By Peter Tranter
The Paddler ezine: http://joom.ag/wQwb/p138
World Freestyle Kayak Champion, expeditioner, film maker and now a dad. An interview with one of the most popular paddlers on the circuit.
My Name is Nick Troutman and I am a kayaker. I started paddling back when I was 13 and after 15 minutes in a boat I was totally hooked. I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel the world with my kayak in tow. Kayaking has shown me a world very few people are able to experience and I have been able to meet some very interesting people along the way. I now have a new son, Tucker, and I can’t way to share this with him.
Firstly, congrats on winning the Hurley Classic 2014 a few weeks ago — why does this event mean so much to you?
I have heard about Hurley and wanted to check it out since I was 15. I have also never been to England before and jumped at the opportunity to come and compete at the 25th anniversary of the Hurley Classic. I also thought that it would be a great warm-up event for the upcoming World Championships on Garb in Canada next summer.
What one memory of England will you take back with you?
Just one memory is hard… though it would probably be some good ol’ English ale and some fish and chips at the Rising Sun pub just down the street from Hurley. I liked the fish and chips so much I had it three times that week!
What is the biggest accomplishment in your career?
Um… That is also a tough one. I guess winning the World Championships was pretty cool.
What would be your ultimate achievement?
Um… Paddling with my son in a World Championships, or on an expedition or something, that would be pretty sweet in my mind.
Apart from freestyle and river running — are there any other areas of paddling you would like to explore?
There are lots of types of kayaking, play boating, competing, racing, creaking, waterfalls, big water, expedition, slalom, sea kayaking, fishing, down river, sprint, flat water , etc. I try to be pretty open minded and try as many types of paddling as possible. Though I would like to do more expeditions. Doing a first descent or big mission is always fun because it brings a team aspect to a solo sport and you have a great sense of accomplishment once you complete it.
When preparing for an expedition to a far away place in challenging conditions — what are the qualities you look for in a fellow kayaker?
There are a couple criteria I like to follow: l Have I paddled with the person before or do I know someone that mind vouch for their skills? l Do I feel safe putting my life in their hands, can I trust this person with my life? l How are their decision making skills? l How safety conscience are they? l Pretty much just make sure that they aren’t going to put me at any risk, and make sure that if it is a big trip, the person isn’t going to drive me crazy. Really just looking for people to work well together and be safe.
Favourite freestyle move?
The Airscrew, it has always been my favourite.
Over the years, which kayaking event has left a lasting impression?
I have been to many amazing events, though one that leaves a lasting impression would be the Whitewater Grand Prix. It is a bit loosely organized but the concept of going to wherever the best features are and the combination of both racing and freestyle has always stuck with me as a really cool concept.
Tell us a bit about your training regime. How does your average session go?
I usually don’t train, and instead focus on just paddling and having fun. Though when training I guess I pick a goal and try to achieve it, where it is focusing on working on a specific trick or trying to nail a full routine ride. Mainly I just have fun and try to smile a lot.
Give a brief rundown of the other sports you do (if any) and how that helps with your paddling?
I pretty much do or at least try almost any sport I can. Running, climbing, biking, etc., just anything to keep me active.
Now that you are a dad, how has this affected your paddling — if at all?
I don’t think it has affected my paddling too much, I have paddled and travelled more this year than ever maybe. Though it does affect how much I get to paddle with Emily. When we want to paddle together we have to find a baby sitter, though luckily grandma is usually up for the challenge.
What river would be on your bucket list?
Grand Canyon of the Stikine.
What are the benefits of being a Jackson Kayak paddler?
Well, we do have some pretty good boats to choose from, though I also feel like Jackson kayak team has a truly team feel. Even here at Hurley, Stephen, Jason, Mathieu and I were all trying to coach each other and help each other do the best they could, even though we were competing against one another.
I’m a paddler and going on holiday, where would you recommend?
The Hairy Lemon on the White Nile has always been a top choice in my mind.
Final shout outs?
Thanks to my sponsors Jackson Kayak, Adidas and GoPro for without them I couldn’t do what I do. As well as a big thanks to my family and everyone who helped my out and supported my along the way.
OK Nick let’s finish with something short and snappy…
If you could paddle with anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be?
Which famous person would you most like to see play you in a film?
Brad Pitt or Will Ferral.
Pick two celebrities to be your parents…
Favourite iPod track?
‘Take my to Church’.
If you won $20 million on the lottery, what would you do with it?
Build a house in Tennessee and on the Ottawa, have an RV, put some money away for my family, and then donate and start a clean water project for people without.
Cats or dogs?
Facebook or Twitter
An ideal night out for you is?
Go get a nice meal, good beer or glass of wine, maybe a movie and spend some alone time with my beautiful wife Emily.
What’s the one luxury item you would take on a desert island?
Muilti-tool knife or axe.
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Depends on how fancy it was, but maybe home-made Lasagna.
Any broken bones?
Knock on wood, not yet, or at least none that I ever went to the doctor for, unless you count a separated shoulder.
If you could be a wild animal – what would it be?
Either a river otter or a tiger.
Fill in the blanks: I am ______?
Thanks Nick for taking the time out of your busy schedule:)