired you want to keep turning the gear but reduce effort.

  1. Shaft stiffness - Often overlooked but this can have a big impact on your fatigue and body. For ocean or long distance paddling I recommend a flexi soft shaft. The amount of give is not visible but the small flex will be much kinder on your shoulders and body for those long days. Stiff shafts are for sprint racing and big power bursts.

  1. Blade Shape - There are several wing blade shapes to choose from nowadays. Tear drop and parallel are the main shapes and various combinations of both. You may also here reference to brands who have specific shapes like Epic, Braca, Lettman or Jantex. Blade shape if very personal and comes down to feel and performance for each individual. My advice is try to use a few different shapes if possible and find your preference. If you can not access paddles to try, some popular shapes are Epic mid wing ( very predictable and stable ), Jantex Gamma Rio my paddle of choice for the last 3 years or Braca 4. Whatever you do go for, it will take some time to adjust to and really get the feel of them.
  2. Get some coaching. I'm always surprised what little effort people put into mastering their forward stroke. I mean you only use it 98% of the time. Find a coach who knows what they are talking about. You will not find them giving advice on Facebook groups you'll have to go see them.

David Horkan

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Why are US Canoes & Kayaks so Expensive in Europe??

So while Mr T can't take all the blame (as much as I'd like to credit him with it) the current tariff of 25% on US manufactured canoes, kayaks, boats, yachts, etc... is imposed by the EU in response to his recent tariffs on European imports of Steel/Aluminium into the USA.  I suppose initially they were proposed to try and get the US to back down and not impose any tariffs but, so far, it hasn't worked.

Anyway, a 25% tariff isn't the only factor.

Normal duty of 2.7% applies plus VAT of 23% (for Ireland but varies by EU state).  Container shipping isn't as cheap as you might think and has risen considerably over the last 5 - 10 years.  You can't fit that many 15ft sit on tops in a 20ft/40ft box either.  So that already gives over a 50% additional cost before distributors and local retailers can make a margin to live off.

So far this has had a hugely detrimental impact on distributors/retailers of US manufactured canoes/kayaks with most either abandoning importation altogether or substantially reducing the frequency of imports to what are probably unsustainably small levels.

There is no time limit to these tariffs and Brexit may be a small glimmer of hope for UK importers who will most likely be able to import with little or no tariff if/when the UK leaves the EU.  They will already have paid the tariff on the stock they currently have and will be out of pocket for margin lost over the last 10 months so it is unlikely that prices will drop dramatically (especially if sterling is in the toilet after leaving).

Interesting times...

(The views expressed here are of an individual and not of Team I-CANOE as a whole). 

Monday, January 21, 2019

New in today from Peak UK

New Peak River Wrap PFD


New Kidz Decks

New Custom Cagdeck!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Virtual Tour of I-CANOE

One of the most common questions we get asked is do we have a shop?

Well yes, yes we do and thanks to Google Streetview you can now see what it looks like from the comfort of your couch!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pyranha - Sneak Peak at Models Coming Soon...

Pyranha - Sneak Peak at Models Coming Soon...

With Paddlesport Retailer on the US this week, we thought we'd share some info on new product due out from Pyranha later this year and early next year!

Fusion Duo

Available mid-August 2018
Adventures are at their best when shared.

Enjoy a tandem sea kayaking trip, go adventure touring with a loved one, or take a friend on their first whitewater experience; the Fusion Duo comfortably does anything you’d realistically ask of a duo, and everything in between.


Available mid-September 2018
The 12R is an uncompromised, super-fast, super-fun 12ft longboat which is only limited by your imagination; multi-days, attainments, races, vertical miles, challenging and developing your skills, crazy big enders, big booming fun, or simply mixing it up with your crew; if the 12R doesn’t put a smile on your face, you might consider seeking medical attention.”


Medium available November 2018
Large due January 2019
The 9R kick-started a creek boat design revolution; now that everyone else has caught up, it’s time to raise the bar with the 9R II.

The 9R is a classic example of the Pyranha approach; we worked closely with our pro team to develop a design focused on going as fast as possible downriver to help them set records at BoaterX competitions such as Sickline; something that makes absolutely no commercial sense whatsoever, but fuelled our enthusiasm.

That design purity meant that the 9R was unlike anything else on the market, and as soon as people got word of how fun it was to tear up their local run in this new sports car of a kayak, there was no going back! The 9R II takes that ethos and tweaks it to be a little easier to handle, so now even more paddlers can get in on the fun!

