"Hi, I'm Ellie. I'm a whitewater enthusiast, currently 16 years old!
Growing up around the rivers in Southern Oregon, water was always incorporated into my life. I joined the swim team at 5 years old and started rafting at 9. Over the past couple of years, I began to take paddling more seriously. I recognized the joy that came from being on the water and desired to push my skills further. I started paddling year-round and took multiple classes with Sierra Rescue, which gave me the confidence to step it up a notch.
Last fall, I began paddling with Rafting Magazine and became a part of their Junior Paddle Team. In February, myself and another teenage girl competed in the South Smith Race, beating out 4 teams of adult guys taking 7th place in the class IV race. This summer, I plan to join Rafting Magazine on a month-long expedition to explore the rivers of the French Alps.
Sawyer Paddles and Oars has always been a part of my rafting experience. I remember coming to the Sawyer Station after an exciting day of whitewater in Gold Hill or joining them for "Wednesdays on The Water" to test out the latest gear. I learned how to row on 9ft square tops and quickly appreciated the advantages of a well-built oar. As a competitive swimmer and a petite female boater, I look to protect my joints and muscles from excessive wear. I love the lightweight options of Paddles and Oars, which have a fast response but can still handle the big water and rocky creek runs.
I am so looking forward to the many adventures ahead. Whether rowing a new river or paddling with a new crew, I am excited to broaden my horizons. I hope my story inspires others who want to become part of this amazing river community.