I guess you are normally supposed to do this before the year actually ends but I was busy traveling in southern Chile so I didn't have time then. Here it is anyway!
2014 was a great year, super fun and almost 100% injury free with lots of kayaking on my favorite destinations! So stoked to be living this life right now, focusing on traveling, kayaking and trying to enjoy life to the fullest!
I spent the winter in Okere Falls, New Zealand where I did lots of paddling on the Kaituna, slept in a bed every night and had tons of fun hanging out, learning to surf and taking part on the different kiwi events. Went to the South Island in February but got injured on the Citroen BoaterX and couldn't paddle any of the West Coast classics. I guess I'll just have to go back!
Early March we flew to Vancouver, bought a 22 year old Astro van and started the drive south to the Gorge, WA. Settled down at Todd's trailer and paddled non stop. We had nice weather and great levels on the Little White and White Salmon, it was a great season with lots of boating with amazing friends on my favorite spot in the world. Spring went by really fast and we left to the White Water Grand Prix in Quebec for a couple weeks in May.
We found big waves and lots of ice! It was good times with lots of freestyle and some good boating around Quebec and a 5th place finish with some bad luck and pretty average performances on most of the stages.
After Canada it was time for some races on the NW! First off we went to the Big Fork event in Montana, organized by my friend Jonny Meyers it was a great weekend with 3 different races (downriver, slalom and GS) for the overall. I was so stoked to take first and bring home some cash!
One of my personal most important races of the season was next, the Little White Salmon race! After some good training thisyear I was feeling really good, the 9r prototype was working really well and I was stoked. Race day didn't go too well though, never felt good during the 15 minutes race, had a numb leg and went too hard at the start having nothing left for the end… Not feeling good about my downriver race run I was fired up to do well on the Spirit slalom. Training run was great, race run I go off and miss gate 1! Ahhhh anyways it was a great weekend and finishing second wasn't that bad! Stoked for Evan to take his second title and can't wait for another chance next year!
After Ldub race is Idaho bound! We drove to Banks to paddle the North Fork everyday and get ready for the NFC III. On Thursday we had the Expert Lower 3 race, a 10 minutes race down some class III-IV where its pretty hard to go fast as there are lots of crashing waves and white water. I did my best but had lots of trouble keeping the boat under control and doing many mistakes, at the end I got first with less than a second lead though, it was a tight one! After the premiere in Boise where we showed our new SBP reel 2014 and partied a bit everyone got ready for Saturday at Jakes. I had two decent runs but lost quite a bit of time on gate 2 on both runs and hit a few more rocks than desired. This conservative runs were only good enough for 4th place this year, will have to go faster and take more chances next year for sure!
We paddled the North Fork for another week and then headed up to the Payette River Games just a few miles upstream. I entered the freestyle, boaterX and 8Ball races. Ended up 10th at the freestyle event after a couple training sessions, got 4th at the 8Ball and luckily took the win at the boaterX going home with some more dolla$! So stoked! After the PRG I started the drive back west and then north back to Canada, it's BC time!
Got to Whistler early July, started working at Wedge rafting and padded the Cheak and Callaghan everyday with Ali and friends, pretty good times! Unfortunately the levels weren't as high as I expected but it was a good time! We entered the Cheak time trial and the Callaghan race. I managed to win both events and it was a really nice time.
Time went by fast and the Stikine dropped in earlier than expected so by August 1st I quit and got ready to head north. After a long drive we got to the put in of this magical place ready to go for the first trip of the season. Nice weather, good flow and a sick crew, let's go! We took it easy shooting a bunch and making it the traditional 3 day trip. We did another 3 day trip with great water levels and an awesome one day. It's such an amazing place!
After the Stikine we went to Revelstoke where there wasn't much water but enough for Sutherland and Pinkston. After a couple days we drove back to Whistler to finish off the trip on the Ashlu. A couple great weekends on the box and some days on the Cheak left us all tired and ready to go home.
Landed in Spain mid september, hang out for a week painting my grandmas house and paddling in Sort and left to Sickline. Sickline was great, we had good flows and pretty nice weather overall. I surprised myself and I managed to win the qualification on the lower section and clocked a couple fast times on the top section, however I didn't have a good run on my final and had to content myself with 4th after doing good all weekend… This was my best result yet and a good experience for next edition.
Right after Sick-Line we flew back to BC to finish The Keyhole Red Bull project as we needed Fall lows water flows. Everything went great and I went back home for a few days before flying to Chile for the whole winter.
After some days of traveling troubles I landed in Chile late October and paddled the Maipo just outside of Santiago. We then moved south and paddled around Pucon including a couple trips further south to GolGol area. Mid Novemeber we flew to Mexico for the Rey del Río, an event in Agua Azul that included a BoaterX and a Waterfall comp. After the event we went to Tlapacoyan and paddled on the Alseseca and Jalacingo, two of the best runs in Mexico.
After Mexico we spent some time around Pucón and then traveled south following the water and paddling as many rivers as possible. It's been an awesome time just camping everywhere and paddling all of the good classics that still have some water. It's been really dry and all the snow and rain from the winter is almost gone so the rivers are pretty low right now but there's always water and rivers to paddle, you just have to keep going south.
Overall it's been a great year for me, I've managed to spend all year traveling around the world visiting NZ, the USA, Canada, Chile, México and Argentina and only go home for over 2-3 weeks. I've only had minor injuries and I've paddled a lot, almost everyday and in some amazing places. I've paddled the 9r prototype all spring and I'm now super stoked to have the final version, it's sick. I feel my paddling still improves year after year even though sometimes it's hard to see it and easy to get frustrated. I can only ask for 2015 to be as good as 2014 and I'm sure it will be with plenty of adventures and expeditions ahead.