I've been working at A.S since 2002. During this time I have been lucky enough to paddle in some pretty amazing places and made some lifelong friends. Although White water paddling has been my main interest I have found love for all types of paddling including Stand Up Paddling in the last few years including a descent of the Dart Loop. A bit of Mackerel bashing in the summer is pretty good fun. Despite travelling to amazing destinations I still love the South West of the UK to paddle in and I have plenty left to do here.
30 odd. My first time in a kayak I was 8 years old and a cub. Scared of water and scared of being stuck in the boat! pretty typical first time experience.
Favourite type of paddling:
Low to mid volume steep creeking but as mentioned I love a bit of kayak fishing, SUP and beers in an open boat. Multiday paddling adds an extra dimension and is fast becoming my favourite thing to do.
Lettmann Paddles. So smooth, great power delivery and a narrower crank than the Werners which is more forgiving on my shoulders. I have learnt to paddle forwards properly with these paddles!
Least Favourite Product:
My first helmet, the mighty Wild water. Shiny, purple, poorly fitting and with an obligatory home made foam peak.(think Shaun baker but not as cool)
Favourite river/spot in the UK:
The East Lyn, Somerset. From Brendon to the sea. The finest steep white water run in the whole of the SW region. Every rapid is paddleable and in a fine and beautiful steep wooded gorge. From high moorland and paddles out into the sea. Possibly unique in the UK?
River Lochy (the hard one near the Orchy, not the one near Fort William).
At the time and possible still the hardest river I have ever run. Too much whisky at the Clachaig inn has a lot to answer for.
Favourite river/spot abroad:
This kind of changes every time I go to a new place. A firm fixture at the top of the list is the Seminzino, Val Sesia, Peidmont, Italy. Amazing steep creeking with rapids I still haven't run. The "Malalu" wave White Nile Uganda. Big dynamic wave with huge fluffy pile, great eddy service (complete with snakes). Just perfect for learning big freestyle moves. Now under threat from more dams.
The Acheron River, Greece. Paddling through the legendary Gates of Hades from Greek mythology is pretty special. Its virtually impossible to get there by any other means and its a very special and pretty place.
Favourite River Snack:
Stuff you can get wet. A good bit of cake or flapjack works well. Do I get coffee as well?
Future trip plans:
Lots of little UK micro paddling adventures. (some of these are special and secret. Details and invitations can be released for cake.....).More multiday anywhere in the world.
Any one who will smile, bring a positive attitude and cake to the water with them.
All my regular paddling crew that have had the miss fortune to accompany me on the water.
Pyranha 9R. Fast, fun and precise. Boardworks Raven 12.6 I-SUP and the Hurricane Tracer 165 proves its worth yet again after a coast to coast trip across Scotland in November
Lettman Ergo Pro extrem for ww and the Lettmann LCS50 Sea touring paddles (small blades on both).
WRSI Current Pro
Kokatat Ronin Pro
Nah, I’m too ‘ard for drysuits.
Palm Fuse. For sea kayaking, touring, open boating etc. Kokatat Tec Tour.
Sandiline Extreme dry pants.
Too many! F-light base layers, Crewsaver Toki base/mid layers. Sweet 3/4 suit and many many fleece mid layers.
Five Ten Water tennies. Solid reliable and grippy. Karrimore trail running shoes. Great for shuttleless runs on the Loop before work.
Playboater Work deck. Of course. The only deck that has never popped on me.
Essential Items, Yak pogies and palmless mitts. Both are amazing and warm but this year I seem to have mostly used the pogies.
Aquapacs, reliable and dry. Hard to beat.
Kokatat Gore-tex pull over. Super light weight top that is fine for spring and summer paddling. I have also run up Snowdon in it.
Dewerstone beanie. In the bag all winter. Cold head = bad times.
Zolzer Throwline everyone needs a throwline. This one is small, bright orange and has its own drybag to keep it dry and clear from debris. A Knife. Snake sling, krabs and food. Beer/cake money.