RNLI Harbourfest 2016

We’ve just completed the second yearly event following the new format for Minehead’s RNLI Harbourfest, and what a weekend! While it would be almost impossible to top the heatwave we experienced last year, the weather treated us all amazingly and plus the event was bigger and better than ever before! Sponsored by ourselves and The Old Ship Aground, we enjoyed yet more stalls and entertainment than before alongside the usual electric mix of live music, Fatyak Kayak races, the Raft Race, and of course – the fireworks. All in aid of raising money to support the RNLI in their key role, supporting what the whole weekend stands for – this year’s Harbourfest truly shaped up to be a great one. Read on for our summary of the event.

harbourfest crowd

Our second year of the new concept for Harbourfest was a great success overall seeing the addition of many new stalls and entertainers such as Acoustic Roots, Bare Bones Trio and Soulville Express providing fun and laughter for the masses! As well as a point of contact for many community organisations.

harbour noodles

ferris wheel

acoustic roots


Over at Fatyak we had a great weekend – people were taking to our free Fatyak taster sessions like ducks to water, and Channel Adventure did a great job of getting everyone safely onto the water. As hype began to build up on the day, we saw an increase in the amount of registrants on the day for our Fatyak Races. We were offering a cash prize of £250 for the fastest paddler, as well as a Hono for the fastest female paddler, and a combined adult/child event for the families.

taster yaks

With safety kindly provided by the RNLI, the course this year consisted of a sprint race to a buoy just past the harbour area, and then back. The fastest overall time was 08:54 set by David Farr for the 2nd year running – the lucky winner of our £250 cash prize! Jane Dunn was our fastest female paddler for the 2nd year running setting a time of 09:55 taking home a Hono board and first place for the family/combined prize went to Jason and Flo Mullet setting an impressive 09:12 – well done to all!

fatyak race


winner male

winner female





winner combined


We had a great time over at our stall chatting to everybody, and showcasing our range of products. It’s great to engage with everybody who gets involved with Fatyak and get some feedback on our line, which we are always looking to improve!

fatyak stall

The Raft Race on Sunday was as exciting as ever, with teams from as far as Hereford entering the professional category. From the local area, we had teams from The Valient Solider, The Rest and Be Thankful, The Black Pig and more going head to head in the course that ran from Butlins to a buoy marked out in the channel, back towards Minehead beach and then finishing up at Minehead Harbour. Our sister company from under the same roof, Deso Engineering, also competed not doing too badly and coming in 9th position, could be worse! Teams competed for an array of prizes generously donated by sponsors and ourselves, and of course, all money raised was in aid of the RNLI. We are yet to find out but we are sat on the edge of our seats hoping that we exceeded the £10,000 we raised last year for the RNLI and all that they do for the public out at sea and will make sure to post the result as soon as possible!

deso raft

With such a fantastic atmosphere throughout the daytimes, you might think it could be hard to match when darkness begins to fall – but that certainly wasn’t the case here! The Old Ship Aground did a fantastic job as always of providing some quality live entertainment, with sets from Bare Bones Trio, The Jury, and Snappa on the Saturday, and Acoustic Roots, Little Betty, and Soulville Express on the Sunday. With stage design and lighting kindly provided by New Beginning Productions and weekend-long commentary from Drew Haddon and Josh Searle of Tone FM, the key events of the weekend were extremely well covered.

harbour fest stage

We would like to give an extremely special mention to Minehead Motor Factors, who donated £300 to the event in memory of Arthur Talbot. Thank you ever so much!
Last but by no means least, we were lucky to be treated to a fantastic fireworks display, sponsored kindly by the following:
– Derek Merson Used Cars
– CJ Lynch & Sons
– Channel Adventure
– Neil Arnold Tyres
– Fuel Tank Shop
– Lidl
– Echo Beach Café
– Singer Instruments
– Specsavers
– Beaver Ford
– Minehead Quadbike Sales
– House Doctors
– Julians Commercial Laundry Services
– Chanin & Thomas

thank you





Harbourfest FAQ


What are the event prizes from Fatyak?

This year, Fatyak Kayaks are offering £250 for the fastest paddler, A hono board for the fastest female, as well as for the fastest family or adult/child entry. In addition, Channel Adventure Ltd is offering their Grom Squad sessions for the fastest youth paddler.


Can I enter the Raft Race on the day?

The Raft Race cannot be entered on the day


Can I enter the Fatyak Races on the day?

Fatyak races can be entered on the day by going to the Registration stall – though some personal details will be needed and so registering online in due course could save time!


What are the prizes for the Raft Race?

