Festive Dates... Opening Times

Christmas Shipping Dates
In-Store Free Next Day Delivery Order by 12pm Thu 21st Dec for delivery Friday 22nd Dec (But you're living on the edge!) 
Dropship items Free Delivery Order by 12pm Tuesday 19th For deliveries Friday 22nd Dec
Christmas Opening Times
Christmas Eve Sunday 24th 10am – 2pm 
Christmas Day Monday 25th - CLOSED
Boxing Day Tuesday 26th - CLOSED
Wednesday 27th - CLOSED
Thursday 28th Dec 10am-2pm
Friday 29th Dec 10am-2pm
Saturday 30th Dec 10am-2pm
Sunday 31st  Dec New Yr Eve - Closed
Monday 1st Jan - Closed
Tuesday 2nd Jan.. Open as normal 

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North Kiteboards 2018... What's new!

North Entity Pads 2018
Newly designed Entity pads -now with industry leading popper system, meaning it will never fail and its even easier to adjust over the Velcro! More settings and positions than you can shake a stick at! 

 

The North Gonzales 2018 is an entry level kiteboard with a twist; it also has the ability to progress as you improve doubling up as a formidable freeride machine. The round outline offers excellent control while the soft flex makes it very forgiving. This flex pattern also ensures a smooth ride through the choppiest of water and the Mono Concave bottom gives you all the control you need during those early sessions during your kiteboarding career. Don’t get a beginners board that will leave you wanting more, get the Gonzales and get the most out of your sessions!

North X-Ride 2018 is a fantastic all round board that is perfect for those rail to rail carves as well as offering real boost and a stable platform for your first foray into the world of freestyle. The board features narrow tips for unrivalled carving abilities coupled with a soft flex to ensure a comfortable ride no matter what the conditions are. A Step Mono Concave bottom ensures you have plenty of grip and control while the internal Carbon Beam reduces weight and keeps the board responsive at all times. Even in small waves the X-Ride is the first choice of the twintip range. Easy and forgiving, the X-Ride is the kiteboard that makes you look good!

New North Soleil 2018 Kiteboard... The Soleil is one of the original kiteboards designed for women by women. The narrow shape makes it easier to control, especially when carving from rail to rail. The Carbon Beam not only reduces the weight but also increases the responsiveness and handling of the board. A softer flex pattern is used to enable lighter riders to get the best pop while improving the comfort of the ride in choppy conditions. We’ve spent years developing the ultimate kiteboard for women, don’t settle for anything less!

North Select carbon kiteboard 2018 (Now also on demo in the 138 at the shop with new Entity Bindings) If you’ve never ridden a North Select, you are missing out, considered around the world as the ultimate freeride twin tip, it’s a thoroughbred machine with a passion for speed! Utilising a full carbon construction featuring Textreme and Biax Carbon weaves the Select is one of the lightest kiteboards on the market, the flat rocker line offers excellent early planing abilities, incredible top speeds and outstanding upwind performance. Thanks to the clever use of materials the board has a soft flex for a comfortable ride but is still exceedingly responsive underfoot offering a lively and fun ride. If you want the fastest, lightest freeride board around, the Select is it!

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Lewis Crathern Advanced Coaching

Lewis Crathern Advanced Coaching Oct 21st & or 22nd Poole with H20 Sports and North kiteboarding... Lewis will be running an exclusive advanced Kitesurfing Clinic along side another North Kitesurfing Demo in Poole....

Lewis Crathern Clinic.

Limited places.... Receive pro coaching from world famous North International Rider Lewis... Advanced live on water coaching, Boosting clinic, technique, rigging - you name it he'll be putting you through your paces.... Using the latest PIQ gadgets, you'll be able to track your progress on the water and see yourself progress...

North Kitesurfing Clinic

We'll be running a North Kite demo along side, with all the latest North Gear on demo to try... The whole range of kites, boards and bars will be ready to play with... Including the new click bar, Rebels, Dice... 

