Name: T.W_Cook

Most Recent Reviews

This lifejacket is a game changer. I have a variety of lifejackets (some would say too many), including excellent jackets like an NRS Ninja. But this Khimera is quite different. There are no big stiff plates of floatation in it - as a result it is way more flexible and moves with you when paddling like no other jacket. By comparison, it feels thin and isn't in the way at all. It covers a bit more surface area than the Ninja (so you might notice that in really hot weather) but not much more. I really like the idea of having a bit of flotation boost but still being able to slide over a gunwale without obstruction, yet if I get in trouble I can pull the ripcord and have a lot more flotation instantly. The front pocket is just big enough to hold a large phone (mine is a Pixel 3XL). The extra slot to carry a spare CO2 cartridge is a nice touch too. I love this jacket, well worth the money.

I have a variety of PFDs (too many, my wife would say), but was looking for something minimal to wear on a SUP. I usually paddle pretty hard for an hour to an hour and a half as exercise, and my other ones just don't breathe well enough (I'm in central Texas, it's usually pretty warm). This PFD is amazingly light, ventilates well, and is easy to get on and off. It feels much cooler during a hard paddle than any of my other ones. The only potential downside is the small pocket - if you need to carry a lot of stuff get something like a cvest instead.

This is a really pleasant paddle - the carbon shaft makes it light, but the plastic blade means you don't have to be scared using in on a rocky river. I like the simplicity of the push button adjustment, not much can go wrong and I find it easier than the fancier mechanisms. Depending on how many holes are left open, the paddle whistles softly like a low frequency flute with enough wind coming from off the port bow. I find that pleasant but it might annoy some people. The only real downside is that this paddle doesn't collapse very short for transport - I got it before I had an inflatable SUP so kinda wish I had gotten the 4 piece version instead. But it's a great paddle that's a pleasure to use.

I got this board as an upgrade from a wider hard board, so it has taken some getting-used-to, but I love the board. The construction is impeccable and the result is a beautiful, classy board. I run it at 15psi rather than the possible max of 20psi and it seems as rigid as my hard board. Every time I take it out, I'm delighted at how little effort it takes to move through the water - it feels really fast and effortless. I weigh 205, and the board still rides very high in the water; haven't taken it on an overnight with any significant gear yet. It comes with 2 fins, a tall one and a shorter 'river' one. I'm running the short one mostly and find that the board tracks nicely even with the lesser fin. Once consideration- NRS uses a proprietary fin box and attachment mechanism, so standard fins won't work. Their mechanism is probably superior, and they have a decent selection of fins for cheap, but we aware that your old fin collection probably won't work on this board.

I've been using an older Aqua-Bound fiberglass paddle which has worked well, but was looking forward to something a bit lighter. This paddle is a pretty cost effective compromise - quite a bit lighter for not all that much more money. I have the version with the adjustable feather, and am still experimenting with whether I want to use a non-standard amount, but it's nice to have the option. The paddle looks good, feels good, and is a real joy to paddle. I like the feel and the design in general. Not too many miles on it yet, so no reading as to durability but it seems sturdy enough.

Like others here, I got this vest because it offers clearance for a high seat back. I find it uncomfortable to have PFD padding between my back and the seat back and this vest solves that problem nicely. But it also has other positive attributes. For one, it's quite light. For another, even here in the heat of Central Texas it manages to breathe pretty well and doesn't feel as hot as some vests (that might not be a plus if you live in a colder climate). I found the attachment points on the back of the vest to work well - I have a knife (Gerber River Shorty) on one, and an LED strobe on the other - both easily accessible by reaching over my shoulder. They are out of the way and I don't notice them at all under way. There are two fairly large semi-circular pockets under the two radio pockets on the front. I keep whistle, mirror and paddling gloves in one, camera (old Kodak play sport) in the other. They hold more than you'd think; my cell phone would fit too if needed but I keep it in a Pelican case. I have a small pair of binoculars in one of the radio pockets, and a radio (Standard Horizon HX 870) in the other. The HX 870 is a pretty huge radio yet it still fits well. All in all, this vest is working perfectly for me - my usage is in a Tarpon 140 on lakes and rivers, rarely on salt water. My only complaint is the color schemes. I got the red with orange zippers, and while I've gotten used to it, I'd have much preferred a solid safety orange. The alternative is a high visibility green, but I just couldn't get into that.