• 2014 Freestyle National Championships

    The 2014 Nationals will return to the Pigeon River for one day of  excitement and fun for freestyle competitors Thursday, August 21, 2014 Our host will once again be the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Their Pigeon River Outpost is located at 3485 Hartford Rd, Hartford, TN 37753. Camping is plentiful, as close as just next door. Participation will once again be easy, as well. There will be no fee to participate and the only requirement for competitors is that they need READ MORE

Emily Jackson’s TEDx Talk

TEDx Talk Still

Great job, USAFK Steering Committee Athlete Representative Emily Jackson for the thoughtful and wise content and performance poise, representing paddlers wonderfully. Thank you! http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2cbee736331aa45e1311e6e8c&id=53b6ec2111&e=3c014b1f5a

Vote for 2015-18 Committee Members and Athlete Rep

2013 US Freestyle Team PFD
It's time to vote for five (5) committee members to join two others who are
also serving four year terms, and one Athlete Representative. Please review
the candidate statements and choose FIVE committee candidates and one Athlete
Representative online:


For your vote to count, you must click on the link below, by midnight (EST),
December 31, 2014.  If a USACK Freestyle person's membership has lapsed, their
online vote will not count. For membership related questions, please contact
Gerald Babao at gerald@usack.org.

We'll ring in the new year with an announcement of the new committee members here,
at www.usack.org and at the USAFK Facebook page.
Thanks for contributing your time to our future!

Call for Nominations – 2015-2018 Freestyle Committee

2015-2018 Freestyle Committee Nominations
The US Freestyle Kayaking Steering Committee seeks candidates to fill
five (5) positions.  Five (5) positions are held by those whose terms
run from 2011 to 2015: the terms for incoming committee members will
be 2015-2018, to insure continuity when current members' terms expire.
Freestyle represents an exciting element in the world of Paddlesports
today, and we hope to welcome individuals with familiarity, energy
and willingness to be an agent for growth and change to help us greet
our bright future!

Please send a brief description of the nominee's background /
qualifications and what s/he believes they would contribute to the
committee and the sport of freestyle paddling to Gerald Babao via
email at gerald@usack.org by Friday, December 12, 2014, 12 PM ET.  

Nominate yourself, a paddling friend who loves freestyle, a paddling
parent who wants to see more opportunity for more kids, or a retired
competitor who wants to give back. Thanks for your consideration and
commitment to this specialty, excellence and the awesome legacy of US
Freestyle that we'd like to continue!

Candidates must be current members of USA Canoe/Kayak. The election
will take place from December 15-22, 2014: current freestyle members
will be emailed instructions to vote via an online poll.

Save the Date: 2015 Team Trials – Glenwood Springs, Colorado

The US Team Trials will be the place USA Freestyle Kayaking determines the  2015 US Team headed for the World Championships on Garburator Wave on the Ottawa River.  and for this we will return to the Glenwood Springs Wave.

Monday and Tuesday, June 8-9, are our best dates for good flows and a lack of conflicts with other events. We know that weekday events are tough for some people to attend, but this is our best time.

Peter Benedict, Director of Kayaking Program at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, has graciously volunteered to be our event organizer in Glenwood Springs, and Stephen Wright is working on the event with him through USAFK. All questions, comments, volunteers should contact Peter or Stephen. Come join us for this great event! Like our Facebook post to keep up with the latest updates.  Surf’s up!


2014 Freestyle Nationals Results

Thank you for competing, attending, supporting and cheering!  2014 World Champions and first-time competitors paddling the feature created and maintained expertly by the NOC Pigeon Outpost staff.  Big thanks to the Head Judge Chris Wing and the volunteer judges, scribes and computational expert Lydia Cardinal; awesome announcers Brendan Orton and Paul Butler; generous NOC Events’ Zuzana Montagne and Pigeon Outpost staff Andrew, John and Joe who provided the meeting space, raft taxi service, and audio equipment; and the many family members and significant others who contributed to a super fun afternoon.

