Glen Charles from Wabisabi Your Life joined us for a paddle to Puffin Island today. Its on the North East corner of Anglesey and used to be a monastic settlement.  It's a great little trip with tide races, caves, cliffs and lots of sea birds all within a short paddleing distance. My favourite thing about any Puffin Island trip has to be the friendly seals. They will often come right up to you to nibble the sea kayaks toggles and sometimes even try to climb on to the boat. 

JoeWhilst I was running a Tide Race and Overfall session for the Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium Joe dropped in to Penrhyn Mawr Tide Race for a quick surf and to say hello before continuing on his way round Britain. He has had a really quick start taking only 11 days to get from Falmouth to Anglesey where he is now having a few days rest until the weather is suitable for the crossing to the Isle of Man. Last night I took him for a game of Canoe Polo at the local club: http://www.dragoncanoeclub.com/canoe-polo/ and this evening I'll drop him off at Cemlyn to camp overnight ready for his early start on the 50 Nm crossing to his home Island. Looking at the current weather forecast it looks likely he will cross from there to Ireland before headding north and crossing to the Mull of Kintire on Scotland. He is definately one to watch on this record breaking year of attemps on one of the most interesting expeditions in the sea kayaking world. To follow his progress check out his blog: http://joeroundbritain.wordpress.com/.

 

 

 

A video put together by Gule Gardiner from the Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium Tide Race and Overfalls weekend. Now I know why my green boat has a ding in it. :) Runar demonstarates a great real life deep water rescue in a tide race 2 mins and 30 sec's into the video: http://vimeo.com/42468961

 

 

 

Stuart warming up on the Swellies wave.With spring tides coming up Stewart and I thought we would check out the Swellies Wave. The wave is on the Menai Strait in the section between the A55 and A5 road bridges. This whole section is called the Swellies and the wave is formed by the Swellies rock which is marked by the south cardinal mark.

With any high tide over 5.5m at Holyhead you tend to get a surfable wave for a sea kayak but slightly bigger tides needed for shorter river kayaks. Although it is customary to look at the high tide data it is also important to look at the low tide data too as what you really want to work out is the difference between the two as this is what really causes the wave to work. Any difference or range of over 5m works but 5.5m is better and by 6m it gets to be quite a steep and retentive wave.

Deb in a slalom boat on the Swellies wave - By Sea Kayaking Anglesey

With only just over the required height we got there for low tide Holyhead and warmed up as the wave built. At these early stages it is only possible to surf the wave with longer kayaks such as Sea Kayaks but once the wave builds up the shorter kayaks can surf it too.

On a nice sunny day it can be quite a sociable event with lots of different types of kayaks turning up to surf the wave. The wave is quite wide and several kayaks can surf it at once which often leads to games of 'King of the Wave' where several kayakers compete to surf the wave at the same time with new paddlers dropping in as others drop off the back of the wave. 

King of the Swellies wave - Sea Kayaking AngleseyThe next good tides will be towards the end of June with a tide range of around 5.5m. The wave will start around:

Mon 24th at 5.45pm.

Tue 25th at 6.30pm.

Wed 26th at 7.00am and 7.20pm.

Thurs 27th at 8am and 8.10pm

For more tide information have a look at the tide tables. See you there.

Phil.

A new sea kayaking retailer has started operating from Weymouth on the South coast of England. Sea Trek Kayaks is a small new business acting as a dealer for Sea Kayaking UK, Lendal and Celtic Paddles.

 

As well as trying to run a profitable business, Sea Trek Kayaks aims to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society and an ongoing awareness of our marine environment.

 

Sea Trek Kayaks is a Corporate Member of the Marine Conservation Society. 2% of the purchase price of the Explorer, Romany and Pilgrim range of sea kayaks will be donated to the MCS.

The Terns Arrival

Arctic Tern - by Sea Kayaking AngleseyAfter a worrying delay of a couple of weeks the Arctic Terns have finally arrived at the Skerries. The delay was due to the unusually cold spring that has affected all the sea birds on and around Anglesey. With the weather finally warming up the algal growth has started which brings in the small fish that the Tern's feed their young on. 

