River stories echoed off the walls of the house. My parents met as raft guides on one of the more challenging rivers around, the Chattooga. On summer weekends we went to the river as a family, or just my dad and I. There, we would meet up with local legends and I would hear more river stories. My dad took me down my first river at 3 years old, and I hooted and hollered the whole way. At 6 my parents bought me an inflatable “ducky” to learn the strokes. The year I turned 7, I felt the “thump” that a kayak hull makes as it hits the water and breaks through a wave. I was hooked. My parents sent me to instructional camps, got me into slalom racing, helped me get to the freestyle events on tour and trusted those who were going to let me ride along…learn from them. Growing up in the river community you get to meet some amazing people and see some incredible places. Thats what brought me into creeking and the downstream persuit. The mountains of Asheville North Carolina seem fine tuned to be a creek boater’s paradise, making the choice easy. I’ve gotten the chance to travel the world in the quest to hone my competition mind and perfect my river skills, but I’ve also spent much time at home, just playing in the local creeks and streams with carved wooden boats. These taught me much regarding the patterns of water, and how I can place my kayak to have a smooth line. Practicing in small scale and constant focus, then soon I was surrounded with the biggest names of the area, the biggest names in kayaking. I tried to be the sponge. Paying attention to the tiniest motions they would make, asking them about it later. Analyzing every ricochet, every current, and every stroke they would use. All the sudden I’m sitting here typing this bio, still so pumped on every day I get out on the water. Still asking questions and trying to find new moves, and now I’m finding myself in the position of facilitator for people getting into the sport, or up and coming young bucks. Pushing and helping. I feel real good about that.
Height / Weight
5’9″ / 165 lbs.
Stinger – one word to describe the Stinger: Fast. When
I picked up my new race rocket I immediately took it to my local flatwater
training spot where I took some time to feel out the edges and turning. I
was immediately blown away by how quickly the Stinger gets up to top speed,
yet it also can turn ridiculously fast for how long the boat is. This
flatwater drill translated to the rapids very well and I was able to take
the first win that I raced in the stinger with (Great Falls Race 2014).
Stoked on perusing more speed faster times and more race wins piloting this
race rocket. Oh. Also get yourself an ENDER in this thing and you won’t
ever forget it!
Grande: As soon as I pushed off in the Grande I felt right at home. It’s
round hull design and soft edges allows me to smoothly transfer from one
edge to another in even the rockiest of moves, therefore translating to
supreme confidence in being able to make moves in even the most chaotic of
places, and also being able to smoothly ride over waterfalls to a soft
landing below. Stoked to see how far I can push with this boat.
Flying Squirrel: This thing has some serious ‘fun factor’ to it. The way
the bow rocker is shaped, I immediately felt as if I was riding a downhill
bike through berms and over jumps. Hitting a hole, the bow climbs up and over the feature with a sensation like that I get from riding a mtn bike fast into an uphill berm. Looking forward to getting this boat out on larger volume adventures and racing!
Toxaway, Royal Gorge North Fork
American, Linville, Green River, Raven Fork, West Prong, Fantasy Falls,
Valser Rhein, Little White Salmon, Ashlu, Rogers Creek