It was January 22nd 2011 when I picked up my first Wave Sport Project X 56, it was the UK release day. I was excited back then for this new exciting era for Wave Sport and the freestyle scene.
The boat was incredible; fast, well balanced, comfortable and stylish amongst a ton of other technical points I could go on about but you can read about them over at WaveSport.com.
I loved the Project X both in a hole and on a wave. It was a natural progression from the Project 52 and was a popular boat amongst a range of paddlers.
Unfortunately after owning 4 of these I sold my last in favour of the Mobius. I enjoy the Mobius but on reflection I should never have sold my last Project X. I think it suited my style of paddling and my body shape, size and weight better than the Mobius. I do however feel there is a need for both of these boats on the market. The Mobius has pop and is hugely dynamic in a hole and bouncy and fun on a wave whereas the Project X is a well balanced cartwheeling machine thanks too its forgiving nature. I like both for very different reasons I guess its like owning two cars and using them for slightly different reasons.
I thought that was it; after the Project X ceased to be sold favouring the newer freestyle kayak I was destined to paddle the Mobius. Although I enjoy the Mobius I missed the Project X. In fact this is an understatement, the Project X is my favourite freestyle kayak I’ve ever owned. I have had so many great times in it, I guess its only now I realise this as many friends are getting in touch telling me they want one too
With WaveSport moving onto new horizons and now being manufactured in the UK, a lot of people are wondering so what does this mean to Wave Sport. Well fortunately the moulds were not destroyed. The Project X is now being manufactured here in the UK and back where it belongs in Wave Sport’s freestyle range once again and for that I and many Wave Sport Project X fans will be happy.
The re launched Project X comes in a range of new colours and outfitting options making it more affordable for a range of users not just the elite. Available in both WhiteOut and BlackOut fittings the Project X should be a great option for any budding freestyle paddler or seasoned veteran not to forget the smaller X 48 that is a perfect size for smaller paddlers.
I know I am excited to get my new (old) Project X on the water. Is it for old times sake or new beginnings? Time will tell but I am excited to wait and see.
What started out as a paddle to review the new Gopro Hero 5 on its UK release day turned out to be a great bit of publicity for Wave Sport when I entered a few photos and video clips to the Gopro awards scheme. A few months later after a great day at Nottinghams Holme Pierrepont Whitewater centre I got an email from Gopro saying that one of my shots had been selected for a feature on their social channels. A few days later I noticed the post up on Gopro’s Facebook page and Twitter. A great bit of publicity for our sport and the Mobius in this case. Since then I’ve had another email from Gopro regarding the same paddle session but this time some video footage has made the grade so keeping my eyes peeled for that one to pop up on Gopro’s social channels soon!
Here are a few Selfies? I don’t think they can be called a selfie if its helmet cam or boat mounted but never mind a great day spent surfing in my Mobius and paddling the Diesel in the sun. I am now looking forward to getting a new Wave Sport Project x56 in Sublime and hope to get some more footage we now just need a bit of sun!
We have had lots of rain here in the UK with major rivers bursting their banks both in the North and South of the country.
Many Brits are therefore hitting the rivers or Wales, Scotland or Yorkshire or have been hanging around waiting for the weirs to run.
In the Midlands, Nottingham we have had plenty of rain meaning that river levels on the Trent have flooded out Holme Pierrepont our National whitewater sports course. Fortunately with rain like this we have plenty of spots to play on when levels are right.
One of these spots is Trent Lock, at low running levels this is a fast green wave ideal for surf kayaks and longer old school boats such as the Wavesport xxx or Dagger Ego always does well. every year when the rain hits and the River Trent starts to flood levels become much higher producing a steep green wave with a curling shoulder a place where all wave moves are possible in shorter kayaks.
This month I managed to get to Trent lock on a range of levels and last weekend managed to get my Mobius on it for the first time with fellow Wavesport UK team paddler Ryan Liquorish and German paddler Eric Walter.
The wave was amazing, the boat even better and I can definitely say that the Mobius is one awesome wave boat, fast, light, easy to get in the air and just a bag of fun!
Here are some photos from our session photos by myself and Eric.
Today my Mobius 57 finally arrived in the UK. We have had lots of rain over the last week and a half meaning that our main Whitewater course Holme Pierrepont Nottingham has been closed due to flooding. For the last week I have been planning the arrival of my Mobius and praying that levels stay friendly.
Levels were good and Newark weir has been running for a few days, Newark weir is a series of waves formed over a weir producing a very shallow wave approx. 2in deep with a very flat trough. Newark is a great place to spin, soul surf and shallow blunts are accessible. I was very happy as managed to get a few emotional last sessions with my Project X56 before the arrival of my Mobius 57.
Yesterday we had a sunny day (well sunny for the UK in October) and water levels dropped rapidly meaning Newark was starting to get to a flushy level and Holme Pierrepont white water course was still flooded. Nightmare!
So this morning I thought today was going to be a disaster and I was going to have to stick to a flat water session with my new Mobius. Thankfully a phone call from fellow team paddler James weight informing me that the wave was just working meant it was worth the journey.
I arrived to find a number of paddlers enjoying the wave, not the best levels but a chance to get the Mobius on a wave and start to get a feel for how it handles. I was impressed, it took minutes to feel comfortable in the boat and the transition from my X56 was easy just what I was hoping for.
