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Old 03-19-2008   #21
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
What about the 'Behind the Eight Ball' rafting team for winning something like 7 consecutive national rafting championships and taking 3rd at Worlds in 2005? Mongo (Chris Reeder) and Billy Mattison are both bad ass guides, and Billy is also a world class adventure racer. They can be found at Timberline Tours.

This is a cool link on a similar subject:
Features - Paddlers of the Century

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Old 03-22-2008   #22
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458

What about Walt Kirshbalm (?) you know the guy who the rapid in Gore is named after. Rumor has it he ran it in a fold-a-boat

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Old 03-22-2008   #23
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 207
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What about Tao Berman. That dude is totally unsung. He never gets any press and no one hears anything about him.
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Old 03-22-2008   #24
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
Let's face it most all of the good and great ones don't run stuff for the pics, vids, or fame. They just go out and do it because they love the sport. It's about doing what you've never done before, doing it cleaner than you've done it before, it's about enjoying the river from class I to Class VI. If they are in it for the bragging rights they have alot of growing to do. So there are alot of great ones out there quietly pushing their personal limits and sharing what they've learned with others.
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Old 03-22-2008   #25
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 158
I vote for Larry Vermeeren

I'd like to put in my vote for Larry Vermeeren who is incredilbly bad ass in so many ways, yet has spent his 32-year kayaking career under the rader, so to speak (not getting the recognition he deserves).

Larry was an icon in the Arkansas Valley before most people started kayaking--a guide, paddle maker, local paddler, kayak instructor, and one of the first people to paddle from Granite to Canyon City in 1 day--he was an active part of the community here in Colorado.

More recently (1993) he helped pioneer whitewater kayaking in Ecuador and started Small World Adventures--a company offering week-long kayaking trips in Ecuador. He also built the premier kayaker's lodge in Ecuador right on the banks of the Quijos River.

Through this, he has become an important part of the kayaking community in Ecuador. He offers courses and issues guide licenses to local rafting guides in Ecuador. He offers FREE ACA courses for locals there, donates money to the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute to help conserve the rivers he loves, and donates his time to local events. He is incredibly self LESS with his time if it means helping others to enjoy whitewater.

The most recent showing of his bad assness: he is 54 years old and just paddled 58 days in a row starting Jan. 1st, 2008.

And, as if all this wasn't enough, he was on the cover of the original Colorado kayaking guidebook--it doesn't get any better than that!

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