Many of you will know of Steve Whetman and the excellent products he makes for both river and sea.
A paddler for over thirty years, Steve has notched up some pretty impressive trips (check out
As a young teenager, Steve lived by the sea and was drawn to the sea as a source of independence and a kayak was the means to that freedom. Happy either on the river or the sea, his exploits and inquisitive mind have meant he has developed clever kit that works.
When asked what his top tips for paddling were, he said "In whitewater, relax,relax,relax and slow your paddling down. Dance with the river and use its power. Don't fight against it,move body first, then boat second and finally use your paddle gently to overcome things. In sea kayaking, question your forward paddling technique and get a coach to give you either instruction or feedback to improve; it will make your paddling experience so much morefulfilling and prepare you well for the inevitable days when you have to paddle home against a strong headwind".
Now, when it came to asking Steve what his most essential piece of equipment was he avoided the sales pitch and said that he always carries a pair of surgical scissors in his PFD. He explains "It can cut through thick rope using one hand, the rope doesn't have to be under tension. It's also very quick to access to cut neck seals of drowning casualties . The rivet/pivot of the scissors is usually too loose so I tap it tighter with a hammer which makes it more effective to cut rope"
Another clever trick from Whetman Equipment!