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!
In one week’s time I will be paddling flat water for 24 hours in order to raise money for Mind. When my friend James Ibbotson asked me to be part of this charity challenge at Christmas, I had very little flat water experience. The hour back up the Llangollen canal when paddling the river Dee is usually enough to remind me why I paddle whitewater and not flat water! So after saying yes to the challenge, I decided I quickly needed to establish a training plan to make sure I was prepared.
With offers of help from an overwhelming number of people, friends and strangers alike, I came up with a training plan. For the last 3 months I have tried my hardest to stick to that plan. In this article I want to outline everything I have done to go from being someone with minimal flat water experience to (hopefully) being able to paddle it for 24 hours next weekend!
When I started kayaking, my friend Lewis was obsessed with a video by Ben Marr called Dream. If you haven’t seen Dream, you should. At the start of the video, Ben poses as a newbie kayaker and says ‘I just want to be good’. I think we can all relate to this feeling when we start something new and really want to improve. However just wanting to be ‘better’ doesn’t always lead to the outcomes you might hope it does. I find that setting myself more short term goals with one or two longer goals in mind can help a lot. For this piece, I am going to talk about five of the current goals I have and why. I’ll probably write something on achieved goals another time but I wanted to keep this piece relatively short so not today!