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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Category: Q&A Series (page 1 of 5)

More Crazy

Dave Thompson is perhaps one of the best paddlers you have never heard of. From dropping huge waterfalls, first descents and countless expeditions. Dave is far from your professional paddler. He has shunned sponsors and the limelight for years. I caught up with Dave in the Himalayas and asked him about his adventures.

More Crazy

Dave you are often known as loco Dave or Crazy Dave. Do you think this is justified?

Yes the name is kind of justified, it got started when I was working in Nepal season after season for years, and it was a combination of how hard I was paddling and the levels we would do some runs. Along with a similar outlook to partying and general madness when not on the river, I’m quite well known in Nepal for some reason…

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The Chronicles Of Ugg

Many people will now be aware of Whetman equipment but may not be aware of the man behind all those quirky youtube clips and designs.

The Chronicles of Ugg

Back in the 90s a crazy mowaked paddler was often seen, all big boots, bone through his nose and a matrix style coat, making for solo laps of the Dart and further afield.

Around bars, on shuttles and gossip the stories of this crazy paddler made the rounds – how much was truth, how much myth?

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Unsponsored Q&A – Can U Kayak

Over the last few weeks a young paddler has been blogging using Facebook as a platform. Her blog has gained a following from elite paddlers like Lowri Davies and Emily Jackson. This young female paddler is now inspiring others.

Unsponsored-Can-U-Kayak-Maya 5

Blogging as Can U Kayak on Facebook Maya writes: I just wanted to get my story out there, and this is how I can do it. My life it’s much different that other peoples. I have a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which mean my joints dislocate and many other different things. Originally Can U Kayak was anonymous, as the popularity has grown, this has become less so.

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Unsponsored Q&A – Jared Seiler

Jared Seiler is a professional kayaker based out of the USA. If you been watching kayaking videos over the last few years you will have seen Jared in action many many times. I for one always look forward to the next edit release.

As one of the brains behind Demshitz, Jared has pretty high profile within the kayaking world. He also has a very busy schedule. To find out that Jared was prepared to take a little bit of time out to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series made my day.

Jared Seiler

When and how did you first start paddling?

My dad got my brother and me into kayaking when we were 12 and 11 years old back in ’97 with the Philadelphia canoe club’s Novice training program. We learned at winter pool sessions and were running the lehigh and lower yough by the end of that summer. We spent many days on the lower yough. A year and half later we were on the upper yough, which is where we really honed our skills.

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Unsponsored Q&A Series – Nina Csonkova

Nina Csonkova has only been paddling since the age of 18. In the short 12 years since Nina has proven to be one of the best paddlers in the world. A true natural trains and paddles hard thus achieving world wide freestyle success. It is truly a great honour that Nina has agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.

Unsponsored Q&A Series - Nina Csonkova

Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.

I got two times silver medals and one bronze medal from the Kayak Freestyle European Championships. I was first and third in overall world cup rankings and I have won Euro Cups several times in a row.

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Unsponsored Q&A Series – Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on kayak instruction for women and yoga for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor and instructor has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF magazine.

She is the founder/director of Girls at Play and http://mindbodypaddle.com and has taught thousands of paddlers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica. Anna has produced 4 instructional kayaking DVDs for women, a Yoga for Kayaking DVD and short downloadable yoga for kayaking segments on Vimeo that have sold over 6500 copies combined.

Anna Levesque

Anna boasts the rare and unique combination of being an American Canoe Association (ACA) WhitewaterIMG_8674 Kayak Instructor Trainer, Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor Trainer AND a 500 RYT (500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance. She is a Level 4 certified ACA whitewater kayak Instructor Trainer, a Level 5 certified ACA whitewater kayak instructor, a Level 2 certified ACA stand up paddleboard Instructor Trainer, an ACA SUP Yoga Teacher Trainer and a member of the ACA SUP Standards Committee. She is also a 500 hr Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and teaches at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC.

As an athlete Anna was a member of the Canadian Freestyle Whitewater Kayak Team from 1999 to 2003 and earned a bronze medal at the Freestyle Kayak World Championships in 2001. She placed in the top 3 in several freestyle competitions and extreme races during that time and has paddled in over 12 countries around the world.

I have been following Anna’s career for many years and am stoked that she has agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Anna’s Q&A and hope that you do to. Enjoy.

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Unsponsored Q&A – Goma Sunuwar

As Nepal came to terms with the after effects of the Quakes in the spring of 2015 one woman shone like a beacon of hope for the emerging nation. Assisted across the border to India by returning aid convoys and a network of friends. Goma Sunuwar made her way to the Malabar River Festival, paddling the Ganga and Coorg along the way.

Unsponsored Q&A - Goma Sunuwar

Prejudice is always high and female kayakers in India and Nepal are a rare sight. ‘Should you be married now?’, can you imagine.

