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Park Jam 2023: Round One

By the Scottish Crew: Rowan Andrew, Taylor Stevenson, Kyle Rodger, and Niamh Shannon

Lee Valley Whitewater Centre

Driving from Glasgow to Lee Valley was a mission, but the crew were super stoked to arrive at the centre as it was all new to us, and we were impressed with the scale and scope of the place.

As it was our first time, we had to sit our competency assessment. We were introduced to George, our assessor, who quickly after the assessment joined us for our first laps on the Olympic course with the Palm and Pyranha Team.

It was a very busy session on the water with rafts and kayakers flooding the course and carnage at every corner. However, that did not stop everyone from laying down some awesome tricks. It added a certain level of adrenaline knowing if you fall off a wave or are not paying attention you would be slammed by a raft.

As always, Bren was smiling and giving out advice on the water as well as teasing future plastic Pyranha has to offer.

📷: Dolly Brown

We had an hour to shred on the Olympic course before we moved on to the well-anticipated Park Jam on the flood-lit Legacy course. There was a lot of hype for this session, and watching everyone make their way onto the water and up the conveyor belt only added to the stoke and excitement.

Everyone sessioned on the top hole, where there were many aerial tricks thrown, before making their way down the course, stopping at all the features for a play. Barra, Vitamin T (Niamh, Taylor, and Rowan), and the rest of the Pyranha Team would sit at the bottom of the course bringing the hype and allowing the participants to use the demo boats on offer.

The Pyranha Firecracker seemed to be a favourite of the night, and everyone was super stoked to see the new 2024 colourways, Rosella Red & Cotinga Blue. To finish off the night, Bren showed off his new, sick edit, and there was a prize-giving for those who shredded on the water that night.

Northampton Active Whitewater Centre

We kicked off the morning with a team paddle at Hurley. As we are Scottish and have primarily paddled in Scotland, this was a spot we had heard a lot about but never paddled, so we were pretty stoked to be able to fit it in this weekend. It did not disappoint.

We sessioned the wave for a couple of hours before receiving a phone call to say that sadly the water quality was too low to paddle at Nene, but even with the paddling being cancelled, there was still a keen group of local paddlers excited to meet up with Bren and catch a sneak peek of his latest edit, so the Pyranha and Palm team headed to the centre to deliver some talks, films, activities, and prizes.

Heidi Walsh started the party by telling us all about her inspiring and eventful trip down the Humla Karnali in Nepal. Joe Rea Dickins followed up with some beautiful surfing shots from our very own Scotland (whoop whoop), documenting the recent monster-sized Tay-bezi which highlights just how great Scotland is when Scotland does what it does best and RAINS.

We followed up with a little “Who can get kitted up the quickest?” competition, and brave young Marcus and Noah went head-to-head for the chance to win some prizes! Finally, to finish off the Park Jam, Bren told us all about the recent adventures and gave the group a preview of his soon-to-be-released shredit.

Cardiff International Whitewater Centre

Cardiff was one of the centres that we were most eager to visit. Although none of us had been before, our friends had, so we had heard quite a bit about it. Still, that didn’t prepare us for just how cool this place was.

Vitamin T does CIWW

The first thing that catches your attention about the centre is just how beautiful it is. The fact that it was based by the water is something that was quite special and made you forget for a bit that you were paddling somewhere artificial.

That thought was soon overtaken, and our lasting impression was one of the people we had met. This Park Jam was a really fun experience for us all and that was down to all the interactions we had with folk.

One memory that demonstrates the love they have for the sport and just how eager they were was a little boy who missed the first half of the event because he was at his friend’s birthday party. When he discovered that he could take part in the second half and had the opportunity to go in the Pyranha Duo with Bren, he jumped at the chance and wasted no time in finding his paddling kit and getting ready. This encouraged a lot of others to do the same.

As soon as one person hopped out of the kayak another person was lined up ready to get in. This stoke to be on the water was carried by everyone right up until the last second when the pumps were switched off and the only option was to get off. Overall, we left inspired by the dedication of the people and the willingness to get in amongst it and try something new. 

It was an absolute pleasure to join Bren, team Palm, and the other Pyranha paddlers on the first leg of the Park Jam, and we’re looking forward to heading back down to Wales to start the second half of the tour on the mighty river Dee, followed by Tees Barrage, and finishing off at our home run, Pinkston Watersports. Find more info on the event pages below, and come join us!


Mile End Mill, Llangollen – 28th of October

Tees Barrage, Stockton-on-Tees – 29th of October

Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow – 30th of October


Parmhole, Dublin – 4th of November

Castleconnell, Limerick – 5th of November

See you there!
The Scots