Canadian Nick Troutman grew up near the Ottawa river in what is know at the White Water region. A move onto the water seemed a natural progression. At age 13 Nick did exactly that. Nick joined the Canadian National Team at the age of 14, won the North American Championships at the age of 18, and won the World Championships at the age of 20.
Part of the Jackson Kayak team Nick spends a great deal of his time travelling the world and paddling. I am therefore very grateful that Nick was able to take a little time out to take part in the Unsponsored 2013 Q&A series.
Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.
Well, my accomplishments are the fact that I am able to kayak pretty much every day, and some cool rivers and such.
When and how did you first start paddling?
I grew up around the river, though I never actually started until I was 13, my best friend Joel Kowalski got me into it.
What is your current location?
Currently I am at Eric Jackson’s house on Dane’s computer. Though my current address is in Rock Island TN, but we only spend about 2-4 months there, the rest of the year is traveling around to different rivers.
What scares you the most?
What scares me the most, hum…. well injuries sure do suck, that and not pushing myself to my full potential.
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?
My biggest hurdle starting was not having enough hours in the day. I was so addicted to kayaking that no matter how much time on the water I always wanted more.
What has kept you in the sport?
The fact that I truly love kayaking is what keeps me in the sport. There is nothing like it. The constant challenge that the river supplies, no matter what you do the river is always changing and making it new.
Who is your biggest source of inspiration within the paddling world (and why)?
My inspiration is always changing. I have had many great mentors along the way. The Jackson family is a great inspiration for sure.
Given the choice where would want to paddle and why?
If I could paddle anywhere in the world, it would be where ever my friends are. When I am with friends, no matter where it is always a great day.
What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment in the world of canoeing/kayaking to date?
I don’t feel that you can pinpoint the biggest accomplishment in kayaking, the highest waterfall, the biggest volume rapid, the most world championship titles, or just the fact that 30 years ago people were running rivers with hand built fiberglass boats, doing first descents with no river knowledge all just in the name of adventure. These are all amazing feats, I couldn’t say which is bigger than the next.
How do you get yourself in “the zone” before a competition run or when running a challenging piece of water?
To get in the zone, I try to think deeply about why I kayak, how much fun it is, and whether the risk is worth the reward. I also try to unbiasedly think whether or not I feel I can still the line. When I am pretty sure I will nail it, then I go for it.
What is your favourite kayak of all time and why?
My favorite kayak of all time… that is another tough one, I like a lot of them. Though I sure do like the 2010 Allstar, but it could just be that it is because I won the worlds in that boat!
What kit are you currently using?
Currently I am in the Adidas Sickline gear.
Many Thanks Nick!