 

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Fancy a BLAST this weekend in Poole?

The Fanatic Blast Windsurfing Board 2018 from H20 Sports sees the stubby concept rolled out is in this fun. fast "Blasting" board from Fanatic! Everything about this board is what got us all hooked on windsurfing from the beginning! Huge windrange, early planing performance, control and ease of use! Available in two constructions and three sizes to suit every budget and ability! Free Shipping and 0% Finance from your favourite windsurfing store!

 

Check it out here! https://www.h2o-sports.co.uk/products/13800-1009/fanatic-blast-windsurfing-board-2018

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ISUP Pumps

Let's talk Inflatable paddle board pumps... Typically with manual ones the Red Titan (link below)
https://www.h2o-sports.co.uk/products/red-titan/red-paddle-co-titan-sup-pump  

or the new fanatic HP5 triple action pump (link below)
https://www.h2o-sports.co.uk/products/13800-7001/fanatic-hp5-triple-action-pump-2017 


These now pumps mean you can get in the volume required to inflate the boards initially with little effort and time - then once the volume is in - the focus turns to pressure... So with these new pumps, you can now close off the wider chambers, utilizing only the narrow HP chamber meaning increasing the pressure is now easy to top up the board and get it to the required 15ish PSI... 

Don't fancy all the hard work! Then take a look at the new ION E pump! (link below) 
https://www.h2o-sports.co.uk/products/48400-7087/ion-e-pump-2017

Plug it in set the PSI and sit back and relax! Either way any of these pumps will get you inflated in the quickest time with the greatest of ease... 

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Inflatable or rigid paddle boards?

Inflatable or rigid paddle boards?

The short version
Get an inflatable SUP

The long version…….
Inflatable stand up paddle boards  (iSUPs) outsell their rigid cousins by at least two to one, but which is right for you?
In other words, are the advantages of iSUPs overblown, or should you stick rigidly to a fibreglass SUP? Ha!
As well as our excellent website H2O Sports have always been and always will be a bricks and mortar shop too, run by some of the most experienced water sports experts ANYWHERE.  Nothing beats checking out the kit for yourself and it also we can check you out too…!
Your size, weight, experience, aspirations
Logistic stuff like budget, ways to pay, storage issues
Choosing the right paddle and other accessories 

We have a huge selection of rigid boards and iSUPs from the world’s leading brands including Red Paddle Co, Fanatic, JP, O’Shea, RRD and F-One to name a few! 

Please note - all our iSUPs are top quality from established manufacturers that have a pedigree in the water sports industry. There is some cheap ‘stuff’ out there that may be OK as a beach toy but little else. Our brands will perform better, last longer, look better and hold their value. And of course the back-up is there from us at H2O Sports 

For most the benefits of an iSUP outweigh the slight performance advantages of a rigid board. Come and look, touch, pick up and smell (if you like..) a modern iSUP and you’ll see what we mean. It’s fun in a bag!

We’ve produced a list of pros and cons to help you to the right decision:


Rigid SUPs
The real benefit of rigid SUPs is performance. Rigid boards outperform ISUP boards – fact! But most of us won’t really need this extra bit of performance or benefit from it unless we’re hard-core racers or searching for the biggest waves around!  Ultimately the 3-D shape (rocker, outline and rail shape) of rigid SUP can be defined more precisely than in an iSUP. This translates to better glide on the race course or grippier carves on the wave-face. But the differences are small, and as iSUPs evolve, getting smaller. Ask us about these technicalities if you want to talk like a dude!

