Our Whitewater Gang
Aniol is a true explorer, living on the limit and redefining what is possible. The Spaniard spends more time in his kayak than in the sack, building up massive endurance giving him the ability to outrun the bulls and most on the river. Known for his big water prowess, Aniol repped the Gangsta to the top of the podium at the 2016 Sickline Championships after a season of lapping the Stikine. When coffee isn’t enough to get your buzz on, Aniol’s daily Instagram updates will wake you up and fire you up to get on the water.
Based in White Salmon, Washington, Evan “EG” Garcia is our dealer for the USA.
Sven is built for kayaking. Genetically engineered by his parents and the Swiss Government, Sven was kicked out of the cradle into the water. Sven is a powerhouse, styling rapids many thought would never be run. Freestyle diving was also programmed into Sven’s DNA, making portaging rapids just as much fun as running them. If you want to go paddling with Sven, you better be on your game.
A native of Villaret de Nial (a small village in between Val d’Isère and Tignes) Nouria began kayaking at the age of 5 on the calm Isere River. Despite spending several years primarily racing slalom (an Olympic discipline) she continued to kayak freestyle and extreme kayaking alongside her career as a top athlete and her political science studies in Toulouse. After achieving the title of vice world champion in 2013, she struggled to make a comeback after injury in 2015 and decided to press the reset button! She gave up her Olympic dream and the artificial white water stadiums to go back to her first love: the river. Today, at the age of 28, she travels with her kayak in search of not only white water but also human adventures: discovering new cultures, exploring, broadening her mind, sharing and meeting people across the globe.
When you first meet Shumizu he is the quiet and calm guy in the corner. But don’t get fooled the kid is a freaking ninja. When he goes all out he is unstoppable and his kayaking is nothing but calm and quiet. It combines engagement, style and his progression is exponential. Because James only picked up kayaking in recent years ! We told you he was a freaking ninja !
Benny Marr is a lover not a fighter when it comes to kayaking. After a few years in a Canadian canoe with his old man, Benny started kayaking at the age of nine and never looked back. The mostly self-taught paddler has used his style and skills gained from days of freestyle on the Ottawa to become one of the best whitewater paddlers anywhere in the world. Though he jumps around from boat to boat, we’re stoked to know that when the shit gets rowdy, Benny rocks a Waka, claiming the OG is perfect for his size and how he likes to paddle. Though he has been a long-time fan of the Tuna, “I think the OG will give me powers to run what I didn’t think was possible,” says Benny. When not on the water, Benny will be sure to make you a cup of tea and have a chat.
Quirin, is one of those guys that everyone likes. A happy stoked on life dude that you can find dotted around the alps with his boys lapping up a gnarly section of whitewater with his boys or hitting eddies and doing rock spins with his mum on some grade 3 fun boating. He is a soul boater, gnarl runner and kayak instructor all in one. Stoked to have you on the team Quiche.
Czech slalom superstar and movie star Vavra Hradilek may not know how to swim, but it certainly hasn’t slowed him down on the water. Outside the concrete-ditch, the Olympic Silver medalist loves paddling the Waka Gangsta, because “it’s smooth, fast, and responsive.” The solidly-built celebrity has a heart of gold: he will be sure to welcome fellow paddlers warmly at his barge turned bar in his hometown of Prague.
“At the age of 21, Edward, better known as Shredward, has grown into a strong and confident paddler over the last few years and is charging at the top of the game on the West Coast of Canada. Best known for his passionate approach to whitewater, the friendly giant has lived out of a little Subaru on the side of the river since he was 18 and has poured blood, sweat, and tears into his paddling to get to where he is now. When it comes to kayaks, the OG is his vessel of choice, constantly stating he doesn’t know how a boat design could get any better for running the shit.”
I was born in Sort (a little town in the Catalan Pyrenees) in 1993. At the age of 4 my parents introduced me to this wonderful sport, KAYAKING, and I’ve never stop practicing, it comes to be my lifestyle. I have competed in Slalom, Freestyle and Creek but now I’m traveling around the world discovering new rivers, new waterfalls and SHARING the sport I love with the rest of the people and show what we are able to do with kayaks.
We are excited to welcome Evan Moore to Team Waka Kayaks. Evan is a powerhouse paddler out of Kernville, California with a unique style and passion for the sport of kayaking. Born into a whitewater family Evan has been around rivers his whole life. After high school Evan put his paddling on the sidelines to play college Football until he realized his path was to follow the river. Since the day he put down his jersey and picked up his paddle Evan has been on a World wide tear of the biggest and baddest whitewater he can find. Evan carries himself in a very professional and focused manor and is among the top young paddlers in the game. His specialty is pushing the highest water descents of popular class 5 rivers which is a true display of skill and progression in our sport. We are stoked to add such a driven and passionate paddler to our team and look forward to watching his career continue to blow up.
Meeting Bernie amongst the crowd lingering on the shore of the infamous former sickline course or catching him on one of the earliest spring days on his beloved Corsica, you will quickly get a sense that he’s earned his status as Tyrolian white-water guru. Always wearing a big smile when on the water, his love for kayaking is mixed with a great ability to analyse movements, so he’ll be able to give you just the right advice to style that line or do the trick you’ve dreamed of. In fact, he turned his love for teaching into a very successful kayaking business, which offers camps from Norway to Corsica, all along the Alps and even overseas! As a bonus, he can also supply you with all the good stuff to keep you afloat selling kayaks and paddling equipment. But he doesn’t stop there. Always keen to push his limits, he transformed his trusted OG into a C1, running it down the Wellerbrücke after just a few months of practicing as a one armed bandit. Now the shape-shifting capability of the Steeze has him dreaming of a C1/K1 version with a transforming paddle… so that allen key will come in handy for sure!
Mix a solid slalom technical background with the willingness to run hard committing rapids, a little bit of craziness, true love for all sorts of adventures in the mountains, and that’s pretty much Matthias. The guy who started paragliding and headed straight to the highest peak of the Dolomites to launch his first big flight. That’s just to give you an idea because he paddles way harder than he paraglides.
Sam once claimed living on a boat and owning a lemon tree as his life goals. He may not have achieved exactly that, but Sam’s enthusiasm, endless supply of ideas, and willingness to work hard has allowed him to excel at everything he does. To make something better, you have to be willing to do something different. From his paddling to his approach to business and boat design, Sam finds ways to make something his own. His distinctive forward stroke may lull a few slalom paddlers into thinking he will be an easy beat, but it just goes to show there is more than one way to do anything. A four-time Adidas Sickline World Champion, Sam has made a name for himself on the water by being fast, smooth, consistent, and fearless. Never content with being the best, Sam teamed with Kenny Mutton to found Waka kayaks, where he is constantly in search of new ways to make what is already good even better.
© 2018 Waka Kayaks, Okere Falls, New Zealand