|Interview: Logan Grayling|
Interview: Logan Grayling
Camore, Alberta Canada
What type of paddling did you start out doing?
I started out river running and then was lucky enough to go to World Class Kayak Academy and started doing more freestyle and more rivers. During that time I got to run my first waterfall, Celestial Falls in Oregon. I got totally hooked on creeking and have been ever since.
How did World Class open up opportunities for you in the paddling community?
It got me out of a bad situation I was in. I was getting in trouble with the cops and the river focused me on the good things in life. I hooked up with Tyler Curtis and have been paddling around the world ever since.
How old are you?
I am 23 years old.
How has your friendship with Tyler allowed you to be involved with the paddling community?
TC has been around for so long… and has setups all over the world… Norway, Chile… He has really helped me out and pushed me to go bigger and bigger and see the little thing in life for what they are.
You go to Norway every summer? Tell me what you do there?
We used to run guided trips with Norway Days, but that fizzled out. I coach the juniors a bit, but we mostly go on paddling missions and find things to huck… Voss is one of my favorite places. So much concentrated whitewater and so many girls. Pretty much all creeking.
You work on the oil rigs in the North? How has that shaped your life?
Every winter I spend anywhere from 4-5 months working up on the rigs. It is a pretty harsh lifestyle. Really cold, you work 12 hours a day with no lunch break, you work 7-7. Pretty rough crowd. It's tough work but it pays well. I work on Rig 11… the rigs move around. We have been based up in Rainbow Lake for the last 4 years on the Alberta Northwest Territories border. We finally moved south just west of Edmonton… it’s kind of a shit hole.
Do those experiences give you a better way to appreciate kayaking?
Oh for sure. I mean, I work for my money. I was never given any handouts. It’s a good feeling to provide for yourself.
When did you decide to go the GP?
I got the call about mid February on the rigs. Pat called and said I was good to go... it was really nice, a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I was working 55 days straight. My motivation was to do well, but also just to have a lot of fun, taking these boys around Quebec and showing them the goods.
The other day we walked into a gas station and you started speaking perfect French. This seemed to surprise a lot of the boys. How did you learn to speak so well?
I was in French immersion at school. Every course I took was taught in French from kindergarten to 9th grade. It definitely helps out here especially, in the Northern region where few people speak English. It is funny; a lot of the boys don’t speak French. I like to sit back and laugh at them. It also helps with the ladies. They love it.
You've got some sweet tattoos. Tell me about them.
Well I have been adding to them since I was 16. They all have different meanings. It is sort of addicting. Once you get one, you want more.
As a life goal in kayaking, what do you hope to accomplish?
I don’t know. I want to get out there and run as many different rivers as I can. I need to get out to the Stikine. I would like to create a name for myself as being an overall paddler. Run some big drops. It feels good to be where I am at.