In the Spotlight: Bren Orton

More people, more paddling, more often.

In the Spotlight: Bren Orton

We are absolutely stoked that this week’s spotlight paddler is British white water afficionado and infectionusly enthusiastic Bren Orton. Bren has been all around the world doing what he loves and spends his days kayaking with some of the best paddlers in the sport. Recently, Bren toured the UK, getting on the water with loads of up and coming British rippers, sharing the stoke for the sport that he has dedicated so much of his life to.

Here he is, Bren…

Who are you?

Ginger bloke from Warrington that likes kayaking a lot, my name’s Bren Orton.

Why do you paddle?

Fell in love with the sport aged 9, been hooked ever since.

What have you got going on in paddling at the moment?

Currently in Indonesia for a film / exploration trip with my crew, Send.

Where did you learn to paddle?

Mainly on the river Dee in Llangollen in the early days, I moved to Nottingham to focus on Freestyle and the Demshtiz crew took me under their wing and taught me how to charge hard whitewater in the USA for three summers in a row.

Photo by Adrian Mattern

Who is your paddling hero?

Arghh so many, Dave Fusilli, The Seiler bro’s, Dave Manby, Andy Jackson, Matt Tidy, Rush Sturges,  Ben Marr, Scott Lindgren, Eric Jackson, Clay Wright, Dane Jackson, Evan Garcia, The safety kayakers on the Nile, the list goes on and on.

If you could be a part of any moment in paddling history, what would it be (ignore your paddling level, just go for it!)?

Honestly I feel so lucky to be around in the time that I am. Kayak design and manufacturing processes keep getting better and the skill level and the amount of people charging at the moment is incredible. Excited to see where the sport goes, especially as the freeride movement in river running kayaks continues to get pushed.

If you could paddle with anyone at all, who would it be (not necessarily a paddler)?

I would be stoked to take a bunch of the people I look up to in other sports out on the water. My number one pick of the top of my head would be Casey Neistat.

What is your favourite place you have ever paddled?

Zambia, warm water, easy logistics, huge rapids and great people. Hard to beat.

Anywhere you’ve not paddled that you’d like to?

Antartica, Russia and to finally be in the UK when levels are good.

Your latest type 2 fun adventure? (Type two fun being retrospective fun, not necessarily fun at the time!)

Mmm type 2 fun hasn’t been that abundant for the last little while, been getting lucky with logistics but I am going to take part in the Bike2Boat challenge organised by Olaf Obsommer and Jens Klatt. We are going to bike throughout Tirol from one river to the next, while towing our kayaks on a push bike. I think it will be deeply unpleasant at times 😛

Photo by Martin Vollen

Your most embellished paddling pub tale/complete lie?

Meh, I don’t feel like I have to make shit up.

Your favorite swim (must be you in the water)?

I swam during big wave season in Quebec a few years ago and myself and my kayak were getting destroyed by the whirpools at the bottom of the rapid. I could see my friends coming for me and just started shouting / spluttering “Boawat, gerrrt the boaaaaaat”, in between getting sucked down by the whirlpools. I watched Paul Palmer make eye contact, somehow understand what I was saying, shake his head and turn away from me to go get my kayak. Which I was stoked about because the kayak was a brand new carbon Fibre Pyranha Jed, with a custom big wave build and custom graphics and it was heading straight for the rocks.

Do you have a favourite inflatable?

Killer whale pool toy.

If you could be any animal, what would it be?

A panda dolphin. AKA an orca. AKA Killer Whale.

Write us a joke, we’ve provided a punchline! – “And that’s how I got stuck in a hole”

My name is Adrian Mattern, I am a beater … “And that’s how I got stuck in a hole”(Sorry mate, had to).

Quick fire would you rather…       

Starter or desert?

Desert – fat kid at heart.

Dogs or cats?


Be attacked by twelve duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?

One sized duck horse, bring it the fuck on Daffy.

Have two sets of knees or change gender every time you sneeze?

Two sets of knees.

Breathe underwater or see in the dark?

Breath underwater.

Speedos or Shorts?

Shorts (made by Dewerstone) #coughSponsorPlugcough

Tea or Coffee?


Lose your paddle, lose your boat?


Anything else before you go?

Hope everyone has a sick year,

Catch you on the water,


Photo by Dane Jackson

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