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General Paddling tips

How to always have people to paddle with

One of the most common messages I get through my social media accounts is ‘can I come kayaking with you?’. I believe that this question is not asked because people want to specifically paddle with me, but more because people want to paddle with someone. I post a lot about my kayaking adventures; therefore, people know I am out paddling, and asking if they can come with me might mean they can also get out paddling.

One of the barriers to going white water kayaking is that it requires you to have paddling friends to do it with. I do paddle solo regularly but only on flat sections of river or at a white water centre. I would not paddle a white water river solo because of three reasons: safety, social and shuttles.

I appreciate that there are people comfortable paddling white water solo and that is their choice. Usually, the people doing so are more than capable of both making that decision and of carrying it through safely. I am not here to debate that. Instead what I am here to do is to share some tips on how to make paddling friends so that you always have someone to paddle with!

Categories
General

24 hour kayaking challenge on the Dee: The key details!

On Saturday the 6th August at 10am, 6 of us will be setting off on a 24 hour kayaking challenge on the river Dee in Llangollen to raise money for three brilliant charities. This is a brief article to share the key details of our kayaking challenge. I will write a longer piece post challenge but I wanted to be able to share the key information prior to Saturday for anyone who wanted to come along and watch us or support in any way. Please do have a read and ask questions if you have any!

Categories
General

My worst swims and what I learned from them

I have debated about writing this article for a while. With each of these swims came feelings of shame and anguish. But I have had a lot of time to reflect on them all and through these reflections, I have been able to take away valuable lessons. I am not encouraging recklessness but simply highlighting the things I have learned as I have gained more experience. I have written the swims in chronological order of when they happened.

Categories
General Mind set

Three reasons I am completely addicted to kayaking

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love kayaking and how often I like to bring up kayaking in conversation. ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ – ‘Hopefully kayaking!’. ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ – ‘Rain so I can go kayaking!’ etc. It is so much a part of who I am that it is easy to forget the reasons why I am so obsessed with it. This week one of my students asked me the question ‘what exactly is it that you love about kayaking so much?’

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General

Goodbye 2021

A year ago we all waved goodbye to the madness of 2020 and looked to a brighter 2021. Then it started with a 4 month national lockdown (in the UK) and a stop to any whitewater paddling for most. Yet I have probably logged more hours of paddling this year than any other year. I’ve also been able to share some great days on the water with friends again and just appreciate those river days. Here is a personal reflection on paddling in 2021.

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General Guest posts Trips

BUKE – What is it and why you should apply!

Tomorrow is the deadline for this year’s application for the 2022 British Universities Kayaking Expedition, otherwise known as BUKE. I have known about BUKE since I first started paddling in the UK. It is an incredible and highly sought opportunity for student kayakers. I thought I would write an article about it so that more people know what it is and don’t miss their chance at applying. Hopefully by the end of this article, if you are a student kayaker, you will already be writing your application!

See my note at the end if you have left it a little late to start your application!

The original BUKE!
Categories
General

Reflecting on the positives of 2020

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a very strange year and for many a very challenging year too. Every new year I like to reflect on how the previous year has gone and look to learn from it as I move into the new year. It would be easy to just write off 2020 but actually on reflection, I found so many positive things that I could take away from this year. This article is a reflection of my own positive 2020 experiences.

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General

Improving your kayaking OFF the water

Back in April in the middle of the first global lockdown, I wrote an article called ‘Beating the Covid-19 blues‘. This article looked at things you could be doing as a kayaker to keep you occupied during lockdown. Considering that England has now entered a second national lockdown and restrictions are tightening in other areas around the world, I wanted to write another article with a slightly different focus. This article is going to explore activities that you can engage in OFF the water which will help you once you are back ON the water. Hopefully some of these suggestions will be helpful for you and applicable to more sports than just kayaking!

Categories
General Mind set

Mental Health & Kayaking

This weekend celebrated World Mental Health day. No doubt you will already know this due to the vast amount of posts that have been shared online about mental health. It is wonderful that people feel comfortable to have this open and honest discussion about mental health. Kayaking for me plays a huge role in my mental well-being as well as my physical well-being. This is an aspect of my addiction to kayaking that I believe is shared by many others within the kayaking community. Therefore this week’s article I want to dedicate to mental health and it’s association with kayaking for me.

Categories
General

Social media as a kayaker

The role of social media in kayaking and more generally extreme sports is a topic that has been discussed many times before. As someone who is quite active on social media this is something that I wanted to share my thoughts about. Before I start I think it is always good to have a reminder that social media is NOT the same as real life. I spend quite a bit of time on my social media/writing my blog but I spend far more time actually out on the water. I think that social media can be a great way to share with others and when used in the right way can be really positive. It does concern me that some people may feel like social media affects them or their kayaking in a negative way. I want to go over a few things that might help with this and why I’ve chosen to use my own social in the way that I do.