The following paddlers share our vision of the paddling community as a unified entity. They care about conservation of our waters. And they embrace the connection to the water-craft, the paddle, the water and the great state we live in. Oh yah, and they are really studly paddlers too!
Feel free to reach out to any of them and inquire about Cali Paddler events, apparel, and our efforts.
If you know Red, and have had the privilege to paddle with him, you know he leaves it all on the water. Whether he is coaching 6-man outrigger canoe, paddling his OC1, exploring on his SUP or racing dragon boat, Red knows the stoke of paddling. While sporting a very accomplished résumé (racing the Catalina Crossing both directions on the same weekend, Pailolo Challenge, Queen Liliʻuokalani, and Molokai Hoe, sitting every seat during a 9-man race, and racing the socal winter series on his OC1) his humble and approachable attitude conceal his hard-work approach to be the best paddler he can be. Chances are you heard Red cheering for other paddlers as they finished, saw him carrying other people's canoes, and witnessed him picking up trash on the beach. Red is stoked to be paddling any craft and is a shining example of what it is to be a Cali Paddler. Just be careful after a race while he is eating...he might mistake your hand for a chicken strip and bite it right off.
Region: Southern California.
Craft: OC1, OC2, OC6, SUP, Surf-Ski, Dragon-boat.
Lorraine "Alex" Gil
We could not be more excited to have Alex join our team of paddlers who represent us on the water and off. Born and raised in California, with time spent living in both SoCal and NorCal, Alex knows and loves our waters. She started paddling as a teenager continues to paddle as an adult. With an athletic background in basketball, beach volleyball, and cycling, paddling is where her heart is. In addition to being a talented water-women in outrigger paddling, with a very impressive resume of races and results on the water, she is a great ambassador of good-will and positive energy in the paddling community. Alex has aided us to connect with the amazing paddlers and teams in Northern California and helps us align with regional conservation efforts we can help support. In addition, Alex's appreciation and respect for the culture of our water sports and their important history, align with our love of all things paddling. In her words, "Paddling for me, is like music... No matter what the language..that anyone speaks...music can bring all people together...just like this awesome sport we all share and have a love for...paddling." Be sure to ask her any questions about the great things taking place at Cali Paddler at the next race or paddle you see her at.
Region: Northern California.
Craft: OC1, OC6.
Samantha "Sammie" Barlow
Sammie definitely grew up as a water kid. She was placed in swimming lessons as soon as she able to walk but she was introduced to the water and Kayaking even sooner by her father. Her swimming passion grew into a water polo passion where she was affectionately named “The Fish” because of her speed and agility in the water.
Her paddling passion emerged when she was just about 2 after her father and a friend made her a little kid style boat. Sammie was just a little one, and so a cement block was needed to weigh the boat down properly for use. Dedication and ingenuity to be on the water! She is a Dual Athlete (water polo and Kayaking) however her main focus at this point is training to become a top Kayaker. Sammie has her eyes set on the 2020 USA Olympic Team. We think she has what it takes! Already crushing it in Kayak, she is posting some impressive 1st place marks in K1, K2, K4 at Nationals as well as 2015 Athlete of the Week Union Tribune/Hall of Champions and the 2013 USA Francine Fox Award.
Most notable to us is Sammie Barlow's energetic smile, and warm genuine presence. She enjoys her paddling and enjoys sharing that good vibe with others. We are proud to have her as a Cali Paddler Team Paddler.
Region: International and Southern California.
Craft: K1, K2, K4, Surf-Ski
Tony truly encapsulates what we consider to be a Cali Paddler. He loves the water and is often seen at beach cleanups or with a bucket on his board. He loves exploring our waters, (ask him about paddling in Mammoth and June Lakes). He will try any craft out there (SUP, Outrigger, Dragonboat so far with more to come). And he is always striving to push himself to be the best paddler he can be. But ask him how his race was, despite being darn fast, and he will humbly acknowledge all the other paddlers who were out there sharing the water with him.
Tony is stoked to be a paddler, and when asked about the sport, he says it best as he credits the community... "The enthusiasm, gratitude, respect and positive attitude I have toward paddling SUP, outrigger and dragon boat are a direct result of all the amazing inspirational people I have met or observed and to all those friendly individuals who taken the time to share these special sports with me. Paddling (the activity, the people, the community, the environment, the adventure, the challenge, the health benefits, etc.) always puts a smile on my face and I’m very thankful for that – hopefully I can share that with others."
Keep smiling Tony!
Region: Southern California.
Craft: SUP, Outrigger
Every so often you come across a paddler who after a race you think, ‘wow they are really fast’. But perhaps you are too little intimidated by their on-the-water prowess to introduce yourself. Well not only is Kristin a great paddler, but chances are, before you have the chance to be intimidated, you have already been greeted with a smile and pulled into a post-paddle hug or given a congratulatory high-five. And that is what we value the most.
With a water background of life-guarding, swim instruction, windsurfing, surfing and everything that could connect her with the Pacific Ocean, paddling was a natural next step. In 2010 Kristin began paddling SUP, and has seized upon every chance she can to share her stoke with others. She can be found paddling SUP, prone and OC1, and has an inspiringly humble personality. We are honored to have her a part of our team.
Region: Southern California.
Craft: SUP, Prone, OC1
You interested in being a Team Paddler or know someone who would be a perfect candidate? Contact us and tell us about them, their paddling, goals on the water and off and why you think they (or you!) would be a great ambassador for Cali Paddler.