Samos SUP Review

Samos SUP Review – a getaway in Devon.

Thinking about buying the Samos? Have a read of this Samos SUP review by Jeff who describes his adventure recently with our new stand up paddle board. 

“Describe lasting enjoyment? Peace? Describe the perfect end to an extreme two weeks of fun, surf, exploring the coastline of North Devon and getting battered by the elements at the end of autumn / start of winter.

Myself and the wife have treated ourselves to an annual trip to Croyde in North Devon for the past few years to mark the end of the holiday season. The trip has always been about surfing, enjoying the local pubs for great food and beers whilst sitting by log burners, with lots of laughter, a chance to reflect on the year and plan for Christmas.

This year we promised ourselves we would take full advantage of what the area had to offer.

We have always spent time in the sea, surfing at Croyde Bay when we stay… but this year we wanted to try some more ways of exploring and taking in some of the beautiful coastline the area has to offer.

A long wait!

As the first week passed, the surf was ok….a little lumpy and messy at times, but a little too big for my confidence and lack of SUP experience – so unfortunately I was struggling to get the Samos out on the water. On the days it was too messy to surf, we walked the coastline around Baggy Point and Hartland.

With each walk my desire to try the Samos grew. As did my frustration with the weather and not being able to get it out on the water.

At the end of the first week, we experienced storm Angus in full swing. It started to look like there was going to be no chance of getting any more surf in, let alone taking the Samos in for a paddle, and although The Thatch was very welcoming, I was desperate to get in the water.

Growning Confidence

Then on the second to last day, the surf dropped to a clean 2ft and the conditions were perfect to try the Samos.

So like a child at Christmas, I rushed to get my wetsuit on at 08:00 (with the wife looking at me as if I was mad), and I headed down to the shoreline. The sea was very kind to me that morning and after about half an hour of practice, I had a real feel for the board and caught my first wave, followed by several more! My confidence in the board, along with its great stability was growing by the second. The only thing that would have made the experience better would have been some autumn sunshine!

Content with managing to get out on the Samos after days of disappointment with the weather, we enjoyed the rest of the day. (Well I’m not sure the wife did with the amount of talking she had to listen to about how great it was.)

The time had come for the last night. We packed up our gear so we could get a head start in the morning. (I left the Samos available in the hope that I might get one last paddle before the trip home.) I’m sure you can all relate – this is one of the saddest parts of a holiday. After all the excitement, we can crash, with the reality that we will be back to work on Monday.

A perfect morning

Samos SUP reviewSamos SUP reviewI awoke at first light. It was about 07:30, drew back the the curtains in the apartment and looked across the bay. I had the biggest grin across my face!

The sun was shining and all the swell had completely gone. It was like a mill pond! Yet again like a child, I found myself rushing to get my suit on to race down to the shoreline with the Samos in tow!

I spent the next 2 hours cruising along the coastline of Baggy Point looking at all the seabirds, listening to only the paddle gently striking the water as I guided the Samos in and around the rocks . And I even managed to explore some caves that you wouldn’t normally be able to access. From this point on I was most definitely in love with the board, and now find I am always taking every opportunity to get it out on the water.

Samos SUP Review

I’m not really sure what the perfect end to a holiday is? I’m not even sure if there is such a thing as perfection? But one thing is for sure…. it was pretty close that morning paddling the Samos around Baggy Point.”


We hope this Samos SUP review is useful reading! For more information and to purchase, click here.

Related articles : Stand up Paddle Boarding,  SUP Basics

Alternative Boarding with the Hono

The construction of the Hono puts it in a very unique position. Although water is the obvious choice for the board, below we discuss varioud other alternative boarding options. The robust and smooth finish of the board makes it great for a variety of activities, including on sand, snow, grass, as well as water – all of which we have had great feedback about.


One of the most obvious choices perhaps, being right next to the sea, is sand! Lots of people have come back to us and said that their hono has been a great board for sliding down sand dunes as well as being used on the surf. The polyethylene we use to mould the Hono board means it has a very smooth finish, limiting friction and making it great for sliding across sand dunes. However, the material is also very robust meaning it can resist scratches and damage from sand and rocks.



