Bren Orton, 23, first got to try kayaking when he was 9, on a school trip out of the city and into the countryside. Just this year, he completed a daring descent of Big Banana Falls in Mexico. It is the highest waterfall ever navigated by a British kayaker and the second highest descent in history.
Vávrinec 'Vávra' Hradílek
A three-time world champion, two-time European champion and London 2012 silver medallist, Vávra started with water slalom in 1999. He also competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as well as won a Silver in World Championship 2010.
Kalob grew up on the banks of the Ottawa River, and has been a strong paddler since childhood. When he was 10, he kayaked whitewater for the first time and his world changed forever. By age 13, he’d committed himself to learning freestyle kayaking, and less than a decade later was competing among the world’s best. Some of Kalob’s competitive paddling highlights include winning the Canadian Junior National Championships and representing Canada at the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships, where he finished sixth.
Dane Jackson was around 5 or 6 years old when he first stepped foot in a kayak. Today he is a World Champion professional kayaker sponsored by his family's own kayak producing company Jackson Kayak. The paddling prodigy has been featured in Kayak Session and Rapid Magazine, launched first descents of waterfalls in Mexico and beyond, and has racked up over 80 first-place finishes in freestyle kayaking competitions.
Michael "Mike" Dawson is a New Zealand slalom canoeist who has competed at the international level since 2004. Although he has been New Zealand's best canoe slalomer for more than a decade, the 29-year-old is more internationally renowned for his extreme kayak feats, having won a slew of titles in some of the biggest rapids on the planet, and through his expedition paddling.
Nick is a world class champion kayaker who started paddling back when he was 13. His accomplishments include being the World Freestyle Kayak Champion, first complete descents of the Rio Alseseca, Vera Cruz Mexico, North American Champion 2007, Bronze in World Championships 2007, descent of the Niagara Gorge and Three-time Canadian National Champion.
Born and raised in Stevensville, Montana,Tyler Bradt was first introduced to kayaking at only six years of age. Tyler's skills seemed to be above average as he kayaked class five rapids only six years later at the age of 12. By age 15, he was a kayaking prodigy, receiving national recognition for his abilities. Tyler has appeared in several films. He has gone on kayaking expeditions and holds the record for the highest waterfall kayaked at 189 ft.
Aniol Serrasolses is a kayak adventurer from the Catalonia region of Spain. Serrasolses first started paddling thanks to his brother, Gerd, who one day took him along to his town's club, the Salt-ter. Serrasolses has made a big impact on the kayaking world, with his achievements including completing the first descent of Keyhole Falls, Canada, in 2014 and winning Sickline Austria in 2016.
Gerd Serrasolses, from Catalonia, is the older half of the famous Serrasolses brothers. Gerd started kayaking when he was 13 or so and haven’t stopped since. Some of his accomplishments include being the AWP World Champion 2013, 2nd AWP 2014, 4th Adidas Sick-line 2014,
2nd Little White race 2013, 5th WW Grand Prix, Quebec 2014, 5th Freestyle World Championship 2011 and 7th WW Grand Prix , Quebec 2011.
A native of Buffalo, NY, Nicole was introduced to whitewater while studying at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Since graduation, she has traveled and worked around the world in a relentless pursuit of rivers and mountains. Although she claims the Columbia River Gorge to be home, with an ever-growing list of places to explore and a current job with World Class Kayaking Academy, Nicole is just as likely to be somewhere else—skiing, kayaking, or appreciating the outdoors.
While most paddlers struggle to master just one sport, Nouria Newman combines several of them. She competes in canoe, freestyle and extreme kayaking. In 2013 she won the Ottawa XL and K-1 silver at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, and just a few months later she was crowned extreme kayaking world champion. In 2014, she won team gold at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and team bronze at the European Championships. In 2016 she was runner-up at the Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championships and in 2017 took first place at the GoPro Mountain Games Steep Creek Championships.
Freestyle European Champion, Sickline Queen, Teva Mountain Games Steep Creek Champion, Extreme WW kayaker... Martina Wegman is much more than a pretty face, this lady can easy mix it with the ‘big boys’ of the world of extreme white water kayaking. The outstanding talent that is Martina Wegman – the Dutch Queen of kayaking, has a string of championships from the world of freestyle and river running.
Olaf Obsommer, the ‘Big O’, has spent a lifetime in the boat and is a legend of the sport as an athlete and film producer. He learnt kayaking from his parents, growing up paddling during vacation on the Rhein and the Wupper. He paddled the Kaiserklamm on the Brandenburger at only sixteen years of age.
A few short years ago, Adrian Mattern left school to pursue kayaking full-time, and since then has squeezed in a lot of travel, competitions and waterfall descents. Multiple first descents, youngest on the Stikine back in 2014, youngest and 4th decent on Newen Falls in Chile, successful descent of the 80ft Newen Falls, 1st Place Fuy Festival Freestyle, 1st Place Palguin Race Slalom - these are a few of his accomplishments.
Genevieve Royer is a young up-and-coming kayaker hailing from Montreal, Canada. Her motto “In love with every outdoor sport, especially Whitewater Kayaking!” describes her on her Instagram feed. Genevieve Royer tied with Erin Savage for 2017 Queen of New York. She was the second-place finisher among a large field of women in the 2017 Quebec Extreme Whitewater Series.
Ashu Rawat is a whitewater kayaker from our own Rishikesh, Uttarkhand, India. Ashu is a recurring face in the Ganga Kayak Festival and is among the top paddlers of India.
15-year-old Manish Rawat was the youngest participating kayaker to participate in the Ganga Kayak Festival in 2017. He won the top spot at the Mass Boater Cross event.
Rishi Rana has been kayaking the upper reaches of Ganga for over half a decade now. Having developed his Kayaking skills on his home turf in Rishikesh, as well as through Kayaking competitions, Rishi has over 15 medals to his credit and won the title of best Indian paddler male at the Ganga Kayak Festival 2016 and 2018.
Amit Magar is a white water kayaker from Nepal. He was nominated as the best upcoming paddler at Ganga Kayak Festival 2018.