Negatives of rigid SUPs are size and transportation issues, it’s a roof rack or a long wheel base van. Storage at home can be an issue too– you’ll need a decent shed, garage or garden. Travel abroad is near on impossible and very expensive… And leads us on to the next issue, durability The rigid boards are more prone to damage during both travel and use – Hitting against other boards or rocks etc We always recommend either a paddle guard or rail tape on your rigid SUP to protect the sides from continual paddle scraping!  
Price – always more expensive than iSUPs especially in the more exotic construction (carbon)
 

 

iSUPs
Pack-up into an oversized ruck sack – perfect for storage, transportation, and travelling with! Be it on a car boot, bus or the train, even an plane. Inflate in minutes and you’re ready to go exploring! Perfect for stowing on a boat as well!  Weight – lighter than all of the rigid board constructions (except the elite carbon models) so easier for the ladies, kids to handle. On and off the water. Durability –way better than the rigid boards! From the thousands we’ve sold here at H20 Sports – returns on the iSUPs is less than 0.25% through damage where it’s a lot higher on rigid board – from being dropped off car roofs, dented, cracked on rocks etc! This also helps with bump and bruises as the boards are slightly softer and more forgiving to the body. 


Many iSUPs come windsurf-ready too! So you really can have 100% fun for the whole family! Windsurf, Surf or paddle your Inflatable Fanatic paddle board – like the Fanatic Premium Air models!
All members of the family can enjoy the
Did you know that there are now completely inflatable windsurfing rigs too? Perfect partner to your new iSUP . Even more fun in a bag! Take a peek here

Negatives of the iSUP
They are more affected by the wind as they sit on top of the water – rather than in it with ballast like a hard board –but like us you’ll quickly come to realise that paddle boarding isn’t much fun in the wind be it on a rigid or inflatable paddle board! If it’s windy try the windsurfing options.
While there are iSUP designs that can surfed and raced to quite a high level, the construction limits the 3-D shape for ultimate performance. There are iSUP categories in some races and the best of the iSUP racers are fully competitive with their rigid counterparts.  And down on the beaches you’ll see plenty of riders having a blast in the waves using the more wave specific iSUPs like the Fanatic Stubby and the Red Paddle Co Whip
The iSUPs that we sell are strong and durable, but care should be taken around sharp objects on and off the water. Of course iSUPs need to be inflated initially, but many owners will leave them inflatable between sessions to save time and effort.
Perhaps you now understand why we’re selling so many iSUPs, they really can do anything! From beginner to racer, for yoga to surfing there is an iSUP for you.

Why are some SUPS more expensive than others? So once you’ve decided on your type of board – you’ll notice a large range of prices! 

With rigid boards, you’re paying for the materials in the board… Cheaper pop out boards like the Bic models are strong but super heavy great for keeping in a beach hut and fun for the family. More bucks gets you lighter, stiffer and more performance, if you need it, or want it!

With Inflatable boards typically again like the rigid models – it’s down to the construction. Although iSUPs all look similar there are hidden differences that make a big difference. Premium brands use stretch-resistant drop-stitch technology, resulting in more rigid and durable boards. Another factor is the layering of the skin, Single skin boards like the Fanatic Air range and the JP LE range are very light weight, perfect for lighter riders – Kids etc – but for most of us 80kg plus these boards do not have the rigity with a single skin to prevent bending in the middle – making the board look like a banana – meaning they just don’t work or go in a straight line! 
Thus most brands now glue a second skin on to this single skin and reinforce the rails – the weakest point – meaning the board is now very stiff as they can be inflated to a higher pressure. Models like the O’Shea use these constructions and are great performance boards that don’t break the bank! 

A big step up in performance comes with the premium brand’s top models. Fanatic and Red paddle boards have taken the construction to a new level with durability and performance with pre-bonded light-weight laminates. With these models you’ll also gain better bags – with roller wheels. The Red boards come with the ground breaking Titan pump, which cut your inflation time in half! Higher quality paddles and heavier duty leashes complete the packages. Fanatic premium iSUPs come with a performance glass fin and are all windsurfing compatible while the Red come with three indestructible moulded fins and only certain models like the WindSUP are windsurfing compatible. 

