This week, we're talking to Mark Sundin of Expedition Kayaks in New South Wales, Australia. Mark now supplies us with Flat Earth Sails designed by his late friend Mick MacRobb.
In 2011, together with Chris James & Rob Mercer, he took part in the first successful expedition to reach the remote North Reef Lighthouse, some 130km off the Queensland Coast in Rockpool Kayaks Tarans.
Mark started kayaking when his partner Nicole persuaded him to have a go, it fitted with his love of the outdoors and diverted his attention from cricket and rugby. It's amazing what you learn about people when start chatting to them- Mark surprisingly used to be a professional cricketer in the Lancashire Leagues of England where he says he "learned the art of the wind-up as well as the benefits of cold weather layering" :)
Paddling in the wind and waves is his passion, and there's lots of scope for that in NSW! As he says, "the ocean is a playground, the waves are free and wind lights up the whole thing. Nothing better than paddling on a wild day on the sea."
Mark's top tip for paddling is to get fit, take the time to learn how to paddle properly from the beginning or you'll take years to unlearn what you teach yourself. "Don't listen to anyone who keeps telling you the worst case scenario, it's not that hard, it's not that scary, it just takes a little bit of dedication, and it really helps if you can regularly paddle with a bunch of people who are better than you. Ocean paddling is a team game, don't paddle with anyone who shows any signs of being a soloist...!"
Last question for Mark- what's your most essential piece of equipment? And his answer-"My camera...! I love documenting my adventures and a photo is the best gift you can give to a mate who has been out there sharing the joy!"