New Plastic in New Colours

We’ve been quietly trialling a new plastic compound for the past 2 years, and are now confident that it’s safe to shout about the significant increase in durability (independent lab tests show a toughness indicator improvement of over 50%, and over Team Pyranha report a noticeable increase in scratch resistance.
“I can happily report after an intense few weeks in India that I have been continually astounded at how much tougher and stiffer Pyranha’s new plastic seems to be; I may just be getting lucky with what rocks I hit, but I have hit a lot of them on this last trip and the kayak is holding up great!”  
– Bren Orton, Send.
To signify the culmination and completion of a transition to our leap forward with MZ3, we have given the Pyranha range an entirely new look for 2019; our two new colourways, Blue Crush and Orange Soda are in production now!


Due October 2018
The Valkyrie is a sea kayak designed for speed; whether you use that speed to take on more extensive open water crossings and expeditions, to challenge circumnavigation records, to catch more waves, or just to inject a touch more adrenaline into your day trips, is up to you.

We shook up the sea kayaking world with the Delphin, and we’re ready to do it again with the Valkyrie. The CoreLite X construction not only brings the Valkyrie’s performance within reach of composite constructions but also ensures the price is accessible for those who are unsure of such a radical design.

15' 6"-16' Volan

MV (16') due October 2018
LV & HV to follow
A high-performance touring kayak that wears its Cetus-influenced design on its sleeve, the Volan is built specifically for those who want to make the most of day and weekend trips. Like the Cetus, the Volan tracks straight when flat, but will swing round effortlessly on edge; the shorter length compared to the Cetus also means a lighter weight, and increased play potential in coastal surf.

Not everyone needs an expedition-ready sea kayak, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a kayak that portrays that image and offers performance beyond that of a recreational touring kayak.

15' Virgo

152 (15' 2") due January 2019
The Virgo is the Volan’s PE brother, and in CoreLite X offers composite-like performance at a more accessible price point, with the added reassurance of polyethylene durability.


Available Now
‘Afon’, similar to ‘Avon’, is derived from the Celtic British word for ‘river’; this simple word in itself says everything about this canoe; rivers can be tranquil, or they can be wild, and the Afon is a canoe in which you can enjoy either variety as well as everything between, whether paddled solo or tandem.

We’re known for ignoring the norm and pushing the boundaries of kayak design; it was time we did the same in the canoeing world. The Afon is a true enthusiast’s canoe, and there’s nothing else out there like it.

Islay 12 and 14 Cruiser

Due February 2019
An extra-large, ultra-easy access cockpit and updated styling paired with the refined performance of the Islay hull means that the Islay Cruisers suit their name as comfortably as they’ll suit you.

For those looking for a high-performance touring kayak, rather than something that just floats (and some ‘cheap’ alternatives barely do that!), the original Islays are ideal, which is why we’ll continue to produce them as the Islay 12 and 14 ‘Sport’.

And we aren’t done there; stay tuned for a few more exciting announcements to come throughout 2019…

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gul Napa Drysuit  - First Look

A drycag, a drypant and a drysuit...

Released to little fanfare, the new Gul Napa Drysuit is a really nice bit of kit.

Borrowing from the separable SwitchZip technology previously used solely on the Kokatat Idol Drysuit, this drysuit gives alternative options for wearing independently as a drycag and/or drypants.

Unlike the Kokatat model, the Gul version offers a full bib drypant with twin waist that is much more practical when wearing on it's own or pairing with shorty tops, anoraks, etc...

Size-wise, both are a good, snug fit with little extra bulk like some other manufacturers.  So much so, you may find yourself opting for a slightly larger size to allow for layering in the winter.

Pricewise, at €600 this offers exceptional value for money - you get a really good drytop, a superb drypant/bib and together they make up a drysuit!  Great for summer, great for winter and great for travelling!  

While it is possible to buy the top and pants separately, these models do not include the SwitchZip so it makes much more sense to buy it as a suit and then chop and change accordingly.

Buy Online Here:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12 Gifts of Christmas Giveaway

I-CANOE's 12 Gifts of Christmas

Struggling to find a gift for that special paddler in your life?  Well check out our 12 Gifts of Christmas suggestions and also our competition below!

