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.
It was more than a hobby since the start. Kayaking was always my biggest passion and I knew that this was going to be what I would do with my life, even If I didn’t make a single $$ with it.
I didn’t get my first sponsor till I was 19 or 20 years old.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional kayaker?
Hard to say, let’s just say that I wasn’t the best school, so probably homeless ?? I would definitely be in to some other outdoor sport maybe climbing, skiing, mountain biking… something where I could be out in the nature.. cities kill me.
What does a regular week look like at this time of year?
Traveling, training for the south hemisphere season, organizing my life, editing videos, partying and rushing everywhere because I am leaving somewhere else and I still haven’t packed. Very busy but good time of the year!
What did you focus on to become comfortable running big or complex rapids? What allowed you to progress your skills?
I just had a very slow progression at the start. We quickly became the best paddlers of our town and it was hard to learn new things when teaching ourselves. We used to do a lot of freestyle and understood how water moved really well. Never been too strong so since the start I had to learn to use the power of the water in my favor.
When I was 18 I started traveling with EG, Demshitz, Rush, and all this group of people who where 10 times better than me so I did learn a lot from them. Having a brother who’s always better than you is a huge motivation as well.
Breath, breath, breath. I like cold water on my face and being alone for a second while scouting or the few minutes before dropping in to a big waterfall/rapid. It’s all about getting in to that state of mind where you know exactly what to do and your mind is calm and ready!
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world to paddle?
I really want to go to the Indus in Pakistan, that’s my biggest goal for next year!!
What paddling kit are you currently using?
Waka Kayaks Tuna
Werner Sho-Gun small shaft
Sweet Intergalactic dry-suit
Astral life jacket
Sweet Rocker helmet
Yihak Astral shoes
Watershed dry bags
Immersion research lucky charm skirt !!! best gear I know of !!
What do you believe is the best kayak design to date?
The Waka Kayaks Tuna is the best boat I’ve ever tried to go out there and push the boundaries of our sport. The way it skips out of holes and all kind of features it’s insane, super easy to paddle and stylie as non-other.
Got to say that the Pyranha 9R looks really fast and very sick design as well.
To me it’s all about having fun boats to paddle. I am done with boring designs where you get down the river but there’s not good feelings. I am done with the 0 edge round bottom design – Karmas, Nomads, Flying Squirrels. To me those are the most boring boats out there and they really kill the STYLE.
The IR skirts have made a big difference… it is so important for us running big drops to not have implosion. I love that lucky charm skirt!
Kayaks with flat hulls, not so wide and with a high rocker profile.
The next thing should be to make a seat that absorbs part of the impact when landing flat on big drops.