The Skerries is the largest breeding ground of Arctic Terns in the country with over 2000 breeding pairs nesting there last year. Although their breeding season is delayed the numbers look to be around the same number as previous years. The islands, which are owned by Trinity House are a SSSI and have a couple of RSPB wardens on them during the nesting season to monitor and protect the nesting birds. 

Arctic Terns 'dreading' at the Skerries - by Sea Kayaking AngleseyThe Terns regularly 'dread' which involves 1000's of them flying off their nests and swooping out to sea in great flocks for a few circles before returning to their nests, squawking and pecking one another as they go.

If you are visiting the Skerries by sea kayak I suggest you land in the harbour and then climb the steps to the solar panels and go around the right hand side of the buildings using the temporary steps over the wall to the East side of the lighthouse where you will normally find the wardens. If you send someone up ahead to check if this is ok with the wardens as the Terns nest on the paths and their eggs are hard to spot. The RSPB wardens there this year are Dave and Jen who have both been Skerries wardens a couple of times before and they appreciate a nice bottle of wine if you are planning on paddling out to there this year.

Arctic Terns - by Sea Kayaking Anglesey

If you fancy visiting the Skerries for the first time then check out Canoe and Kayak's gude to The Skerries where they give an example of a trip out there or have a look at Performance Sea Kayaks: The Skerries - The Easy Way for another example of a trip. If you want to plan the trip yourself then a good starting point is using the Welsh Sea Kayaking guide book. All these resourses will warn you that this is quite an advanced trip, and they are right.

If you feel you need a little more experience before doing the trip yourself then check out our Courses and you never know, with a little bit of luck and a favourable forecast we might take a trip out there.

Phil.

Aled Williams from Tiderace was out in the 'new' Tiderace Xtra this evening giving me a chance to see the new boat in action. The new boat has been lowered on the seam by 20mm but other than that remains the same. The 'old' Xtra has been renamed the HV Xtra. The Xtra's are one of Tiderace's play boats. They are short and wide with a very flat hull and hard chines. This makes them stable and manoverable, perfect for surfing and rockhopping. Below is a short video of Aled surfing on the Swellie's wave:

Aled testing the 'New' Tiderace Xtra from Sea Kayaking Anglesey on Vimeo.

The seals on Anglesey are fairly used to sea kayakers and allow you to get reasonably close without disturbing them. The colony off the north end of Puffin Island are the most relaxed of them all and will even approach you if you sit still and quiet. One in particulary, Lucy, is the friendliest of them all. Here she swims around amongst a group on a course from Sea Kayaking Anglesey.

Ergonomic Study of Sea Kayakers and their Equipment

Philip Clegg

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine whether a correlation exists between anthropometric measurements of experienced sea kayakers and the dimensions of their equipment, and how this might help inform performer choice in future. The potential importance of this is linked with the growth that paddlesports is experiencing. To that end data was collected with the use of an on-line questionnaire posted on several forums. Data analysis yielded a number of interesting results. Implications and applications of the findings are discussed in relation to coach practice and paddler performance. 

 

Introduction

Paddlesports in general, and sea kayaking in particular, have experienced a substantial growth in participation over recent time (Jaeger, 2006). With more young people taking part in the sport (Prather, 2003), and the fact that individuals within specific recreation activities are inclined to continue participating in these activities well into adulthood (Freysinger, 1999), would appear paddlesports will continue to thrive. 

In any sport, a key consideration is how the dimensions of the equipment used have an impact on performance. As a sea kayaking coach, I have directly observed the affects of boat choice on performance issues such as balance, speed and manoeuvrability; and paddle dimension on speed, power and endurance.  Added to this, the high cost of sea kayaking equipment, its longevity and storage issues means choosing the right equipment first time around is important for sea kayakers.

The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis ‘There is a correlation between anthropometric measurements of experienced sea kayakers and the dimensions of their equipment'. This is of interest because the results may help paddlers be better informed on how to select their equipment, specifically boat and paddle. 

Review of the literature

There have been very few studies in the area of paddlesports, especially sea kayaking. Of the studies that have been completed sea kayaking has been shown to be a growth sport. A study in a wide variety of outdoor activities showed paddlesports to be experiencing the second highest growth (Prather, 2003). In a separate study of paddlesports sea kayaking showed the most growth (Jaeger, 2006). Sea kayakers on Prince William Sound were studied and researchers found that sea kayaking had grown and they expected it to continue (Twardock & Monz, 2000). Sea kayak purchases in North America eclipsed canoe sales for the 2007 season, and were up 144% from the previous year (Morphet, 2008).

This growth has also been shown to be sustainable. In a study of outdoor recreation activities 27% of participants were found to be in the 16 to 24 year old group indicating continued growth. In the same study there was shown to be an increase in the take up of paddlesports by youth (Prather, 2003). Add to this the fact that participants in specific recreation activities tend to continue in these activities when they mature (Freysinger, 1999) and this suggests that sea kayaking will continue to grow in the future.

Although the popularity of sea kayaking is evident through several data sources, there are relatively few studies examining sea kayakers and none studying their equipment. As such I have set out to seek out answers in relation to paddler ergonomics and test the hypothesis that ‘there is a correlation between anthropometric measurements of experienced sea kayakers and the dimensions of their equipment' in order to inform my coaching practices and inform the wider paddling and coaching communities.

Method

In order to accumulate suitable data that would help examine the hypothesis, a questionnaire was compiled. The questions were constructed to try and obtain meaningful anthropometric data from paddlers of a reasonable experience level that could be tested for relationships with the dimensions of their kayaks. The first step involved a pilot session using 10 respondents to check the validity of each question using a paper based questionnaire. After refinements an on-line version of the questionnaire was then built and put online (Appendix 1). Wherever possible the questions were provided with multiple choices options to maintain the quality of the answers given. All the responses sought were directly or indirectly giving empirical data about the participants and their kayaks. 

Although only experienced paddlers were invited to fill in the questionnaire the first question asked their level of experience and gave answer choices of beginner, intermediate and experienced. This was used to screen out beginners who were less likely to have refined their kayak choice over time. In this study the data of intermediate and experienced paddlers were both used as it was thought that the experience level of intermediates would still be sufficient to have made informed choices about their kayaks. Questions two to six collected anthropometric data and where necessary a simple measuring guide was included. These measurements were carefully chosen to provide the most meaningful data without making the questionnaire too time consuming. The last two questions was collecting information about the participant’s equiptment, namely make and model. By asking for the make and model of the equipment several empirical measurements could be obtained from the manufactures without making the questionnaire too taxing for the participants. 

With the boat make and model, length; width and volume data was obtained where available from the manufactures. In addition to this a category of length multiplied by width was added to the results. This was used to approximately represent hull area which is a statistic none of the manufacturers produce. With the paddle make and model, blade area data was obtained where available from the manufacturers. In addition paddle length statistics were collected from the participants.

Participants for this study were sought from web based sea kayak forums all over the world and the questionnaire was kept online for a period of three months.

Data Analysis

The data was examined for outliers and tested for normality. Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficients were carried out across all the categories where relationships were of interest. Correlations that provided p values of 0.01 were considered significant and p values of 0.001 were considered strong correlations. The correlations were displayed in a matrix.

Results

The questionnaire responses were used to create the data fields presented here, from which data were grouped and means and standard deviations calculated. The following table describes the distribution of data within the data fields for the questionnaires returned (Table 1).

Category

Abbreviation

N

M

 Standard Deviation

Height

Hei

101

177.44

9.35

Sitting Height

Sit

101

89.37

6.11

Arm Span

Arm

101

179.67

11.48

Shoulder Width

Sho

101

47.14

6.23

Weight

Wei

101

87.13

67.27

Boat Length

B Le

98

518.21

25.95

Boat Width

B Wi

98

54.12

2.09

Boat Volume

B Vo

61

317.5

38.70

Boat Length x Width

BLW

98

28034

1581.7

Blade Area Euro

BAE

76

666.5

44.76

Paddle Length Euro

PLE

82

212.5

5.20

Paddle Length Greenland

PLG

19

219.9

7.65

Table 1. Numbers, Means and Standard Deviation for the parametric data

Data from 101 participants was collected. This was tested for outliers. 3 participants gave their experience level as beginners. This data was only used to examine the relationship between the experience level of paddlers and the dimensions of their kayaks and not used to examine the relationship between anthropometric measurements of paddlers and the dimensions of their kayaks. 3 participants had boat models for which length and width statistics could not be obtained. 40 had boat models for which volumes could not be obtained. Of the 82 participants that had euro paddles 6 had paddles for which blade area could not be obtained. 19 participants had Greenland paddles.

The data was tested for normality and as only the data for height and arm span were normally distributed Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficients were carried out across all the applicable categories and displayed in a matrix in Table 2. 

 

Exp

Hei

Sit

Arm

Sho

Wei

B Le

B Wi

B Vo

BLW

PBA

PLE

Hei

0.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sit

>0.05

0.001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arm

>0.05

0.001

0.001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sho

>0.05

0.001

0.001

0.001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wei

0.05

0.001

0.001

0.001

0.001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLe

>0.05

0.05

>0.05

0.05

*0.01

**0.001

 

 

 

 

 

 

BWi

**0.001

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

*0.01

0.05

0.05

 

 

 

 

 

BVo

>0.05

**0.001

**0.001

>0.05

**0.001

**0.001

0.001

>0.05

 

 

 

 

BLW

>0.05

*0.01

>0.05

0.05

**0.001

**0.001

0.001

0.001

0.001

 

 

 

BAE

0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

0.05

 

 

PLE

>0.05

0.05

>0.05

*0.01

*0.01

0.05

*0.01

0.05

0.05

**0.001

>0.05

 

PLG

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

>0.05

Null

Null

Table 2. The Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficients p value results.

(Correlations within the areas of interest of this study, a p value of 0.05 was considered a weak correlation, *a p value of 0.01 was considered significant and ** a p value of 0.001 was considered strong. The full results are shown in Appendix 2.)

Discussion

Results from this study present an initial understanding of the correlations between anthropometric measurements of experienced paddlers and the dimensions of their equipment. In terms of the proposed hypotheses for this study, it was proved to be true in many of the correlations and false in others. The interest of this study lies in where relationships were, and to some extent, were not found; and what the relationships reveal.

Boat volume provided the largest number of strong correlations (p=0.001) in the relationships between anthropometric measurements and boat dimensions. This was probably down to the simple fact that larger people need larger boats. 

The second highest number of strong correlations between boat dimensions and anthropometric measurements was boat length multiplied by width. It was strongly correlated with weight and shoulder width and also significantly (p=0.01) correlated with height. The weight correlation is perhaps the most interesting as length multiplied by width, although not directly, is closely linked to the area of the hull and it is probably here that the real correlation lies. The area of the hull directly affects the displacement which in turn affects how deeply the boat will sit in the water with a given load. If the boat sits too high or too low in the water the performance will be affected. Currently no manufactures produce hull area statistics yet this could be the most significant anthropometric measurement factor in choosing a boat.

Boat length was strongly correlated with weight, and also significantly correlated with shoulder width. The correlation with weight is probably connected to displacement, as already mentioned. It could be that shoulder width is correlated with boat length independently or that the strong correlation between shoulder width and weight caused the relationship. This study cannot show the cause of this relationship. If the relationship has an element of independence it could be hypothesised that paddlers with wider shoulders are physically advantaged to manoeuvre and propel longer boats.

The strongest relationship with boat width was level of experience. You could predict that as paddlers become more experienced they will be more capable of paddling narrower, less stable boats, however the results don’t show this. It could be that fit and able experienced paddlers make the informed decision that wider boats improve performance or equally that with the increased age that inevitably comes with experience also comes performance reducing factors that make a wider boat more suitable. This second factor is supported by the evidence that, although not significant, there is a weak correlation (p=0.05) with experience and weight, telling us that more experienced paddlers weigh more. Boat width was also significantly correlated to shoulder width. A possible reason is that narrower shouldered paddlers forward stroke is impeded by paddling wider boats. Another possible reason is that because of the stability issues of being ‘top heavy’, wider shouldered paddlers need wider boats.

The paddle blade area statistics could only be collected for euro paddle manufactures as only they provided them. The data did not produce any significant statistics. This could be because there are no correlations, or because the correlations are too complex for the statistical analysis carried out. I would hypothesise that there is a negative relationship between paddle blade area and paddle length as these factors affect the ‘leverage’ of the paddle. I would also suggest that there is a positive relationship between the ‘leverage’ of the paddle and anthropometric measurements of paddlers. In the statistical analysis carried out these two factors could well oppose each other cancelling out any correlations.

The euro paddle length data provided several correlations across both anthropometric measurements and boat dimensions. There were significant correlation between arm span and shoulder width and interestingly there was only a weak correlation with height. Boat length had a significant correlation while boat length multiplied by width had a strong correlation. Traditionally paddler height has been most commonly used when determining appropriate paddle length but this data suggests that arm span and shoulder width could be more appropriate anthropometric measurements. Arm length is strongly correlated to height but I would assume that if any height was a factor in paddle length it would be sitting height as I can’t see that leg length would affect paddle length choice. However there was no correlation found between sitting height and paddle choice. This would suggest that using height to determine paddle length is only taking advantage of the correlation with arm span and so using arm span would be more accurate. While arm span is related to shoulder width because shoulder width is part of the arm span I think the strong correlation with shoulder width could have some independence of its own. Shoulder width is often used to determine the appropriate distance apart to hold the hands on the paddle shaft. In my experience a distance approximately equal to or slightly greater than the paddlers shoulder width is most commonly used. This could explain the strong correlation.

The stronger relationship with euro paddle length was with boat dimensions. The significant boat length relationship was probably due to the fact that longer boats, because they’re faster, require a longer paddle length to maintain the same stroke rate. The strong relationship with boat length multiplied by width may be due to the fact that as well as this, a wider boat also requires a wider, or longer, paddle. This is supported by the weak correlation with boat width. The correlation with boat length and boat width lead to the strong correlation between boat length multiplied by width. 

Surprisingly the Greenland paddle length data had no correlations with the anthropometric measurements. This was strange when you consider that the Inuit would specifically use anthropometric measurements when determining their paddle dimensions. Interestingly the Inuit would also use anthropometric measurements when determining their boat dimensions which would undoubtedly lead to a strong relationship between the paddle and boat dimensions which this study suggests is a more important relationship. However the Greenland paddlers in this study didn’t show that relationship either. It is possible that the Inuit methods of determining paddle dimensions don’t apply to western paddlers and their boats. Historically they are a stockier, shorter limbed people due to the evolutionary selection forces of living in a cold climate (Allen 1877) and as such applying their anthropometric measurements may be inappropriate for other people. It is also possibly that the lack of any correlations is due to the fact that greenland paddles are a relatively new introduction to modern sea kayaking and as such there isn’t a culture of education and information when determining the correct paddle dimensions. The small number of participants in the Greenland catergory (N=19) may also be a cause.

Implications for Practice, Limitations and Future Research

The study only looked at the equipment that experienced paddlers used and not what they should use. The statistical analysis carried out showed the relationships or the lack of them but it was not able to explain them. However it still revealed some interesting implications for practice and future research.

I think the strong relationship between paddler weight and boat length multiplied by width could be developed to help to determine boat choice. With more research manufacturers could use a hull area statistic to advise boat choice according to paddler weight. This one statistic would give paddlers a choice of a variety of boats with different lengths and widths from different manufacturers with the same approximate statistic.

The strong correlations between euro paddle length and boat length multiplied by width could be used to re look at how manufactures, coaches and paddlers decide on the appropriate paddle length. This study suggests that arm span and shoulder width are more important anthropometric measurements that the more commonly used height measurement, but more importantly that the boat dimensions, specifically length multiplied by width are the most important. This again supports the need for hull area statistics and more research into the relationship.

This study was limited in that most of the data collected did not show normal distribution and so regression analysis could not be used. I think a study of a larger population would achieve normal distribution and so would be able to use regression analysis to closer examine the relationships. I would suggest a study of at least 200 participants should achieve this. Regression analysis could directly show the relationship

The lack of any correlation with the Greenland paddle length data shows that more information is needed in this area. A closer look at the Inuit practices in determining paddle and boat dimensions, their applications on western paddlers and the decisions made by western paddlers when choosing a Greenland paddle could reveal more information.

Conclusions

This study has revealed an initial understanding of correlations between anthropometric measurements of experienced paddlers and the dimensions of their equipment that as a coach will make me reflect on some of the equipment advice I make for my students.

 

The relationship between boat length and paddler weight suggests that giving heavier paddlers wider boats, which is often perceived to be the answer, may not be the only solution, increasing the boat length is also important. Equally for lighter paddlers shorter boat choices may be as appropriate as choosing narrower boats. The significant factor is increasing or decreasing the length multiplied by width ratio according to the paddlers weight.

