Anyone who has visited Holme Pierrepont (HPP) in Nottingham recently will be aware that there is an increasing presence of members of the freestyle community, both from the UK and from around the world. HPP is a world-class freestyle training ground and it is not unusual to find an abundance of playboaters here, especially during the warmer months. But you may be wondering why there is such a high level of activity and growing excitement at HPP right now. If you haven’t already heard, at the end of June, the 2022 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships are coming to Nottingham!!
A while ago I saw Lowri from FlowFree advertise a ‘Looptastic’ course at HPP. Having bought a playboat in lockdown, learning how to loop it has been one of my goals over the last year. Whilst I have made improvements off the back of tips from kind friends, I still have a long way to go. Having considered getting some freestyle coaching for a while – this course looked like the perfect one for me! This weekend my highly anticipated day of learning to loop with Lowri took place and I wanted to share it on here!
If you don’t already know, I am a massive kayaking enthusiast. I love running white water rivers as often as I can and love a good down river play day. What I really don’t do much of however is actual freestyle kayaking. 6 months ago in a post Christmas – New Year haze, I was tagged in an online post. The post was from GB Freestyle advertising an introductory ladies freestyle day at Hurley, coached by world renowned freestyle kayaking coach Jacko Jackson and previous junior world freestyle champion Ottie Robinson-Shaw. Their aim was to spend the day with 10 female kayakers who had little experience of freestyle kayaking and introduce them to Hurley (one of the best freestyle features in the World). What an amazing opportunity! I put my name down straight away, thinking that is was unlikely I would get picked. So when I received a message a little while later saying that I had got a space, I was equally surprised and delighted! This article is an opportunity for me to share what happened that day and the positive impact it has had on me.