For similar reasons, people have told us they love using their Hono on the snow – meaning that this is a board great for use in both summer and winter! The Hono slides very well across snow due to the low-friction finish, and the attached handles at both front and rear make it great for use as a sled for multiple people. The polyethylene construction means that the board will easily dry out as well.




In the UK at least, we aren’t always lucky enough for snow every winter, but do not fear, because the Hono has been found to be an excellent performer on grass slopes as well! Where rocks and mud might be a bit more of an issue here for traditional bodyboards, the Hono’s tough construction makes it much more resistant to damage, and the smooth finish means it can be easily wiped clean of mud afterwards, and is much more stain resistant.


The obvious choice for the Hono however is perhaps on the water. Even here, it excels – during our testing we found that the Hono will remain fully buoyant up until 20kg of pressure, a small amount of water will lap over the top at 40kg, and at 60kg, the Hono will sit just underneath the surface – making it very buoyant and great for surf, paddleboarding, and bodyboarding applications.

And when you want to head back onto dry land, the Hono is great at all kinds of alternative boarding – making it a worthy year-round investment!



Halloween, and some spooky fatyaking locations

Being an island, and one with a lot of history at that, we’re blessed with our share of natural phenomena and some unexplained mysteries. As its Halloween, we are covering a couple of spooky kayaking trips for you. One in the north, and one way down south!




Hooe Lake – Plymouth

In recent years, Plymouth University students have recorded evidence of over 100 shipwrecks, partial or not, in the estuaries around Plymouth and South Devon. Hooe Lake is an important one, as it has one of the highest concentrations of wrecked boats – between 13 and 20! But there is a lot of reason as to why the situation at Hooe Lake could be considered creepy. Firstly, why such a high concentration compared to other places? And additionally – there is little information about a lot of the boats or their history, and so they remain the subject of much fascination. Perfect for some Fatyak investigation and exploration!
Find out more at




Witches Cauldron – North Pembrokeshire

In North Pembrokeshire there is a labyrinth of tunnels carved by the sea that can be paddled through. Naturally, the accessibility of these caves is decided by the state of the tide! The way the light from above interacts with both the caves and the water creates a very spooky atmosphere. The water even turns an emerald green as you pass underneath low ceilings. And when the tide is right, a room completely cut off by light becomes accessible, with room only for 2-3 kayaks. Eerie indeed – and not for the claustrophobic!


Been to any of these spooky spots? Or planning to go to any ? Let us know!


Fatyak Stability

1 of the most frequently reported points we receive through feedback is how stable our range of kayaks are. Fatyak stability is vital and we strive to make all of our kayaks easy to paddle, fun, and stable in the water.


Naturally our kayaks all feature a hull design allowing straight tracking while remaining very stable in the water. However, our different models have different strengths between them, to cater for various types of paddler!


The Surf is the first kayak we produced – developed back in 2009, and is where we have taken the name Fatyak from. The Surf sits lower in the water than its siblings, and it’s short, wide body makes it excellent for beginners. Perfect for anyone requiring some extra stability and ease of use in order to learn the ropes of the sport.


Next in the series, the Kaafu shares the same ethos as the Surf but portrays this in a sportier fashion. It has longer and more streamlined design allowing for quicker pivots and improved agility in the water. However, the shape of the hull means that not only does it track well, but it also remains stable. This makes it a great all-rounder.


One success story for the stability of our kayaks is that of Channel Adventure and Channel Training! With a fleet of Fatyak Kayaks, owner Jim Whittaker has found great success in hosting activity days and training courses. This is down to how easy to paddle and stable the kayaks are, and how well they cope with being dragged and loaded onto trailers and vans.


A real testament to the stability of our kayaks is the increasing amount of people who find them stable enough to stand up and paddle on! Stand up paddle boarding is a rising trend in the industry and we think our Fatyaks fit right in. Our new Samos paddle board has been developed with all of this experience and feedback in mind, which makes it extremely stable yet agile.


