Junior World Champion, Kenny Rice joins Team Think

on Apr 10 in Downwind, Kenny Rice, Races, Racing, Skis, Surfski, Think, Training, Uncategorized, Uno Max, World Champion by

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We are stoked to announce that the current Junior World Champion, Kenny Rice, has joined Team Think.  Kenny joins older brother, and World Champion, Sean, in our international race team and will be tackling races all over the globe in 2014. He took some time out from his busy schedule to do an interview with me.

 

 

SOR: Kenny, welcome to the Think Kayak family, we’re stoked to have the Junior World Champion join Team Think. 2013 would have seen some major celebrations in the Rice household, how has paddling been since you became world champion?

KR: Thanks so much, looking forward to many good years! Yeah 2013 was a big year for us. My paddling after Worlds has been really great, I went to Canoe Kayak World Champs in September so there was no room for relaxing after Worlds. Training for that was really tough and it really helped my paddling out which I could see at the end of the year with some good overall surfski results.

 

SOR: So first up, why surfski paddling? What has attracted you to the sport?

KR: Well it was Sean who got me into Surfski. When he went on his first trip I really wanted to be part of it so he suggested I go down to our local lifesaving club and go try out the surfskis. I got straight in paddled out and caught a wave, I was hooked.
The other thing that got me was the feeling of constant improvement, every session or hour I spent catching waves or doing out and backs I felt stronger, faster and even more keen to get faster!

 

SOR: With the big bro firing so well, it must be pretty inspiring to see him achieving so much and to see just how good you can be yourself?

KR: Yeah! Seeing him do so well has really motivated me. Training with him helps loads because he really helps me out and it helps me push harder to try get to his level of fitness. I also learn so much about how to race from him.

 

SOR:  You’re part of the famous Orka Paddling group in Cape Town. How has that influenced your training and racing?

KR: Its been really great. Pete has had a really strong squad training there all year round for awhile now. At some sessions last year it would be a struggle to make 2nd bunch the squad was so strong. With everyone being mates it really makes it so much easier to wake up at 5:30AM for training.

 

SOR: Your Think Kayak of choice is the Uno Max. How have you been finding the swap over to this model, and what are your overall impressions of the ski?

KR: It took 1 or 2 downwinds to work the boat out but after that I have gotten use to it really quickly. I thoroughly enjoy the boat and find the sitting position really comfortable and as they say ‘comfort is king’. I really enjoy how it goes downwind and within the first 3 weeks of training I did my PB on a Millers run so I THINK its meant to be!

 

SOR: You’ve been fortunate enough to get a lot of racing done overseas already for such a young guy. Where have you been racing in the past while, and any good stories to share?

KR: Most of my overseas racing has been at Canoe Marathon World Champs. I really enjoy the marathons because its just so fast and you really have to be on top form to place anywhere. But surfski is still where my heart lies. I’ve been to Rome and Copenhagen for Marathons and Porto for surfski. My best trip was definitely the Porto trip, it was the first time Sean had made a National team so I had to show him the ropes ha ha, but it was also the best feeling seeing Sean take off out the front after we turned and I just knew he had won.

 

SOR: 2014 is your first season with Think, what are the plans for this coming year?

KR: Well I just got back from my first trip to King of the Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand. I got a 5th there and myself and Sean head to Eurochallenge at the end of the month. I just want to try race as much as possible this year and try beat some of my paddling ‘heroes’.

 

SOR:  What kind of things do you like to get up to away from paddling and help unwind?

KR: When we not paddling I’m usually with friends at the beach or doing something different. I really enjoy trying to surf on the odd occasion. But just relaxing somewhere up the coast just does it for me!

 

SOR:  Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today, Kenny. Welcome again to Team Think, and best of luck for the 2014 season.

 

 

Keep and eye out for Kenny this season as he promises to build on a hugely successful 2013. You can follow his progress on our Facebook pages at Think Kayak, and Think Kayak HQ.

 

 

 

Stewart O’Regan

Think Kayak Australia

Mob:     0404 236 638
Web:     www.thinkkayak.com.au
Skype:  stewieor