Kalob Grady is a professional kayaker and head kayaking coach at World Class Academy. When he isn’t shaping the next generation of kayakers he travels the world pursuing his own passion for whitewater kayaking trying to become the best that he can be. After he released his 2017/2018 highlight reel in April 2019, we reached out to get some additional information on his past seasons.
1) Where did your paddling take you in 2017/2018?
The past 2 years have bought me to some tremendous places. Highlighted by trips in 2017 to Hawaii, Chile, Uganda and Zambia and in 2018 to Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Uganda, and India. In addition to all the incredible kayaking closer to home throughout North America in the Northwest Territories, BC, Northern Quebec and the Pacific Northwest.
2) Favorite place you paddled in 2017/2018?
Uganda has always been special to me, so with the completion of the Isimba dam coming closer everyday throughout the past few years, I made three separate trips to the mighty White Nile throughout 2017/2018. To make as many memories as possible, to share this magical place with friends and family, and to sadly say goodbye to Nile Special on my final trip in October 2018.
3) Biggest personal accomplishment of 2017/2018
Over the past two years, I have been the Head Coach for World Class Academy, a kayaking focused, travelling high school. I feel my biggest accomplishment in 2017/2018 was maintaining a balance in my commitment to share my passion for kayaking and experiences on the river with the next generation though WCA and in making the most on my breaks from school to push myself and to continue striving to be the best kayaker that I can be.
4) Biggest challenges you faced in 2017/2018
Similar to my biggest accomplishment, I believe my biggest challenge throughout the past few years has been to find the ultimate balance of work and play. Knowing when to put my head down and grind through and when to take full advantage of opportunities that come my way.
5) Boat of choice?
I don’t know if it is still considered ‘new’ but the Jackson Kayak Antix is beyond versatile. As seen in the video, in is the ultimate downriver play tool, but also a weapon for big wave freestyle or running 50ft waterfalls. The 1 boat to rule them all if you will!
6) What did the Nile Special mean to you?
Nile special meant a lot to me to say the least. It was my first international kayaking trip when I was 16. It taught me so a lot about kayaking and freestyle, and about myself and how I can learn from mistakes and why perseverance is important. I met a few of my closest friends there waiting in line, have made more memories there than anywhere else in the World, have shared time there with friends that are no longer with us. It will forever be a place that I remember, it shaped who I am today without a doubt and I cant wait for the day that we ‘dis-assemble’ that stupid mass of concrete and let the Nile flow free once more.