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Hey Paddlers!

One of the most common questions I get is regarding the gear I use… so today I am going to tell you!

Let’s Start with my KAYAK:

So far this year I have spent the most time in my Rock Star S….

It is by far the best little playboat I have ever paddled. I have taken some basic moves, made them easier and BIGGER and now can stick moves that I never thought I could stick before….and I can get it in PINK!

As for my creeker it’s a tough decision. Right now I paddled the 2011 Hero and the Villain S both which have helped my confidence entirely. The Villain I have spent more time in, and love its speed and glide. Something none of our boats had before…. The new Hero although, has that faster feeling as well but turns like none other! Something I love when I am in tight technical little creeks!

My Spray Skirt:

I have always been a HUGE Snap Dragon Fan. I have paddled for Snap Dragon since I was 12 and they have been the greatest company to paddle for in the sense of support. Also I find getting skirts on easy when creeking important, nothing is worse than when you’re nervous for a drop and you can’t get your skirt on! I also have never had imploding issues and found them to be as dry as it gets! Not to mention it has enough stretch to allow my happy thruster to be blown up to the max.

Which brings me to the Happy Thruster:

The Happy Thruster is what I use to increase the volume of my boat to help get more pop when throwing loops, space godzillas, mcnasties and phonics monkeys. It also helps make me more retentive.

My Dry Tops, Dry Suits, and Shorties:

I am using Sandiline Gear which many of you have never even heard of. This European company is one of the most unique companies I have ever paddled for. They have a wide variety of gear and they are always looking for change. They are constantly asking for advice on improving their product even though I have run out of things to complain about! The gear is BONE dry and it has been lasting me longer than any of my pervious tops. Not to mention FUN colors! They also have the best poly pros, padded creeking tops, and much more soft goods.


Astral Buoyancy has been making fantastic jackets and I use their Womens Bella Vest. This vest doesn’t crush my boobs and actually works as support when hiking around. Not to mention the slender fit doesn’t make you look like the Pillsbury Puff guy on the water.


Predator has been protecting my head for the past couple years. I use their Lee with the pink stripe! Yepp that’s right they make a helmet with a pink stripe! This I find important when I am kayaking simply because I have seen people look at a shot of me running a rapid and say check that guy out…. With the added pink to my apparel I don’t have to give evil looks and say girl running that rapid, they can figure it out on their own.  Also the easy system for tightening it keeps it on my head properly at all times!


I use Lightning Paddles. At first the site of the crazy grip scared me from using them when all the boys switched over. But after seeing how much they loved them. I got myself a pair a blades as well. The grip took a day but then I realized how convenient it was. It makes it easy to know where your hands go and keeps your hands from sliding all around.  The blade also glides through the water beautifully and still gives me all the power I need with one stroke.  I broke my first one after 3 whole seasons of using it. Not bad considering that’s probably over 250 days on the water!

As for off the water I enjoy my Horny Toad Clothes and Optic Nerve Sunglasses.  HT keeps my warm and Optic Nerve keeps my eyes comfortable and stylish!

Thanks to all my sponsors for the support. I have used all my gear non sponsored as well to make sure it was what I believe to be the best, quality and company to represent. Each one of these companies has been incredibly supportive and I can’t thank them enough.

Happy Paddling and I hope this helps with your next gear choice!

Emily Jackson- Troutman

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