Adriene Levknecht is one of the most if not the most talented female white water boaters in the world – World Class Kayak Academy graduate, 2012 Canoe & Kayak Female paddler of the year, Teva Steep Creek Champion 2011, multiple times Green Narrows race winner….the list goes on.
I have found that following Adriene’s rise in the kayak world to be be truly inspirational and I am stoked that Adriene agreed to take part in the Unsponsored 2012 Q&A series. Enjoy!
Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.
I was just voted the Female Paddler of the Year by Canoe and Kayak magazine which I am probably the most excited about. I also have won the Green Race 4 years in a row, and I hold the current course record for both short boats and long boats. I also have won the Homestake Race at the Teva Games in Colorado, the Lord of the Fork Race in Kentucky, and the Animal Race on the Gauley in WV. I dabble in Freestyle every once in a while with my first professional win in Buena Vista this year.
When and how did you first start paddling?
I started sea kayaking in Michigan where I grew up. My parents got me into it and then I started whitewater paddling when I was 11. I learned how to paddle at the NOC and then went to World Class Kayak Academy for two years.
What is your current location?
I’m currently living in a house in Saluda NC but my boyfriend and I are moving to Greenville SC for work reasons.
What scares you the most?
Not coming home to the people who love me the most.
What was your biggest hurdle in canoeing/kayaking when you started out – finding people to paddle with, nailing the third end, lack of rivers etc?
I feel like I have been pretty hurdle less. I have always wanted to paddle and I fell into the crew that I paddle with. When I moved to Asheville, NC I was sent into a solid crew. I have had a few good crashes but I feel like I have been really lucky.
What has kept you in the sport?
The support of the people who love me the most, by far. I always want to keep pushing what women can do and I have a lot on my bucket list still.
Who is your biggest source of inspiration within the paddling world (and why)?
Andrew Holcombe is a huge source for me. He is one of my really good friends and he just came off of a pretty bad back injury. He is back paddling just as hard as ever, he is also super fun to watch paddle.
Given the choice where would want to paddle?
Anywhere where I am hard to find. I would love to do an expedition that sends me into nowhere and find new things.
What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment in the world of canoeing/kayaking to date?
I would say it was pretty sweet that I won the Paddler of the Year award. It was a voting award which makes it mean even more to me.
How do you get yourself in “the zone” before a competition run or when running a challenging piece of water?
Visualization has gotten me really far. I always think positively and have a good exit plan!
What is your favourite kayak of all time and why?
My Stinger by far is my favorite kayak ever. It is fast, sleek, gets me places, and of course, it is bright pink and very unique, just like its owner.
What kit are you currently using?
Many Thanks Adriene!