I have been involved in paddle sports since a very young age. My father kayaked and went on many rafting trips in the early 80's with friends and family. When I was a young boy, maybe 3 or 4 years old, I learned the power of water when I fell in and was quickly swept down river. A good family friend jumped in and rescued me. This started a lifelong love for the power and the serenity of whitewater.
Soon after I began to surf and bodyboard in Santa Cruz CA where waves generated by winds and lunar cycles created the energy from which to ride the waves. Soon after that I turned to downhill sports while letting gravity run the show. Snowboarding, mountain biking, and rock climbing now became the regular activities.
I moved to the Feather river country in the late 90's where i became involved with the new outdoor recreation program that was started by Rick Stock. Here I honed in on my backcountry skills spending many days backpacking, telemark skiing, snowboarding, fishing, rafting and kayaking. Even before they had stand up paddle boards we were running wind surfing boards down the Feather river thru the rapids. It was here that I went to raft guide school and soon after began to work for the city of Oakland's camp in the sierras where I was the outdoor recreation coordinator.
Photography courtesy of Justin Lehnert.