We caught up with Goma in India and followed her progress later as she trained for Slalom competition in Indonesia.

Unsponsored Q&A - Goma Sunuwar

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Unsponsored Q&A Series – Gerd Serrasolses

Gerd is the older half of the famous paddling Serrasolses brothers. Hitting big whitewater, competing in world class competitions (and winning) and crafting superb GoPro edits is where Gerd spends most of his time. If a country has quality whitewater the chances are that Gerd has already been there or is planning an expedition to seek out first descents.

I’ve been following Gerd’s travels and adventures for some time and am super stoked that Gerd agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series, especially as he was in training for the Sickline event (which he won).

Unsponsored Q&A Series - Gerd Serrasolses

How did you first get into kayaking? Who introduced you to the sport?

One day I was biking along our local river, the Ter and saw some people paddling around. I got curious and with some persuasion from my mum I decided to join the local kayak club, the Salt-Ter. It all started really slow with only a couple hours a week on Saturday morning, but as soon as I could go to the river by myself riding my bike and pulling my playboat on a little trailer I started to get obsessed about kayaking until it became my life.

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Unsponsored Q&A – Mariann Saether

Mariann Saether is one of the worlds top paddlers. Having numerous big water competition wins, first descents and expedition epics under her belt. It is a great pleasure to have Mariann take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.

Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world. – heheh… I am gonna kick this over to my webpage: http://mariannsaether.no/achievements/

Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championships 2015

In addition I have had a great 2015 season with winning the prestigious Branset extreme race during the Voss extreme sportweek, the Sweet Rumble on the Sjoa (Sjoa festival). I also made it to my first ever semi-finals in canoe slalom in a major competition (World Cup in Pau, France) and placed 24th. Today I also became the Norwegian Champion (beating all the men´s times) in canoe slalom K1, and also in C1.

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Unsponsored Q&A – David Fusilli

I can pretty much guarantee that you have seen one of David Fusilli’s edits online or have heard of Demshitz. If you haven’t you are definitely missing out. Take a read and check out some of David’s social media links at the bottom of this interview.

I don’t think a week goes by without me watching one of David’s edits. I love his work and I am stoked that David has agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.

Unsponsored Q&A - David Fusilli

Photo: Bren Orton

How did you first get into kayaking? Who introduced you to the sport?

I first got into kayaking at the age of 7. My Dad taught me to roll in the Clarion University swimming pool.

What was your first kayak?

1st kayak was a home made??? I don’t think it had a name, but it was red with sparkles and had a sticker the back that said “red hot red” so I guess that was the name of the boat hahaha.

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Unsponsored Q&A – Chris Brain

Chris has been kayaking, canoeing and coaching for the last 15 years and runs his own business Chris Brain Coaching, delivering paddlesport coaching, safety and rescue courses and REC First aid training. Chris is a keen and passionate boater with a real love for coaching in a range of paddlesport disciplines.

Unsponsored Q&A - Chris Brain

When and how did you first start paddling?

I first started paddling when I was 15 after my Dad and I inherited two 4 meter long fiberglass kayaks that had been retired by the fire brigade! We took them down to our local river, wearing life jackets that didn’t fit and our cycling helmets. When we arrived at the river we clearly didn’t look like we knew what we were doing as the local paddlers suggested that for our own safety we took some lessons instead! That was sound advice and the coaches at the activity centre started to show us the way, at least we were paddling plastic boats and wearing kayaking equipment that actually fitted us. I was being taught by some great paddlers that had the latest boats at the time, either the Acrobat 270 (if they were into freestyle) or Microbat 230 (if there were serious about their creeking) they were so cool!

I instantly became captivated with paddling and pretty quickly I was in the river giving it my best. I managed to get someone to lend me a “rodeo” boat and started trying to tail squirt and do bow enders and pirouettes before I could even roll, basically every time the boat went over I had to swim. I think my record of swimming was 15 times in one session, but I quickly cut that number down the next few times on the water as my roll improved.

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Unsponsored Q&A Series – Aniol Serrasolses

Aniol Searrasolses is one of the worlds top whitewater kayakers. He has very quickly gained the admiration and respect of his peers. From my point of view Aniol is a kayakers kayaker and I am very pleased that Aniol has agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.

How did you first get into kayaking? Who introduced you to the sport?

I got in to it because of my older brother Gerd. One day he saw a bunch of kayakers paddling in our local river and asked them to try it out. He was 14 maybe, we used to swim and play water polo back then but once we tried kayaking it was hard to keep motivated on the swimming and we would skip all the matches in order to go kayak. One day he invited me to try and I loved it.

Aniol Serrasolses
When did you realise that kayaking could be more than just a hobby?

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