Coming from one of the most exotic of the action sports out there, whitewater kayaking photos are a daydreamer’s best outlet. Waterfalls in Mexico, monster waves in Africa, big drops, quirky costumes, exotic world travel, and funny captions put these kayakers as GrindTV’s top five whitewater paddlers to follow on Instagram.
Rush Sturges @rushsturges
Self-description: “I like to kayak and make movies. Facebook.com/TheAdrenalineRush”
Why we like him: Rush Sturges is an all-around whitewater athlete, filmmaker, and musician, and he’s known as much for his behind-the-scene footage as his front-stage paddling performance. Sturges’ knowledge of the field allows him to create whitewater videos with depth and detail few others have been able to match; he won the 2012 X-Dance Best Adventure Film award for “Frontier” and the 2011 X-Dance Best Original Score prize for “Dream Result.”
What to expect: A boatload of year-round Washington whitewater images, mainly the Little White Salmon, currently home to some of the world’s best whitewater paddlers.
David Fusilli @davefusilli
Self-description: “Kayaker at Pyranha, Shred Ready, Immersion Research, Five Ten, Werner Paddles http://www.demshitz.com”
Why we like him: David Fusilli is one of the founding members of Demshitz, which means “those people,” along with brothers Jared and Graham Seiler. Together, they formed the group kayakers know and love in one part because the guys are funny as hell, and in another part because the top paddlers in the United States include anyone and everyone into Demshitz. All three athletes are top-level adventure paddlers, but Fusilli stands out for his loveable personality and beautiful photography skills, which make him perfect for Instagram.
What to expect: Witty bro-brah captions, lots of Washington State rainforest gorge waterfalls, inside jokes.
Dane Jackson @danejacksonkayak
Self-description: “Pro kayaker, Red Bull, Jacksonkayak, GoPro, Sperry, Kokatat”
Why we like him: Child prodigy turned whitewater icon Dane Jackson has etched his name beside his father’s, Olympic paddler Eric Jackson, into the history books as the best all-around whitewater athlete, and he’s barely old enough to drink. He’s clinched all three international extreme Whitewater Grand Prix titles and also placed in every discipline that existed in the International Canoe Federation Freestyle World Championship, held in 2013.
What to expect: Shots and videos of the world’s best whitewater kayaker freestyling, racing, and dropping the biggest waterfalls around the world. (Ignore the Linkin Park concert.)
Pat Keller @patkeller1
Self-description: “Preferably on a river or riding a trail, but I have a mild obsession with the Diesel engine”
Why we like him: Think of the Southeast and the name to come up is Pat Keller. The 29-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina, is known the world over for his distinct paddling technique and aggressive racing style. Most importantly, Keller is most famous for his numerous wins in the highest-celebrated race in all of whitewater: the Green Race. Keller was also named Canoe & Kayak’s Male Paddler of the Year for 2014.
What to expect: Steep Southeastern creeking, diesel engines, and mountain bike rides, all explained with goofy captions and exclamation points.
Nouria Newman @nourianewman
Self-description: “#Whitewater Kayaker / #RedBull Athlete / Student in journalism & political sciences / Extreme Kayaking World Champ / 2013 CanoeSlalom Vice World Champ”
Why we like her: Nouria Newman is half brain, half brawn, and all-class athlete. When the French paddler is not studying journalism and political science at university, she’s off competing at the international level for slalom racing and winning the Whitewater Grand Prix (2012) as well as the Adidas Sickline (2013). While downriver and steep creek-style racing are Newman’s forte, she’ll show off some surprise freestyle tricks when presented with big enough—and by big we mean monstrous—waves on the Ottawa.
What to expect: A look into one of the most intelligent action-sports athletes out there—a dynamic mix of slalom kayaking and epic-huge whitewater photos as well as the lifestyle shots of a political-science major in France. Features English, French, and even some Spanish captions.
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The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak
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