Articles - The Palm Big Paddle Tour - Event 1 Llanberris

Palm Big Paddle Llanberis
Palm Big Paddle Llanberis
Canoe & Kayak UK Editorial - Posted on 05 Jul 2013
The winning formula of sun, water and canoes & kayaks can mean only one thing… happy paddlers. At the start of June there were indeed many smiling faces on Lyn Padarn as the first Palm Big Paddle rolled into town.

Started as a celebration for Palm’s thirtieth birthday the Big Paddle has previously taken place in Exeter on the Wye, but for 2013 the Palm events team decided to take the event on a mini-tour, kicking off at the new Palm Store in Llanberis, North Wales.

The day itself began early with the lakeside transformed into to a sea of colour as canoes; kayaks, sit-on-tops and stand up paddleboards were racked up, all vying for participants to try them on the water. Meanwhile Palm’s ambassador team arrived on-site, getting equipment together for their coaching workshops. Tarp’s were slung between trees, marker buoys laid out and sun cream applied – it was going to be a hot one.

Palm have one of the strongest paddler teams so when they call on them to help at an event you get the likes of Olly Sanders, Jules Burnard, Lowri Davies and Chris Eastabrook offering their experience… all for free! With support from Go Canoeing, Canoe Wales and Plas-Y-Brenin the on-water sessions were, as usual, very much top notch.

The Big Paddle is above all a fun event and for those not doing the coaching workshops or trying out Palm’s massive range of boats and gear there was plenty to do. “Imagine a paddling version of a village fete” said Paul Robertson Palm’s Big Paddle planner as he helped set up the Throwline challenge “We are all about having a fun day, on and off the water.”

Sure enough as the afternoon came around preparations for the events grand finale got underway, but again it was all about participation. The cardboard canoe race has taken place at every Big Paddle and Llanberis was no exception. Kids, parents, friends and clubs all got started cutting, taping, joining and naming until a whole new fleet of boats with names like Fragility, Pirate ship of Doom and Plugged Audio were lined up and racing began.
Carnage might be to strong a description, but it is amazing what some tape and cardboard can do as the winners cleaned the course still afloat and upright. Of course others didn’t fare so well but with an ecstatic crowd cheering it didn’t matter as by then everyone was smiling and with that box ticked, the Big Paddle Tour got ready to move on.

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