All models discussed here are available with free mainland UK delivery and 0% Finance at the best available on line prices! H20 Sports now offer a whopping 0% Finance over 12 months / 18 months or even 36 months for the big spends! We only work with the best known brands in the business, stocking a huge selection Have any questions while choosing which boards right for you? Or need advice on where to ride? Give us a call and we’ll talk you through the all the options, let us help you choose which sup will be best for your needs. 

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A Hebridean Adventure

A Hebridean Adventure

With the festive season all but a distant memory and the winter slowly drawing to a close, you may be pondering a far flung kite / windsurf holiday destination to shake off your winter blues.  A destination not unlike the one in the photo below, with blue skies, crystal clear turquoise water and white sandy beaches.  Well look again and consider the fact that the destination in the photo is actually one of the amazing kite /windsurf locations in a group of inlands called the inner and outer Hebrides, located just off the west coast of Scotland.  Yes you read it right Scotland, as these islands sit just off the golf stream, they tend to bring in nice weather and are only a couple of degrees cooler than the south, both air and water temperature, in the summer months you can happily kite in a three quarter length wetsuit.  

This is a short tail of our kite surf adventure on some of these islands in August 2016, our itinerary was as follows: Load van, and drive from Poole to Glenelg, Glenelg to Skye (on the only turn table in the world), Skye to North Uist, North Uist to South Uist, South Uist to Barra, and Barra to Tiree.  

The journey from Poole to Glenelg took approximately 9 hours and we decided to do this late afternoon and evening, we did stop to sleep in a travel lodge at the bottom of Loch Lomond.   From there we headed to Skye via the Glenelg turntable ferry, the chaps that worked on this ferry were very friendly, and happily posed for the photo below!  

Our first day of kiting was in the North of the island near Solas, a shallow flat water lagoon where we had to wait for the tide to come in.  It was a gusty ish 7m day as it was blowing cross off, but a good day to test the water and wind.  This spot could have worked in most wind directions apart from bang southerly.  Just over the dunes from the bay we were kiting in, was a fantastic wave beach although a little bit of a walk to get to it.  We spent two days camping and walking on Skye as this was always a place we wanted to visit, unfortunately the weather was not the best, and there was no places to kite where we were.  Our ferry from Uig to Loch Maddy, North Uist was very comfortable, and we knew that that the weather on North Uist was already much better than it was on Skye.  As soon as we landed on North Uist, we took to the roads and quickly realised that the island is considerably larger than we first thought.  We quickly scoped out the kite beaches, supermarkets, pubs and our accommodation.  We had luckily found a fantastic little place called the Tractor Shed owned by Duncan.  Consisted of a very simply bunk house with shared kitchen and 6 grass roofed camping pods each equipped with its own little peat burner.  We had only booked to stay two days here, but decided to say longer.  You could literally stay here and walk to one of the bays to kite.  

All along the top end of North Uist there are so many bays to check out, we ran out of time that day.  On Day 2, we went up to Berneray, it was a lovely day with the sun shining and strong wind on the drive there we found so many bays of crystal blue water, you know the type you find in the Caribbean islands.  We found a great kite spot near on the East of Berneray near the youth hostel, although on the west side there was again a fantastic wave beach which produced some very nice medium sized swell with the right conditions this could be huge.  

Day 3, we decided as the wind had dropped to take a bit of time to explore Benbecula and South Uist and we found plenty of beaches on the west coast all the way down the whole of the islands.  All of these beaches are amazing locations for kite surfing and windsurfing, some open water wave spots and some sheltered bays perfect for flat water antics.  It’s advisable to get an OS map of the area to get a real feel for where you are going and where you can kite.  There is literally no one at every beach that we found, apart from the odd dog walker and on only one rare occasion a lone kite surfer, you are pretty much guaranteed to have the spot to yourself, but with this you need to have a good level of competency.  

