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Emily’s Gear Picks for 2014

Every year I pack up and leave home for a minimum of 6 months in one shot. The plan is to paddle every day, but you have to make exceptions for traveling from one location to the other. For a majority of that time I will be in each location for only one week. When you are in the water every day you want to make sure you are using the best gear possible, which is why I choose the following brands, each for different reasons. Lets start at my feet-

Sperry Topsiders-

I bring two pairs with me- one for creeking/ river running and one for playboating. For river running I am in love with the new colors of the H20 Escape Bungee. With the Adaptive Wave Siping on the bottom, I feel stable running up banks, up over logs, rocks and any type of terrain the rivers or lakes have to offer me. The heel of it stays firm and tight making sure my feet don’t slide out and the bungees are secure so I don’t have to worry about them catching onto things. They come in 3 colors; my personal favorite is Fuchsia as it matches my boat! For more information check them out here:

For playboating I like to wear  the Son-R Bearing Boot because its got a solid sole to it, but its also nice and tight from my foot up my ankle. Its flexible, so the combination of thin and flexible allow me to get as far up into the front of my kayak as I want. Not to mention I find that they are lasting longer than any of the competitors versions I have used. When you are in the water every day this is a BIG plus!


Jackson Kayak 2014 Rockstar and Zen 65

My Kayaks this year are the new Rockstar and Zen 65. The Rockstar has already improved my boating tremendously and I cant wait to get it on some of the features out west this spring. I will have a competition version, which is super light and mine is HOT PINK! The Zen was an easy pick because if its speed. I will be doing boater crosses and 8-ball events and the maneuverability and speed combo will be perfect!

Snap Dragon Spray Skirts-

I have been using Snap Dragon for 11 years! So crazy to think that and yes there are many great brands out there that make great skirts but Snap Dragon has always been my favorite. The people are amazing and they make a great product that has never let me down. I am not running 70 foot waterfalls so I cant review them from that perspective. But in all the things I have run- the Zambezi, numerous 20 footers and a few creeks in California and mexico, I have never had one implode. I find them easy to get on and off which safety wise is important to me. I find them to be incredibly dry and fit perfectly onto my Jackson kayak cockpit rims. If you have someone learning to kayak and the skirt is an intimidating factory- be sure to try the-J-Lo skirt. It’s so easy on and off that it takes any fear away from being trapped in the kayak. It also has a short tunnel to make it easy to slide in and out of and doesn’t fold at the top for anyone with shorter torsos- Be sure to check out the full range of products Snap Dragon has to offer here:


Kokatat Watersports Wear

Need I say more- the driest most durable products on the market continue to grow as a company and expand upon their already dominating line. With new colors, new fits and some new products, I was beyond excited to join forces. They have their new custom dry suit builder that allows you to great creative and make a one of a kind dry suit. Not to mention the perfect fit. I am having mine made right now with a combination of the new Violet color and a lighter color to break it up. I cant wait to see the finished product. The JK series offers serious pop if you want to stand out on the water. For safety and for images I think being in a bright color is very important. Be sure to check out their new Maximus PFD that offers a great fit and is form fitting enough to be your play vest and safe enough to be your creek vest! When I have such little space for my 6 month tour, this is key to only need one life jacket. Last but not least their soft goods stay soft and keep you warm for months on end. They have a women’s specific union suit that allows easy access in and out.

For more information check out their products here:

Predator Helmets:

I am always in the sun and I want to protect my face from sun damage and potentially even skin cancer. To do that I opt to wear a helmet that has the biggest brim I can find. Predator helmets are perfect for that reason and I find mine incredibly comfortable. I do not wear it river running and creeking, but for park and play, its perfect. Nick surprised me this year with a  custom painted one- its about as girly as it gets. So no worries everyone will know I am not a 14 year old boy : ) f you are looking for sun protection to be a big part of your helmet- check out predator helmets:


Glacier Glove:

I always find gloves give me tendonitis when paddling, due to the added material I grip my paddle tighter and get uncomfortable. Glacier Gloves make a great extra small version of their glove that is thin and warm. This allows me to wear something on my hands and not worry about my forearms killing me. It’s a hard decision- which to have sore- cold hands of sore forearms. But with glacier gloves I don’t have to worry about either!


Lightning Paddles

Lightning Paddles are durable, light and have cool designs on them such as the leaf, american flag or jk logos. I have two paddles, one that is purple with lightning bolts all over it and one that has the JK logos all over it. The JK one is my favorite obviously as I love how big and obvious the logo is. They come in a variety of lengths and degrees but my paddle is 200 cm long and 30 degree off set. I love the power the big blades bring and I love the extra length in moves such as tricky woo’s or splits. I find it easy to balance off of when performing harder moves or combos.

Optic Nerve Glasses:

For starters who doesn’t want their glasses to be called Moon Cake! A new release and one of my new favorites! These polarized Lenses are sure to keep your eyes protected. I wear glasses for the added sun protection and with styles like these as an accessory! Be sure to check out Optic Nerves full line!

Horny Toad Clothing

Baby Proof, Traveling Proof, and all terrain proof. Horny Toad clothing continues to deliver great pieces for all my living needs. I cant express the level of comfort their pieces offer and the new styles keep my wardrobe fresh. Check out their new spring line: