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Ruahine Kayaks is proud to support a number of local athletes and races.

Shaz Dagg

Shaz Dagg is an athlete that was on our radar for about a year before she asked us to build her a kayak. She's a pretty inspirational chick - she has an attitude that's about as infectious as her smile and her obvious physical handicap only seems to make her more determined to get what she wants in life. It's fair to say we liked her from the beginning, and we were pretty stoked to have her on board as a Team Ruahine Ambassador.

Tim's note: the photos above were taken at the Whanganui 10km Kayak Krazy race in July. Shaz had never used this kayak before and had never paddled 10km solo, so when I questioned what distance she was up for she replied "anyone who doesn't do the 10 is just a bunch of sockcocks!"vIt set the tone for an amazing day and I was stoked just to be a part of her journey...good on ya chick.

Shaz Dagg continued...

Here's her story written in her own words...

Since having a farm accident at the end of 2016 resulting in a useless arm, I decided I didn't want this thing I use to call "my cock in a sock" because it use to just flop/hang around been useless 😅 I decided to get it removed, after having the amputation in 2018 I made it my mission to prove that just because we are challenged, there is no reason we still can't achieve, so setting out I needed a challenge and that was in the way of sport, I knew how to ride and run or at least plod so threw in swimming as my challenge, I thoathed swimming, probably because I had to keep my month shut 😆. Any way I decided to push my journey further to the paralympics, where I traveled extensively round the world gaining ranking points, always gaining a podium only to find the ITU decided to pull my category from the games...GUTTED! So what was going to be next you might ask... Why not coast to coast... apparently no female amputee had done this before... So this was my next journey having to learn to kayak firstly then in a double kayak with a trusted mate for safety reasons I did so and doing the run and cycling solo. Mission accomplished this year... But what next you might ask... Full solo in 2022!! This is where I am going to try to achieve this mammoth task of doing the full event solo, even in the kayak. With the amazing support from Tim at Rauahine Kayaks he has put his belief in my task and I am ever so grateful behind words. I can only try and if I don't try I will never know. My saying to myself is.. "I might only have one wing but I can still fly" - Shaz

Dave Jaggs

Dave is the co-owner of Beyond Fitness in Tauranga and a passionate multisporter. He has been a long time whitewater paddling buddy of mine and what we haven’t done on a river together isn’t worth talking about. In early 2016 he brought the sale of Ruahine Kayaks to my attention and has been instrumental with getting it back up and running. What better way to reward a mate than by giving him the fastest kayak in the fleet! Dave competes in almost all of the local and national multisport races. He also runs a few of his own here in Tauranga. Keep an eye out for him on the water, and if you’re in need of a new personal trainer then give him a call…he’s damn good at what he does.

Carla Reid and the Coast to Coast 2017

From Carla…

“The Kathmandu Coast to Coast Academy has been designed to foster participation in the event for anyone from social and school teams to future stars. My PE teacher at Trident High School, Helen Dobbin, mentioned doing the Coast to Coast to me pretty randomly around the middle of last year, I said I thought that sounded cool and never thought anymore about it. My team mates and I with Helen put together the application for the Kathmandu academy. It was a huge surprise to us when she announced that we had won. My team mates were jumping around the room and screaming with excitement.

Through Kayaking I’ve had the opportunity to compete at a national and Oceania level. I have had awesome experiences like paddling K4 with Lisa Carrington, Jamie Lovett and Rachel Dodwell (all NZ team members at the time) when I was 13 to win the Open Womens Oceania Champs. I’ve had the chance to be coached by some of the best coaches in New Zealand and meet lots of kayakers all through New Zealand. Along the way I’ve also collected a very nice collection of medals in age group competitions.

Carla Reid continued...

I’m really looking forward to competing in the coast to coast. We’ve had some amazing support from the Coast to Coast and Kathmandu. Richard Ussher is awesomely helpful as the teams mentor. He has gone step by step through the course with us (not literally). Any questions we have he always is quick with an answer. He provides contacts to help every step of the way with anything that we need. Kathmandu has supplied an amazing package to help outfit us with compulsory gear lists and camping equipment. Our travel costs and accommodation is all paid for us and we have been put in touch with people who have generously supplied equipment for training and for the race. Tim Taylor has come on board and supplied me with a new Ruahine kayak a firebolt. The kayak is so nice to paddle, I can often be found on the Whakatane river paddling this boat. It feels stable and fast and I am really looking forward to paddling in the Coast 2 Coast on the Waimakariri River. Tim has also taken me down the Waioweka river in the Eastern Bay to test me for the grade 2 certificate.”

Tim’s note: Carla and her team went on to win their section of Coast to Coast. Not only that, Carla put down the 5th fastest womens time on the Waimak…an amazing achievement for a 17 year old! Congrats girls.