As well as a prize of up to 6 hono boards from Fatyak for the most money raised through sponsorship, various sponsored cups and prizes are given each year. Details will be announced at a later date.


How much is entry to the harbourfest?

Entry to Harbourfest and all that it has to offer is free for spectators and those not participating in any event!


Who was the quickest paddler last year?

Last year David Farr was the quickest paddler with a time of 9 minutes and 23 seconds. So this is your time to beat!


Whats the minimum age for the Fatyak Races?

14 years of age in order to participate unaccompanied (with a counter-signed form for those under 16), or 6 years of age with adult supervision for doubles or family entries.


Whats the minimum age for Raft Race crew members?

Crew members participating in the Raft Race must be at least 15 years of age on the day of the event.


What are the rules for the Raft Race?

A full list of rules can be found here http://www.mineheadraftrace.co.uk/?page_id=23


Will there be parking?

There will be a road closure in place along Quay Street from 8am on the Sunday. The nearest pay and display car parks are located at;

  • Minehead Steam Railway Station, Postcode TA24 5AP
  • Blenheim Road Car Park, Postcode TA24 5QW


What facilities are available?

Public toilets are available opposite the RNLI Boat House. There are no changing rooms available, and no baggage storage options available – participants are responsible for their belongings.

Where is the Harbourfest?

The Festival is located at Minehead Harbour, TA24 5UL with a road closure in place along Quay Road in order to accommodate all the activities that will be taking place.


Where do I sign up for the Fatyak Races?

You can sign up for the Fatyak Races here. Registration on the day will also be available


What happens to the proceeds?

100% of proceeds from the event go to the RNLI, who’s Minehead Station is located right at the heart of the festival, in order to support the great work they do out on the sea.





Holiday Park and Resort Show

On the 9th and 10th of November we’re heading up to the NEC in Birmingham to spread the word about our Fatyak Kayaks and how much success people have found from incorporating them into their rental and demo fleets around the UK!

“We need kayaks that are tough, safe, and easy to paddle – and the Fatyak range fits the bill perfectly. Children as young as 6 can handle them with ease and we have even had adults weighing over 20 stone singing their praises and commenting on their amazing stability.”
 Action Watersports Ltd

There’s going to be a great array of speakers and seminars, including people from EE, AirBnb, and Anytime booking to name just a few, of around 150. The theme for the weekend is innovation and growth, making it a crucial date for anybody in the holiday park and resort industry looking to gain insider knowledge, tips and experiences that can be re-applied to their own company.

“Fatyak’s after-sales service and support demonstrates a real commitment to our business which is invaluable to us. I would absolutely recommend Fatyak Kayaks as our first choice for recreational or fleet purchase”
– Channel Adventures Ltd

We’ll be at stand 2090 showcasing our range of kayaks and boards. Our products have found great success in the rental and activities market so far and have been noted for their ease of use, flexibility, and value for money in particular.

“We are a relatively new business and are very proud to have received such support from Fatyak. We contacted them before we started up regarding our business and they have been very helpful throughout. The products themselves are truly fantastic.”
– North Berwick Kayak Hire

Many of our fleet customers have praised Fatyak Kayaks as the brand of choice for a variety of reasons ranging from robust and hardwearing designs, to portability and storage, to how easy it makes paddling for beginners and children. We’ll have a range of our products on display and be on hand to offer advice and insight on the place of kayaking and paddlesports in the rental and activities industry!

“Fatyak are great with offering support, sending out replacements for when we did manage to break bits of the outfitting of the boats. And they even delivered the boats to us, craning them over a wall, much to the entertainment of people walking past”
– Fluid Adventures

The advice available on funding, planning, grants, troubleshooting, tools and industry issues is invaluable to those interested. And best of all, its free! So whether you’re in the industry already, or interested in it, come over and check out the range of traders and speakers on display.

The Fatyak Timeline

We feel as though we’ve come a long way since we launched our first kayak, the surf, around 7 years ago in 2009! Since then, we’ve built up a loyal fanbase (you guys!), a fantastic range of kayaks for every application, the upgraded Adventure S series, the Hono board, and we are soon to release our first SUP board, the Samos!



We’ve made this short video to celebrate some of the key milestones in our journey so far, but we feel like we’ve got plenty more to give yet!

  • 2009 – Fatyak Surf
  • 2012 – Fatyak Kaafu
  • 2013 – Fatyak Mahee
  • 2014 – Fatyak Hono
  • 2014 – A new van
  • 2015 – Fatyak Kaddy
  • 2015 – Adventure S series
  • 2016 – Adventure S in Orange
  • 2016 – Fatyak Samos

We’re always interested in hearing what you have to say regarding our current line-up, or any ideas you have for new products, so get in touch!

