My name is Calum Peden.
I first sat in a kayak in the summer 2003 when I was 10 and instantly fell in love with it. I would always be trying to get out in a boat on any water I could.
In the summer of 2004 my family and I went to the Dordogne in the south of France. At this stage I was just paddling a small fibre glass kayak that I had got for Christmas.
I got my first plastic boat a few years later, a dagger showdown. It was in this that I started to paddle grade 2/3 rivers in. Living in Oban on the west coast of Scotland there was always rivers that I could run with help from many people I improved steadily for the next few years at some point I got a dagger GT followed by a dagger kingpin which I paddled on everything up to grade 4+ and even a few grade 5’s.
In 2010 I went with my family to Uganda as part of the holiday I managed to fit in 2 days boating on the Nile. The warm water and lack of rocks gave me the confidence to learn to surf big waves and playboat
The last few years before I went to university I regularly paddled and playboated on the big volume tidal race at the falls of Lora occasionally missing days off school to get out. Over these few years I saw some improvement in my playboating though I can hardly call myself a playboater.
In the autumn of 2011 I moved to Aberdeen for university I joined the University Canoe club there and with them the amount of paddling I was doing increased rapidly. Over the course of my first year I ran most of the river around Aberdeen including some of the steep “deeside tribs”. At the end of first year I left on my first big purely boating holiday. A few weeks prior to this I bought a ZET Veloc creek boat. In five weeks in the Alps paddled every day apart from 4. I ran many of the steep technical and exciting rivers out there Including a 66ft waterfall on the Biayasse which I managed to over rotate on and land upside down resulting in me being torn from my boat.
On my return to Scotland I tried to get out as much as possible however as before a lack of people to paddle with made it difficult to paddle all the time. I still managed to get out and run some of the best rivers I have ever run in Scotland including The River Salachan, The Allt Mhuic and The Nevis. Before returning to Aberdeen in September.