BRO Athletes: Chris Hipgrave’s 2016 Paddlesport Picks

get more from BRO

It’s that time of year when the outdoor industry rolls out the cool new products that we’ll all be lusting over in 2016. Here’s the six coolest paddlesports products that I’m looking forwards to getting my hands on.

Dagger – “We wanted to keep the stability, the predictability, the forgiveness of the Nomad 8.5, and update it with modern creek boat features. We updated the hull profile for improved speed and maneuverability. An increase in volume helps the boat stay on top of the water, and also to gives more knee and foot room. Up front, we added rocker to keep the bow on the surface over holes. In back, we reshaped the stern for better resurfacing and to carry more speed away from drops and holes.


CH – “With some big shoes to fill, the new Nomad creeker hits all the marks for me. Having paddled the prototypes, I can tell you that I haven’t been more excited about a creek boat in many many years. Displacement hulls may not be for everyone, but if you do, this boat will set new levels of confidence and fun. Bring on creek season!”

Five Ten – “Eddy, our solution for water sports. The sleek profile is designed to fit into small play boats and our grippy Stealth Phantom rubber won’t scuff you kayak, SUP or deck. Features rear drainage ports and hydrophobic synthetic mesh upper.


CH – “Legendary Five Ten Stealth rubber on a super low profile, self draining, quick drying water shoe with a hint of Euro styling. What’s not to like.”


CH – “My favorite type V rescue PFD just got a refresh with these updated 2016 colors. They are sure to make you stand out in the crowd while still more than satisfying your safety requirements. This is one standout rescue PFD.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 1.28.13 PM

Pyranha – “Enter the Octane; at a length of 17’ 6” and a super narrow beam of 20.8” … the Octane will be a whole heap of fun for those looking to keep up their fitness in the off season, explore the coastal waves or break into the competitive racing scene.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 1.25.01 PM

CH – “The entry barrier for surfski has dropped massively this year with the Pyranha Octane 175 now joining the Epic V7 as affordable and accessible plastic surf skis. In partnership with Think, the design looks to be as friendly but authentic as its Epic competitor.

Werner – “Specialized for racing and making this thing as light as it is, their engineers worked super hard to maintain the bomber strength you all trust. This is for when you know your lines and you are hammering down river, fast forward.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 1.25.58 PM

CH – “About time! Many of the top performers in the whitewater scene are using blades from competing companies with the aggressive forward positioned blade, (which came from whitewater slalom). The Odachi blends Werner’s legendary build quality with a high performance blade for high performance paddlers. In the next few months we will see this paddle take multiple podium top spots at the Fall creek racing circuit.”

CH – “I’ve struggled to find good elbow pads for years and have never found the balance of protection, freedom of motion and the ability of these pads to stay in place when they need to. The new WRSI pads are the most promising ones if tried so far.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 1.26.54 PM

Support Blue Ridge Outdoors

Did you enjoy this article? To insure Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine continues to deliver you great outdoor related content consider becoming a TrailHead for as little as $1 a month.


in case you missed it

A Hiking Getaway to Madison County, VA

As we head into fall, what better place to get outside and experience the changing leaves than Madison County, Va. Rich in...

Winter Can Never Come Soon Enough at Snowshoe

Winter Can Never Come Soon Enough Our friends at Snowshoe...

Hike Russell County, Virginia

As one of the most beautiful areas in the world, discover all that the mountains of southwestern Virginia have to offer when...

Hike Buchanan County, Virginia

From the scenic mountains and lush forestland to the flowing waters, Buchanan County, Va. is the perfect fall getaway for hiking and...

Support Blue Ridge Outdoors

Help fund our distribution of free outdoor content to the region we love to go outside and play in. LEARN MORE