Stop. Hammer Time

By Bill Anderson

Answering the call to adventure with hammer in hand, embracing the thrill of exploration.

Friday (13th) saw the first ever Slope Jam on the Fournel River, France. The section paddled consists of four artificial weirs ranging in height from 1m to 3m and due to recent rainfall and high levels of snow melt the section was quite high meaning some of the stoppers at the base of the falls were quite tricking to escape.

Competition entrants came from universities all over the UK as well as some other expert kayakers. The event was split in two with half the paddlers tackling the bottom two falls and the other half taking the top two switching at half time.

There were some awesome moves thrown down. Hammers both ways (a cartwheel of the top of the waterfall), reverse hammers, kickflips and the obligatory boof with a cheesey grab! As well as entertaining the crowds with moves, they were also treated to some excellent beatdown with some very good paddlers being caught out and taking swims.

After the heats the top 5 paddlers progressed to the finals where all were given two rides to prove themselves with the winner being the person to get the biggest cheers from the crowd. Noteable moves went to Tim Trew throwing a hammer in the Dagger Green Machine and Jon Davies’ kickflip with no deck leading to a lot of down time! At the end of the day all it was too tight to chose between all the finalist so all were awarded fist prize of SlopeJam honey.

Big thanks must go to Tom Laws for organising such an awesome event.

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