I wrote this blog a few months back but forgot to post it, Hope you enjoy
After a long time out of the water due to injury, I am finally feeling back to my old self. So I felt it was time to grab my new Jackson Kayak Rockstar 4.0 and meet up with fellow team member Dan for a weekend boating in the Thames Valley.
Due to living in the South West, it has been a good few years since I have been to Chertsey Weir and I had forgot how much of a fun feature it is. From loops to phonics monkey, most tricks can be achieved in this feature.
The sun was shining, the short sleeve cags were on (well for me anyway) and the rockstar 4.0 were out to play. After some time away from playboating, it was nice to back on the water and throw the boat around.
It was nice to get on the water and meet up with Dan over the last few days. Hopefully now that I am back on track and injury free I will be spending most of the summer in my rockstar having fun.
Last weekend I headed up to Bedford for the 2018 River Festival to try my hand at the Big Air Ramp with the guys from Canoe Trail (www.canoetrail.co.uk)
Once I got there I was super excited to get on the ramp and have a go. Sitting on top of the 6m ramp for the first time I am not going to lie there was some nerves. As I peered over the edge I knew there was no turning back. The first drop happened very quickly and before I knew it i was upside down headed towards the water.
After a few more practices I had some moves in the bag and was ready for the show on Saturday. Throughout Saturday we ran 4 shows demonstrating freestyle kayaking firstly on the flat water then on the Big Air Ramp. With the fourth being ran in the dark with the addition of flames and fireworks.
The next day we had three more shows to do. Feeling a little sore from the day before, it was time to keep the crowd entertained and get back on the ramp.
It was a great weekend showing people what can be done in a kayak and explaining more about the sport. I would like to thank the guys from Canoe Trail for inviting me along and the team at Tribe Active UK (tribeactiveuk.com) for keeping us on the water.
A big thank you to the team at Forge Photography (www.forgephotography.co.uk) for all the time they took to get some great shots of me on the ramp.
As I spend most of my time in a creak boat these days when Jackson Kayak announced they were making the Nirvana I could not wait to try one out.
So at the start of this winter I finally got my hands on the Jackson Kayak Nirvana and we had rain. Unwrapping it in the car park at Dartmeet I was like a kid at Christmas. All I needed to do was put a few hip pad shims in and it was ready to go.
I went for the Medium size and found it was the right size for me.
That weekend I spent all my time on the water around Dartmoor check out the video of that weekend below:
Next on the cards for the Nirvana was a trip to North Wales in December. This would be a good test for the boat and it did not disappoint. The boat dealt with everything I did really well. It’s fast, manoeuvrable and comfortable.
During our time in North Wales we had all types of conditions, with high and low water levels, even snow! It was a really good trip and I cant wait to head back there!
The next trip this winter was when fellow Squarerock team members Dan and Heidi came down for a week of South West boating. They could not have timed it any better as we just had a load of rain and the rivers were up. We even got a few laps on the East Lynn, one of my favourite rivers down here, and I could not wait to show them the lines.
It’s been a good winter of boating for me and the Nirvana was the icing on the cake. Below are some photos of the boat in Dartmoor.
So the last few weeks have been very busy for me, with lots of boating and even more driving. First stop for me was Scotland and it was time for my Advance White Water Leader ( Formally 5 Star) Assessment.
It was a great opportunity to get in some new rivers under my belt, and there was even time for some Scottish classics thanks to Sean Quinn at PhotosbymeSeanQuinn for the photos!
Second trip was to the mighty Tryweryn for some coaching work for Rock The Boat Activities It was great to see the guys enjoying themselves and developing there white water skills.