Sunday, January 30, 2011

London Boat Show Display Week - written by James 'Pringle' Bebbington

Late last year Rob Harris asked if I could come and be one of the kayakers to be part of the show team putting on daily displays at the London Boat Show. He said there'd be a wake board tow system with ramps, sliders, lighting, smoke machines & a huge TV screen so of course I jumped at the chance.

The team consisted of myself, Bren Orton, James Benns, Ben Aldred, Stu Parry, Claire O’hara & Ed smith as commentator.

Together with the organisers, lighting & sound team we put on hugely popular daily performances throughout the show that got the biggest cheers and applause out of any of the sports displays.

Our show aimed to show Freestyle Kayaking. Displaying the progression through all the moves on flat water before amping it up using the cable tow system first throwing moves off just bouncing on the flat as you got pulled along, then to spinning over the slider before going up to a straight jump over the kicker, a straight jump to airscrew off the landing then as our grand finale an airscrew off the kicker over 5 kayakers underneath the ramp!!! On the last couple days we even had time for a full on Jam session at the end...plenty of crashes :-)

Other demos at the pool were the kickass Wakeboard shows, Canoe Polo Champs, some SUP races and the opportunity to come and try various watersports including sailing, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. It was a really great show to be at, so if you missed this one be sure to visit next year for an even greater display.

A really great week and some very positive exposure of Freestyle to an audience that would never normally get to see this kind of action from Kayaking.

A huge thanks to Rob Harris for organising the whole thing and the rest of the team for making it a good week.

Click on this link to see a great video by Bren Orton which gives you a taste of what went on at the show.

Words by Pringle photos by Katya