Paddle round the Pier Summary


Fantastic weather accompanied a fantastic event in Brighton last weekend. A great selection of trade stands, entertainment and exhibitors on land overlooked a medley of successful events in the water, including races, the paddle, and demo events.


The atmosphere was electric – the sun was out for the whole weekend and with a footfall of around 50,000 people there was plenty going on. People were giving things a go, engaging with exhibitors and organisations and having a great time with the entertainment on both land and water. Watersports lectures, events, entertainment and exhibitions were all a fantastic success overall, with a huge turnout for events on the Sunday in particular on account of the improved conditions.


At least £6000 was raised on the Saturday alone, with the final figures yet to come. All money raised will be given to the RNLI, Surfers against Sewage, and Amaze – fantastic charities that carry out some crucial work not only for those of us involved in watersports but for the wider community also.

We experienced some pretty severe wind on the Saturday, making the water so choppy that it would have been rather difficult to paddle very far! Luckily, the weather was brilliant all day Sunday which meant the races and other events could be re-scheduled, and continued to go off without a hitch.


The Fatyak Races were a great success with competitors taking to the water in pursuit of a Fatyak Kaafu as first prize, and a Hono as second! Big congratulations to Michael Van Doorn who came first in the race, with a time of 2:26, and has bagged himself one of our lovely UK-made Kaafu kayaks!



As well as the races – we also a lucky young man who won himself a Hono in the raffle! Along with a variety of great prizes from generous exhibitors at the event, including kayaks, surfboards, lessons, accessories and more.


Overall, we had a fantastic time at Paddle round the Pier and would like to extend our thanks to the organisers, the other exhibitors and the community who came and engaged with it all. We loved chatting to you all about our products, and hearing your thoughts on issues within kayaking and the paddlesports world and can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Paddle round the Pier is this weekend!


With Paddle round the Pier only a few days away, it’s probably time to get your gear together and begin planning your weekend!


How to get there?

Paddle round the Pier is located across a 60,000sq meter area across Hove Lawns, just to the west of the pier remains. Free parking might be hard to find on site, though if you are prepared for what would be a stunning walk then it can be found around up to a mile away. There are plenty of pay and display sites just to the north-west of the Lawns.

The postcode for sat nav users is BN3 2FR, but just make sure you switch from car to Fatyak before you enter the sea! If you’re coming by train, simply head downhill for the sea and turn right.


What to bring?

There will be a huge variety of events going on throughout the course of the weekend – so consider what you might be interested in and pack accordingly. For our own Fatyak Races, the boats and PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) will be supplied, but if you have a wetsuit or anything else you’d like to bring then we would recommend it! If you plan to enter on the day, Adult entry is £10, and Youth (Under-16) entry is £6.

You won’t be able to bring any alcohol on site at Paddle round the Pier – there will be a range of bars serving beer, lager, cider, cocktails and PIMMs! You can bring dogs, but consider whether your hound is a fan of people and loud noises as it’s a busy place to be. The BONE-yard dog show will be happening at 1pm each day.
What’s happening at the Fatyak stand?

As well as supplying boats for the Fatyak Races, there will be show deals on some of our range, giveaways, and information on our new Samos SUP board! Our staff will be on hand to talk about our products and offer guidance on our range, as well as boats being available throughout the day for you to have a go on. Simply come and find us at Blue Zone J!

Paddle round the Pier

Paddle round the Pier is a fantastic event run by volunteers, which has raised over £300,000 for charity! Not only does the event give to charities, but it’s also a great community get-together over the course of the weekend, with plenty of local involvement and a friendly atmosphere to boot.


We at Fatyak Kayaks are delighted to be a part of it this year’s celebrations on the lawns, as part of over 200 stalls and in the midst of a 50,000 strong crowd. Additionally, the festival’s 20th year in operation will see the launch of our new Fatyak Races, alongside other great events that will be happening simultaneously – including various shows, competitions, and performances.


The festival will be on the Hove Lawns in Brighton, on an expansive 60,000 square metre venue that will host the main event village for the weekend. A variety of bars, stalls, activities, events, competitions and prizes will be available for all to enjoy, as well as many industry and trade stands. A lecture theatre will be in places offering a variety of insights from within the watersports and beach leisure industries.
We will be running a competition to find the fastest fatyaker at the event on the Saturday, with a load of great prizes up for grabs including Kaafu kayaks, and Hono boards, as well as a variety of great accessories up for grabs. The heats will include Mens, Ladies, and Youth categories – full details can be viewed here, including how to enter.


