Llangollen, North Wales.
Where did you last paddle?
White Nile, Uganda.
What are your best paddling memories?
With so many years of awesome paddling experiences with some lovely and amazing people, it’s hard to pick out specific ones as ‘best’. Today ones that spring to mind are:
- Having my family and friends there to support me and celebrate with me when I won the European Freestyle Championships in Nottingham
- Getting benighted in the jungle twice on one river in Colombia (maybe not best, but funny in hindsight)
- Any of the many Nile River Festivals I’ve attended
- Deebezi surfing with my best buddies
- Landing my first flatwater loop (so many years ago!)
- The feeling after having discovered and paddled a gem of a river in the arid lands of Mongolia on the Four Borders Expedition, knowing we were almost certainly the first to have been there
- The many places and occasions I’ve surfed on or ridden down rapids on an inflatable animal
- Fancy dressed kayaking
To my friends all over the world – cheers for the good times! Here’s to many more to come …
Where should everybody go paddling once?
The Nile, before the next dam is put in (due May 2018). Warm, deep water makes the Nile ideal for paddlers of all levels. Loads of grade 3, plus a few huge grade 5s if that’s your thing too, or gentle grade 2 sunset pootles … and of course there’s the world class freestyle features too! Go there before you wish you had.
What else do you like to do when you’re not out paddling?
I mountain bike and ski. I think there’s something about hurtling down hills, picking lines and getting air that I can’t get enough of! I also dabble in trampolining.
What’s your best advise for other paddlers?
Never say no to a potential adventure.
What are your favourite bits of kit?
When it’s cold, the open palm mitts make such a difference! The Skyline board shorts are pretty fly in summer. And the Seti top is a lovely, smart thermal that can be used for a variety of sports, or worn to the pub afterwards!
Where is left on your list of places to go?
Zambezi, Mexico, Cali, India and return to Nepal …
Describe your perfect day on the water?
The sun would be shining, I’d be with my friends and we’d run some fun grade 4 drops and slides that led into a few kilometres of read and run boulder dodging. We’d then get off and enjoy an ice cream and a coffee before swapping to playboats and going to surf some fun waves – an average day in North Wales really.
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
Finally going to the Zambezi! As a teenager, Sam Ellis, my brother and I would get in from school and watch the three or four videos we had of our heroes such as Nico Chassing, Deb Pinniger, Cheesy, Steve Fisher and Alex Nicks ripping up the Zam and dreamt that one day we would be as cool as them. I’m still dreaming!