World Kayak is something that almost everyone is aware of today, due to the expansive network of amazing ambassadors, the Hometown Throwdowns, and www.worldkayak.com. We are producing nearly 200 events each year, thanks to the efforts of Colin Kemp, James McBeath, and our ambassadors around the globe. However the beginning of World Kayak was a little different. I took the top down approach initially, versus our current grass roots approach. In the beginning, I had two main agendas; first to create a new, more progressive instructional program for kayak schools as an alternative to the ACA, which was still using 70’s techniques and, I felt, needed upgraded. The second was to bring professional kayaking to the next level through sponsored, prize money extreme racing. I organized this event, the “Pre-World Extreme Kayak Championships” in 1996 with cash prizes down to 10th place. (literally cash given in bank bags, at a seedy bar in DC (at night) in $1 bills. First place was $2,000 in $1 bills and was a big bag of cash! Many of the kayakers were scared to walk out of the bar to their cars after the party, live bands, and awards ceremony. This video was filmed and edited by Pat Anderson and Thierry Humeau as a promo video for my race series. We did the World Championships the following year, but I moved into an RV and changed focus and didn’t continue with the Extreme Kayak Racing series. Maybe World Kayak will add the top tier events to its roster in the future and produce some new stuff… Meanwhile- watch this!