2009 World Championships Report & Plattling Training

Worlds Training

The third day of official training is almost over and the event is drawing closer and closer. The wave was built just 3 days ago, before the wave came the paddlers including us that had came to Switzerland earlier were training in Bremgarten a fast flushy wave 1.5 hours drive from Thun.

Switzerland so far has been really warm with good weather pretty much all the time since we have arrived with beautiful towns cool views and expensive as f**k food and everything!

Once the wave came in here and paddlers from around the World made Thun the residence for the next two weeks the area has been busy all the time with paddlers training all day and all night as well as stands, seating, banners and a big air ramp all been built and placed over the last 3 days its staring to look ready to start.

People are staying everywhere at various hotels and campsites in the area not all in one place so it doesn’t feel that big yet, but everyone meeting by the wave.

Each day from 7am till 8pm is national trainings with only 3 minutes allocated to each paddler in these sessions so most paddlers are training all through the night as well where even as 4am a queue of 20+ is fighting for time on the wave.

This year the wave is about the same as it was last year for the World Cup so any move is possible but you have to fight hard for it and to stay on the wave you have to react quickly. Every day at some point the wave is disappearing or going too green but organisers working hard to fix this so lets hope it stays in for the event 😉

For me my training is going well but I like most paddlers feel I not have enough time on the wave to work on risky moves. A few days ago I got my new JK Star and is working better than anything I paddled before.

For this event it seems like its going to be a battle between the new Jackson boats and the carbon boats. Jackson brought here new boats here for pretty much everyone who wants to compete in the new Star series so over half the paddlers here are in these boats and quite a few doing very good on the wave. From the other side Wavesport have their Carbon Projects which 7 are being paddled in the event. Also almost all French team and a few others are using the Guigui prods boats and looking very competitive too. So we’ll see who come out on top in the next week.

Competition starts in the 1st of September so a few days of training are left so i’ll keep working hard and try to do the best in my first Worlds.

Katya Kulkova


The dust has had time to settle now after a super exciting event in Thun with some sick action throughout.

The event did a great job of raising the profile of the Sport with well over 1000 people watching a lot of the time right in the centre of Thun. Great work by Simon made sure there was a huge Tv screen on the opposite bank showing live action and instant replays which drew in a lot of people and that combined with the big air ramp event and other contests made the event a great spectacle for anyone in the area. I have never seen so many people watching and being interested in kayaking…sick job Simon Hirter and all the organising team!

It was also great to see at this Worlds that Paulo, Ibrah, Prossi & Timmy from Uganda all got to compete. Was so good to see the Ugandans who kill it all the time out on the Nile getting a chance to strut their stuff in Thun even if the waves are a little smaller here. Timmy Flowers Ugandan hero and friend is currently working in Switzerland and during his competition ride he even managed to nail backflip out of his boat during his run!…Legendary stuff even if the score didn’t quite match the crowds appreciation.

This was Katya’s first worlds and was kayaking very well in our training leading up to Thun and once in Thun she had been training super hard even until 4 or 5 in the morning to try and get extra wave time which was extremely limited due to the amount of competitors. She was getting some sweet rides with Donkey flips, Felixs, Backstab and Air Screws.

Her goal was top 10. In the prelims she got some nice air blunts, roundhouses and clean spins but didn’t get to throw her biggest moves by flushing too early in her runs. Still she scored 240 and placed 8th. A good start especially knowing she had been getting much better in practice.

In the Quarter finals she was pretty nervous and for me watching even more so. During her runs her first was ok with Airblunt and air roundhouse but she flushed on her last two finishing up 17th so we finally went to party…:-)

For me was good to be there seeing friends and a great event but was hard not competing so am making sure next year and years I’m doing our team trials so I can be on the water competing.

After Thun we spent the next day in Interlaken at Timmys and had a sick day canyoning with friends which was actually quite a full on day. Canyoning was much more scary than we thought it would be! The next day we set off to Plattling in Germany.

Plattling Training

We have been based in Plattling ever since so that I can train in holes leading up to GB team trials for the Europeans. The first event of 3 begins on the 3rd of October so pretty soon. It is easy to see who is motivated for next Worlds as Peter and Nina showed up on our 2nd day here 😉

I have been spending the time working on moves i am weaker on like left Tricky Whus and left lunar orbits getting them as strong as my Mc’nasties and Phonics’s and have also been working on runs. Katya is enjoying paddling in a hole again and has been impressing me getting Phonic’s on her first day of trying them and got 10 yesterday…looking good.

Paddling is going well and am feeling strong although I am anxious to get to home in 10 days so I can start paddling in the actual competition feature and making sure my runs work there.

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James Bebbington


About James Bebbington

2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Champion & 2011 ICF World Cup Freestyle Kayak Champion Passionate about Kayaking, Travel, Nature, Dreams, Raw Food & the Beauty of Life. Don't give up on your dreams, listen to your heart!
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