Originally a small village called Hathersage, but now based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
Where did you last paddle?
What are your best paddling memories?
Probably my first ever river trip. The Orchy with Edinburgh Uni Canoe Club. I had paddled class 2 before and could roll on the flat. In EUCC’s eyes this meant I was ready for Scottish class 3/4. I ran my first class 3, 4 and 5, had my first two swims and did my first river roll all in a day. I was hooked.
After that, I would say going to the Nile in Uganda for six weeks in the summer of my first year of kayaking. It was the best holiday ever. For months after we were like a broken record: “this one time in Uganda … ”
Where should everybody go paddling once?
Somewhere totally remote. It doesn’t have to have hard white water it just needs to be out there. It’s such a special feeling knowing that you have to rely on you and the group for everything you need. Plus it makes you feel really small and insignificant. I would also advise throwing a bit of suffering into the recipe, like a bit of a walk in, or a super arduous portage, or not taking sleeping bags and going to the base of a glacier … that kind of thing. That’s where the best stories come from.
What else do you like to do when you’re not out paddling?
There are other things to do??
What’s your best advice for other paddlers?
Two things: First, we all do stuff we are not proud of, try to learn from it and move on. Second, don’t judge others and especially don’t judge yourself against others. Have your own reasons for running that drop or that hard rapid because at the end of the day nobody else is going to care if you ran it or if you walked around it.
What are your favourite bits of kit?
I love my semi-dry cag. I’m in the running for the sweatiest man on earth award so I’m never 100% dry anyway!
What is left on your list of places to go?
South and Central America for sure. I am also desperate to go to Arunachal Pradesh in North East India, big volume blue water and relatively under-explored. Other than that the list is long.
Describe your perfect day on the water?
Good river, good flows and good mates. Hard to beat the Kopili in Meghalaya/Assam, India. Warm blue water and every type of rapid from big volume to waterfalls and creek moves. Plus there is a great (and very cheap) restaurant (shack) in the middle of the shuttle.
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
2018 is pretty tied up for me now, it’s just studying until Christmas. Hopefully, I can get a few good wild water races done. What I am really excited about is next summer. I’m off somewhere interesting to do my Medical Elective. I’m not 100% sure where yet but my main criteria is that there will be some kayaking!