In this podcast I get a chance to chat for the first time with the great American surfski champion Austin Kieffer. In just 5 short years, Austin has gone from paddling a surfski for the first time, to battling it out for podium finishes with the greatest paddlers in the world. He is now a force to be reckoned with and a podium contender in any of the biggest surfski races in the world.

In this podcast we cover the story of how the last five years unfolded.  Austin is both candid and eloquent in describing the journey. I am certain that you will absolutely love this podcast as much as I enjoyed recording it. Austin’s story is both fascinating and inspirational.  He has a knack for articulating of the art of downwind paddling and the science of training (stolen from his website tagline).   In roughly an hour we cover the following key elements in Austin’s journey:

  • First introduction to the world of white water kayaking at age 11
  • What whitewater training entails at the Olympic Development level
  • What transfers from Slalom to Surfski and what is totally different
  • Getting into a surfski for the first time in 2011 and a top 20 finish at the US Champs just 3 weeks later
  • Making a final bid for a spot on the US Olympic Whitewater Team
  • Pouring himself into surfski in San Diego after college
  • The pivotal moment in learning downwind and key thoughts on what it takes
  • Training with the big boys in Capetown
  • Becoming the top US finisher at the US Surfski Champs in 2014
  • Getting humbled in the Canadian Surfski Champs in 2014
  • Finding the resolve to come back and take another shot at becoming a world class podium contender on the World Series of Surfski Racing
  • Details on the training regime to make it happen
  • What’s next and where to find Austin