 

The most significant relationship with euro paddle length being boat length multiplied by width has caused me to completely rethink how I look at paddle choice. Where as in the past I have always based the paddle choice ‘by eye’ on an overall impression of the paddlers anthropometric measurements I will now take into account the boat dimensions in the choice.

 

However the strongest affect this study has had on me as a coach is to continue the research, specifically in the areas of boat length multiplied by width related to weight and euro paddle length to the point where the relationships can be revealed directly.

 

 Acknowledgements

 

Thanks to Dr Mark Tozer for his input into the experimental work and assistance while writing it up.  Thanks to Annette Burden for her guidance through the analysis and proof reading. Most of all thanks to all the participants who input their data without which none of this research would have been possible.

 

Appendix

Allen, J. A. (1877). The Influence of Physical Conditions in the Genesis of Species. Radical Review 1, 108-140.

Freysinger, V. J. (1999). Life span and life course perspectives on leisure. In E. Jackson, & T. L. Burton (Eds.), Leisure studies: Prospects for the twenty-first century (pp. 253–270). State College, PA: Venture.

Jaeger, S. (2006). Recreational kayaks dominating sales. Paddlesports Business, Summer, 20–21.

Morphet, S. (2008, August 23). Where to paddle like the pros. The Globe and Mail, p. T2.

Prather, R. (2003, March/April). Paddlesports still growing, oia [outdoor industry association] reports. Paddlesports Business, 1, 6.

Twardock, P., & Monz, C. (2000). Recreational kayak visitor use, distribution, and financial value of beaches in western Prince William Sound, Alaska between 1987 and 1998. In D. Cole, S. McCool, W. Borrie, & J. O’Loughlin (Eds.), Wilderness science in a time of change conference— Volume 4: Wilderness visitors, experiences, and visitor management (pp. 175–180). Missoula, MT: Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

 

Appendix 1: The content of the questionnaire.

1) What is your level of experience in Sea Kayaking?

     1 = Beginner, 2 = Intermediate, 3 = Experienced

2) Your height in cm.

3) Your sitting height in cm. (Sitting on the floor with your back against the wall.)

4) Your arm span in cm. (Arms stretched wide, from finger tip to finger tip.)

5) Your shoulder width in cm. (Measure to the ends of the bones.)

6) Your weight in kg.

7) What Sea Kayak do you use for all round use?

     a) Make b) Model

8) What paddle set up do you use for all round use?

     a) Make b) Model c) Length in cm

 

Appendix 2: The full results.

 

Exp

Hei

Sit

Arm

Sho

Wei

Hei

rs101 = 0.213, p < 0.05

 

 

 

 

 

Sit

rs101 = 0.157, p > 0.05

rs98 = 0.611, p < 0.001

 

 

 

 

Arm

rs101 = 0.125, p > 0.05

rs98 = 0.807, p < 0.001

rs98 = 0.500, p < 0.001

 

 

 

Sho

rs101 = 0.153, p > 0.05

rs98 = 0.481, p < 0.001

rs98 = 0.414, p < 0.001

rs98 = 0.38, p < 0.001

 

 

Wei

rs101 = 0.225, p < 0.05

rs98 = 0.617, p < 0.001

rs98 = 0.400, p < 0.001

rs98 = 0.469, p < 0.001

rs98 = 0.553, p < 0.001

 

B Le

rs98 = -0.028, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.224, p < 0.05

rs95 = -0.028, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.229, p < 0.05

rs95 = 0.273, p < 0.01

rs95 = 0.331, p < 0.001

B Wi

rs98 = 0.430, p < 0.001

rs95 = 0.110, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.090, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.128, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.271, p < 0.001

rs95 = 0.208, p < 0.05

B Vo

rs61 = -0.194, p > 0.05

rs58 = 0.470, p < 0.001

rs58 = 0.470, p < 0.001

rs58 = 0.161, p > 0.05

rs58 = 0.475, p < 0.001

rs58 = 0.468, p < 0.001

BLW

rs98 = 0.017, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.281, p < 0.001

rs95 = 0.045, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.205, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.383, p > 0.05

