|Report from the 2002 International Canoe Exhibition in the UK. Find out more about the S8, Tekno, Pop, Skip, Red Fred ... This page contains many pictures, be patient when it loads.|
Due to a dodgy film the main pics have not come up from the show ;-( We have done our best with stock pics and aim to update with articles on new k it when possible throughout the season. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Pyranha once again ruled the show with easily the most accessible and dynamic of stands. With Cheesy mixing some phat tunes and all the new range showing for 2002, the boys from Runcorn have a lot to be proud of. This year we see a definite story in the range with the official launch of the S8, thus completing the 'S-Series' of boats. Available in two sizes ( 225 and 235 ) the production S8 looks like a really nice package. With the S6 being very radical, they have chosen conservative lines with the S8, allowing more people to have fun on the river. There is a lot of potential with this boat as it combines the aerial features of shorter designs with the water length of much faster boats.
Across the rest of the range we see the new cage system in the Micos and H2s. With no extra drilling this increases the hull strength and provides a step to aid escape in pining situations. There are also nifty cut-outs in the rear foam pillar which fit a 1200 Peli case as standard and Super XR outfittings are now standard.
Concept wise, Pyranha have been super sensible this year and listened to paddlers across the globe. This year the story is about 'bolt-on' products, just like getting bar ends for mountain bikes, Pyranha have carbon seats, quad straps and carbon power pockets. For the boater who just wants that little bit more!
Pelicase attachment and cage.
System X are quickly becoming one of the largest distributors of kayaking equipment in Europe. This year they have added both Liquid Logic and Immersion Research to their stable of leading brand equipment.
From Liquid Logic there are the production models of the Pop and Skip, following the short aerial boat concept, these are an evolutionary step from the Session and Session +. There is also the production model of the Huck, a nifty little creeker designed on the tight and technical rapids of the Green.
Immersion Research though very popular in the US has not really been seen in Europe. Everyone likes new kit and the competition jacket went down very well.
New from Shred Ready is the Scrappy helmet. Based on the Shaggy design this is a budget plastic alternative. With CE approval this helmet is going to be dominating the market over the next year. It looks good, has bomber construction and it is cheap.
System X also had the new Eskimo Xeno on show. With the tried and tested hull of the Nano and the volume more like a Kendo. This is the boat the Quadro should have been. It is going to be a superb river running boat, with ample play ability and volume for the bigger runs.
Immersion Research drytop.
Some pics of the Liquid Logic Pop and Skip in action in Hurley the day after the show. They look very nice indeed. Click to enlarge.
PeakUK / Riot / Necky
At the show this year everyone wanted to get a look at the new Riot Boats. Much has already been said about the Boosters and it looks like they will be a good money spinner for Riot, thus supporting projects like the Tekno. At the show was a final production model of the Tekno ( after countless protos ). It looks really sweet, but is clearly a specialist wave machine. If you want big air on super fast big waves, then this is your weapon. However with the new Disco built for aerials, it is going to be hard to win comps this year.
Peak also had the production model of the Necky Witch, finally giving women a choice of small boats to paddle.
This year Perception have had a really good re-think about their range, launching essentially a complete new line of boats. For the all-rounders there are the clean lines of the Sonic and Supersonic, whilst the Freestylers out there are blessed with the Lucid, Full Tilt and Spin. Put next to each other, the Full Tilt is going to be the most popular combining aerial freedom with Perception's new outfitting. The Spin will go off with the lightweights out there and the Lucid will be the preferred weapon of choice for the larger paddlers or those wanting a slightly longer slicier boat.
Full Tilt, Lucid and Spin
Sonic and Supersonic
Palm Equipment / Dagger
With the Palm factory now finished this year they have pulled out all the stops and produced the most comprehensive range of software available. The Extrem is still the top dog and it has been tweaked a little for 2002. In the Rivertec range we now see some slick designs with the Sidewinder, both in Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve. Combing these two cags with a Extreme deck , Palm now have the Sting Cag-deck. A very nice bit of kit indeed. For those wanting to be a little too extreme, Palm have the Stikine and Stikine Canyon full immersion dry-suits. If you are in any doubt about getting cold, these are the babies for you.
From Dagger there is nothing drastically new. The ID is going into production and we should see that coming through soon.
New to the UK Spider Paddles are made by the Double Dutch Company. Super slick blades following the multi-laminate pre-impreg design, they look and feel really cool. In full carbon there is the Black Widow and in a 'special lay-up recipe' there is the glassfibre Tarantula. There is also neutral bent shaft called the Ergologic at half the price of many competitors.
The long awaited Flip-Stick was at the show, with such a large rocker even the largest of boaters could fit in it. It might be a little too large for the lightweights among us, but this boat looks like it will go aerial with the best of them.
Bliss-Stick's new creeker the 'Huka' will be with us soon, if it follows the lines of the successful Life-styler then this will be a boat to consider next season.
Robson had their lovely little Red Fred at the show. Not a radical playboat, but following the successful lines of the Ego, Session and Amp boats. The most important feature of this boat is that it will cost two thirds of the price of the larger manufacturers newest toys. Just like the budget Attak, expect to see a lot of these boats in an eddy near you.
The Robson Red Fred. Click to enlarge.
For the surf junkies out there the Mega stand had some sweet glass surf boats. New to the UFO range of surf guns is the Prowler. Short and wide, this baby is going to fly.
Along with the retail and trade stands the ICE also boasted a full presentation programme. Featuring slide shows and talks from the likes of Debs Pinniger, Peter Bray ( the nutter who paddled the North Atlantic on his own ) and Pete Knowles. The highlight of each day was a showing of fresh from the cutting room floor of the new PeakUK film Id10tic - Go Boating. Featuring footage from Nepal, Uganda and the UK, this is a must for anyone who liked the previous PeakUK Videos.