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Old 12-10-2007   #1
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Sad News - Randy Kennedy

I just heard that one of the OG's Randy Kennedy has passed away. I received an email from my old job where I worked with Randy that he had a heart attack cross country skiing over the weekend. For those who new Randy, he was what this sport was all about. Good times, laid back attitude, exploration, and lots of stories told in that southern twang of his. I've boated with him alot but many others out there have amazing stories about trips with him. I always heard about Randy leading newbies down rivers in his old stomping grounds in Cali. He's say he was getting old was going to take it easy and then just get into bomber mode, ripping down class V like it was nothing.

RIP Randy. I was an honor knowing you.


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Old 12-10-2007   #2
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 272
Randy was THE MAN!!! I feel fortunate as hell to hve known him and paddle with him as much as I did. He had a mind like a steel trap... he would guide us down runs perfectly and remember drops that he hadn't been down in twenty years. He was one of the original bad-asses of this sport. He ran most of what we do now in glass. He was my Class V break-out mentor. On and off the river he was a class act. He always made me feel safe in scary situations. I loved that guy.. I will miss him. Peace Brother!!! -Trevor

"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
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Old 12-10-2007   #3
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Dammit- that's really sad. What a great guy. Whenever I saw him, I would think, "I hope I'm that fit & psyched to fire shit up when I'm his age". I know he had some back problems lately that kept him out of his boat, but I can't believe a heart attack got him. Bruno, let us know about any plans for a memorial service.
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Old 12-10-2007   #4
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Sad news for sure. One of the most laid back easy going guys I knew. Always made you smile and he lived life to the fullest. His drive to always be doing something outdoors was second to none. Can't believe what got him considering his shape, it must have been a fluke. I am going to miss his stories and humor for sure. RIP and enjoy those solo trips in the bc where you are now.
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Old 12-10-2007   #5
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
The great Rando

I've been choked up all day. Randy was a one of kind and this world will be less interesting with out him. He was quarky, classy, gutsy, goofy, and a gentleman. You could pick him out of a crowd any where in the world by his accent and many of us did. From Chile to Nepal, Randy was always ready to jump into an expedition. He lead me down many a gnarly class V run and taught me there was no shame in walking if things just did not seem right. Around the campfire he taught us to toss away your worries about what other people think and just be yourself.
I will remember Randy joking his way through a broken tailbone in Ecuador, walking into a biker bar in dayglow pink tights after backcountry skiing, shouldering boats on the Big South, but most of all I will remember that goofy laugh.
I miss you aready Randy,

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Old 12-10-2007   #6
alexhenes's Avatar
Systems & Process Design, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 196
Yep... Randy was an amazing guy and a great friend.

My first self support kayak trip was with Randy.

Randy, John Mattson and I paddled Devil's Canyon on the Middle Feather in California. It was an honor to get to do such an amazing trip with such an amazing guy.... "The Amazing Rando".

I remember packing our boats... refering to toilet paper Randy said "you can have as much of this as you want now... but once we put in... this here is river money". The guy had a great sense of humor and a fantastic laugh.

Randy had paddled Devil's Canyon once about 20 years prior our trip... so he was elected trip lead. I had always thought of Randy as a relatively conservative boater but on this trip he earned the name "Rowdy Randy". He remembered all of the big drops, where to scout, where to port, etc. The guy new how to have fun and stay safe at the same time. He was the best TL and paddling mentor you could ask for.

John wrote a bit in AW about the Cali trip with Randy (including our Devil's Canyon run). You can read it at

Randy was renaissance man. He paddled, telemarked, biked road and mountain, canyoneered. He loved music and art and he was a master on the dance floor. A few years back I had a party where the ladies lined up to have Randy spin them around the floor. The man squeezed every ounce of fun and reward out of life.

Randy... I am really going to miss you bro... I can't beleive that you are gone.

Here are few pictures of the Amazing Rando living life to the fullest...
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Old 12-10-2007   #7
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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Though I didn't know him well, the few days I paddled with him were among the best I've ever spent on the river.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 12-11-2007   #8
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Edge o' the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 195
Alex and others, nice tribs. Never met the guy and apparently, I'm poorer for it. Sorry to hear the news, and condolences to everyone that he touched.
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Old 12-12-2007   #9
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 109
I just can't believe it.

I knew Randy for years but really got to know him on our Peru trip down the Colca Canyon. There is not much more to say than what others have said: He was a great guy. A great kayaker. A genuinely good person.

Randy, you will be missed.

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Old 12-12-2007   #10
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 109
Alex...thanks for the awesome slideshow link.
Brings back some great memories.

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