Gerd Serrasolses - Interview
Hi Gerd. To break the ice, tell our readers where you are coming from.
Hi my name is Gerd Serrasolses, I was born in Barcelona 10/09/1988 and raised in Girona and Sort (Pyrenees) Catalonia, Spain.
How did you get to the kayaking?
I joined the local Kayak Club, the Salt-Ter and quickly got hooked. I quit water polo and whatever other sport I was doing and only focused on kayaking. It all started slowly in Girona but when I was 16 I moved by myself to Sort to finish school, kayak and work as a river guide.
What is the most rewarded moment for you as a kayaker, dropping massive waterfall, nailing a trick or just having a good time?
All of the above! Sticking your line on a big drop or tricky rapid is an amazing feeling, everything slows down and you can feel you are in control... doesn’t happen too often though! Having the times of your life with all your friends on a multiday expedition paddling amazing white water through deep canyons on some of the most beautiful places on Earth is really hard to beat. There’s so much diversity in kayaking and this is what makes it so good for me, love it all!
You became the AWP World Series Champion in 2013. How's your life changed after the title?
My life is just the same I just have some more pressure to do good this racing season! The AWP is still really underground and however we are trying to make it bigger we still have a long way to go! Anyway stoked with the AWP series and we’ll see what this year brings.
What do you when you are not in the water? Do you do any other extreme sports?
I like lots of other sports, but luckily I’ve been able to be in the water a lot for the past few months so there’s no time for anything else. I enjoy climbing, skiing, biking and just learned a bit of surfing! Now I want to learn to kite and windsurf! The list is endless with so much fun stuff available to us nowadays.
Do you have any ritual before a competition?
I try to relax myself and focus but it’s not easy! I’m still trying to figure out what works for me and what not. Your brain is super important on any competition and mine doesn’t always want to work to my favor!
Most athletes do not cope well with a long-term recovery injuries. Did you have any nasty one that changed your attitude towards the sport?
I’ve had many injuries including broken ribs x4 times since 2010 plus a broken wrist from biking and some shoulder issues too. Injuries are bad for your body and for your mind
But they say, "what doesn‘t kill you makes you stronger. “
Any injury or time off the water will make your fire burn stronger and whenever it is that you come back you’ll be so fired up and motivated that you’ll make up for the time lost. However, it is really hard to stay positive while being injured and not able to go out paddle and enjoy life with your friends, for me injuries are the toughest times.
What keeps you motivated?
A lot of things; the desire to become better every day, to learn new things, the love for the sport and the community, my brother, my family, all my friends and all the amazing athletes out there that push themselves day after day just because it’s fun and they love it.
Tell our readers about the SB Production Company you and your brother Aniol started up. How are you getting on? What are you working on at the moment? What can we look forward to?
SBP (Serrasolses Bros Productions) is just the two of us trying to produce the best kayaking videos we can from our expeditions and lifestyle on the rivers of the world. We are currently working on our 2013 reel that will premier at the Melt Awards of the NFC III and a bunch of other edits too!
You are a blog writer. We have recently shared one of your stories from the NZ. Which river/location would you recommend our readers to visit there?
While in NZ I lived and worked in Okere Falls, a small village on the banks of the Kaituna, an amazingly beautiful river that flows through amazing canyon walls and thick jungle. Obviously the south island has a lot to offer too. NZ is amazing; beaches, mountains, glaciers, lakes… anywhere you go will be awesome.
What was the best place you have been to so far? And why? Which part of the World would you still like to visit?
I really enjoy living in the North West for a few months a year. I feel White Salmon, WA is the kayaking Mecca and it’s really cool to be there enjoying its great rivers and paddling daily with my best friends, it’s just awesome. I’d like to paddle the Zambezi before it’s dammed, the Indus, go to Nepal and China, return to Chile and NZ… so many places to go, the world is so awesome!
Favorite kayak location at home? When can we meet you there?
I love to paddle in Sort, there are many creeks to choose in the spring and the playspots and slalom course are always fun, it’s a great place to paddle a lot and hang out, beautiful and super cool atmosphere. I haven’t been there often lately, but spring (May-June) is the best time to be in town!
Who do you paddle with most of the time? Who is your influence?
I’ve been paddling a lot with my girlfriend Ali and with my brother Aniol, and of course with all my friends in White Salmon. I try to learn from everyone, there’s always something to improve and I can learn a lot from my friends.
The best event you look forward to in 2014?
Grand Prix was cool but the two events I love the most are the Little White race and the North Fork Championship, the best two races in the world! Those two rivers are very special for me and I love paddling them everyday, I don’t need anything else.
You have recently returned from the Grand Prix. You finished 5th. Did you enjoy it and why didn't we see you on the podium?
The Grand Prix is a really cool experience, it’s hard sometimes but overall it’s a sweet event. Obviously I didn’t perform as I wanted at Grand Prix, as an excuse I lost a bunch of points by getting unfairly disqualified at the BoaterX and performer poorly on one of the freestyle events, the other times I was either top 5 or top 10. Anyway that wasn’t the result I was expecting and I’m a bit disappointed with my racing performances, however the real races are starting now so it’s all good!!
The craziest thing you have ever done? It doesn't have to be necessarily associated with kayaking though:)
I’ve ran a few good crazy drops that I probably wouldn’t ran now even though I’m a way better kayaker than back then, but probably that’s why ;).
Would you like to thank anybody, your relatives, sponsors?
Big shout out to my amazing girlfriend Ali, my bro Aniol, my family and to all my friends all over the world, they are the ones that make kayaking such a cool sport.
Thanks to my sponsors: Adidas, Pyranha, Robson, SBP, Tribe rider and the Salt-ter Club.
It was nice to chatting with you Gerd. Keep it up and we wish you all the best; no injuries, having fun and more titles in the future!
Thank you for the ITW!