We have had a little bit of a summer break with Q&A series but I’m pleased to announce that the series is back and we kick off with a Q&A with one of the most talented female paddlers on the planet – Martina Wegman.
Martina is arguably one of the most talented female kayakers in the world and is constantly pushing the limits of what is possible in a kayak. I am therefore stoked that Martina agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.
Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.
Two weeks ago I returned from an amazing trip down to the Karuma to Murchison Falls section on the White Nile in Uganda. This section had the largest concentration of hippo’s and men eating crocodiles on the planet. I have been the first lady kayaking down this intense piece of whitewater.
When and how did you first start paddling?
My first experience in a kayak was on small whitewater courses in France. I was real scared at the beginning and I would only paddle without a spraydeck. Often the kayak would get full of water and I had to get out and swim to shore, leaving the full kayak to my dad and brother to take care of. When I was 13 I started to get more into paddling and starting to get more confident.
What is your current location?
I am fortunate enough to travel around the world for most of the year. Since January I have been home in The Netherlands for less than 3 weeks.
What scares you the most?
There are many things which scares me. I think I would be the most scared of something bad happening to people I love.
What was your biggest hurdle in canoeing/kayaking when you started out – finding people to paddle with, nailing the third end, lack of rivers etc?
I guess the biggest hurdle was the lack of rivers. We had the Dutch ocean on less than 5km away from us, but no rivers around for the next 1000km. Luckily I had my brother and sister and a sweet crew of paddlers around whom where often keen to go on a roady!
What has kept you in the sport?
“Living better stories” I love travelling around the world, visiting new places! Kayaking brings us to so many amazing places and bringing us close to different cultures.
What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment in the world of canoeing/kayaking to date?
I think there have been so many pioneers of the sport progressing it to where it is today. If I have to name something I would say Patrick Camblin with his inspiration and ambition to pull off the fantastic Whitewater Grand Prix.
How do you get yourself in “the zone” before a competition run or when running a challenging piece of water?
The most important thing to me before a race or running a challenging piece of whitewater, is to enjoy the moment and to feel stoked on what I am doing and where I am at, at that moment.
Given the choice where would want to paddle and why?
I have been to some real cool new places and new rivers this year, Chile, Mexico, Iceland and the Murchison expedition. I would love to keep travelling to new destination! I never been to Asia and would love to go there! But with a good crew of mates and an epic river I could be anywhere.
What would be your biggest tip for fellow female paddlers?
To travel as much as you can, go to different places and enjoy life to the fullest! 🙂
What is your favourite kayak of all time and why?
I’ve been paddling a Dagger Mamba 8.5 for almost 10 year and loving it!!
What kit are you currently using?
I’m fortunate to be geared up by Palm. They have great colors and a wide range of products they have specifically designed for women’s. For footwear I’m using Teva as they are super stylish, comfortable and grippy!