Wildlife Spotting from a Fatyak

Wildlife Spotting from a Fatyak!

Kayaking is a wonderful way of bird watching and wildlife spotting. Whilst out on the water you are able to get right up close to many animals as you glide along quietly.

 

Here are a few of the best from this season on the water!

 

Remember if you remove wildlife from the water (crabs, starfish for example), always try and put them back where you found them if you can. Starfish when left out of the water, dry up fast. If you are watching larger wildlife, take care not to disturb or anger them. Swans have been known to be fairly agressive when startled!

What is the best animal or bird you have spotted whilst out in your kayak?

Happy Paddling!

 

The Fatyak Team

The Perfect Teenager’s Birthday Present!

The Perfect Teenager’s Birthday Present!

What to get a teenager for their birthday? A day out kayaking.

“The guys loved it”

“We went to the Outdoor Shop in Coombe Martin and hired some Fatyaks from them. What a great way to enjoy the beautiful coastline and enjoy the sunshine. The guys loved it, all equipment was provided and of the highest standard. Mike the guide was very knowledgable and I felt very comfortable leaving them all in his safe hands. Vince was accommodating from booking and the whole experience was faultless. Would highly recommend, what else can you do with tardy teenagers that does not involve a computer?! Thanks guys 😀

The lads thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, even managed to some jumping off of cliffs into the sea. They were out for 2.15 hours and given the sunshine and physical effort required, were well and truly worn out afterwards. The boys certainly earnt their fish and chips!”

They said:

“It was great fun!”
“We went miles and even paddled through some caves!”
“It was brilliant, but we did not see any seals on our paddle – they must have been hiding…”
“When can we do it again?!”

A day out kayaking was a brilliant teenager’s birthday present. We will certainly be doing it again soon!

We hope this has inspired you to get out kayaking with your family. 🙂

Happy kayaking!

The Fatyak Team.

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

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!

 

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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 hooelake.org

 

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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!

 

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!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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!

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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!

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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:

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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!

Fatyak Quality Control

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We pride ourselves on our high quality kayaks, known and loved by our customers who use them well – and push us to keep improving! And not only are our kayaks of a great quality – we strive to provide great customer service and after-sales support to boot. By ensuring we keep up the high standards we think it results in a good name for the sport, not to mention promoting the goodness of paddle sports to a wider audience; the benefits of which trickle down to all of us. Oh – as well as providing safety and fun for Fatyak owners everywhere.

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You can be content in the knowledge that the manufacture of your Fatyak has been left in safe and experienced hands – and it’s not just our manufacturing workforce that know their stuff. Both our manufacturing workforce and management team have over 30 years of experience in working with plastics in various applications. Daily meetings amongst our team help to keep our process as efficient and targeted as possible, taking into account any suggestions from customers or staff as part of our customer-focused approach.

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To make sure we can back up our claims of a high quality product (as well as the glowing reviews we get from the community!) we implement a 4 stage quality check system throughout the manufacturing process – ensuring that the Fatyaks are fit for purpose in every way. All products undergo inspection for moulding defects, visual examinations by the shift leader, examinations as bagged or stored, as well as an examination on dispatch. Additionally, each Fatyak undergoes a check against 3 key criteria as part of a customer-focused approach to assess potential risk, including;

  • Functionality, such as performance and longevity
  • Aesthetics, considering how the product will meet our customers’ expectations
  • Legal requirements, ensuring that the product complies with or exceeds necessary standards

And if any defects are discovered are recorded against the product’s unique serial number and investigated – allowing us to amend process, implement training, or increase control checks if needed to stop any further failures.

Our quality checking system is independently verified by external auditors to the British ISO 9001:2008 standard, so you know we can be relied upon!

 

Mo’s Kaafu, and how it came to be.

Being from a surf background beginning in Greece, Mo caught the paddling bug early on and soon had a go at sit-inside kayaking – a river, sea, and lake trip all based in New Zealand. And, without further ado – found herself researching all flavours of kayak online.

Mo told us she kept finding herself returning to the Kaafu – and why not? She noted its interesting shape, and the definitive contours underneath the craft, giving it the stability that the Kaafu is known for. Speaking of happy customers, Mo mentioned the love for the kayak that current customers already had, seen in a multitude of glowing reviews. Last of all, she noted how well priced it was.

