September is here and I finally have some time to breathe. Unfortunately that’s how it is if you work in the water-sports business: Half a year you complain about not having enough work and when the season starts there’s not much time for anything else but work. If I had been constantly stressed out because I had been working without break for who knows how many days in a row until a week or two ago, I’m already a bit worried because there aren’t many tourists left in the Soča valley.
This year I mostly tried myself out as a rafting photographer and it had a great effect on my straightforward kayaking time. I must say I loved chasing the rafts and trying to be as fast as possible. Though this job has a downside to it, which is stressing out while trying to sell the pictures before the next trip starts.
Before the peak season I only managed to do one serious summer kayaking trip to Switzerland but the best thing for me was that I got to do it in a new Palm kit. I’m really excited that one of the most active and innovative kayak gear producers decided to trust me and offer me a sponsorship deal after I quit Duemstuff. I especially like my Spark immersion suit which is lightweight, sleek and just perfect for the very active and fast paddling style descents that we normally do. Thanks also to Shread Ready and System X, who sponsored me a helmet, which I really enjoyed working in even in the hottest days, while we all know they’re hardcore enough for the toughest kayaking missions.
I had a great deal with Positive Sport, that supplied me with Pyranha kayaks for years but after my second only a few months old Burn cracked, even though I mostly paddled class 2 for work, I decided it was time for a change. Luckily Palm crew helped me again by suggesting a new Dagger Mamba. I sometimes paddled my bosses old Mamba and I really loved the control it offered me on big water but I wasn’t too keen on taking it on steeper creeks as its hull seemed too flat and rigid to offer full agility on the rocks. And then came the day when I tried the new Mamba 8.0. I was absolutely blown away by how fast, responsive and in all amazing the new model is. It seemed a little too small for me so I ordered the 8.6 version. “This seems more like a ship than a boat,” I thought to myself after first seeing it. It is by far the biggest boat I have ever decided to paddle but I enjoy every second of paddling it – normally three times per day. Even though I only weight 72 kg and I’m quite small I have full control of it and I’m really looking forward to taking it down the hardest rapids. Its hull is more rounded than Burn’s and it is really stable in all positions. I feel really comfortable in it and the cargo space I gained is impressive as well. Not to mention how easy it became for me to follow the rafts.
The hopes for the autumn are Chile again so me and my friends are trying hard to gather some money to be able to afford it. But the pit stop for me will be the Adidas Sickline. I’m really looking forward to testing the race course again after 2 years – this time equipped with a new and amazing Mamba 8.6.
Check the gallery for some photos of the Switzerland mission. Thanks to the amazing crew of Andrej Bijuklič, Luka Štricelj, Jernej Mlekuž, Matej Grm, Rok Šribar and our super kind local host and an amazing kayaker Thomas Rogenmoser.
Thanks to Alpin Action for support. Follow their poster on the righ fore more info or to purchase the gear I use in an on-line shop.
By the way Pyranha, I can understand that your boats are not made for rocks. But why do you publish promotional videos with people creeking with them?