Photo By Natalie Anderson on the Ottawa River

Werner is happy to announce that we have added Darby Mcadams to our Team!  We had a chance to do a little Q and A with her recently too!

Werner Paddles (WP):  We hear you grew up in Missoula and started boating when you were 14?

Darby Mcadams:  I started paddling when my grandpa, Lynn McAdams, signed me up for a youth kayaking club. I used to go to Brennan's Wave in Missoula every day after school, and then the Gorge on weekends. The Lochsa was my first class 4 run. Got to go back for a dirty thirty last summer while I was home. Such a classic section of whitewater!

Darby en route to 1st place at Bigfork Whitewater Festival by Todd Wells

WP:  Where is your favorite river, or you favorite zone to paddle in?

DM:  Tough question, there are so many good rivers that are unique in their own right. When I was in high school I went to the Futa with WCKA; it really made an impression on me. I would love to go back and explore that zone more. I'd also say that living in the Columbia Gorge is hard to beat when it comes to quality whitewater.

Darby on Spirit Falls of the Little White Salmon in Washington State, by Richard Hamilton

WP:  According to our one of our engineers Ben Kinsella, you won the rodeo at a Chelan Gorge Release on the Entrance Exam Rapids final drop…  Has your freestlye training helped you get dialed with creeking?

DM:  Oh boy, that was a good one. I won't elaborate much, but he's referring to a 45sec hole ride I took when I was 16. It was my first class 5 rapid I think. At the time I was on the US freestyle team with Alec Voorheers, who was at the top of Entrace Exam with me. He could tell I was nervous because we'd just watched 5 or so other people swim out of the bottom hole. All he told me was "If you get stuck remember you have a freestyle background"

Mcadams at Mini Bus Rapid on the Ottawa River by Natalie Anderson

WP:  What is your favorite boat to paddle and style of paddling?

DM:  Gosh, another tough one. I've come to enjoy river running and big wave surfing almost equally. That being said, I really feel at home anytime I'm in a kayak and try to always find joy when I'm on the river.

Darby ripping up Skook by Angus McDonald

WP:  Your making a name for yourself as an instructor, where has that been working out of your?

DM:  I work for Tarkio Kayak Adventures in the summer. It’s an all kayak guiding company started by Brennan Guth and now run by Erica & Land Hefflin; there’s a lot of whitewater history in the Tarkio story, which I love. We do private trips on the Selway, Middle Fork & Main Salmon, and are also hired by First Descents to instruct their kayak programs (my favorite).   So that’s mostly where I teach, however I’ve partnered with the Serassoloses Brothers Co. to put on a Women’s Clinic this January. We are still filling spots, but I’m really looking forward to spending some time on the Futa, which is one of my favorite places. 

Photo by Rush Sturges

WP:  Who do you look up to in whitewater boating?

DM:  I'd say I have to look up to my friends. I'm incredibly lucky to have been brought up in paddling by many amazing people. There is not just one person I look up to but many great kayakers.   Quinton Barnett, Jason Shreder, Anna & Sam Wagner, Rush Sturges, Lynn & Shaun McAdams, Jo Kemper, Nouria Newman, Peter Kettering... Just to name some folks that have paved a way for me. There are so many more...

Darby after running Callaghan Creek in Whistler B.C. by Mariano Ferrer