2012 season started the same way 2011 did and unfortunately 2013 will as well… injured and without boating. I'm in Chile right now, recovering and trying to get back on the water asap. Meanwhile here's a recap from what I did this year, a good way to remember all the good times I had and thank all the people that made my day and my life even better, thank you!
I spent the winter in Sort, skiing and getting back in shape while recovering from my ribs and shoulder injury. However we had almost no snow I learned some proper ski technique and learned to love this sport. I had an amazing time with my girlfriend in Sort, and by February I felt ready to paddle, so I decided I'd go to Uganda for a month to get back in the water after so many months without boating. I had a great time there and by the time I got back home the river was flowing and spring was on its way in the Pyrenees. It all started slowly with low water levels, but with my bro Aniol and some friends we paddled some of our local runs and did some freestyle in Sort.
Here's a video from my time in Uganda and check more words and photos: Uganda 2012!
Here's a video of our first couple sessions paddling at the hole. Low water levels but sunshine and good times!
On Sunday night after the whole weekend in France we drove 1000km to woke up in the other side if the country; Galicia. We had an awesome week of boating in Galicia and Portugal with great water levels and good friends. Thanks to the great hospitality of our Portuguese friends we got to paddle many great runs and were lucky enough to get some good weather and high water. Definitely one of my favorite places to paddle in Spain; so wild and so remote sometimes, but the quality of rivers there is tremendous.
You can read about the whole story here: Galicia and Portugal
Here's our first episode from SBP; Galicia and Portugal road trip.
Spring turned out great in the Pyrenees, due late season snow falls levels were guaranteed and we even had high water for a couple weeks. Really good times boating with friends in our local runs, the same runs we got introduced to creek boating. It's cool to see how time goes by and your skills, perspective… everything changes. It was also really cool to see the new generation of talented kids from Sort and introduce them to the same school runs we did when younger, the cycle keeps on going.
Here's the second episode from SBP, this one from the Pyrenees, both Spanish and French sides enjoying some of the best rivers we know in the Pyrenees.
Water was high in Sort for a few days, which meant the hole turned to a super nice wave. Eddy access and within a couple minutes form our place, those days in the year are just great!
Here's an edit from a day in Sort, just go out and go boating! Too bad the wave is always there a few days a year if any.
'Just another day' principal cinematography by Aleix Salvat
Around mid June I left with the rest of the Team to the European Championship in Lienz, Austria once again… Unfortunately low snow pack in that precise Austrian valley meant no water, at all. Waiting for the release, low water levels… Definitely I didn't enjoy my time and my mind wasn't there. Competition results weren't any good neither, 8th place 40 points off the finals. Same result as 2010 which didn't make me any happy and pretty upset with myself and the whole thing. Definitely it's hard to match the excitement and joy you get when you run a sick river with your friends comparing it to a whole day for a 45 seconds run...
Time to turn next page, right after Europeans I flew out to Oslo to spend the summer in Norway. I had an amazing time boating some of the best rivers in my life in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. An awesome summer I really want to repeat sometime soon! Spending the summer in the most expensive country in Europe and trying to stay cheap is hard, but fun too. You only focus on kayaking, nothing else. You live simply, driving from river to river and camping in some of the best spots in the world. To me this is true kayaking, boating everyday, sometimes a couple different rivers a day and living like a nomad, no commodities, just simple.
As it couldn't be different, I made a huge mistake deciding to run a waterfall. I hit the line tucked, but as soon as I entered the water I felt a huge hit. I had just piton off a 20ish meters waterfall onto a rock. The impact was like anything I've ever felt. I was okish but my right ankle wasn't. After some tests they said it'd be ok, however it still hurts today after four months after the crash.
Here's SBP's third episode from Norway! Teamed up with the Substantial boys to run the best rivers we found.
After a couple days at home I went to an event organized by my kayak club in Salt, Catalonia. They've recently build a white water park with a couple nice spots and slalom gates. The works turned out great and now they have an amazing place super close to the city where they can paddle. It's hard to believe I started there, cause however the place is the same the river just looks so much better. The event was really nice with a BoaterX and a Freestyle contest, a Kayak Film Festival at night and some river running on Sunday on a section it runs a day a year! Really good times with my family and friends
Here's a video of the event my brother edited! And click here for some pics and more info about it!
Right after Norway it was the Adidas Sick-Line race in Oetz, Austria, the Extreme Kayak World Championship. I had been paddling a bunch in Norway and felt good in my boat, but I hadn't done any race and my ankle injury didn't allow me to train as needed for a race like this and was giving me a hard time to walk around.
After a few training days, definitely not enough though, it was race day. Qualifiers went ok for me, qualifying 14th after some major mistakes on both my runs. Was fired up for the finals but never managed to feel fast and clean on the top section, there was always something messed up. Saturday didn't go too well and didn't make finals. I definitely learned some that week, looking forward to keep improving and learning and do better some day. Props to Sam Sutton for winning his third World Title!
Sick-Line was over, so next was México! I've trued to go to México for the last couple autumns, however late season injuries forced me to stop kayaking and stay home. It finally happened this October, and after a few hours flying and waiting in some other countries on the way I got to Mexico City and rode a bus to Tlapacoyan. Met with a bunch of friends there and paddled some great white water everyday. Both the Alseseca and Jalacingo offer great runs close to town, warm water and surrounded by thick green jungle beauty id everywhere. Really liked México and looking forward to come back sometime soon. If you ever go there, Aventurec is the place to stay! Feeling good in the water and fired up for the next season I was excited to go to Chile, compete at the infamous Grand Prix and then enjoy the country for the rest of the Winter. Unfortunately things don't always go according to plan, so within a week to fly out to Chile I badly injured my ribs after landing poorly from a drop. Bruised ribs are one of the things I hate the most, they take forever to heal and won't let you do anything. After more than a month and half of rest pain is still there, getting better but still not able to kayak and move around without having to care for my ribs all the time.
I hope I can start a new season soon and looking forward to all the boating there's to do here in Chile, I was here in 2006/2007 and I had the best winter of my life, 18 and new to creeking I learned a lot from that trip and met a lot of people that taught me and still do to become a better person and a better paddler. Time to recover fully and move forward, this is been too long!
Thank you everyone who's been part of this season and is helped me out in any way.