rs95 = 0.481, p < 0.001

P Ar

rs76 = 0.246, p < 0.05

rs73 = 0.132, p > 0.05

rs73 = 0.132, p > 0.05

rs73 = 0.065, p > 0.05

rs73 = 0.096, p > 0.05

rs73 = 0.048, p > 0.05

PLE

rs82 = -0.025, p > 0.05

rs79 = 0.284, p < 0.05

rs79 = -0.003, p > 0.05

rs79 = 0.340, p < 0.01

rs79 = 0.350, p < 0.01

rs79 = 0.262, p < 0.01

PLG

rs19 = 0.192, p > 0.05

rs19 = 0.284, p > 0.05

rs19 = 0.107, p > 0.05

rs19 = 0.352, p > 0.05

rs19 = 0.337, p > 0.05

rs19 = 0.182, p > 0.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B Le

B Wi

B Vo

BLW

PBA

PLE

Hei

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wei

 

 

 

 

 

 

B Le

 

 

 

 

 

 

B Wi

rs95 = -0.221, p < 0.05

 

 

 

 

 

B Vo

rs58 = 0.630, p < 0.001

rs58 = 0.227, p > 0.05

 

 

 

 

BLW

rs95 = 0.798, p < 0.001

rs95 = 0.340, p < 0.001

rs58 = 0.681, p < 0.001

 

 

 

P Ar

rs73 = 0.180, p > 0.05

rs73 = 0.199, p > 0.05

rs73 = -0.024, p > 0.05

rs73 = 0.291, p < 0.05

 

 

PLE

rs79 = 0.357, p < 0.01

rs79 = 0.249, p < 0.05

rs52 = 0.332, p < 0.001

rs79 = 0.452, p < 0.001

rs73 = 0.109, p > 0.05

 

PLG

rs19 = 0.215, p > 0.05

rs19 = 0.056, p > 0.05

rs7 = -0.063, p > 0.05

rs16 = 0.315, p > 0.05

Null

Null

With yet another storm hitting Anglesey I though I would take a look into why the weather has been so bad here in the UK this winter. I wasn't surprised to find out that a significant factor was the jet stream as it has such a big influence on our weather however it seems there are a few contributing factors that are influencing the jet stream at the moment.

If you are unsure what the jet stream is this video explains:

The Met Office have just released a report on The Recent Storms and Floods in the UK pointing to two key factors that they think are influencing the jet stream at the moment. An area of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean and something called the quasi-biennial osillation (I hadn't heard of it either).

A persistent area of high pressure is sitting over the Pacific Ocean, just off the West coast of America. The air rotating clockwise around this system is bringing cold air from the Arctic south over America causing their current cold winter. Further east where this cold air meets warm tropical air a large temperature gradient is formed. This temperature gradient feeds the storms which the jet stream then pushes westwards over the UK. 

The other effect the Met Office think is a contributing factor is the quasi-biennial osillation, or QBO. This is a band of wind that blows around the equator either easterly or westerly changing direction roughly every two years. When the QBO is westerly historical records show us that this speeds up the jet stream. These winds are in a strong westerly phase this winter.

When the jet stream flows faster than normal it creates a higher frequency of low pressures along its edge like whirlpools forming on an eddy line. These low pressures grow into the storms that have been affecting us.

However it isn't just the jet stream that affects the storms, the storms also affect the jet stream. The momentum from a particularly frequent series of storms can strengthen the jet stream and this has been the case recently. The jet stream has been on average 30% stronger than normal this winter.

However the jet stream can and does change, going either north or south of us and slowing down or speeding up. So far this winter it has been sitting directly over the British Isle's and averaging 200mph. As long as it continues to do so the storms will keep on coming, but eventually it will change and with it an end to this current cycle of storms.

 And finally the signs of change are starting to look promising with the jet stream forecast to start to slow down next week to about 130mph and to move about a bit more. If it does the frequency and intensity of the storms should ease slighly.

A great clip from the BBC website of Iolo Williams getting on the water with Anglesey sea kayaking coach Huw Jones, in Sea Kayaking UK boats and Celtic Paddles. The episode goes out on Sunday the 23rd at 17:40 on BBC One Wales.

 

Mark from Four Elements Adventure put together this nice video of a Four Star Training that Pete Jones and I ran for Sea Kayaking Cornwall in October.