This week we caught up with Team Paddler Eddy ‘Shreddy’ Mead. Based in Cardiff, Eddy is often seen out on the South Wales classics and further afield at European extreme racing events like King of the Alps.
Where are you currently based?
What is your day job?
Manager at Cardiff International White Water
Where did you grow up?
Forest of Dean
When and how did you get into kayaking?
Age 10 on the River Wye. I joined a local canoe club at Symonds Yay rapids.
Favourite kayaking discipline?
Creeking and extreme racing
What boat(s) do you paddle?
Pyranha 9r2, Pyranha Ripper, Pyranha Ozone, Pyranha blade and a Dagger RPM
Where’s your favourite river or place to paddle in the UK and why?
Pont Nedd Fechan is my favourite area in the UK for kayaking. With the river Nedd, Mellte, Pryddin, and Tawe all within 20 minutes from the area, it’s really easy to have an epic multi river day out.
Where’s your favourite river or place to paddle outside the UK and why?
Spillimacheen, British Columbia. My style of river, committed, steep and technical.
Tell us a bit about your favourite kayaking adventure
In 2017 I did a small euro roadtrip around Switzerland and Italy. Had an epic crew, prime levels and squeezed a lot of kayaking in!
What advice would you give to someone new to kayaking?
Join a club to meet peers and get on rivers, but seek professional coaching to improve! Kayaking is a whole lot of muscle memory, the more you do, the better you will be
What advice would you give to someone looking to take the next step and improve their kayaking?
Don’t be afraid to seek professional coaching, I’ve had plenty of tips thrown my way and it’s always best to be open to accepting them and using it. There’s always someone better and more knowledgeable than you!
River Legacy supports grassroots paddling and encourages participation in paddlesport, how important is that to you and what would you like to see River Legacy do over the next couple of years?
I think any support for youths getting into the sport is huge and of massive value to the sport as a whole. There’s plenty of kids out there that could get into kayaking but for what ever reason, their parents aren’t interested or can’t commit the time to take, or it’s just not financially viable for them to partake in it. Supporting this is a broad area, whether it be funding clubs (as you already do) or finding programmes that promote this area
What are your plans for 2021?
My family and I are planning to immigrate. So a lot of focus and resources are going into this. But I would like to attend as many UK events as I can, and any European races I get the opportunity to get to. With how 2020 has gone, I’d be happy just with more time in my kayaks, anywhere!
Any final comments or things you would like to promote?
Check out the Kids Academy, a programme run through CIWW giving young kayakers the opportunity to push themselves with the support of professional coaching and guiding.