How is a Rock Star made video, shot at the JK Plant in Sparta, TN
I flew back home early March and went straight to Sort, where dam releases had just started and me and my brother could start to paddle in our local river, the Noguera Pallaresa. The season started slowly at the hole and paddling some classic runs, but quickly got better as it started to get warmer and we could enjoy higher flows and some of the local creeks, which are great.
Sort's spot during the 2nd Spanish Cup
Upper Noguera with friends on a sunny afternoon
The snow pack this year wasn’t great or as good as previous years, however we did what we could paddling around the zone during early Spring.
freestyle sessions Sort 2011 video
We attended a couple freestyle competitions as well, such as the FKT (French Freestyle Cup) at the new slalom course in Pau, which is great! And the Spanish Cup in Millau (France) and Sort achieving some great results.
After qualifying for the Spanish Team to attend Worlds later in June, we went for a little creeking trip where we weren’t fortunate as the snow melt had stop and the rivers were super low.
Arreu... on of the best little creeks around
Anyway we had some fun, and straight after that I went to Plattling for a week with the rest of the Spanish Freestyle Team to train for Worlds in Germany. That was during Easter, there were quite a few paddlers there from Norway, GB, Germany… however, the water level during our whole stay was pretty low… It was still cool and really warm so we had great fun and tried to train a bit despite the possibilities (really shallow!).
Rock Star promo video shot at the 1st FKT at the new slalom course in Pau, France
After that I went to Canada! White Water Grand Prix in Quebec! For two weeks, I traveled with some of the best paddlers around and great friends to compete and mostly paddle and have fun on the six stages comp tour.
Stage one, Gladiator wave, Ottawa river
The competition didn’t go quite as expected, mostly due of my lack of wave paddling skills (and big wave, which however you might think it’s easy, it’s not!), some unfortunate runs and races and a few little injuries during the trip.
Stage three... time trial!
White Dog wave with Aniol filming Go Pro footage
After all though, it was a great wicked time, and looking forward for next edition in Chile!! Cheers Pat, Julie, all the helpers and volunteers, camera Team, competitors…
Overall I got a 7th place that could have been a lot better with a little bit more of specific training and a lot of good memories that make me want to go back so bad!
WW GP overall edit... speechless!
Stage six, Extreme Slalom!
After the WW GP I stayed a bit longer in Canada, so I got to surf Mini Bus and a few other cool places.
Mini bus fun!
Family wave Rouge
After that was WORLDS! So back to Spain and straight to Germany in order to prepare for Worlds and hole paddling! It was a good difference to be back on a hole, but still great. We had good water levels and weather, so perfect time jut living by the river and paddling till you get so tired and sore… I went to Lienz for a competition as well, we left Plattling at 1pm and made it into Lienz at 10-11pm it took us twice the time due to a flying roof rack and boats at the autobahn, plus a broke down car plus a battery change… which turned out to be the alternator… At the end we made it and got to paddle on Saturday morning. The spot was almost the same as last year during Europeans. Big, powerful, a bit trashy and hard! The comp went well for me; from good to better, getting good rides in the finals and a second place for the judges. Good weekend and good comp training. Back to Lienz on the back of Adam’s van, no windows, 4 dudes, a lot of stuff, hot…
Worlds started, and however I struggled hard to get some good rides compared with training I managed to get a spot in the finals qualifying 4th. I did my best in the finals, but wasn’t until my third ride that cooled down and put some moves together, which unfortunately weren’t enough and had a 5th place finish. At the end pretty happy about this result due the high level of good paddlers and competition at the event, and mostly after being paddling for only four months after my winter injury break.
Straight after Plattling I went home, and the next morning I was in Norway ready for a full summer of creeking and working. Things were great, running great rivers around Voss at great levels and with good company, and even with sunshine sometimes!
Unfortunately one afternoon I had an accident while paddling a new river. I hit the wall while landing and bruised/broke my left ribs pretty bad.
First rapid... Last rapid...
From then on I took it easy and rest, thanks Terje, Benji, Jakub, Andy-Mariann, Anton-Rachel, and Julian for helping me out those days! After a while I moved to Sjoa where I stayed at my friends Miguel and Santi’s place, a nice little house up in the mountains from Heidal Rafting. After a while I got better and I started working at Heidal Rafting. Summer went by, and it was time to get back home. In September I finished off University, which felt great, and got my ribs checked.
During all that time I had the Sick-Line Race in my mind, I knew I was injured but was sure I could recover in time to still have a bit of training and do better than last year, which is funny cause I had the same injury but on my right ribs… However I tried, my ribs weren’t healed and with a bit of paddling got a lot worse… I decided I would attend, however my physical condition at that time wasn’t any good after almost three months of pain and no good-strong paddling.
Some Norway paddling late in the season... wasn't ready yet...
The race went worse than ever due bad qualifying runs and the worst start off the ramp ever… I decided my 2011 season was over for me so I focused 100% on healing myself from my ribs and a horrible tendinitis on my left shoulder.
Next weekend after the Sick-Line Race was the NPRF (Noguera Pallareas River Festival) in Sort, Spanish Pyrenees. After some hard work form me and a few others the event went quite well with lots of paddlers from Spain and France and a few from way further! We had a couple days of good sun and fun paddling! I took it easy and only took pictures and video, so here's the video of the event!
Here are few photos from the event
Today, almost five months since Norway’s accident I’m still doing rehab everyday in order to heal my ribs. As for my shoulder, I’m doing an expensive therapy that’s not working out as it was supposed to, but still gotta keep working on it and look forward, as better times are not far to come.
2011 season was short, way too short, but it was good and fun! Paddled in lots of new places nd enjoyed my paddling. Looking forward to next season!!
Thanks for the photos: Pringle, Katya, WW GP Team, Miles Clark, Benoit Meslé, Benji Hjort, Terje Sorgjerd, Laureta, Gorka Martínez, Michael Newman...
Thanks to my sponsors family and friends for supporting me on what I do and enjoy doing the most, keep paddling!