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James "Pringle" Bebbington
Class: Men’s K1 freestyle
Hometown: Glazebury (Warrington)
Living now: Back in Glazebury temporarily :-)
Discipline(s): Freestyle with the very occasional creek, river & expedition style paddling usually combined with filming.
What's your story?
Well I got into paddling after watching Shaun Baker running waterfalls on the TV. I soon got paddling on whitewater and fell in love with Freestyle shortly after seeing paddlers cartwheeling on the Dee. I’ve been competing more than half of my life now. The highlights being a World Champs win back in 2011 and a World Cup in 2010.
I took a break for 3-4 years in 2015 from competing and started again last year (2018) and coming back into it I loved the thrill, getting to push yourself, see and chat with all my friends I’ve made over the years. Really enjoyed the whole experience and miraculously need up in 6th at the Sort Worlds so that was pretty cool!
Overall though I’ve been in love with freestyle since I was 12 and it’s amazing really that I still love it even now. I don’t think I’ll ever lose it - it really is a special feeling mastering the various moves and putting together rides and best of all attempting to get it all to fit in a sequence in 45 seconds - its getting harder and harder as the standard keeps rising and that’s why it’s so much fun.
These days I work as a cameraman and occasionally I get to combine that with paddling. The best opportunity I had was running the Chamkar Chu river first descent in Bhutan last year and filming it as a part of the “Expedition with Steve Backshall” series. Paddled it together with Sal and Daz and was a trip i’ll never forget! Was such an amazing experience for which i’m forever grateful I got to be a part of.
Favourite food: Kale at the moment :-)
Favourite drink: Love a Smoothie!
Favourite music: Not too bothered - prefer an audiobook or a podcast.
Ultimate paddling destination: Uganda, White Nile, Ugly Sisters before the dam.
Motto: Never give up!