My First Year Competing in Freestyle Kayaking

I am Kady Kellogg, I’m 13 and this was my first year freestyle kayaking and my first year competing. I was really scared at the beginning of the year. The first competition I did was in Glenwood Springs, CO. I didn’t really want to compete because there weren’t many girls but it was good for me to get my feet wet because I had to compete against my brothers and other boys the whole year. In Green River, WY, I was planning to compete, but when I surfed the hole I got stuck in it and it made me really scared so I didn’t compete there.

Next we went to Paddle Fest in Buena Vista, CO. This was my favorite competition. I really loved the hole. It was small, not sticky, and I could do my tricks very easily.

Then there was Lyons Outdoor Games. I liked the top feature and the people running the competition were cool and let me and another boy compete there. The bottom hole was really scary for me, but I kept going in it before and after the competition.

FibArk in Salida, CO was the next competition and this is where everything really changed for me. The hole was really retentive, I hit my head and paddle a few times on the bottom and it was hard to paddle out of. My brother even cracked his boat in this hole. I was so scared I didn’t want to compete at all. But everyone around me convinced me to keep getting in the hole and finally I talked myself into competing. And I was so happy I did. After this competition I wasn’t scared of being held in a hole because I knew I had the control and skills to get out of even the most sticky holes. I competed at every other competition in the Point Series and instead of being really scared, I had a lot of fun.

Missoula, MT was also one of my favorites because it was a huge wave. I placed fourth and this is where I tried my first loop in a tiny wave right behind the main feature. My brother Grady gave me a lot of pointers and I was so psyched to actually nail it, even though it wasn’t in the competition.

After that in Cascade, ID, I kept on trying my loop over and over again. I nailed it a lot and even managed to get it scored in the competition, where I placed fourth again. My brother Kenny placed first and won a Jackson Shooting Star!! I even had the courage to go get in the upper hole/wave. It was huge, but I wasn’t even really scared. It was fun to get thrown around and try some of the tricks I knew.

Because my older brothers were competing, I even had the opportunity to go to all three of the World Cups: Rock Island, Pigeon, and Nantahala. On the Pigeon, I nailed a ton more loops, it was a really easy hole. I was so excited to get to compete at Nantahala because there was a cadet competition. This hole also changed the way I think of holes. It was cool that I could surf it as the water level came up. I landed a space godzilla and more loops in this hole.

I can’t wait for next years Point Series. I had tons of fun this summer and all the people that I met, including Sage Donnelly, Lauren Burress, the Jacksons, were so awesome. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging and travelling with my family is the greatest thing ever.

1 Comment

  • Kady,

    Great experiences and a great article!! You are a wonderful author. I helped guide my own children through sports … the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the wonderful wins and the not so wonderful losses. Each event is an experience that provide you with a remarkable domino to share with others and learn from. Next year, go out had hit each hole, do all of the tricks and nail each one of them with the pride and confidence that you are the best. The difference is always in your head … I told my boys and girls “don’t do a mental” meaning use the good pysche not the bad … attack and don’t fold before you even get up to perform. You are the best … believe in yourself and nail it for you.

    Good luck … and my warmest best wishes for your continued success.

    Matthew C. Shuler
    Group Chairman
    Northern Cross Group of Companies
    United States … London … Zurich … Hong Kong … Dubai

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