PaddleExpo 2016

As you may or may not know, the Fatyak team recently undertook another adventure to Nuremberg for our 2nd year at the amazing PaddleExpo trade fair, and despite the rather chilly weather its fair to say it was a huge success! As we expected it was a great opportunity for us to spread the word around the world, #fatyaking going global! We were blessed with the opportunity to discuss with representatives from countries such as Germany, France and Norway and even countries from further afield such as Romania, Lithuania and Ukraine which was a brilliant chance for us in our quest to look for partners overseas.

We were particularly very excited to unveil our SUP board, the Samos. New for 2017 and after a long time in the making, the PaddleExpo really brought it to life as it caused a lot of positive commotion! We were very proud of all the interest the Samos was receiving and are excited for what the coming years hold in store for it.

The PaddleExpo as a whole was a success as always showing a steady increase in visitors from last year with 1550 attendees (1393 in 2015) from 44 nations. Germany held a percentage of 46% of the guests and the majority of others were representing countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, UK and France followed by Austria, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia and The Netherlands.


The PaddleExpo will be taking place again next year in the same location between the 19th-21st of September and we very much hope that we can make it again for the 3rd year running!
We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who helped organise the PaddleExpo, all the guests and all of the representatives for making it possible! We are always on a keen lookout for any oversea’s partners and would be very happy to work with anybody who is interested in our products no matter where they are located! Follow this link ( ) for details on what we require to make this possible. Keep on #fatyaking !


Stand up Paddleboarding Basics

As the stand up paddleboarding scene continues to grow, and with our own Samos paddleboard now launched, you may be thinking of giving the sport a go! Stand up paddleboarding is certainly trending at the moment and offers a fresh perspective on the water for paddlers already involved in kayaking and surfing.

We’ve come up with some hints and tips for new paddlers, which we’ve broken down into 4 sections, so read on!


We would always recommend buying a leash for your board


While the saying “a good workman doesn’t blame his tools” may exist, it’s important to have the right selection of equipment and know how to use it for successful paddling. A leash is important to have on a SUP board, for the safety of yourself and others – as well as being convenient if you lose hold of your board. Additionally, make sure you take care of your paddleboard. While our new Samos is rotationally moulded and designed to last, it doesn’t hurt to carry out some regular maintenance – checking for any deep scratches or other issues to ensure a lifetime of paddling.


Stand in the centre of the board, with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the paddle with the top hand firm, and the lower hand looser. Stand upright, but with your core engaged and your knees slightly bent. This will help keep you a bit more stable.

When it doesn’t go so well however, you’ll want to know how to fall off the board properly, avoiding injury being the main goal. When you come off, try to fall away from your board – as far as possible, as large boards could potentially injure you in a collision. Not losing your board in this situation is another great reason why we would highly recommend a leash!


Once you have a stable stance on the board, you can start propelling yourself forward. Place the paddle right into the water at the front of the board (a little out from the board itself) and pull the paddle through the water, finishing no further than your feet. The most important tip is to keep the paddle as vertical as possible. For a more in-depth read on how to paddle your SUP, click here.


Lastly, a few key pointers to mention about the environment you’ll be paddling in can help you to have a fun, safe, and useful session on your board.


Try to stay out of the way of other paddlers, any debris or coastlines that may cause you issues. Avoid rocky areas that might damage the board. To begin with we recommend lakes as a great place to start off.


Be smart and ride waves in the right conditions for your level, ensuring you understand the flow of the water around you. In addition to this, keep an eye on the wind and what it’s doing. If you get caught on the wind, or you end up in difficulties, lie face down on your board, using your arms to paddle (like you would on a surfboard). This will prevent the wind from taking you away, and will give you full control of your board.

SUP Paddleboarding

As it happens, SUP paddleboarding (Stand-up paddle boarding) first originated as a method of canoeing – where individuals would stand on their canoes and use their paddles to propel themselves forwards. This isn’t too dissimilar to how some people use their Fatyaks from time to time, made possible due to the great stability they offer!

SUP paddleboarding

SUP evolved into its contemporary form in Hawaii however, where surfers using very large boards would use a paddle to move themselves around, which was needed due to the increased size of the boards. From around 2005 onwards the sport really began to evolve, with dedicated magazines and schools popping up, and soon championships devoted to the discipline.