So how did I find the boat on the wave?
the Mobius handled well, I found it very fast and easy to retain even when almost dropping off the wave the hull speed made it easy to move back down the trough. The edges super easy to initiate and very responsive to different amounts of edge just like the X56. The hull speed was also good in a backsurf and grinding the face of the wave even on a flushy level.
I found the Mobius 57 very light compared to the X56 making it easier to manoeuvre on the wave and on the flat. Flat water cartwheels as has already been said are effortless and well balanced making this a great boat for those wanting to enjoy a bit of freestyle where you don't have a local feature or white water course/park.
I was lucky enough to try the prototype Mobius during the summer so have had a go in a hole and found the boat very responsive but as levels have dropped aim to visit Holme Pierrepont White water course tomorrow to see how the boat preforms in hole. Paul Sheppard has been working hard on improving the features at Nottingham and the likes of James Pringle Bebbington (Pringle) and Claire O'Hara have been helping test the new features.
I can't wait for tomorrows paddle now! Even thought we are forecast 80 mph winds here in the UK!
Here are a few photos from today of the Mobius, I will put some more and an other update tomorrow.
After an evening at Nottingham’s Christmas market with the boys from Wavesport UK we made plans to head North in the morning up to the River Tees. Water levels we knew had dropped off in most of the UK, but we were armed with 3 brand new Wavesport Recon kayaks and the Wavesport van.
I have been excited for the arrival of my recon now for a long time from the original photos, and bits of info I was given from Wavesport to getting a few cheeky glimpses of them being used in the states. Having had chance to play in the prototype I knew this is going to be a great kayak, not just for steep creeking but general river running too. I got the boat Friday night and couldn’t wait to get in it and pad it out. Thinking this would be an evening’s entertainment I was quickly surprised with how shorter time it took me to pad out the Recon. I whacked a seat pad under my seat a great idea from wavesport so you can raise your seat, now Wavesport didn’t forget the basics (even comes with double sided tape), standard shims for the hip pads(much improved Velcro access unlike the original Whiteout) the footrests come with a number of pieces of foam of various thicknesses and densities. It seemed like there should be more too it but there wasn’t that was it! I sat in ratcheted the leg raises and backrest and the kayak feels great.
What about looks? Now I know this is a personal thing and different people like a different looking kayak, but I love the recon, the front end looks aggressive I think the new styling looks the business.
Anyway we got up first thing and headed North, Oh wait! After a bit of de-icing it was cold!!! It was definitely a day for cramming on as many layers of thermals as you can lay your hands on, and that we did, union suits, thermals check.... dry trousers, check, Pogees....don’t be silly they look stupid!
On the river we got strapped in and headed down, first impressions the recon reacted well to edge and turned very quickly when I wanted to make an eddy. All three of us myself, Wayne Astley and Tom Pattison were in Recon’s and all happy with our new toys.
We made our way to the Dog’s Leg a grade 3+ rapid nothing too challenging but with no other option we were happy to have the boats on the water. The Recon stuck to the surface and stayed on line brilliantly over three small drops. We then arrived at Low force a small waterfall on the river Tee’s finally chance to get out the camera and get some footage. The Recon was again proving itself to be a great boat for drops and waterfalls very stable, comfortable and sitting on the surface. I am 72kg and quite light for the recon 83 however found it easy to paddle and handle, the recon 70 would not be an option for me.
If you like river running and want a comfortable, well handling kayak that you can also push the boundaries then this is definitely going to take some beating. I can’t wait to get it out again on some steeper water. I believe it will make for some good trips!
Check out some photos of myself, Tom, Wayne on our little Recon mission.
We have had a lot of rain recently in the UK, especially over the midlands area. Being based in Nottingham sometimes has its advantages. Most UK paddlers know that the River Thames has a range of weirs that at different levels can provide some great paddling. Well some of you may not know that so does the River Trent! The only problem is that it requires not only some consistent rain but some flash flooding!
Trent Lock is one of the myths of UK play boating, a wave that forms when the River Trent reaches around 3 metres, considering its usual level is around 1 metre. Now this is all very well me sitting here saying it forms at 3 metres and this isn’t very often; even at that level the wave is barely surfable for most unless you own a surfboat or a long slicey fast kayak. I own neither however my friends and sponsors at desperate Measures are always on hand to lend me something fun for the job.
So the myth is this wave that forms once in a blue moon, the catch meaning you need a long boat right?? Wrong the myth is that you can surf the wave in a play boat. Most Thames paddlers often say “enjoy your front surf boys, we have Hurley weir” true for a 3 metre level however bring on a bit of flooding like this week and the Trent hit 3.5 metres. The myth then becomes a reality and those who have been around for long enough in the area have all seen this level and know it not to be a myth but the most fun you can have in the UK (with your pants on, if you choose).
Anyway we took advantage of these levels as I personally haven’t surfed Trent lock at these levels since 2003. I was joined by Barry Hughes from Desperate Measures, George younger Wavesport Ambassador in the UK, Ryan Liquorice God amongst men, Robert Crowe, Miles Jones and a large gathering of Slalom paddlers including Dan Goddard.
Myself and George were loving paddling our 56X and they certainly flew on the wave!