Written by Matt Kenna.
How would you describe Shepperton, Sunbury, Marsh and Hurley all running within a few weeks of each other. A miracle, a midwinter treat or a special summer? I would say a miracle, a VERY special summer.
Between the end of July and now, October, I’ve paddled more than ever! Not only have I paddled a lot this summer but I have paddled with the best group of people I’ve ever met or paddled with. From paddling at Shepperton and having BBQ lunches there with Alan and Piers to paddling Hurley on Four, Three and Two with Westy Jnr and Snr, Alan, Gareth and Graeme over a three week period, I seriously believe I’m one of the luckiest paddlers in the country, hucking hard and meeting new and old friends alike.
I don’t think I’d be the only person to say I think Hurley has to be my favourite weir of them all, I know there are bigger, but I generally reckon that good old Hurleyshire takes some beating. It never fails to amaze me the variety of moves you can throw down and difference in levels we get. When it’s on three gates, I don’t know if you feel the same, but I simply cannot bring myself to leave, there’s always something telling me ‘ohhh one more ride, five more minutes wont hurt, this is amazing’.
What I’m trying to say is, I find that Hurley is a very special place. Yes the wave and holes are special, yes you can go huge and yes you can pull off any move in your wildest dreams. I feel I have achieved most of this and so much more. Two years ago I didn’t know anybody around Hurley; I’d never paddled there, now I have a huge group of friends and companions to paddle with. I paddle there weekly, when I’m lucky, daily. And when I get in the car and drive home, I try to think what makes my day so special; the moves, the levels or the length of the trip? They all contribute, but what I really believe makes the day and generally why we all go back again and again, is the paddlers. I’m not talking about who goes bigger or who has sponsorship deals, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. What I mean is the spirit between the paddlers, the comradery and the shared love we all have for paddling that brings us together and forms our friendship. I believe in part we have Hurley to thank for that. So thank you Hurley weir, you have gifted us with experiences and friends that will last a lifetime, for that we owe you everything.
I would like to thank the weir for providing our stomping ground, Gareth for providing a place for us to organise our meetings, Hurley villagers for putting up with us and you, the paddlers, for everything you say, do and simply being who you are.
Matt Kenna would like to thank:
and Gareth for hosting this article.