Valerie Betrand 05/02/2019 | Posted in Family Zone, Internationalisation, Kid's Kayaks, Norway, Playboating, Reviews, Rockstar 4.0, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
2018 has been yet another successful year filled with adventures, travels, new achievements, and lots and lots of time spent on the water! It has been a very active year, with kayaking as our main sport, and kiting, skiing and surfing as other complementary excuses to adventure and travel more. Travels this year brought us to Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and around Norway, mainly. We train as athletes all-year round, including our kids (Noah 8 and Alicia 5), and compete where time and place align. This year, no competitions were organized in freestyle in Norway, but our little family dominated the Norwegian slalom cups and championship; yeh!
Season highlights include: high water seasons in both Norway and France, hitting several of the biggest river waves to be found (Svanfoss and Sarpsborg NOR, Hawaii-sur-Rhone FRA); teaching our kids to progress in whitewater and introducing them to the competitive side of the sport; and experiencing the biggest growth of families on the water to date.
Since our kids were born, we have been increasingly spending time into introducing families to the river life, helping them physically getting there, teaching kids how to safely enjoy the environment and making the daily trips on the river more attractive to both kids and parents by sharing toys and knowledge. Eight years ago, we were pretty much the only parents taking our kids out on the river with us every day on the Ottawa; this summer, we gathered more than fifteen different families on different spots on the river and turned the play spots into full family playgrounds; something that I am especially proud of. I regularly get contacted by families near and far, known or friends of, asking for advice in family travels, going outdoors and getting into kayaking with kids; and please don’t stop!
Plans for the 2019 season include focussing on freestyle and slalom: training and competing nationally and internationally. In freestyle, we are hoping for freestyle to kick off again in Norway; otherwise looking at a few other events in Europe including the ICF World Championships in Spain. In slalom, we are aiming at the Norwegian Cups and Championships, and hope to gather with other teams for training abroad. Other plans for 2019 include upgrading our travelling vehicle to a camper van. As our kids grow older and the amount of gear increases, on top of the fact that we keep on extending the seasons by travelling more and further, we are forced to do something about our house on wheels. A camper van seems to be the logical solution at this point.
Hope to see you on the water!