My dad cultivated a deep respect and appreciation in me for wild places and adventure when I was just a boy, where we spent lots of time exploring the mountains and rivers of the world. In 2000 I started paddling whitewater regularly with a core group of like-minded friends. I’ve been a hopeless river-soul ever since, having worn holes through more boats than pairs of shoes in the years since.
I started as a playboater, then discovered the adrenaline-infused realm of creek-boating, but can also be found in canoes, rafts or any other type of boat that best fits the occasion. I’ve trained hard in racing over the years, and have won several races both in my division and outright. I love to travel to new areas to descend unfamiliar rivers and creeks, where teamwork and self-sufficiency are critical. Over the years I’ve paddled in several different countries, and extensively throughout much of the United States, where I’ve most enjoyed the multi-day creeking expeditions of the Rockies and Sierra Nevada, and the verdant, magical gorges of the Northwest and British Columbia. I’ve led numerous first descents throughout the US, particularly in the Southeast, where I truly feel at home.
My love for the Southern Appalachians and my desire to share the wonderful paddling opportunities here has led me to write a comprehensive whitewater guide titled Whitewater of the Southern Appalachians, which I hope will inspire future paddlers to get out there and experience the magic that is in our backyards.
I knew Jeff West for many years until his untimely passing, and always identified in him the purest of passion, not only in his smile but in the way he actually lived his life. Ace still carries that spirit, which essentially distills down to the goal of sharing what we’re passionate about. I’ve joined Ace to do just that, to share my passion for paddling and all it means to me – and to give others the skills, knowledge, resources and inspiration to maximize their happiness through whitewater paddling. I plan on learning as much as my students, so awaken your sense of adventure and let’s grow together!