Home: Richmond, Virginia
Childhood home: Chester, Virginia
Profession: Boatbuilder/Business Owner
Weight: 180 lbs
Philosophy of Life: Just show up everyday and put 100% into everything you do. Live without regret, or apologies and lead by example.
The water has been a constant theme throughout my life. I grew up sailing and from a young age I was a competitive sailor in both one design and offshore racing. As I grew older the, allure of the water grew stronger. I discovered kayaking and found that it appealed to the independent side of my personality. I’ve always had a rebellious streak and sea kayaking keeps it in check. There is something ’bout the ever-changing nature of the ocean that draws upon my core like nothing else.
I was introduced to “ocean whitewater” about ten years ago. I was hooked! Started to seek out training and became an Instructor to share my passion. It was during this time, that adversity started to shape the course of my development as a paddler and person. I got humbled several times to the point I was considering doing something different. Instead I stuck with it, strengthening my body and mind to become the paddler I am today. Teaching in dynamic conditions is extremely rewarding. My instruction focus is developing paddling skills and fundamentals to better handle the conditions instinctively.
Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.
Started kayaking about 20 years ago on a trip to Maine. I had previously road raced motorcycles and wanted to get back out on the water, which Had always been a part of my life. A trip to Jamestown RI was my introduction to true open water kayaking. It is a trip that changed everything. I sought out skills training and ultimately became an Instructor.
Nick Schade. He is a great paddler and all-around solid guy. One of the most well-respected kayak designers on the planet. His designs have been built by amateur boat builders all over the world. We became friends early in my boat building and paddling career. He is the person that introduced me to rough water sea kayaking and it changed the direction of my life. Years later he is a mentor in business and my shop produces kayaks that he designed.
Of course, kayaking. Camping, hiking, yoga and staying physically fit.
Jobs other than Kayaker:
I am the owner and founder of Turning Point Boatworks.
Calmness in the chaos. Patience in the fray was a learned skill that I took many lumps to acquire. Observing and timing are crucial to longevity in conditions.
Knowing when enough is enough. “If only I can get one more ride”, it is the constant quest to improve.
A good medium rare Rib Eye
Team Lendal, Team Turning Point
Paddling the narrow cut between Big and Little Talbot Isands in North Florida. It’s only passable at high tide on a full moon and twists and turns through the salt marsh. It’s a test of boat handling skills and ends with a surf session.
My L4 Instructor Certification (first time). I was not prepared physically or mentally. The conditions were big all weekend and it resulted in a three day beat down that had me re-evaluating my kayaking career.
Favorite people to paddle with:
My wife. When we are paddling together it is for the pure joy of paddling.
Scariest kayak moment:
Trying unsuccessfully to race a surprise thunderstorm home on an early morning paddle. Lightning was popping everywhere and there were no take out spots.
Your Dream trip / Big plans for the next 6 months/year:
To start with a road trip across the West Coast. Stops in Mendicino, Deception Pass and ultimately Skookumchuck Narrows to ride the infamous Green Wave.