With the Christmas period approaching fast, we've compiled a few items for the paddlers in your lives, whether fresh to the sport, or old dogs with many boats. Take a look for perfect gift ideas...



If you're not sure what type of paddle sport person you're looking to buy for, then here are some ideas that are suitable for all levels and situations:

With all the electronic gear that we all carry round these days it makes sense to protect the bits that we want to keep safe while out on the water. The Keymaster from Aquapac will keep keys dry and enable you to get changed and go home after a day in / on the water. Aquapac also make a variety of cases that will fit modern phones, allowing you to use your smart phones apps in wet environs, and more importantly enabling phone calls to be made if needed.

Extremities can get cold at this time of year, and a much more enjoyable experience can be had if hands are warm and sheilded from the winter winds.Gloves or pogies can make a massive difference, with items such as the neoprene Stretch II glove from Typhoon, Open Palm Mitt from Palm or the Neoprene Kayak Mitt pogie from Yak.

Keeping stuff dry while on the water, or keeping the car dry after a paddling session can present a few problems - all solved by a variety of drybags available. Light weight fold drybags from exped or more durable but stiffer Transparent Drypacks from HF can fit inside all manner of boats or into other bags for keeping gear seperate. Rucksack style bags like the Palm River Trek bag make ideal bags for transport of kit off the water and in the car.

With the incredible deevelopements of LED technology over the last few years, Petzl have produced a range of headlamps that can be packed into buoyancy aid or bag pockets, providing lght when needed. The e+lite is perfect for those emergency situations where people can be caught out after dark, and has a 10 year shelf life. The king of lights for paddleing situations has to be the Tikka2 XP.


Entry level ideas:

If someone you know has just taken up the sport, then they are looking to kit themselves out, and most items will be gratefully recieved. Most starters just get a boat paddle and B/A, and will be looking at kit to make things morre enjoyable and last longer throug the year.

A lightweight cag, such as the Yak Quest or the Palm Vector, will keep wind and spray off, and heat in. A Helmet can also be a good idea. As new boaters become more adventurous, they can start surfing and exploring rivers, which can lead to comic moments as boat and paddler seperate - However when the paddles comes back in contact with the boat, or with riverbeds, protecting the one head they have is vital. The Yak Kontour is great for most sit on use

Scupper Bungs can make the flatwater trips more enjoyable as well!

Fishing

For those interested in angling afloat, rod holders such as the Scotty Baitcaster, or the sunken Flush Mounted Rod Holder can them somewhere to hold rods allow them to trawl while paddling to their favourite fishing spot. If the boat is also used for the general family, replacing the mounting point of a Scotty rod holder with the Flush Deck Mounting Bracket can stop bruises or the mount being kicked off the boat.

If you are looking for something a bit special - the PiranhaMax 160 fish finder from Hummingbird will help turn the boat into the fishes worst nightmare. As a stocking filler, anchors are cheap and add weight - and can also lead to and anchor trolley under the tree!


Sea and Touring

There are some awesome adventures to be had on the water, and we have a selection of guidebooks that can show you some of the best places to find them. Welsh Sea Kayaking is an increasingly popular book with some awesome journeys, while a number of the others will highlight trips around and through sections of the rest of Britain's coast and inland waterways.

While thy're out there you want them to be safe. Cheaper ideas such as paddle leashes and paddle floats keep the paddle within arms reach and make deepwater re-entry easier. Flares need replacing every few years, so can be the perfect gift if the dates are close to being up. They should already be carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof case as mentioned above, but is it time to augment their comms with a VHF - such as the M23 floating and waterproof VHF radio from Icom?


Whitewater

Again guidebooks can be perfect for passing the time away after christmas lunch, looking for new adventures, whether for the winter months in the UK, or dreaming of favourite summer destinations. There are also a few DVD's that can be added to any collection.

For other gift ideas - Airbags can always puncture, and some McNett Aquasure can extend the life of a spraydeck while making a great stocking filler. Throwbags are easy to wrap, and if you are using rope, a knife is a must. Belts that allow the rope to be carried on the waist such as the HF Swifty or Nookie Utility Belt - or Towlines can be useful, and the Palm Zambezi Utility Belt comprises of both.


Open Canoes

Unwrapping a shiny new paddle - such as the Grey Owl Sugar Island (or the Scout as a cheaper option) - on Christmas morning would be a dream, but if they are looking for a cheaper emergency paddle then you can't beat the TNP Canoe Paddle. For an alternative method of propulsion, a canoe pole can make a novel gift, while a sail can add an extra dimension.

If they are using airbags, then an airbag protector can extend the airbags life, while a Barrel provids waterproof storage as well as durable floatation

If you're still stuck for ideas, dont forget that we also have a gift vouchers available, please contact us for more information, There's also the list of products on special offer found on the righthand side of most of the Watersports pages.

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