Curious for a second opinion after continuing the search looking at kayaks in shops, Mo spoke to a dealer who made a solid point, particularly relevant for Mo. If she was indeed to be kayaking alone, a sit-on-top was, in the dealer’s opinion, the only way to go. The reason being – should the boat capsize, a traditional kayak would need to be swam to shore in order to be emptied of water before usage continued. However, a sit-on-top design (like the one employed by all Fatyak™ kayaks!), meant that you simply had to clamber back on-board. Being from a surf background, this point resonated rather well with Mo, and the search continued.

Mo found a local company, Fluid Adventures, which had one of our Kaafu kayaks on trial. She hired it for an hour, and sure enough, she found that it paddled very well for a beginner, and that she could lift the front end with ease – something that she noticed was not a universal feature for kayaks in her search. At 5’3”, and being no spring chicken with a tall car and roof rack to mount the kayak on, she knew it would be manageable.

Promptly receiving her Kaafu a week later, Mo found that it loaded very easily onto the car, and out on the Solent, found it stable and fun to paddle. Mo also gladly found that she fitted into the current kayaking trend – as the green Kaafu she purchased was matched by plenty of other green kayaks being purchased by youngsters too. Good job Mo, and keep fatyaking!

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RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest

Last weekend we got involved with hosting the Minehead Harbour Fest (link) – bringing #fatyaking™ to Minehead Harbour with taster sessions and Fatyak™ races – with £500 for the winner.
Minehead Harbour Fest is a new concept for 2015 born from the RNLI Raft Race – an event that has been running for 35 years along the coast from Blue Anchor to Minehead. This year the Raft Race was developed from a one-day to a two-day event on the Harbour full of live music, fun on the water, and street entertainment for the masses to enjoy. The festival was run in association with our own selves, and The Old Ship Aground pub, located right in the thick of the action. As well as providing a weekend of fun, the aim was to support money for the RNLI who obviously play an invaluable role in all that the weekend stands for.

This new concept was a spectacular success this year, with the finest local paddlers being pitched against each other in pursuit of a £500 prize – all in our very own fleet of fatyak™ kayaks down in the harbour.

Fatyaks in the Harbour

Fatyaks™ in the Harbour

The amount of registrants increased exponentially on the day as the hype began to build, with Steven Dodd, Special Olympics Kayaking Twice Silver Medallist amongst the mix, and the atmosphere was fantastic – with some extremely exciting paddling and weather that could not have been better! The course consisted of a sprint out to a buoy just past the harbour area and back, made up of 3 heats, with safety monitoring kindly provided by the RNLI team.

Fatyak Racers taking off

Fatyak™ Racers taking off

Midpoint of the Sprint

Midpoint of the Sprint

Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd and Josh Searle of Fatyak

Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd and Josh Searle of Fatyak

The main event of the Sunday was, of course, Minehead’s beloved raft race! The course was shortened this year due to safety concerns, running from Butlins as opposed to Blue Anchor but the event was just as legendary as ever with teams from as far as Hertfordshire entering the pro race.
As well as the professionals, we had teams consisting of the Minehead Barbarians rugby squad, Staff from our local Tesco supermarket, the “blind mice” from Minehead Specsavers and many more all bashing hulls in the fun race! Not to mention Fatyak™ Kayak’s very own raft which also competed in the pro race.

The Fatyak Team Raft tearing it up!

The Fatyak™ Team Raft tearing it up!

Teams competed for an array of prize categories including most original raft, the pub challenge, best fancy dress and the first local crew – full details of which will be included in the end of this post.

Williton YFC Raft

Williton YFC Raft

Watchet Sea Scouts - Winners of the Best Fancy Dress House Doctor's Cup

Watchet Sea Scouts – Winners of the Best Fancy Dress House Doctor’s Cup

While the Raft Race was underway, back at the harbour we were running Fatyak™ taster sessions – we were fully booked with keen fatyakers™ for the majority which was absolutely great to see, especially since so many had never been on the water before! We were helped hugely by Channel Adventure in keeping everybody safe and allowing a fun and informative session to take place.