Additionally, we will have a trade stand for the duration of the weekend with a variety of our range on show, including our latest and greatest addition to the range; the Samos! If you have any questions or thoughts whatsoever, come and find us for a chat!


Introducing the Fatyak Samos

If you’re already a keen fatyak follower then theres a good chance you’ve already heard about our new Samos board, and perhaps even seen some pictures of it in development! But for those who are as of yet, unaware, we are pleased to announce the very latest addition to our range.

Stand up paddle board

The Samos is a rotationally moulded stand-up paddleboard, born in effort to bring something new to the SUP arena which has recently exploded in the world of paddlesport. Traditionally, epoxy and composite boards are the natural choice, although with the continuing adoption of inflatable paddleboards, we wanted to do what we do best, and bring a fresh new alternative to the market.

We had two main priorities in creating the Samos – firstly, to combat some traditional problems found in Rotationally moulded boards, and secondly, create a feel that was comparable to more expensive options on the market – making it suitable for beginner to intermediate level paddlers. Typically, rotationally-moulded paddleboards have been problematic due to their evolution from a kayak design, making them impractical in shape and weight; often in excess of 25KG.


The innovative design of the Samos targets both these problems in one. The unique wishbone features on the Samos works by acting against the natural yarding as the paddler strokes – which keeps the nose pointing straight; splitting below the deck to give support for a natural stance. In doing so, this has allowed us to produce a much thinner board than many standard rotationally-moulded boards, which means at 18KG the Samos is the lightest board on the market! Even still, the Samos still manages to boast an all-rounder profile, making it great for all applications from day play, and exploring, to fitness and fun on the waves.

The Samos includes a wide set of features as standard, including branded carry handle grips and deck area, drain plug, bottle holder, paddle, straight leash, a custom 10.5″ fin box accepting all standard fins. And, as always, you can be safe in the knowledge that it’s manufactured to Fatyak’s high quality rotational moulding standards; with no seams and no joints the Samos is manufactured using high grade, high density UV stabilised polyethylene; in accordance with BS7852 as well as our own procedures, in Somerset, England.


Are these the best-travelled Fatyakers around?

Of course, our Kayaks are travelling the country every day to new homes, straight from the factory, to be enjoyed by fans all over the UK. However, the main point to note here is that the kayaks in question here are travelling along Britain’s roads in the back of our lorries, and not in the water!


Not to forget, of course, the beaches that have their share of Fatyak action by way of a plethora of retailers, schools, and partners up and down the country – wisely stocking Fatyak Kayaks as part of their business:


So what about the Fatyaks that travel the country themselves? The independent kayaks, well-travelled Fatyaks that see many, many different bodies of water throughout their career. We occasionally ponder the question, and we think we may have found one of the most well-travelled group of Fatyak Kayaks to-date!

This group of kayaks belongs to Martin and a keen kayaking family, who have been enjoying their fleet of Fatyaks in all kinds of spots. Martin and his family have explored waters from The Grand Union Canal to the Praa sands in Cornwall, with destinations in between – a distance roughly as long as 160,000 Fatyak Kaafus!


Here he can be seen in the waters at Croyde Bay, in Devon. Croyde Bay is not too far from ourselves in Somerset, and certainly a location worth checking out for adrenaline junkies and explorers alike – offering a beautiful location for outdoor activities and exploration in general, especially kayaking and surfing!


As well as Croyde, Martin and his family have experienced some of the wealth that Cornwall has to offer for lovers of the surf; including both Maenporth and Praa Sands in West Cornwall:



If you think you’re also a well-travelled fatyaker, we would love to see your pictures and some details on the spots you’ve covered! Keep on fatyaking Martin!

Balancing exercises for Kayakers

Despite the naturally stable design of our Fatyak kayaks, the importance of good balance cannot be emphasised enough. Our kayaks cater for all shapes and sizes of paddler, but sometimes even the most seasoned kayak users can sympathise about the wobble one might experience if stepping into a floating kayak.

Luckily, there are a variety of exercises and movements that can be practiced in order to help you keep your balance, and they revolve around the 3 main types of movement that the graphic below shows;

Balance Planes

It’s important to include all three planes when training to avoid the possibility of developing muscle imbalances. Some simple balancing acts that will help you to stay stable on a kayak would logically start from one requiring the least amount of compensation in order to retain balance, and would progress upwards and onwards – for example, from sitting on a chair, to standing with feet apart, to feet together, to one legged, and so forth.

Fabio Comana with ACE Fitness does an excellent job of demonstrating some simple exercises incorporating all 3 planes that could really help to develop skills for stable fatyaking!

If you’re interested in some local training and outdoor expertise, our friends at Exmoor Adventure and Channel Training can certainly offer some great assistance!