Final standings:

Jordan Poffenberger – 960
Seth Chapelle – 760
Tad Dennis – 660
Hank Hibbert – 250
Jeff Harris – 0

K1 Women, Jr.
Sage Donnelly – 480
Rowan Stuart – 400
Sierra Wainer – 170
Cat Hardman – 40
Catherine Walker – 20

K1 Men, Jr.
Hunter Katich – 1630
Bennett Smith – 1230
Miles Murphy – 580
Kenya Ingram – 510
Devon Wainer – 280

K1 Men
Mike Patterson – 1250
Tommy Yon – 1170
Matt Anger – 1050
Yonton Mehler – 870
Brad Caldwell – 300

Congratulations again to the winners, and thanks to all for your support of USA Freestyle Kayaking!

2014 Freestyle Pan American Games

Join paddlers from our neighboring  countries of the Americas at the site of the 2013 World Freestyle Championships! We expect a dozen countries will be represented, and the only eligibility requirement is that you need to be at least 15 years old and a member in good standing of USA Canoe/Kayak.

Our hosts at the Nantahala Outdoor Center have an event week planned that will be great for learning, meeting fellow Pan Am competitors and having fun!

Date: September 4 – 6, 2014

US Athlete Registration: $50 US

US competitors must be 15 years old or older and members in good standing of USA Canoe/Kayak.  All US paddlers are welcome to participate!  Register through this registration form link  to compete in the 2014 Pan American Championships, and visit the NOC website here for the full event program and schedule. Registration closes at midnight the night of August 24th.





2014 Freestyle National Championships

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The 2014 Nationals will return to the Pigeon River for one day of  excitement and fun for freestyle competitors Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our host will once again be the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Their Pigeon River Outpost is located at 3485 Hartford Rd, Hartford, TN 37753.

Camping is plentiful, as close as just next door.

Participation will once again be easy, as well. There will be no fee to participate and the only requirement for competitors is that they need to be current members of USA Canoe/Kayak. If you”d like to compete in the 2014 Nattionals and  are not sure when the term of your membership ends, contact USA Canoe Kayak, the parent organization of our nation’s nine paddlesports disciplines: USA Canoe/Kayak, 601 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC  28203, 704-348-4330. This link takes you to the page for joining USACK or renewing your membership.

Video from the 2013 Freestyle Nationals on the Pigeon: we’re going back!

2014 US Whitewater Freestyle Kayaking National Championships Schedule
August 21, 2014 

8:00 – 10:00 am

Competitor Meeting – Heat sequence will be announced

Heat lists posted

12:00 –  6:00


We will use the current USAFK Freestyle Moves Descriptions and values for moves are included on this 2014 USAFK Scribe Sheet.  2014 Freestyle Nationals judges will determine the value of Trophy Moves.

Questions?  Email USAFK, or call/text 301-502-6548. Like us on Facebook for updates as the summer rolls on.

2014 Freestyle Event Dates

2014 Events


12-13     Tariffville White Water Triple Crown                http://www.tvilletriplecrown.com/tvilletriplecrown.com/Tariffville_Whitewater_Triple_Crown_JOs.html


16-18     Golden Games – http://www.thegoldengames.com/

22           Judge Certification – Contact Clay Wright clay@jacksonkayak.com or Stephen Wright stephen@jacksonkayak.com

23-26     BV Pro Rodeo – http://ckspaddlefest.com/locations/south-main-river-park-boatramp/bv-pro-am-rodeo/

31           Lyons Outdoor Games – http://lyonsoutdoors.com/


5-8          GoPro Mountain Games                   http://www.vail.com/summer/events/gopro-mountain-games.aspx

12-15     FiBArk – http://www.fibark.com/

20-22     Payette River Games - http://payetterivergames.com/

29           World Cup 1 – Millau,France


1-6          World Cup 2 – Salt, Spain – Juan Jose Roman Mangas, correorfep@rfep.es

7-12       World Cup 3 – Sort, Spain – Juan Jose Roman Mangas, correorfep@rfep.es


21           USA Freestyle Nationals - Pigeon River, Tennessee

23           Pro Am at NOC – http://www.noc.com/noccom/festivals-a-events/world-kayak-pro-am/


4-6          Pan American Games –  http://www.noc.com/noccom/festivals-a-events/2014-pan-am/



2013 US Freestyle Team – Quite a lineup!

2013 US Freestyle Team at end of Team Trials awards ceremony 4-28-2013

The 2013 US Freestyle Kayak team was chosen at the USA Canoe/Kayak Freestyle Team Trials, held in tandem with the annual NOC Shootout at the Nantahala Outdoor Center April 27-28, 2013.

