Articles - Junior Kayak Surfing
Waiting for the set
Come On You Surfing Juniors!
I’ve been kayaking and surfing for four years now but I never thought I’d be able to take part in a World Championships! It was at the British Open in September when the England Manager approached, fellow junior surfer, Sam Davenport and me, asking if we would like to go to Costa Rica for the Worlds, we were amazed! Sam couldn’t make it this time, but I went for it and the whole experience was simply awesome! It was Just after my fifteenth birthday and I was the youngest competitor there (juniors go up to your 18th year), and I was competing for my country in an exotic part of the world. It was truly a dream come true!
The next Kayak Surfing World Championships are in Mundaka, Spain ithis year and we need a strong team. Could you be part of it?
England and all of the British Nations have some of the best surf kayakers in the world, even compared to the Americans who have the waves of California as their home spots. However, we need more people and stronger competition at home to have a truly world-beating team, particularly in the junior and women’s events. Fortunately for us, Simon Hammond, former Men’s World Champion, is planning specialist coaching for junior and women this year and right up to the Mundaka Worlds. Good coaching will now be available to all, so if you want to be involved and rip up the waves get in touch with him to find out more.
Kayak surfing is exciting, dynamic and really, really fun. And it’s really easy to get involved. Take a look at the BCU Surf website (www.bcusurf.org.uk) for the British events in 2006. There’s a league that runs through out the year and then Home Internationals that will take place in Portugal in October. You can start in your plastic river kayak, but a specialist surf kayak makes a huge difference to performance. The good news is the recent arrival of the specialist plastic surf kayaks, the X-Ray and Maverick from UK manufacturers Mega, soon to be joined by another new design, the Impulse. They’re real surf kayaks, built in plastic, so they’re durable and can take the knocks while you’re learning and at a great, affordable price. More clubs are now buying them for people to try, so hopefully they’ll help more paddlers take to the waves.
Full on composite boats are the weapons of choice for serious competitors and free-ride kayak surfers alike and Mega have an impressive quiver to suit all sizes and styles. There are other boat designs on the scene too. James Hawker’s Future Kayaks boat propelled him to two World Championship finals, Leading sea kayak manufacturers Valley have just released two hot looking surf kayak designs and some exciting new boats are reaching us from across the Atlantic. Ask the manufactures where you can try a demo boat or pop along to a comp and ask one of the paddlers, who are usually happy for you to try their boats. As far as clothing goes you can use all of your normal river boating kit. Reed Chillcheater, Nookie, Palm and Peak all make great kit for keeping you warm but manoeuvrable in the surf.
If you want to keep learning even when there are no waves then there are two great new books out now to tell you all about it, show you how to do all the new and exciting moves and reveal the places you can go. Simon Hammond’s ‘Surf Kayaking: The Essential Guide’ and Bill Mattos’s ‘Kayak Surfing’ are must-haves for any wannabe surf kayakers!
So what are you waiting for? Come and join us this year! We need more juniors to make every event more competitive, not to mention fun. Catch some waves, make some new friends and have an awesome time! Personally I’d like nothing more than a ton of new young paddlers to start coming along to the beach, the more the merrier. So get involved and who knows maybe you’ll get your shot at getting to compete for your country, at the highest level, in Mundaka in 2007!
BCU Surf Kayak website: www.bcusurf.org.uk
Juniors’ and Womens’ Coaching Scheme:
Contact Simon Hammond to find out more at: email@example.com
Surf kayak Manufacturers
Special thanks to:
Reed Chillcheater (www.chillcheater.com), Sports Aid South West, BCU South West Coaching, Glyn Brackenbury, BCU Coach, and Skern Lodge (www.skernlodge.co.uk)
Want to find out more about surf kayaking, Canoe and kayak talk to surf legend Chris Harvey.