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Who is Isaac Levinson?

Isaac Levinson graces one of Pucon, Chile's classic runs. Los Nevados.

If you don’t know who Isaac Levinson is then allow me to introduce you.  This past November Isaac claimed the gold medal in short boat and silver medal in longboat classes of the prestigious Green River Race.  Isaac has also made his presence known in the extreme world with appearances in top international videos like Demshitz and the Tribe “Line of the Year” nomination.  Most recently he has been training to reach the podium at the Teva Mountain Games and for an USA C-2 Olympic seat with partner Ben Fraker.   Liquid Logic quickly noted Isaac’s extreme race skills and grabbed the top-contender athlete to join their winning string of racers.  And I personally am proud to mention that Isaac formerly was a student of mine at Huge Experiences’ New River Academy.

Isaac Levinson and nutritionist training for extreme boating in Pucon, Chile.

This past weekend at the CKS PaddleFest I ran into Isaac who’d came to Colorado with goals of reaching the podium for the Teva Mountain Games.  Quickly, the question came to mind, “What does it take to be one of the world’s best extreme racers?”  You’d think it takes a big set of nads and a certain level of focus that transfers into on-extreme water confidence.  Let’s examine.

Isaac Levinson drops 70' of the Middle Palguin, Chile.

Liquid Logic partner Woody Calloway joked, “Did this one ever cause you any trouble (at New River Academy)?”  Isaac’s the kind of student that trains hard both academically and athletically but surprisingly I answered, “Yes. He did.”  Isaac was a bit shocked and waited for the answer with a questioning lift of his brow.  “Isaac’s slalom coach was upset with him.  He wanted to hang with the freestyle group that got to paddle more rivers.  His coach pushed him hard in slalom.  But that may have been his big intro to the waterfall and river running world.”  Isaac nodded, “That’s true.  I love running rivers and coach hated that.”  Now, Isaac’s slalom training is placing him as a top contender in extreme events and even a realistic chance to win an Olympic seat in C-2.

USA Olympic Team… Can You Do It?

Levinson is combining years of slalom discipline with extreme lines.

Isaac and C-2 partner Ben Fraker are currently ranked #2 in the USA.  Isaac mentioned he and Ben had a disappointing US Team Trials event.  But he’s optimistic for another chance to make the team via a Bratislava, Slovakia race.

Green River Race Short Boat Gold and Long Boat Silver

North Carolina’s Green River Race has proven to be a competitive extreme event with champions such as Mike Dawson, Andrew Holcombe, Pat Keller, and Tommy Hillieke.

If you reach the podium at the Green then you’ve officially received your lifetime “Badass Card.”

Isaac states, “Of course, my goal and training were to win gold knowing that the Green Race is one of the hardest and most competitive on the extreme circuit.  It’s hard to throw down a flawless run and that’s what it takes.  I was happy and if anyone else was going to win then it should be Mike Dawson (New Zealand).  I believe Mike winning further legitimized the race on an international level.  Next week I’d like to reach the podium at Vail (Teva Mountain Games).”

What Does it Take to Medal in Extreme Boating?

Isaac states that he’s gotten a lot stronger this year.   Much of that is due to working with the USA Canoe and Kayak Team strength coach Brad Dewies.  Isaac’s hitting the gym 2-3 times/week and on-water training 10 times/week.  He’s not only feeling stronger but the target coach is further developing his cardio.  With that level of training you can easily see the bar for extreme racing has been raised.

Isaac’s Kayak Endorsement… Remix 69

“I paddled a Remix 69 in the Green Race.  It’s fast.  Real Fast.  The Remix is the boat I always use.  The speed combined with the ability to clear holes makes it a competitive boat for racing.”

Click here to check out the Remix 69

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Did you enjoy this blog?  You might also enjoy, “Who is Johnnie Kayaker?”

When you need the best equipment… Choose CKS.

By David Hughes

CKS Content Media Specialist

Owner- Pucon Kayak Hostel, your economical Chile destination with beds, kayak rentals, and beginner to advanced rivers.  “Keep Kayaking.”

Director- Huge Experiences’ New River Academy, “And that has made all the difference.”

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