White Water Rafting – Strange Beginnings

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 No Comments

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White water rafting is one of the most popular adrenalin activities in the world, and millions of people put their paddling prowess to the test by taking on some of the wildest, white water stretches they can find. The main reason people choose to take on the challenge of white water rafting is to experience the rush of racing down fast flowing water, negotiating rocks and rapids as they go. However in its formative years rafting served a much more practical purpose, a million miles away from the adrenalin fuelled white water sport many people recognise it as today.

In the 1840′s United States Army officer Lt. John Fremont and inventor Horace H. Day created the first rubber river raft. Their primitive but revolutionary raft was made from four rubber cloth tubes and a wraparound floor. They made their first successful voyage in 1842 when they used their raft to survey parts of the Rocky mountains which were only accessible by boat.

rafting blog

As rafting slowly gained in popularity it became more viable as a business opportunity and in an attempt to capitalise on its growth John D. Rockefeller Jr. constructed a hotel in the Gran Tenton national park Wyoming. In the late 1950′s the lodge started offering trips down the river in surplus war rafts which were 8ft wide and over 20ft long. The trips were so popular that rival rafting companies started to spring up across the United States, offering rides down some of the fastest and most thrilling stretches of water in the country.

White water rafting grew in popularity throughout the 60′s and 70′s and in 1972 it was included to the Olympic Games held in Munich. In 1997 the international federation of rafting was established and the first international white water rafting championships were held in 1999. The introduction of an international governing body meant rafting became much more strongly regulated and as a result safety improved. The information available to rafters also improved and rivers were graded 1-6 using the International Scale of River Difficulty designed to reflect the technical difficulty and skill level required to navigate a section of river. Rafters use this system to find out what kind of conditions they can expect to face on stretches of river they’ve never been down before.

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Modern day white water rafting has changed dramatically and almost anybody can take to the water for the challenge of negotiating boulder strewn rapids and fast flowing water. There are rafting sites across the globe and its popularity continues to grow, especially in the UK. Scotland is home to some of the best and most difficult white water rafting routes in the world which may explain why it’s so popular. There are even artificial rafting sites with man made rapids that are tailor made to put a rafters paddling skills to the test. So whether you’re trying rafting for the first time or just want to hone your skills the perfect location could be closer than you think. It may have started out as a way of crossing treacherous stretches of water but the fun that can be had in a modern day rafting experience is second to none!

The Zorbing Experience: What to Expect from a Zorb Ride

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 No Comments

There are two types of land zorbing rides: dry and wet. In areas where there are no natural hills or contours for the zorb to manoeuvre, a special track is constructed, either out of metal or by shaping a natural barrier from the land itself.

On a dry ride, the rider is strapped into the zorb against one wall. The operator releases the zorb, and the rider rolls, head over heels, downhill. In hydro-zorbing, the passenger isn’t strapped to the zorb wall. The operator adds about five gallons of warm or cold water — depending on the weather — to the inside of the zorb, then sends the passenger on a wild ride. The passenger slips and sloshes around the inside of the ball as it rolls. Not surprising that the wet ride has been nick named – the washing machine ride!

wet zorb

Even though the zorb is clear plastic, the passenger is somewhat limited in what he or she can see while rolling downhill. Because the zorb has two layers of plastic and because of its speed, it becomes difficult to discern the sky from the ground when you’re on a roll.

The sphere doesn’t travel fast enough to become airborne over bumps, but it will bounce +as it turns down the hill. The actual speed depends on a variety of factors, including whether you’re rolling into a headwind, the weight of the passengers and if you’re strapped in or riding free. When strapped in, you’ll pick up more speed.

Contrary to what you might think, zorbing isn’t particularly nauseating — well, at least according to Andrew Akers, one of the sphere’s inventors. He says that in over 100,000 rides, no one has ever thrown up. While the zorb moves downhill at a good speed, because of its circumference, the person inside only makes one complete rotation about every 30 feet (9 m). While the length of each track varies, you can generally expect about 700 feet (213 m) of fun on your ride.