  1. HF Compact Alpine Throwbag
    An absolute must have for every whitewater paddlers rescue kit.
    20 Metres of 10mm rope makes extractions a breeze.
    This is one of the strongest throwbags on the market and the 10mm rope won't cut through your hands when you are giving it the heave ho ho ho. 
  2. Reliance Euro Splint
    The Euro splint is an incredibly versatile product and is used to immobilise broken bones and sprain injuries, It may sound extreme but its a must have in a paddler's first aid arsenal. You never know when Santa may just slip off the roof! 
  3. LifeSystems Waterproof First Aid Kit
    Made from tough, waterproof material, this kit contains first aid equipment for injuries typically sustained from water sports, as well as general outdoor activities. This kit is perfect for all Christmas Kitchen related injuries and "wrapping" paper cuts!
  4. Peak UK Neo HeadCase
    That's probably what the wife says too when you head out for the Stephen's Day Paddle to work off the Christmas Pud.
    This little gem is fuzzy lined keeping you warm and toasty even when wet.
  5. Typhoon Therma Long Sleeve Fleece
    There's nothing like that warm toasty feeling inside whilst you watch the world go by, perfect for the morning commute or walking the dog this warm thermal layer is thick and comfortable to wear under a dry cag or suit to keep you warm and happy on even the coldest river days
  6. HF Paddle Karabiner                                       An absolute essential, this rated karabiner is strong and durable.  The opening is wide enough to fit over a paddle shaft so the ideal tool for rescue situations.

  7. Fox 40 Whistle
    As the nights roll in and the dark weather is here the paddling options are limited.  Make sure you always carry a whistle to attract attention.
    Also perfect for calling Santa down from the clouds.
    An ideal stocking filler for any paddler in the household.
  8. Nookie Ti Liner Socks
    Keeping the feet warm on the coldest days can be a tough job, but add a set of these to your layers and you will be in for a treat.  Thin enough that they are comfortable year round but warm enough to use as extra insulation from the cold Irish winter.
  9. Sola 5L Dry Bag
    Any paddler will know, You can NEVER own enough dry bags, perfect for storing things in the back of your boat or for keeping the car dry. This 5L Bag from Sola is a great size for snacks or extra layers to safely stow in the back of the boat.
  10. NRS Bumper 15ft Straps
    I don't know about you but I'm always losing straps. I never seem to have enough, These 15ft straps are long enough to comfortably secure multiple boats to your rack. Keep an eye on Santa's sleigh as we've supplied him a few this year for his extra large load.
  11. AquaPac iPhone 6 Case
    Aquapac are probably the market leader in dry cases for phones they are great quality and easy to use.  The iPhone 6 size case is suitable for most phones and the clear panels allow the phone to be used whilst inside. An ideal gift to stay in touch with loved ones on adventures.
  12. Peak Neo Pogies
    Last but definitely not least these Neo Pogies from Peak are a gift straight from Santa.  We've seen him use them on his own reigns during the arctic flights. These are designed to secure over the paddle shaft and slide your hand inside to provide shelter from the outside.  Warm and functional paddling during the winter is hard on the hands. These are a great option to keep the hands warm and functional.

For 12 days of December, we here at I-CANOE will be opening our 
Special Online Advent Calendar

  • Each day at 12 noon we will be posting a new image on Facebook to like and comment on.

  • The following day at noon we will be announcing the winner
    Just before posting the next days image

So you have 12 chances to win over 12 days of December

Merry Christmas from everyone at

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Waka Family

After a few weeks waiting, the current production range from Waka Kayaks are finally available to view and compare in I-CANOE.

The Tutea is the longest production kayak now in the Waka lineup and also the smallest size - pictured in red.

Next up is the Tuna 2.0 which sits sizewise in the middle of the range - pictured in green.

Then we have the Gangstaa, 2016 and 2017 Sickline winner which remains the largest size in the fleet.

And finally, the two new brothers: The Stout and The O.G.

Sizewise, the Stout sits between the Tutea and Tuna 2.0.  Length and volume are slightly bigger than the Tutea but rail and rocker are very similar - see comparison below.

And finally, the O.G. - the most anticipated kayak in the range.  Sitting between a Tuna 2.0 and Gangstaa in terms of size, it features a ridiculous amount of bow rocker meaning that this is going to autoboof every drop and seam it comes close to.

So pop on down, take a look and see which Waka you'll choose for the 2018 season.😊😊😊