support unicef Palm Orbit Rand Shock Support American Whitewater!
Brave Browser

[please login to make this ad block disappear]

Who Uses What: Tao Berman

Tao Berman Who uses what gear, and why? Part 3: Tao Berman.

Who Uses What, and Why?

This is part 2 in a series of articles on Playak in which we will present some of the world's top paddlers and the gear they use. Now of course these guys are typically sponsored, so I hear you ask: 'how independent can that be'? To which the answer is: we are not talking about the average sponsored Joe the plumber here. This is about people who are so good that they can actually choose from a wide range of sponsors...

In this third article we present Tao Berman's gear. As in the earlier articles, we left Tao's text mostly unedited.


Tao Berman - What Gear and Why…

Tao Berman

Criteria for choosing brands

The way I choose what brands to use is based on the product and management. I always look for companies that have a history of making great products. In a dangerous sport choosing the best product is really important. I believe it's vital to minimize the risks that we can control. Having the best product is part of minimizing the risks. Of course having the best gear also makes for the most fun experience.

It's also very important that the management care about the sport, and are easy to work with. It makes me feel good to promote a company that cares about our sport, the environment, and their employees. I believe that as an athlete or as a consumer I can influence a company's decisions. That's because ultimately it's the consumer that decides whether a company remains solvent. We all decide this by our choice to purchase, or not purchase, a company's product. I've learned the hard way that working with bad management is almost never worth it.

Kayak Company

Tao Berman Dagger KayaksI paddle the Dagger Nomad 8.5. It's a great creek boat, and is also very fast for racing. It also has good outfitting and has strong plastic.


Tao Berman AT PaddlesI use the AT 2. It gives me a powerful forward stoke. The pistol grip shaft also gives me really good grip. This is really important to help keep my paddle from spinning or sliding in my hands.

Tao Berman Level SixDrytop/gear

I use Stohlquist paddling gear. Their dry-tops and dry-suits are really functional and dry. Their life-vests have the floatation I need and don't obstruct my range of motion when paddling. I also think they make gear that looks really good.


Tao Berman snapdragonI use Snap Dragon spray-skirts. They are made out of Kevlar so they are really strong. They also almost never blow off when I impact off of big falls.

Tao Berman Grateful HeadsHelmet

My helmet brand of choice is Grateful Heads helmets. I like their designs and I think they are well built. After seeing a friend get knocked unconscious after hitting his head I pay more attention to the integrity of the helmet design.


Tao Berman Mion FootwearI use Timberland and Mion shoes. They are really functional for walking around on wet rocks near the river. They also drain well.

Tao Berman

Second Choice

To give this series of articles an extra independent touch, we ask every athlete the following question: "If the above companies wouldn't exist, what brands would you be using?". Tao's answer to that:

  • Boat: Pyranha kayaks. They do a great job with their creek boats and I really like Gram, Jim, and everyone else that works at the company.
  • Gear: Kokatat. They make good gear.
  • Shoes: Teva. Teva worked with their athletes to make a good water shoe that does a pretty good job at sticking to wet rocks.
  • Paddle: If I wasn't using an AT paddle I would choose Werner for sure. They make an excellent paddle that is really strong. They also use their athletes to help test prototypes.
  • PFD: If I couldn't use my Stohlquist PFD I would choose to use a Kokatat. It's also a nicely designed PFD and like Stohlquist they have a good warranty.
  • Spray Skirt: My second choice of spray skirts would be Mountain Surf. They don't leak much and the company has a good reputation.
  • Helmet: Sweet because of its cool design and quality construction.



Login to post here

EJ added a video. 9 hours 25 minutes ago

Jackson Flex Drive 3D | In-depth Features

Want to know more about what is new about the Flex Drive 3D? Jameson Redding goes in depth on everything Jackson Adventures has put in to the...

EJ added a video. 9 hours 25 minutes ago

Jackson Flex Drive - E | What comes in the box?

What comes with the Jackson Flex Drive - E? Nick from Jackson Adventures goes through all the parts so you know what to expect. Get you FD-E now at...

ntroutman added a video. 9 hours 29 minutes ago

When Dreams come True: China Adventure- Nick...

I was fortunate enough to travel to China to film a TV piece and get to run a first descent and dream waterfall of mine- the Detian Waterfalls on...

drewgregory added a video. 14 hours 21 minutes ago

I'll go upstream as FAR AS IT TAKES! TOURNEY...

Do you really want to be a better kayak bass angler? I show it all in this video, as you see how I pre-fished and prepared my kayak setup for the...

corran added a video. yesterday

Cafe Moment Vol 14 - Gone Scrambling

I love the Scrambler. It's such a fun versatile board. From side slashing slush, to hard carving, super tight powder trees, bumps... it's just a...

supzero added a video. yesterday

The 2020 Starboard Sprint Explained by Michael...

SUP Race World Champion Michael Booth goest through the details of the 2020 Sprint by Starboard SUP in this live video. Find your Starboard SUP with...

supzero added a video. 2 days ago

Barbados Pro Day 1 Action Highlights

Welcome to day one of the contest we saw amazing action from the mens and women's field today as they completed round 1 join us tomorrow for more...

supzero added a video. 2 days ago

Day 3 Barbados Pro Highlights

Day 3 saw the men battle through round 3 to make it into the qaurter finals as well as the under 18 youth devision get their turn on the water take...

See the AUP for our Acceptable Use Policy and a Privacy Statement. Verein Playak is responsible for all editorial content on this site (including all graphics). No part of this site may be duplicated in any way without explicit permission from Verein Playak. Verein Playak takes great care to only publish original content, but since part of the content is user generated, we cannot always guarantee this 100%. If you notice any copyright violations, please let the editors know through the contact form and they will take appropriate action immediately. As a news and information platform, we republish small text snippets and thumbnail images, but always link to original content on other sites, and thus aim to adhere to a 'Fair Use' policy. If you believe we violate this policy in any particular case, please contact us directly and we'll take appropriate action immediately.