Sal Montgomery is a UK paddler who is pushing herself on whitewater across the globe. From big water to freestyle competitions Sal has done it all and is still charging hard. Despite being deep in Norway’s summer whitewater Sal agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.


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

I started out mainly in freestyle and was on the GB team for a couple of years. I then got more in to river running and have since paddled in many countries around the world along the way I have entered a few competitions here and there, my best being first in the Himalayan Whitewater Championships. I’m keen to do more adventures and expedition style paddling in the future.

Photo: Jake Holland

When and how did you first start paddling?

Some friends took me paddling in duos, rafts and duckies at HPP one summer and I’ve been hooked on whitewater ever since!

What was your first kayak?

Jackson Star

What is your current location?


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?

It took me ages to learn to roll, which at the time was pretty frustrating.

What has kept you in the sport?

Adventures with awesome people in amazing places.

Who is your biggest source of inspiration within the paddling world (and why)?

Anyone I’m on the water with who is doing cool stuff makes me want to improve my own paddling.

Photo: Matt Blackwell

Given the choice where would you want to paddle?

I’d like to check out Ecuador and Chile, as well as return to Norway and Nepal.

What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment in the world of canoeing/kayaking to date?

Too many amazing people doing incredible things! But any of the bigger expeditions, where paddlers are really putting themselves out there is super impressive.

How do you get yourself in “the zone” before a competition run or when running a challenging piece of water?

I look at the rapid and find my line, when I’m happy I can make the line I start to get in my boat. I then run through the moves I need to make in my head and go for it.

Where was your last swim?

Fairy Glen

What is your favourite kayak of all time and why?

The Waka Tutea, because it flys!

What kit are you currently using, what do you like and not like?

Peak UK whitewater one piece (dry suit), as it keeps me warm and dry, as well as being super durable. The leg zip also makes going to the loo easier! My Peak UK Delux cag is also super comfy to wear on warmer paddling days!

Follow Sal on Facebook here and Instagram here.