Meet the team Mondays:
Every Monday we are going to show case our awesome team members which we support in the paddle sport world.
This week we are introducing team paddler Paul Bramble.
Hi Paul, I guess what we should start with is how did you get into the world of paddle sport and what is your preferred discipline?
I first started paddling when I was 7, introduced through an outdoor pursuits centre in Essex. From then I got into white water paddling, going on regular trips to the French Alps. After initially training as a Chef, I decided to pursue my hobby and started working my way through some paddlesports qualifications.. which has lead me to where I am now. My main disciplines are sea kayaking and surf kayaking, both of which I am an advanced leader and coach.
What is your local paddling venue?
Pembrokeshire – St Davids.
What’s your current boat and paddle of choice and why?
Sea kayak – P&H Aries. Very versatile boat for coaching and playing in tidal races. Easy to handle and manoeuvre in tidal races and surf.
Sea kayak expeditions – P&H Ceatus. Great storage, longer keel line which is designed more for speed so easy to cover a lot of ground, and very comfortable!
Surf Kayak – Ride Zenith. In my opinion one of the most advanced surf kayaks on the market at the moment. Design is based on a wave ski, so responsive and manoeuvrable!
Paddles – (Sea kayaking) Select XTR Full carbon crank. Very comfortable, strong and tough! Whilst being nice and light.
(Sea Kayaking) Select X1 fiberglass straight shaft. Tend to use this for expeditions and longer days. I suffer from tennis elbow so the extra give in the blades helps on longer trips.
(Surf Kayaking) Select W1 Glass Blades straight shaft. Very strong paddle! Having broken lots of paddles in the surf in the past, this one is bomber and I can completely rely on it. Use mainly for surfing.
Have you got any big plans in mind for when this lock down is all over? Any adventures or new skills you want to learn?
Looking forward to getting back to work as soon as we can! I run an activity centre in Pembrokeshire, so we have had to close that down for the time being. Also had some Festivals and events lined up for this year, so looking to rearrange these.
Trips – We are booked to go up to Scotland in September (if this can still go ahead) to explore some of the beautiful Lochs.
Hoping to make my second attempt of circumnavigating Wales, unfortunately had to pull our last year due to horrendous weather, time restrictions and my partner suffered a knee injury.
Surf Kayaking World Championships are being held in Bude October 2021, so lots of training and fitness work for that!
What have you been doing to keep yourself sane during lock down? Any new skills learnt?
I managed to get some part time work at a local food produce factory when the food demand was very high!
Lots of gardening, dog walking, running & cycling… And finally getting around to all those little jobs that have been on a ‘list’ for years!
Where has been the best place you’ve ever paddled?
Very hard to answer. For Surfing – Pantin, Spain. Very fast beach break with a nice easy paddle out through a rip. Amazing to be surfing with dolphins!
Sea kayaking – So many places I would love to go.. but my top place so far is the Isles of Scilly – although we were very unfortunate with the weather when we went (storms and squalls) the islands are stunning, and so much there! Definitely on my list to go back.
Any recommendations for beginners getting into sea kayaking?
Just about getting out there and enjoying it. The coastline along the UK is so varied, endless amounts of exploring to do! But remember the sea is an ever-changing environment, it’s important to have the skills and knowledge to have safe fun and adventures.
There are Sea Kayak Festivals run all over the UK, including our Sea & Surf Kayak Festival here in St David’s Pembrokeshire. These are an amazing opportunity to get out with some great coaches, trial different types of sea kayaks, and explore somewhere you may not have been!
Thanks Paul for answering these questions