On Saturday I got a phone call from Alex, telling me he was going down to Lee valley, for a team Squarerock day/Demo day, on Sunday and asked me to come along.
As it was meant to be a really nice hot day, and I hadn’t been in a play boat on whitewater in ages, I decided I’d head over Saturday night and stop in Alex’s van at Aaron Dempsey’s house, to then load my kit into the SquareRock van and all travel down in that together with Aaron.
We started the day well with a maccies breakfast, like true athletes.
We got to the course at about half 10, and unloaded the van of all of the demo Jackson boats for people to try out, as well as a range of demo ophion
Lots of other team SquareRock paddlers turned up to help out and paddle, which was really good, and was great to see some people we both hadn’t seenin a while!
I’d only been to Lee Valley once before (about 3 or 4 years ago!) And only paddled the legacy course for a youth freestyle competition, so I was excited to get back on the water, and try out the Olympic course I’d heard so much about.
Alex and I jumped on the water as soon as we could, starting on the legacy.
It had been a long time for us both being in playboats, so we were excited to get back into a hole and try throwing down some moves, seeing what we can remember!
We found the first main hole really fun, and really rewarding when you hit the sweet spot for aerial moves, giving you some pretty big air!
We were also lucky enough to have ago at hydrospeeding,which is basically going down the legacy course wearing flippers and lying on a piece of foam, it was great fun!
Later on we jumped in some Jackson Zens and took them into the Olympic course. Was great fun trying out the speed and agility of the Zen on this course, with its swirly eddies, and big holes and drops.
You think just because it’s a man made course, it will be nice and easy, but it does actually tire you out more than you think!
Jumping in the Dynamic Duo with Alex was definitely one of the highlights, trying not to cause carnage, and keep ourselves upright. Being in a massive boat didn’t stop us laying down the moves, with us managing flat spins in the bottom hole on the Legacy.
Big thanks to Aaron and the SquareRock paddlers for making it a brilliant day on the water. I think it’s fair to say everyone had a really good time, with the sun staying out all day adding to the great atmosphere.
(Photos by Rhona Dempsey Pete Bridgeford and Daniel McGaley)
See you on the water,