Stay Sharp -Whitewater Paddler

Like any sport, activity or hobby. We generally enjoy getting better, progressing enhancing our ability. However sometimes it seems we are completely stagnant in our progress. Here’s a a handful of ideas to re-ignite that spark once more. 

1- Train hard paddle easy 

The sad fact here in the UK is we are not actually blessed with lots of reliable whitewater. We sadly don’t have that consistent snow melt such as the Alps. We don’t even have a consistent winter season knowing that we have from September till March with a host of rivers. We have to take our boating when we can.


Thus we have to settle for our local haunts. Spicing up our much loved ‘local’ can be tricky after what feels like the six-thousandth time we’ve paddled it. Get competitive, race your buddies. Go hand-paddling in that stopper where you are perfectly happy. Bust out a slalom race. If you want to feel a little on edge jump in a different boat. Paddle back upstream, paddle a rapid withno spraydeck. Train hard paddle easy!


2 – Don’t underestimate the man made whitewater courses

We are pretty lucky in the UK. We have a lot of nice little man-made whitewater courses. Sure they are not as good as the real thing but hey it’s like going to the gym. It is not the extent of our paddling. A superb resource which allow us to get our fix. Let’s not be too snobby we sadly all can’t live in a van in Europe for 8 weeks of the summer.


IMG_5604.JPG3 -Paddle with better paddlers as much as possible

This goes without saying. Whatever you’re up to doing it with people who are more skilled, experienced and perhaps more confident than yourself can do wonders. It’s great to paddle with a team you feel happy with. But paddling with new paddlers can provide you with little gems or flourishes of skill that rub off on you. Whether it’s enhancing your read and run techniques or loading that boof!

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