22 individuals will compete in twenty eight competitor spots: the number of paddlers and competitive slots are not same as there are paddlers competing in more than one class and spots are automatically given to 2011 World Champions Lauren Burress Ryan (still competing as a K1 Junior) and Dane Jackson (C1, K1 Jr, and Squirt).

Team members include other veterans Eric Jackson, Clay Wright,  Bryan Kirk, Elaine Campbell, Jeremy Laucks, Adriene Levknecht and Hayley Mills.  Jordan Poffenberger and Seth Chappelle will arrive with plenty of World Championship C boating experience, and the Junior team is going to give the world a run for US gold:  Hunter Katich, Bennett Smith, Alec Voorhees, Rowan Stuart, Kadie Kellogg  will be super exciting to watch. Elaine and Dane will be accompanied in the squirt boating effort by Clay Wright, Chris Singletary, Jeremy Laucks, Risa Shimoda, and Tracy Hines.


Eric Jackson’s qualification marks 25 years of competing as a kayaker for the USA. Dane Jackson’s performance not only qualified in four categories (K-1 Men, C-1, Squirt Men, and OC-1), but he placed first in the K-1 Men’s event.  Risa, Clay, Bryan and others has qualified over a half dozen time US Teams since the last time the Worlds were in the US, on the Ocoee River in 1993, and Clay, Bryan and others have been at the Worlds. Other returnees to the US Freestyle Team are Jeremy Laucks (Gold in OC1 in 2009, Bronze for OC1 and Squirt in 2007), Jason Craig (K1 Jr. Men World Champion in 2011), Adriene Levknecht, Hayley Mills, and Tracy Hines.

National Team members are competing out west before returning to Bryson City and site adjacent to the Nantahala Outdoor Center for the 2013 Freestyle World Championships.

2012 World Cup Success!

Hunter Katich from his Blog 9-17-2012
2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Comes to an End
With a brand new playhole now thoroughly vetted and ready for the 2013 Freestyle World Championships, the 2012 ICF Freestyle World Cup came to an end on Sunday afternoon at the Nantahala Outdoor Center with point differences as slim as the slicy ends of competitors’ kayaks in both men’s and women’s K1.

Peter Csonka (SVK), Dane Jackson (USA) and Jason Craig (USA) battled for pole position repeatedly in the quest for gold. Jackson posted a score of 1316 and moved into first place, only for Csonka, who was seeded last after his victory in the Quarter Final, responded with a result of 1538, possibly the highest-scoring freestyle ride recorded in ICF competition to date. Csonka’s ride was greeted with gasps and cheers from the crowd, who were able to follow the competition more closely than ever before thanks to the introduction of the new digital scoring system debuted at this year’s World Cup series. “The scoring system makes the sport truly accessible to spectators and enthusiasts,” said designer Raymond Brugger of Bryson City, N.C. Craig finished third with 1186 points.

The men’s class, the largest with 57 competitors, was not the only one to amaze the crowd with neck-and-neck rides. In the K1 Women’s final, Nina Csonkova (SVK), Emily Jackson (USA), and Claire O’Hara (USA), consecutively pushed the limit. Then, in her final ride, Ruth Gordon-Ebens (CAN) posted an incredible 495 points, catapulting her temporarily into first place and knocking Csonkova off the podium. Jackson fought back but fell just short with a final score of 430. Claire O’Hara (GBR), however, rose to the challenge and in the final women’s ride of the day posted a score of 633, the highest scoring women’s ride from the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Series. (See results here.)

The young Jackson still walked away as women’s World Cup champion however due to her consistency over the three Cup events. And Csonka’s three consecutive wins also sealed his men’s overall victory. (See full results here.)

Competition went from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day and featured athletes from 17 countries and five continents. Free music and celebration followed the weekend’s events each night in true Nantahala style. Athletes from around the world are expected to return to Western North Carolina next spring and summer to prepare for the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships, the biggest event in canoe freestyle, which take place once every two years.

—Aaron Bible for Paddlinglife.net