Zorbing is considered safe and has an excellent safety record. A harness keeps the rider in place on dry rides, and the 459 cubic feet (13 cubic meters) of air sandwiched between the two plastic balls provides ample cushioning.


Because the zorb is on a confined track, the rider has no control over steering or stopping the ball, so a trained operator releases the ball. At the bottom of the hill, the zorb gradually slows to a stop, where another operator is waiting to secure the zorb so you can climb out with ease. A zorb course on land has small cushioned bumps on the surface that keep the zorb in line and the specially designed tracks have barriers on each side to prevent the zorb from veering from it’s designated course.

While it’s not unheard of for a zorb to get a puncture, it won’t pop and shoot down the hill like a balloon releasing air. Any hole in the zorb will lead to a slow air leak. As the air leaks out, the zorb loses its round shape and rolls slower and slower until it settles to a stop. Of course, with the amount of air a zorb contains, it can lose a good bit before the passenger notices any change in performance at all.

New to Clay Pigeon Shooting? Our 5 useful hints

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 3 Comments
  • 1.Determine your dominant eye

    Prepare for your shoot by finding out which is your dominant eye before you go to the clay shooting venue. It is important to bear in mind that dominant eye does not always follow dominant hand, however by using this simple test you can decide which eye to use to look down the barrel of the gun to focus on the target

    Focus on an object in a room and point at it. Close your left eye and if you can still see that object at the end of your finger this means that you are right eye dominant. If it has moved away from your finger open your left eye and close your right eye, be careful not to move your hand. If you are left hand dominant that same object will be back at the end of your finger. Simple as that!


Modern day

  • 2.Mounting the gun correctly

    Holding the gun correctly is crucial to firing the shot comfortably and accurately. With the help of your instructor you need to aim for the butt of the shotgun to sit in the groove in your shoulder joint. Hold the shotgun tight to ensure that the kick of the gun doesn’t impact on you when fired.

    Your front hand should be placed as far down the barrel as possible whilst still allowing you to hold the gun tightly.



  • 3.Comfortable and strong standing position

    Your standing position is important to maintain accuracy when firing the gun. Both feet facing forward, with the foot opposite your trigger finger being the furthest forward. Use this foot for the majority of your weight to lean on as it is this that keeps you steady and helps maintain your balance.

clay shooting stand

  • 4.Bring your head to the shotgun

    If you are a first time shooter it will be very tempting to bring the gun upwards instead of bringing your head to the shotgun. If you can bring your head down to the shotgun you should be able to see right down the barrel and see your target much clearer. Don’t worry if you don’t get this right at the start, the instructor will always be on hand to guide you with this.

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  • 5.Stay steady and calm while firing

    Hitting your clays generally comes down to two factors – your positioning and not delaying your shot. You will get lots of hints and tips but here’s some more that will impress even the most experienced instructor.

    Follow the clay as it comes out of the trap, keep your eye down the barrel and be sure to keep the bead at the end of your gun inline. Resist the temptation to follow the clay with just your eye, you need the barrel to follow your line of sight too. Squeeze the trigger just as the clay disappears out of your line of sight.

    One last tip, shoot the clay as its rising, once it starts to fall it may be best to wait for the next clay!

 This time of year is simply perfect for clay shooting so why not give it a go?tapPromo

Clay Pigeon Shooting – How it all started

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 No Comments


Paintball V Airsoft

Monday, February 10th, 2014 No Comments
Question: Are Airsoft and Paintball the Same Thing?
The simple answer is no.
Paintball is a sport that consists of opposing players shooting gelatin-filled capsules at each other that break open upon impact and mark the opposing player.Airsoft is a sport that consists of opposing players shooting small, plastic pellets at each other which do not break upon impact and do not mark the opposing player.
Paintball and Airsoft are both variations on the classic game of tag, but they require different equipment. A paintball gun cannot be used to shoot airsoft pellets and an airsoft gun cannot be used to shoot paintballs. See guns below – very different.
Paintball and Airsoft are played on the same type of fields and arenas and require the same level of tactical play and teamwork.
We can offer you both Airsoft and Paintball here at the activity people.
Click here to see all our sites.
paintball player