Monday, December 26, 2016

Huge Big Loops

There is one place in the world that I really miss kayaking in nowadays and that is the Inlet gate in Nottingham. This trip I only got two days there but they were incredible. The first with Den and a whole crew of local boaters was a fun based session. Trying to dust away the cobwebs and learn how to hole boat again. The second a short but amazing session with Islay, Aaron and a handful of other local paddlers. A real reminder of how good this spot is and how good I am here with a little practice.

Hitting some Synchro Loops with young Maya-ray
Phoenixes, McNastys, Huge loops, Space Godzillas, Backloops, split to splits all the tricks i've worked on for years working once again. Flying one trick to the next. Then the new tricks, tricky wus, lunars, wu trickys and even a few lunar loops. So so so cool. I love this place. If the worlds end up in a hole I will have to come back and train here more. There is no where else in the world ( I have paddled yet) quite like it for training from the most basic to the most complex tricks.

Video from me training here a few years ago. This trip was so short we just paddled and didn't do any media.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Family Time in the UK and coaching for Carnegie Great Outdoors

For the last 12 years every September I have travelled to the Lake District in the UK to coach for Leeds Beckett University formally Leeds Met.

My Office for 4 weeks
Lake District Rush Hour

I arrived home excited to see family and friends and some beautiful parts of the UK. Forgetting momentarily the Brits weather I arrived home to blue skies and sunshine. Then sure enough the heavens opened and it proceeded to rain non stop for an entire week. I remember sitting piss wet through in the middle of a lake, surrounded by students in open boats, wind blasting, unable to see more than 100m ahead thinking why on earth have I come back. Then a few days later the rain stopped, the skies cleared and the mountains, views and lakes appeared and I remembered exactly why I had come back.3 pristine weeks later and with a kayak hand and face only tan. I had a million new memories of great days paddling with students. Plus four amazing weeks of memories of quality time spent with my mum. sister, nephew, nice, step mom, dad, friends and grandad. The real reason why I came all the way back.

Hanging out with Dad in Devon
Teaching my niece Olivia to paddle in the Lakes

Catching up with my Dad and Grandad

Hours playing and chatting with my mum, sister and little Nephew 

There is nothing more precious and important than family. Something I value so much more now I spend most of my life on the road and live the opposite side of the world.

Lake District life

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Back home to Australia for a short break

Fresh from the slopes it was finally time to head home. My first time in over 4 months. With the aussie winter just finishing and the sun beginning to break out it was nice to be in Sydney with the blue skies, but for it not to be stinking hot.

Stunning coastline at Little Bay

Sunset over the Harbour Bridge

Opera House at Night

I mixed up training in the gym (6 Degrees Fit) with the occasional paddling session and a lot of wake boarding the Cables Wake Park. Jez has man flu from NZ so I found myself on lots of solo adventures. I linked up with Clint at Cables for a few lessons and learnt loads, gaining confidence and new skills and tricks. Flying off the kickers and sliders, landing 180's and getting big air in just a few lessons. I'm now even more hooked, on yet another adventure water sport :)

Eating Clean

Training Hard

Eating good food, working out, catching up with good friends and getting a few good trips to the beach. It was a great mini home stop. But it was mini and within 3 weeks I was back at the airport and on my way again.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Epic Snowboarding in New Zealand

Back in August, Jez called me to say he had 6 days off and wanted to go snowboarding to New Zealand. Excited for him I was keen to go with him myself but I was still in Canada and had two weeks left before my flight home. A few phone calls later and all plans had changed and before I knew it I was on a plane to Queenstown with Jez.  We landed into Queenstown to an amazing view, snowcapped mountains everywhere. It was stunning.

5 days later we had tested out every ski resort in the Wanaka / Queenstown area. Snowboarding every hour we could.

Jez ripping it up

Stopping for a quick snow ball fight

Jez chasing down my loose board about to do the runs by itself

We travelled and lived in a funky Juicy camper van. Jez just fitting in. Each night we would find a cool campsite at the base of a mountain next to a river or a lake, watching the star filled sky each night as we went to bed. Then bright and early each morning we would wake to an amazing sunrise, cruise up the mountain, put on our gear and hit the slopes.

Juicy camper living

Snow life

So much snow
I've always wanted to snowboard with Jez so this was such an epic week. We explored the Treble Cone bowl blasting down slope after slope.Had fun trying to fit snow chains to get to Cardrona and enjoyed the stunning views from Coronet Peak. Before finishing the week on the baby snow park at the Remarkables.

The weather was perfect, the snow was great. All in all an epic week and Jez has captured it in an awesome 3 minute film.