KOKATAT Ambassador TEAM MEMBER | Whitewater Kayaking

Clay Wright

HOMETOWN: Rock Island, TN

“All the water that will ever be is, right now.” Nat Geo, Oct 1993

Clay Wright grew up in a whitewater family which meant long nights on the road, camp fires, and crazy river adventures were a part of his life from the start. He discovered the family’s summer cabin had some play waves and a 20 foot waterfall just downstream, and his college advisor was a board member for American Whitewater. So in many ways kayaking found Clay as much as he found kayaking. By the end of college Clay was burned out from studying, but on fire from the recent discovery of the Green River Narrows and the growing sport of freestyle kayaking. So he bought a van, drove to California and kayaked his way back east to start work as a video boater in West Virginia that fall. “Getting paid to paddle the Gauley River was a dream come true, but also introduced me to people that followed the dream all over the world,” says Clay. Suddenly law school seemed far less exciting than kayaking in Costa Rica, Chile, and New Zealand… Pretty soon Clay was appearing in kayak videos and competing for USA in freestyle kayaking. He landed a job working for Pyranha Kayaks, then Perception Kayaks, and now is currently working for Jackson Kayaks and coaching. At 48 years old, this was his 8th time competing on the USA Freestyle Kayak Team, and he’s as fired up as ever to find some new rivers to paddle and new rapids to run. Clay’s philosophy of life is that there’s always more fun to be had if you are willing to work hard to find it.