Fatyak Taster Sessions with Channel Adventure

Fatyak™ Taster Sessions with Channel Adventure

Tying together the burbling atmosphere of the weekend once the sun began to set was, of course, the fantastic live music acts organised by The Old Ship Aground including The Thatchers, Soulville Express, Pearl & The Diamond Geezers, Acoustic Roots, Little Betty, and The Salt Flat Rats – all with added music and entertainment by Tone FM DJ Drew Haddon. Commentary was provided to contextualise the action throughout the daytimes by Drew Haddon and Josh Searle of Tone FM, with a link from Phil Sanderson of the RNLI from the Safety Boat – keeping the masses updated regarding life on the water.
The staging and lighting provided by NBP Sound and Lighting Hire lit up the harbour once darkness fell, providing a brilliant backdrop for the selection of bands on offer throughout the weekend.

The Salt Flat Rats performing at the Old Ship Aground for RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest

The Salt Flat Rats performing at the Old Ship Aground for RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest

And speaking of lighting up the harbour, with help from an array of firms, a spectacular firework show was funded and put on display for the town to enjoy.

Many thanks to;

Fuel Tank Shop
Richard Beaver Ford
Julians Laundry
Tanks Direct
Derek Merson Garage
CJ Lynch and Sons
Singer Instruments
Channel Training
Channel Adventure
Minehead Hire
Butlins
Stones Bar and Restaurant
Maitland Walker Solicitors

Harbour Fest Fireworks

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Last but not least…

Overall the weekend was a huge success and we would like to offer our most sincere thank you to everyone who attended, and everybody involved in hosting the event. A congratulations is in order for Fastest Paddler, David Farr, who won the Fatyak™ Races with a blistering time of 9 minutes and 23 seconds as well as winners from the other prize categories:
Fastest Female Paddler – Jane Dunn
Fastest Youth Paddler – Ben Pye
Fastest Youth/Adult Paddlers – Henry & Phil Young

Fatyak Race Winners David Farr, Jane Dunn, Ben Pye, Henry & Phil Young with Fatyak Manager Jayne Blundell and Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd

Fatyak™ Race Winners David Farr, Jane Dunn, Ben Pye, Henry & Phil Young with Fatyak™ Manager Jayne Blundell and Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd

The full results for the Raft Race are included below;

Pro Raft Race
1. 14 – Wonder Y, from Tring, male (Derek Williams Cup)
2. 5 – Madsat Black 6, from Herefordshire, male
3. 13 – Wonder Y ladies, from Tring, female
4. 17 – Vikings Raft Team, from Alcester, male (2)
5. 18 – Vikings Raft Team, from Alcester, male (4)
6. 2 – Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, young male (First local Raft, Old Ship Aground – Ale)
7. 1- Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, old male
8. 16 – The Victory Pub, from Hereford, mixed
9. 15 – The Victory Pirates, from Herefoprd, mixed
10. 19 – Rest and Be, from Wheddon Cross, mixed
11. 4 – The Black Pig, from Wheddon Cross, male
12. 12 – Fatyaks™ Kayaks, from Williton, male
13. 7 – Dunster Beach 1, from Dunster, male
14. 10- 5th time lucky, from Minehead, male
15. 11 – Mandy’s many men, from Minehead, mixed
16. 9 – The Gym, from Bishopstoke, male
Sank – Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, female

Fun Race
1. L – Minehead Barbarians, from Minehead, male (First Fancy Dress – Channel Training Prize)
2. J – Seahorse Centre, from Minehead, mixed
3. H – Blind Mice / SpecSavers, from Minehead, mixed
4. E – Exmoor Hill Farming Network, from Minehead, mixed (Most Original Raft – Mike Arnold)
5. K – Chillys Car Car, from Minehead, mixed
6. C – The Village People, from Wooten Courtney, male
7. A – Have a Go Halcon, from Taunton, mixed
8. D – Three men in a Sub, from Lincoln, male
9. Q – Deso Engineering, from Williton, male
10. N – GB Scaffolding, from Minehead, male
11. F – 1st Watchet Sea Scouts, from Watchet, mixed (Best Fancy Dress – House Doctors Cup)
12. B – Brookfood Processing, from Williton, mixed
13. G – British Heart Foundation
14. M – Tesco, from Minehead, mixed
15. Q – The Happy Campers (caravan), from Minehead, male

A huge thanks again to the RNLI, whose work encapsulates the spirit of everything the weekend was about, as well as The Old Ship Aground for their never-ending support of the event, and being the lifeblood of culture on Minehead Harbour. See you all again next year!