Nick Wigston

Name: Nick Wigston
Birthdate: October 5, 1981
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Years Paddling: Since 1987


Whitewater Kayak Instruction
I’ve been an active ACA certified whitewater kayak instructor since 2001. I began my kayak instruction career at the Boulder Outdoor Center, where I taught many beginner kayaking courses. I worked for several years to build my skills and obtain my Whitewater Kayak Instructor Trainer certification, which I accomplished in 2004. I began teaching ACA instructor certification courses for the BOC and then for my own entrepreneurial purposes. Over the years of teaching the certification courses, I have developed many new and effective techniques for helping people of all ability levels improve their skills and properly teach others effective paddling techniques.

Swiftwater Rescue Instruction
In 2002, I began my training with Eric Bader of the BOC to become an ACA certified Swiftwater Rescue instructor, which I achieved in 2004. I received my Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Trainer certification in 2008.
I was quickly drawn to river rescue, and it has always been an area of passion for me. I love thinking about different situations and how to resolve them, and I love teaching river rescue more than any other aspect of kayaking. Since 2002, I have developed my course into an intensive, hands on course that teaches valuable skills for leading safe river trips. Our course is one of the only SWR courses in the world that has almost zero “dry” land instruction. I believe that students learn more when they are actively practicing skills in a realistic river environment, not in a parking lot or classroom. I also believe in teaching simple, effective techniques that can be used and adapted to many situations.

Top 3 Rivers: Animas Drainage, Raven Fork River, Big South, Gore Canyon

The Perfect Vacation is: Driving around regions with lots of rivers, doing multi-day expeditions, exploring new runs with little money or food. Money and food are of course welcome, but not necessary.

Hobbies other than kayaking: backcountry snowboarding, mountain biking, graphic design

Best day of paddling ever: The day I ran the Raven Fork in NC. I almost lost my helmet to the river on the hike in, got stung by 20 bees while scouting Big Boy, got to run a 30 foot water fall and countless 60-80 foot slides. Parking on a local Native American’s land only cost a case of Bud Light. Overall, a great day.

See more of me at: CKS-Squad blog ,,,,,

Videos: The White Album and Creatures of Habit.

Recommended gear list for kayakers:

Kayak: Liquid Logic Remix
Paddle: Werner Shogun
PFD: Astral Green Jacket
Skirt: Wildwasser w/implosion bar
Drysuit: Kokotat Meridian
Helmet: Shred Ready FMJ
Shoes: Teva Avatar 2
Layers: IR thickskin and/or union suit

Rescue equipment minimal for expeditions:

I carry these items in my Green Jacket rescue PFD:
Tether with karabiner
3-4 karibiners in pockets
Folding river knife in pocket
Prussik in pocket
Wildwasser 75′ waist mounted throw rope

In boat:
Katadyn filtration water bottle
3 -5 more karabiners
Pulley 1 or 2
2-3 prussik loops (5-6mm rope)
2 lengths of 1.5″ tubular webbing that is twice your height in length
2 ti blocks
Throw rope
First aid kit with fire starting kit
Emergency bivy
Small folding saw
Goretex repair kit (a must if wearing a drysuit)
Bitch-a-thane for boat repair

Overnight gear:
Sleeping bag
Fishing rod/lures or flies
one extra layer and maybe a pair of dry board shorts
Jet boil
Lighweight food that packs carbs and protein (tuna, salami, jerkey, pasta, rice, honey, etc.)
As many bars as you can squeeze into your pockets and drybags.

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