North Manchester, UK.
Where did you last paddle?
My last trip was an attempted circumnavigation of Malta on a stand up paddle board! We were unsupported and fully loaded with kit and it certainly was a real challenge. There was plenty of learning throughout and it was constantly hard work with some challenging weather conditions, but we had a great time and saw some spectacular coastline.
What are your best paddling memories?
I have some pretty great memories from early on in my paddling career, taking my first swim on the river, running my first rapid, my first roll on whitewater and when I got a bit better hitting three ends in my freestyle boat for the first time.
My first trip outside of the UK was incredibly memorable and really opened my eyes to what might be out there as have been some of my more recent trips where Ive paddling different craft like SUPs and surf skis.
When I paddled the whole of Itanda on the Nile for the first time, that was pretty special. I think I held my breath from the start to the finish!
Where should everybody go paddling once?
It would be too easy to say something obvious like Africa, so Im going to say Scotland. Yes its cold, yes it rains a lot, yes the rivers don’t always run, but when it goes off up there, its amazing.
What else do you like to do when you’re not out paddling?
For our trip to Malta I took a Ukulele and I’ve been enjoying learning to play that recently. However I don’t think the people around me have been enjoying me learning to play it that much!
What’s your best advise for other paddlers?
Don’t put off going to the places you really want to go. Procrastinating and waiting until you’re ‘good enough’ might never happen. Get out there and go and see it, you might surprise yourself.
What are your favourite bits of kit?
I wear my Tsangpo suit literally every day, but Im also a fan of my Glide PFD as I think thats a really great product and shows Palms commitment to innovation.
Where is left on your list of places to go?
How long have we got? I could start a list and probably never finish, but my top three places I need to go are; the Zambezi, California High Sierra, Eastern Mexico, (and Lee valley).
Describe your perfect day on the water?
My perfect day on the water would probably involve big water and my playboat! We would be running the river and playing all the way down. After that in the evening I’d love to get out on a SUP for a sunset paddle with a cold beer waiting back at camp.
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I am focused on self improvement this year too, faster, further, fitter and I want to push my boating. Im not getting any younger so I best get on with it!
Ive got a really busy year lined up. Im planning on heading out to Kenya, Italy, Germany, Austria and France so far and Id like to have another big trip later on in the year too. I also have some really amazing work lined up this year too with some great paddlers, everyone from complete novices to the GB freestyle team, bring it on!