Dane Jackson has earned a worldwide reputation as one of the best freestyle kayakers in the sport — but what is freestyle kayaking? It's not a leisurely paddle down a lazy river, nor is it a thrilling descent through ripping whitewater. Rather, it's about doing tricks on a rolling wave, using skills accumulated over years of kayaking to flip and spin maneuvers like nose blunts, McNastys and air screws at will. Now what does THAT mean? Watch the video above to find out.
The first thing that's apparent? None of these moves are easy, and all of them require lots of practice, a keen sense for what the river's doing, good timing and, of course, years of experience.
Thankfully, Jackson's got all these in spades — after all, the boat he's paddling bears his name. His father Eric, one of freestyle kayaking's pioneer paddlers, started the company back in 2003 in Sparta, Tennessee. So when we say Dane grew up on a kayak, we mean it.
Just how good is he? We'll see at the Kayak Freestyle World Championships on the Ottawa River in late October.