Derek Race 2017-02-24T17:53:36+00:00

Project Description

Derek Race

Owner & Guide

How Long have you Been on the River?

Since the day I was born I have been traveling the river of life. This journey has taken me up and over down and under and around both sides. But seriously my earliest memory of whitewater was a canoeing trip with my father when I was quite young. In true country fashion (sorry dad) my father tipped me out of the canoe for my first “swimming lesson.” After that every year of my life included float trips on Big Piney Creek in Arkansas, and other creeks of the Ozarks. Canoeing was my first real connection with paddle sports and the grace and pace is what really grabbed me and kept me coming back. My paddle style is still very much based off these early experiences.

I came to the White Salmon River in Washington state in early spring of 2011. After hearing many stories of this beautiful place I had to come see for myself. After my first trip on the White Salmon I knew I wanted to call it my home. I spent the next three seasons guiding for All Adventures Rafting and getting to know the amazing communities, both on and off the river. And now my dream has come true and I am home to stay.

How did you get into raft guiding?

After graduating high school and a short stint in college, I found myself back at home in Arkansas wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life. This is when I met Heather K. Both feeling a little lost we received some advice on a different path we could take, which led us to pack up and move to North Carolina in the summer of 2005 to guide on the French Broad River. After our first season of guiding I knew I had found my calling. Every summer since then I have returned to the river to share an old love with as many people as possible.

Do you have any Hobbies & Interests you would like to share?

Living, loving, and rafting. My biggest interest currently is how to make paddle sports accessible to more people. I also like playing dominoes, puzzles, bird watching, disc golf, and rock climbing.

Why do you Enjoy Rafting & What keeps you Coming Back?

Nothing makes me happier than taking people into a world that they never knew existed. The experiences that you have on the water with first timers or experienced paddlers is a true bonding experience that you can only gain on the water. I come back year after year with the goal of sharing these experiences with people who may not necessarily have, or don’t know they have, the ability to get out on the water.

Any accomplishments, on or off the River?

Taking over ownership of All Adventures Rafting starting in the 2014 season.

Pick one of the company’s core values and explain what it means to you:

Accessibility is the one that really captures me. First off I couldn’t’ do what I do without the people, and I don’t believe it should be limited to only the people who can afford to go rafting. If I could I wouldn’t charge people at all to go rafting. I also don’t like the physical limitations to water sports, I believe that there is a river out there for all of us, and I want to be the one to take you there.

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