“Winning medals is good; racing is better; loving the sport is best.”
Introduced to kayaking while at school, the sport opened my eyes to a World of competition and exploration. That wonder and excitement is still burning stronger than ever today. Fueled by a passion for all things paddle-sports, I’ve competed through out the World in a wide variety of disciplines and explored from the snow capped Bhutanese Himalayas, to South America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and the Antarctic Peninsula, but will always find my way back home to the intimate beauty of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.
Get out and explore your World. It’s smaller than you think and more incredible than you could ever imagine.
Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine is the definitive guide to outdoor sports, health, and adventure travel in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Distributed every month from Baltimore to Atlanta, BRO has established itself as the nation’s top regional outdoor publication. Each month, BRO features the best destinations for outdoor adventure. Award-winning writers give insight into the issues, trends, music, and gear that permeate the outdoor world while top photographers provide breathtaking local images.
Epic Kayaks designs and manufacturers the world’s leading surfskis, sea kayaks and paddles, and has dominated racing events in those categories for decades. Epic was founded by four times Olympic medalist and four time world champion, Greg Barton, whose paddling techniques and engineering degree created the today’s most dominant racing brand.
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of its dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, Kokatat’s hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel.
It all started on the Nantahala River in 1972, with three friends who knew there was something special about the place, and something magical about the time spent in the river, in the hills and on the trails. In the decades since then, the Nantahala has seen it all: tens of millions of visitors and smiles. Every year since its founding, NOC has strived to share the wonders of the outdoors, and all the places we raft, hike, pedal and paddle.
Founded in 1989, the Nantahala Racing Club (NRC) is a non-profit organization committed to engaging youth and families in whitewater sport. Specializing in the development of slalom, freestyle, and wildwater competition, NRC supports athletes of all ages and ability levels through a variety of training resources and events. The NRC encourages connections with the outdoors, promotes continuous self-improvement and empowers youth participants to expand their horizons. Through the provision of affordable and professional coaching as well as the organization of outings, events and training groups the NRC allows members to maximize their competitive and personal potential.