Day 4, we unfortunately had a ferry to catch from Erskay to Barra, so we were sorry to leave North Uist as we felt very much at home here.  It took approximately 2 hours to get from North Uist to Erskay (the very bottom of South Uist), the ferry was very small although there was lots of marine life to see on the way.   Upon arriving in Barra the weather and tides were not on our side, we could see the potential in this location although were not able to test.  The main kite beaches, are at the top of the island, the largest is the airfield although is restricted due to aircraft landing at low tide.  There is a fantastic wave spot over the dunes from the airport, and is very popular for surfers.  The other possibilities for kite / windsurfing are the southern end of the island in Vatersay where there are two beaches opposite each other, east would be fairly sheltered and the west would be a good wave spot.  Barra is quite a small island, however there is quite a lot of tourists, and with this there are lots of pubs, shops and restaurants to choose from.  

Our final destination was an island that we are very fond of and have visited a number of times before, Tiree.  Tiree statistically is the sunniest and windiest place in the UK, therefore great for kite / wind surfing and every year they hold the Wave classic wind surf competition.  Our journey from Barra to Tiree was a bit of a mission, as we had to go to Oban before Tiree to meet our friends who joined us for the remainder of the holiday.  If you time the ferries right, there is a direct ferry from Barra to Tiree on a Wednesday.  Despite the long ferry journeys, we had time to spot Dolphins, seals and Basking sharks, the sharks were particularly close to Gott Bay, Tiree, and a few days later we were also kite surfing with them (Bit surreal!!)  Tiree has lots to offer, with approximately 11 large beaches to kite from ranging from big wave beaches to open bays with flattish water.  Gott Bay and Crossapol are great for beginners, the Maze is the best for big waves with the right conditions and Balevullin beach is the best for surfing / SUP surfing.  You can hire any kit or get lessons from either Will at Wild Diamond or Marti at Blackhouse water sports, both very friendly and helpful.  Accommodation wise, we always hire a small cottage (Fuaim Na Mara) and this is approximately £400 per week for 4 people (season dependant).  This lovely little cottage is nestled near a little bay half way between Crossapol and Scarnish, the bay has been known to have sea otters playing and if you are lucky you can see Basking Sharks from Crossapol beach, 5 minutes walk away.  There are two hotels and one campsite on the island which are very nice, Wild Diamond runs the campsite.  Tiree never fails to deliver, we only had one day of marginal wind, despite the wind there is plenty of other things to do on the island and you will never get bored.  

At the end of the week, we caught the ferry back to Oban to start the sad journey home however the good thing about Tiree is Oban is only 9 hours from Poole, so we will be back.  On reflection, we would definitely go back to North Uist to explore a bit more, but stay there for longer.  We may even see what is on offer on Lewis and Harris.  

Many thanks to... Darryl And Claire
North Kite boarding UK and H20 for some awesome kite kit.
Duncan at the Tractor shed
Donnie and Janice at Fuaim Na Mara, Tiree

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SUP Paddles

Your basic free alloy paddle that we all give away is great for all round family fun, it's super durable, safe (plastic blade doesn’t do much harm to you or your board) and with most paddles offering a good amount of adjustably it's great for sharing and all round fun! The Fanatic Paddle even has the ability to cater for kids and adults with the middle section that can be removed or added!

But... And a reasonably big But! If your looking at putting in some distance or riding some waves with your paddle board - Rigid or Inflatable, your standard alloy paddle is like cycling a bike with half inflated tyres and you’re not going to get anywhere fast!

In this instance arming yourself with a performance Glass or Carbon Paddle means in a couple of strokes your riding a wave in stead of flogging a dead horse with five or six strokes to pick up the same old wave! The same for distance, the bend and flex in an alloy paddle with a plastic blade means that a good percentage of your effort is wasted, plus all the extra un wanted weight! And if your like us, we hate wasting energy! So by upgrading your bat - you'll be flying from A to B where ever that may be in the fastest possible time or scoring many more waves with half the effort as your mates...

But remember if its good old family fun, the our Alloy Paddles hit the nail on the head! Check out the whole range of Paddle Board Paddles and Grab one that's right for you... Or call the Paddle Boarding Experts 01202 733744.

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