Devon, England and an Afternoon with Reed Chillcheater

Early this month I hopped on a plane for the journey across the Atlantic to England. Mark and I met up and headed south, to Devon, England, where we’d be running classes through Sea Kayaking South West. Rob, Anita and their wonderful girls made us feel right at home at the self catering accommodation that they run, Dyers Farm. Dyers Farm is a 400-year-old longhouse, and it is incredible! If you find yourself in southern England, it’s worth a visit.

Upon arrival I was exhausted (traveling on a plane for two days can do that to you). I was in a half daze while Mark and Rob discussed the venue for our classes that weekend. I heard them talking about winds of 17 miles per hour and was wondering what all the concern was about. As it turns out, I misheard, and winds were gusting to 70 miles per hour throughout the weekend. Upon our arrival at the beach, the Harbor Master approached and said, “You can’t be serious.” The weather made the classes interesting to say the least, but everyone was a trooper, and our somewhat creative venue worked out well.

When the sea looks like this, it's time to get creative.

When the beach looks like this, it’s time to get creative.

Tides in England can be more extreme than what I'm used to in California.

Tides in England can be more extreme than what I’m used to in California. The local paddlers assured me that water would arrive soon.

The Balance Brace is the foundation to any layback roll.

The Balance Brace is the foundation to any layback roll.

Throughout the weekend we talked about Greenland kayaks and paddles and worked on rolls in both flat water and waves. We also covered re-enter and rolls in both flat and bumpy water.

We brought the class indoors to talk about skin-on-frame kayaks and Greenland paddles.

We brought the class indoors to talk about skin-on-frame kayaks and Greenland paddles.

On our way out of town, we went to Reed Chillcheater to meet up with Chris Reed and Reed’s enthusiastic staff. We got a tour of the facility and chatted with Chris about his products. He hooked us up with some fantastic new gear, and we’re happy to announce that we’re now a Reed dealer. That’s right, you can order Reed gear directly from us. We’ve got Aquatherm Fleece Hoods available for direct purchase, and starting next weekend we’ll have Reed Tuiliqs available for demo during our classes. If you aren’t familiar with Reed Chillcheater, check out them out by clicking HERE.

Everyone at Reed made us feel very welcome.

Everyone at Reed made us feel very welcome.

It was fun to watch fabric become gear.

It was fun to watch the formation of paddling gear.

Chris shows us some of his latest products.

Chris shows us some of his latest products.

Thanks Chris for the tour. It was great to meet you!

Thanks Chris for the tour. It was great to meet you!

After leaving Reed, we made our way north for the 7th UK Storm Gathering. More on that later…

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