A daredevil Essex angler traded his rods for a pair of skis after his wife splashed out on a ski instructor course as a 50th birthday present.
Dedicated angler Kevin Powell, 50, spends 180 nights of the year by the side of an old gravel pit at Cowlands farm fishery near Braintree.
The self-employed Loughton builder has travelled the world hunting for record-breaking catches, discovering a love of skiing along the away.
But thanks to wife Jennifer, in January he enrolled on a five-week course with the Winter Sports Company at top Canadian snow sports destination, Sun Peaks Resort.
Swapping his waders and fisherman’s friends for ski boots and thermals, Kevin became a Level 1 ski instructor and can now teach wannabe skiers at resorts across the world.
Instead of plundering the depths of Cowlands fishery, where the biggest catches weigh in at 40lbs plus, he spent his days speeding down ski slopes and taking on world-famous slalom runs.
Kevin said: “It was an amazing way to celebrate half a century. I stayed in a top hotel, right on the slopes, and was taught by an elite team of trainers.
“But the course was so much more than that. I made some wonderful friends, skied on some of the steepest mogul runs I’ve ever seen and at the grand age of 50 had the best winter of my life”
Now when he’s not in the builders yard, or dangling his rod in the nearest pond, he can jet off to countries all over the world to work as a ski instructor.
Kevin may even return to British Columbia to try for his level 2 qualification.