Guest posts

Meet the young Scottish paddlers making a splash in whitewater kayaking

How could you make the perfect paddling crew? If you asked most paddlers that question, they would probably list off answers such as ‘get a group where they are all really good friends’, ‘people who are all eager to get out on the water regularly’, ‘people who can have fun together’ or ‘paddlers who support and encourage each other to grow into better paddlers.’ Every paddler hopes and dreams for the perfect crew and there is one little group in Scotland that seem to have done a pretty good job in making theirs.

Kyle Roger, Taylor Stevenson, Rowan Andrew and Niamh Shannon are four paddlers based in Glasgow and all working at Pinkston Watersports centre. Young, enthusiastic and fun to be around, these four individuals are some of the core paddlers that are helping to grow Scottish kayaking right now. Recently supported by Pyranha Kayaks, they have been regular attenders of kayaking events across the UK over the last year and are making a name for themselves. They have kindly agreed to be involved in this article so that you can get to know them a little better. So sit back and let me introduce you!

ShePaddles Trips

East Midlands ShePaddles weekend 2023

A few months ago, I was asked if I was keen to be involved in the East Midlands (EM) ShePaddles weekend that was happening at Broadway’s Meadow on the first weekend of September. I love paddling and sharing that love with others so of course I said yes! It turned into a brilliant weekend with amazing weather and lots of happy paddlers. I wanted to share that through an article so please do have a read.

Freestyle Trips

Euro Open 2023 – Making freestyle fun!

You might have seen the videos of scores of paddlers floating down Holme Pierrepont on inflatables and wondered what was going on. The answer to that is the Dewerstone European Open! Euro Open is a freestyle focused event that happens at the end of August every summer in Nottingham. It is one of my favourite events and one that I highly encourage people to attend. Here is my recount of Euro Open 2023.

Freestyle Trips

GB Freestyle Academy Camp 2023

If you were in Nottingham at Holme Pierrepont white water course at the end of August, you might be wondering why every eddy and every feature seemed to be full of teenagers in playboats. The reason is because the GB Freestyle Academy Camp was happening! This was a camp aimed to improve and inspire young paddlers in freestyle kayaking and something I was lucky enough to be involved in. This article is here to tell you all about it – enjoy!


Tryweryn Festival 2023

Tryweryn Festival, lovingly known as T-fest by most paddlers, is without a doubt one of my favourite paddling events of the year! It has the perfect mixture of kayaking, competition and social time which makes it a truly enjoyable weekend. I wanted to share what a fun weekend T-fest is and so this article is an account of the 2023 event. Enjoy!

Mind set

Dealing with anxiety & kayaking

Anxiety is the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Week, which ends today. As soon as I saw that word, anxiety, I knew that I wanted to write a blog article about anxiety and kayaking. Kayaking on white water is always going to involve some feeling of nervousness. You are under pressure to execute your skills with the knowledge that if you do not, there is the potential for unpleasant consequences. Being anxious is a very understandable response to paddling on white water.

However it is also a sport which can lead to high levels of anxiety at times where it is not always understandable. I am talking about anxiety that seems to come out of the blue and yet has the ability to completely paralyse you. For me, this is the anxiety that appears in situations that in theory you should be completely comfortable in. Local rivers you have run dozens of times before, play spots which you know are safe to practice in, rapids which you could run backwards with your eyes closed and still be fine. It’s the anxiety that no one wants to talk about because it just doesn’t make sense. In this article, I am going to talk about it. I will mainly be talking from my own experiences.


I can’t kayak right now: I miss it but I will be back soon!

I originally called this article ‘I can’t kayak and it sucks’ but figured that wasn’t a positive frame of mind to be writing under. I’ve experienced some health issues recently that have meant I’ve not been able to paddle or live my usual active lifestyle. I wanted to update people on why I have been absent from the water and social media. As someone who always has a lot of words, I thought it was easier to share via a blog post.

I also thought this would be a good opportunity to share the things about paddling that I am missing the most. The phrase ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is definitely appropriate here. Over the last couple of months there are certain things that paddling gives me that I have been missing. In some ways not been able to paddle has given me a fresh perspective on my motivations for paddling and I wanted to share those.

Freestyle Guest posts ShePaddles

International Women’s Day 2023: Celebrating the introduction of women’s C1

In honour of International Women’s Day 2023, I want to showcase a massive development that has happened recently in the world of competitive paddling. This is the creation of a women’s C1 category in paddling competitions. Previously women have had to compete in an open category with men. This has happened in all disciplines of paddling but for the purpose of this article I am going to focus on the introduction of women’s C1 in freestyle kayaking.

General Paddling tips

How to make people fall in love with kayaking: 6 tips to support beginner paddlers

I recently had somebody reach out to me to ask me if I had any advice or tips for someone just starting out in kayaking. The person asking was the social and welfare committee member at a University kayaking club. They were relatively new to kayaking themselves and weren’t sure how best to support new paddlers in the club. This person was also keen to hear any tips for encouraging more women to get involved in the club. After sending some ideas across, it occurred to me that this would make a perfect blog!

White water kayaking is such an incredible activity which can quite easily become the greatest love of your life. However, starting white water kayaking can come with a steep learning curve which can sometimes put people off. Here are 6 tips to support new paddlers and help them to fall in love with white water kayaking. Please do comment if you have any tips of your own to share!

Freestyle General

The highs and lows of white water kayaking in 2022

I went for a run recently and started to reflect on the highs and lows of the year in terms of kayaking. Both for myself and for wider the kayaking community. I often take the time for reflection in this way around the new year. In recent years I have written a reflection blog to finish the year. This year I want to do it differently. In this blog I will not just be focusing on the highs of the year but also the lows, both for myself and for the wider kayaking community. I will be honest that you might find reading about the lows upsetting. I do not want to make anyone sad but I think it is important that they are acknowledged with the same gravitas as the highs.