Pyranha Logo
facebook twitter vimeo




Jenny Kilbride – Introduction

This is my first post on the Pyranha blog since joining Team Pyranha.

me and sue .

I’m very happy to be here.

I thought I should write this post by way of an introduction.

I’m 34 years old. I live just outside Dublin in Ireland. I started kayaking at university when I was 19 years old. I have many passions and interests in life. My passion for kayaking has been consistently strong. This is somewhat unusual for me because of my very limited attention span and my inability to sit still for more than 10 minutes at a time.

I’m not the world’s best kayaker nor do I aspire to be. I do my best.  I won accolades at my university kayaking club for the record number of swims I had on rivers. It took me a while to get the hang of it.

I have days on the river where I feel like I am flying and every stroke seems to go in the right place and I have days on the river where I feel unbalanced and all over the place. Just like everybody else.

I think that in order to be a better kayaker, I need to practice more. Just like everybody else.

I enjoy kayaking. I enjoy kayaking so much that I teach kayaking for a living. I enjoy kayaking so much that I have made considerable sacrifices to keep doing it and to keep teaching it. Or maybe a better way to put it is that I enjoy being in the water in a kayak. Twisting and turning and weaving. I enjoy sharing that experience with other people. It makes me smile when things I’ve seen flash in my mind’s eye. Journeys I’ve been on. People I‘ve met. The colours of things I’ve seen.

My involvement in the sport of kayaking helps me to realise my potential across a variety of spheres. It stimulates me, keeps me motivated and excited and allows me to experience and interpret the world with fewer filters. In a more innate and natural way.  I believe that your involvement in the sport of kayaking does the same thing for you. That’s what we all have in common. Regardless of our level of ability.

I think that the best thing any of us can be is ourselves. I think we should aspire to be happy with ourselves as we are irrespective of what other people are doing. Not that we shouldn’t aim to improve with practice and hard work or to be inspired by others, just that we should also be accepting of where we are now. So if you love to paddle flat majestic stretches of water on sunny mornings or you love to paddle challenging class five runs with skill and determination then that’s what you should do. Maybe that will change. Maybe it won’t. Be happy with that. There’s a place for all of us.

If you’re looking for lots of pictures of someone stylishly paddling down hundreds of rivers, you won’t find them here. If you’re interested in pictures of nature and scenery and characters and someone sometimes paddling down rivers with style, and sometimes falling on her head, then you have come to the right place!

I’ll share with you some stories of what it’s like for me to teach kayaking for a living and what I learn from other people along the way. Mostly it’s great fun and sometimes it’s hard work. For me it’s a question of self-realisation. Getting paid a small amount to be myself is much easier than getting paid a big amount to be someone else.

I’m also hoping to share some stories of my kayaking trips. I’m heading kayaking in Indonesia shortly with 4 amazing girls. Of course I will be paddling my Burn. Hopefully we will have some great stories to share.

Lastly, big thanks to everyone at Pyranha for welcoming me to the team.

me and the girls costa rica.

The pic above is a pic from my winter trip to Costa Rica last year where I had the privilege to meet these American kayakers who welcomed me, looked after me, taught me a whole new language (which I have since named Americo-Kayaka) and shared their rice with me, as only kayakers can. Thanks Gringos