SUP involves the use of a larger board, similar to a sit-on-top kayak such as our fatyaks, or a surfboard, and a paddle. The paddler maintains an upright position throughout in order to propel themselves through the water using the paddle. SUP boards come in all shapes and sizes, with some race boards measuring up to 14ft, and a variety of attachments being available, including padded decks, or like our own Samos, a set of padeyes enabling the attachment of a seat.

Unlike paddleboarding (or “boogie boarding”), the user maintains a standing position, and uses a paddle. Unlike surfing, the user uses a paddle. Unlike kayaking, the user maintains a standing position. So you can see that SUP is a natural partner to the above sports, and thus a natural progression for us here at Fatyak to produce our own board, the Samos!


Similarly to the variation you might find between kayaks, SUP hosts a variety of different applications, including touring, racing, and surfing, as well as boards that are great for general all-round paddling, an attribute boasted by our Samos!

To get started in SUP paddleboarding, you can follow these very basic tips:

  • Launch into a deep enough section of water, so that the fin is not touching the ground.
  • Kneeling on the board, take a few strokes either side to get moving a bit
  • Stand up with your feet parallel to the stringer, one foot at a time
  • Aim to have your feet about a shoulder-width apart
  • Maintain a crouched position, centering your core over the middle of the board.


Tidal Forecasting

tidal forecasting
There are many elements to a successful fatyaking expedition – packing correctly, being prepared with what you wear, a well maintained kayak, and of course, the weather. But a factor that can be sometimes overlooked is tidal forecasting – knowing when the tide will be at an appropriate level for your planned activities.

Successfully planning a trip around the tide is great – you’ll know when it is high enough to easily launch your Fatyak without the risk of bumping and scraping your way down the beach. Additionally, some coves and areas that you may have wanted to paddle through may only be available at high, or low tide specifically. Travelling through certain areas at low tide could definitely offer some challenges you may rather avoid – so make sure you have a backup plan too!


In addition to the benefits that can be taken from successful tidal forecasting, there are some dangers to be avoided from paying attention also. Low tide in general could make it rather treacherous to paddle in some areas, as you may be too low to rocks, general obstacles, and the sea bed itself. It’s also worth considering any gear you may leave on the beach if you have travelled in a group or have somebody waiting on the shore – unexpected high tide could see all that being washed away.

The tide works by the moon’s gravitational force pulling areas of the ocean as the earth rotates – so if the moon is directly overheard as you are on the coast, you will experience high tide. Likewise, if the moon is directly overhead on the opposite site of the Earth, you will also experience high tide as the earth is pulled slightly towards the moon. However, depending on the geography of where you are, tides may behave slightly differently due to the shape or gradient of the surrounding coast and land.

Fatyaks in the Harbour
Therefore, with the tides changing every 12 hours or so, you will get two high tides, and two low tides each day. Other factors come into account though, such as the specific position of the moon and the sun, and the different forces that act on tides making a tide book or another source of guidance a very handy investment for forecasting the tide, and making sure it suits your activities.

The UK Hydrographic Office has a great online tool for tidal forecasting, offering predictions for different areas over the next 6 days free of charge. Additionally, and BBC Weather both have their own offerings, as well as books and smartphone apps being available, which may be more useful if you’re already out on the water – so see what suits you best and take your pick!

Holiday Park and Resort innovation 2016

It has been exciting times here at Fatyak recently as we have been approached by the Holiday Park and Resort Innovation to showcase our products at their trade fair this autumn, in the category of waterplay! The Holiday Park and Resort innovation is an incredible exhibition held at the Birmingham NEC on the 9th and 10th of November. The show is dedicated to showcasing businesses that are a part of Britain’s Holiday park industry in every area whether its amusements businesses or furniture companies. Basically any kind of business you could imagine that could in some way help boost Britain’s holiday park industry.

Therefore, this is a great opportunity for us to show visitors how ideal our Kayaks and boards are for rental fleets and hopefully welcome newcomers to the Fatyak community. We believe our Kayaks are great for the rental market (and a great part of any holiday) due to a number of reasons. For a start we have an incredible array of colours which not only keeps everyone happy but also acts as a good safety feature keeping you visible out on the water. Secondly they’re very easily transportable and stack nicely onto a roof rack and the Kaafu can even fit into the boot of many modern estate cars! Also the amazing stability of our Kayaks out on the water means that they are great for all, whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced Kayaker. Already very popular with paddlers of all abilities, what holiday park wouldn’t want to add them to their facilities and make their offering more attractive to their guests?

