Name: Alex Tonge
|Paddling For:||28 years|
|Boat:||Prijon Marlin, Prijon Pure, Pelican Canoe and Pelican Flow SUP & Surge Boards|
|Other Kit:||Prijon Dry Extreme Cag|
|Local Spots:||Lee Valley White Water Centre & Thames|
|Favourite Spots:||South Coast UK|
|Other Info:||Head Coach for the University Of Hertfordshire Canoe Club|
Why I paddle what I paddle....
This is a fast boat, which means it cuts throught the water really well. I can cruise easily at a good turn of speed without too much effort. I use this boat for social paddling on the Thames, exploring the South Coast and for fitness on local canals and rivers.
I choose this boat for fitness, and not a short whitewater boat, because it's no good just slogging your guts out and thinking it is doing you good. A sleek boat means that you will get somewhere in a changing environment stimulating your mind as well as working your body.
This is the family boat. I can get all four of us and the dog in a 16ft canoe.
The girls are still only small so they are not paddling, but a canoe gives us room to take a picnic on our adventures out into the suburbian wilderness! There is also the room for the girls to move about, peer over the edge at the fish or ducks or keep a healthy supply of sticks and toys inside the boat.
Often I am the only one paddling (very small children) but as long as the wind is not too strong against us, a simple J stroke keeps us going.
The key I have found with very young children and canoeing is in the early days I let them decide how long we are going to be out. This did mean a few trips of less than an hour, but it worked and now they are happy to do some all day exploring.
Pelican Flow and Surge SUP
There is much hype regarding Stand Up Paddle boarding and it took quite a while for me to get going with it.
My opinion - it makes you smile!
The flow is a really tough board, so I use it on whitewater and on some of the local weirs. Rivers where we used to paddle have become interesting again because of the new challenge.
Sea surfing the Flow was and is possible, but it is not a great performer in surf. The Surge on the otherhand is designed for surf and adds another dimension to just taking my longboard when I head to the sea.
(The longboard is still the preferred option at the seaside)
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