Charity

Charity
Sponsor me for the LondonSurrey 100 mile ride.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Websites uploaded - at last!

I've finally finshed the www.arksurfing.co.uk website and done a quick tart up on the www.arkayaking.co.uk websites! The main reason for splitting them is that the original website was getting a but too big for its self, also people coming from the adverts in Carve (and on their website) were a bit put off buying surf equipment from a a kayak site.

Yes it was abit confussing. Ideally we would like to be selling boats as well, but most of you know the story of the manufacturers, the estate agent and the little rich girl! If not, buy me a pint and prepare for a long night.

I did intend to have an Endless Summer this year, but timing a trip to Lanzarote in February with the arrival of spring in the UK hasn't quite gone to plan. I can recommend a good SUP school in Lanzarote and according to Pam and her mate the instructor down there isn't bad either. Going down there has made me see the ocean in a new light, part repect and part awe. Hence I hope to get some sea kayaking in once the weather gives! My last attempted trip didn't happen due to adverse weather in the Irish sea, this wasn't a matter of just whimping out - a ship got washed onto shore in North Wales only hours before I attempted to open the car door in Holyhead. I was so glad when my instructor for the day suggested a cafe instead.

Anyway, the Severn still has some water in it despite the pictures in the Shropshire Star saying otherwise, it's amazing what can be achieved with a low camera angle! Summer on the river should be interesting this year as there appears to be an increasing number of Ironbridge cowboys plying their trade out on the water. I wonder how many of these so called instructors are actually qualified? Last summer I had one of them ask me to do his 1,2 and 3 star courses back to back. Turned out the HSE were interested in him for offering instruction to under 18s without proper training. I'm sure many of the operators down there arn't registered companies. They go out with little or no insurance and put any money they take in their back pocket to buy another substandard boat off the internet! Next time you hire an instructor ask for the paperwork!

We've also had a spate of customers not turn up. Until now I've been reluctant to ask for money up front as most people do turn up and thoses who don't usually have good reason and re-book for another date. This lot didn't, just phoned me at 5.30pm on Friday (the day before paddling) to say their plans had changed - no apology. On the Sunday the next set clients just didn't turn up, resulting in Phil and I waiting around for a hour in the Dale End car park. Hence from now on it's payment before paddling! I believe in part it's adventure sports websites and the sort of people who feel a need to use them. We've been listed on one such site without our consent, I only stuck with it because some of compeitors are on it. I have yet to get one firm booking from the site, the people who go through such sites are usually in search of adventure in cotton wool and don't like the thought of cold water, physical exertion and the usual stuff that goes with learning to paddle! They just want photographs to impress their colleagues (they don't have friends) on Monday in the office; learning a sport and loving the outdoors doesn't figure.

Anyway, client no show = good session for instructors! Phil, Jim and I all went down to Jackfield for a play - and what a play it was! Shame I didn't have the Kaos with me, but it's still a little cold for the micro boat as I can't fit in it with my drysuit on.

See you all back on the water!

Andrew