We really hope to give the show that edge by showcasing our UK made products to help boost Britain’s holiday park and watersports industry and also make some new friends by spreading the word of Fatyaking.

We hope to see you there!

– We are at stand 2090 in hall 8 (near theatre 8)
– On the 9th and 10th of November
– At the Birmingham NEC

Channel Adventure Kayaking Experience

Channel Adventure Kayaking Experience
I recently went out with Darren from the Channel Adventures team to get a bit more experience on the water and remind myself what Fatyaking is all about. I was up bright and early at Lynmouth Harbour for 9am, the weather was slightly overcast but none the less we were expected to have some perfect conditions on the water and were fortunate enough to be accompanied by a family of four who were around on holiday and keen to get on the water having had little previous experience sharing two of our Mahee boats.




We each carried our boats down to the water after getting our gear on, and got in to the bottom end of the east lyn river (a river well known around the country for whitewater kayaking!) and having been a while since I’d been on the water it was all a bit wobbly but luckily we all avoided any spillages… for the moment. The plan was to head Westwards along the coast to valley of the rocks where we’d be doing a number of activities and see some spectacular views. One perk of kayaking that I’d never really thought of previously was sight seeing, I’ve been going to Lynton and Lynmouth for years but to see the harbour and the valley of the rocks from a new angle and cliffs inaccessible in any other way but water bound was something else! Usually you climb the rocks and cower over the edge to look down on to the water but being out on a kayak gave a sense of freedom as you could see the unseen side of the cliff. The water was completely flat all day as well making it easy for us to paddle which is something of a rarity and we saw a number of caves and interesting sea birds that you wouldn’t usually see from the land such as oyster catchers (which ironically don’t even catch oysters).




Darren was a great instructor and threw a number of challenges at us, first off was some boat maneuverability in and out of small rocky sections. The Kaafu really proved itself here performing brilliantly in these tight sections, being dynamic enough to move at a quick pace and easy to balance and manoeuvre. Even the Mahee’s weren’t falling behind despite being a much larger boat, they got through spaces which I would have questioned whether or not a single seater could pass through! It was all great stuff and a lot of fun in the waves swirling and breaking up on the rocks giving an entertaining amount of chop.



After a leisurely lunch on woody bay and seeing the old ruins of lime kilns in the rocks, we were due a surf session. I have to admit the last time I tried kayak surfing I capsized over and over but with Darren’s easy to understand step by step instructions and a bit more time, I think I could have nailed it in no time! I did manage to catch one good wave without resulting in a face plant into the water and I have to say this was probably my favourite part of the day and despite my lack of skill I managed not to get anything wet proving the quality of the water proof hatches. I think I really underestimated the thrill you can get from riding the waves when you get it right! And again the Mahee’s definitely didn’t fall behind despite the extra weight, they capsized less times than me which says something!











Heading back towards Lynmouth the sky started to brighten up and the water became even flatter than it already was, it was incredible to think that in theory even if we didn’t paddle we could sit there and be travelling Eastwards at 2kmh with the tide. Not to mention whilst watching the goats up above on the cliffs getting themselves into all sorts of crazy places. The journey back really was the definition of tranquil. The kayak was comfortable, easy to paddle and very stable meaning I could paddle easily rather than all my movement and energy being wasted on rocking the kayak side to side. Weirdly enough carrying the kayaks back up the rocky and slippery river was something we all found almost enjoyable, by which i mean laughing at each other slipping over. The kayaks weren’t too heavy and Darren showed me a tip of detaching the back rest and threading one of the straps through the carry handle so that I didn’t have to bend down whilst carrying the kayak.

All in all I had an amazing time and got to spend the day with some great people! The weather was perfect, the water was even better and I’d highly recommend it to anybody looking to get into the water – whether experienced or not! I’d also like to say a huge thanks to Darren and the rest of Channel Adventures for a great day!13962756_1427273160632972_5469008707377756037_n