Diary of a middle aged kayaker

Archives for kayaking

Feel the fear and do it anyway?

I’m just back from three days boating in Devon. It was a great trip with the usual suspects, and unusually there was enough water to provide entertainment on the Upper Dart, Erme, Tavy and East Lyn rivers. After a summer of slalom and regular paddling at Lea Valley I felt strong on the whitewater, which [...]

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My slalom season in review

I’ve just completed my first full slalom racing season since leaving Tasmania in 1992. I set myself the target of competing in at least five Division 1 events, and if I count one ‘judges race’ at Bala I managed this. I was hoping to go to another three races, but work and family commitments ended [...]

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Inspirational paddling films – Dudh Kosi

I recently picked up the DVD of the 1976 British Kayak expedition to Everest that was led my the late Mike Jones. http://www.davemanby.com/DudhKosi.aspx It was one of a couple of films that was hugely inspirational to me as a kayaking obsessed teenager in Tasmania  (the other was ‘Fast and Clean’, a documentary about US paddlers [...]

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Slalom training then and now

I went for a slalom session at Harefield west of London today, meeting up with Craig Ayres.It was the first time I’d paddled with Craig for about six weeks, and it was good to be on the water with him again.We did a couple of courses between 30 and 40 seconds long, with about 8 [...]

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Top after-work paddling locations?

I was  aching after a great late summer evening paddle at the Lea Valley Whitewater centre on Thursday night. It was a real mates session, with me and Wendy the only kayaks on the Olympic course, and Mark Coleman on duty steering the only commercial raft. Made for a nice relaxed atmosphere, with warm water [...]

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Where to next?

There’s been some great feedback already on the last post, and I wanted to share this e-mail exchange from my mate Mat Newton.  Newts is an ex-slalom paddler like me, lives in Tassy, and is one of the best photographers around. Hey Mally, Just checked out your new blog. We are just back from two weeks [...]

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Val Sesia; What gives you confidence on the river?

Last month I spent a week with my friends  paddling rivers in the Val Sesia region of Italy – well known as the steep creeking capital of Europe. Here’s a short video clip of our adventures on the Sesia, Gronda, Sorba, Egua and Semenza rivers. Val Sesia 2011 As well as the paddling, I wanted [...]

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3 decades on

I paddled my first slalom session at the new Lea Valley Whitewater Centre last weekend. It was only my second time on the course, and a slalom K1 was a bit more challenging than paddling my creek boat during the assessment session the weekend before.After I’d been paddling for about an hour, Dave Florence got [...]

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Hello world!

My name is Jonathan Males, but I’m generally called Mally on the river. I’ve been paddling since 1975 and I still love the sport as much as I did as a 13 year old fat kid.  Now I’m 48, and I reckon there’s lots of other people out there like me who are trying to keep [...]

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