Bren Orton, a 26-year-old paddler from Warrington, England, knows how to throw down — especially when it comes to the Wellerbrucke section of Austria’s Oetz River, which you could say he has pretty dialed (note: kids, don’t try this at home).
His recent video compilation is slicey boat trick-and-treat action, featuring sweet river-running freestyle moves in the midst of Class V mank; look for splats, wave wheels, cartwheels and the new school tomahawk.
“I’ve been lucky enough to place well in a couple of competitions but what I am most well known for is going big, being creative and loving every second on the water,” says Orton, who’s sponsored by the likes of Palm, Pyranha, Dewerstone and Strom Sports Nutrition.
As far as his antics on this river, let’s just say he feels pretty comfortable on it.
“I have so many days on this river this year,” he says. “I feel really comfortable and confident on it to try different moves. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone on it and hit some of the tricks that I normally struggle to pull around in the bigger kayaks I normally use on it. This section will always be steep, fast and potentially dangerous; I can only recommend mostly using a bigger kayak on this river.”
Of course, that’s not to say he hasn’t gotten worked on it.
“Oh, most definitely I’ve gotten worked,” he says. “A few times. Thankfully, nothing too bad but I have definitely taken a few rolls, rocks to the elbows and some unintentional surfs out there.”
Seal-launch barrel roll
As for what some are calling the clip’s marquee stunt — a barrel roll seal launch — he says it’s just practice.
“I think with my background in freestyle it was easy for me to understand the movement and to have the air awareness to pull it around,” he says. “But the hardest part by far was committing to it. The rock in the landing was definitely in play and the two practice runs I did to get a feel for it I hit the rock both times. It was a good mental battle to commit to dropping my edge and going upside down in the air over it.”
As for his favorite move? “Airscrew, on a big wave.”
(Filming by Huw Butterworth – https://www.instagram.com/huwbutt/?hl=en – and
Adrian Mattern – https://www.instagram.com/adrianmatte.