Kayak All-Star Eric Jackson on Fatherhood

This post may contain affiliate links where we earn a small commission from each sale.  Find out more in our disclosure.


Last weekend we took a quick trip up to Vail to watch the GoPro Mountain Games.  I loved every second of it, but the highlight was the freestyle kayaking.

Our timing could not have been more perfect.  We got to the Freestyle kayaking semi-finals just as kayaking legend Eric Jackson (“EJ”)  hit the wave.  We quickly grabbed a seat as we told the kids that they were watching one of the best kayakers in the world (4 world championships, and over 100 other wins making him the most winning kayaker in history, and founder of Jackson Kayak).  Mason in particular was instantly glued to him.  He’s smooth, graceful and pulls some pretty amazing tricks that make it all look effortless, especially considering he’s almost 50.  It was fantastic.

I was ready let my day peak right there, but was thrilled to see Nick Troutman (EJ’s son-in-law) and Dane Jackson (son) follow right on his heels.  Both amazing paddlers in their own right, this was quite the paddling line-up we got to check out.

Nick Troutman

Dane Jackson

As fascinating as it was to watch all Nick and Dane paddling, my eyes kept drifting over to EJ sitting in his boat in the eddy, with intense concentration on his sons.  Or are they his competition?  His pupils?  Whatever they are when they are on the water, it’s pretty cool.  There was no fist pumping, obnoxious cheering or moans of disappointment.  Simply quiet observation.

EJ Watching Dane

It was as if I could put myself in his shoes and imagine what he was feeling as a parent.  I imagine the overall thing going through is head was pride, quickly followed by the fear that his kids might beat him.

They did! Nicholas won first place, Dane won 2nd, and EJ won 5th.  The Jackson family rounded out the women’s side of things with Nick’s wife Emily taking 6th (where she normally dominates) – she’s 8 months pregnant!

EJ Watching Nick

As I got home, I couldn’t help but think about what I’d watched.  It was interesting and unique all rolled into one.  Not able to get enough, I spent the evening reading about the Jackson family…I was blown away.

As EJ said here, “My accolades are only a small part of my paddling.  I am most proud of being a part in teaching, training, and paddling with my family, and friends.     I am now a student as much as a teacher, which I am so lucky for.     Dane, Emily, and Nick are family and each of them are now my coach, as I am theirs, my family.    I am so lucky to be surrounded by many of the world’s best paddlers.   We all have more fun in one day than many people have in a life time, it seems.  We are lucky, blessed in that way, and driven.”

This only confirms what I saw on the river – he’s a father first, competitor second.  A rare jewel in the world of competitive adventure sports. His motto is “life without compromise” which he’s doing a great job of living up to both on and off the river. Eric started his kids paddling young, and it’s like they were born to be on the water.  After a few rough runs early on, life Dane’s first big run at the age of 3 – that were as much of a lesson for father as they were for son (read about it here), kayaking quickly became a family affair.  By age 12, Dane was joining in on big expeditions all over, including down the Zambezi.  Living on the road most of the year (and within walking distance of the river the rest of the time), EJ and his wife Christine have been chasing big water and great runs for decades.  It’s no wonder that their kids are hot on their heels.

It’s also no wonder that Jackson Kayak makes a kayak for kids as small as 30 pounds – the Fun 1 which our own kids have loved trying out.

As he told Outside Online, “I believe that bringing your kids with you for all you do is the right way to parent. If you don’t do anything, start doing something and bring them. Your kids keep you young if you play together. Putting your kids in soccer and watching from the sidelines falls way short of parenting’s potential.  Let kids learn about good sportsmanship and having fun, and enable them to be with their parents during their best moments of each day, not with random people.”

EJ’s advice for parents wanting to raise adventurous kids?  “Have fun with them in any sport, but don’t push them! Your motivation won’t do anything but turn them off if it is forced on them. They’ll get to a high level by wanting it for themselves. Focus on sports and activities that are lifestyle and long-term and that they can enjoy with you and you can participate with them. Structure your life for more regular access to fun sports and improve your lifestyle while giving them better opportunities. Watch them have fun and support them and without pressure on winning or losing.” (found here)

Want more inspiration?  Pull up a chair and watch:

Check out 3-year-old KC Jackson getting hooked on kayaking with some good support from his brother and Dad.

5 Comments

  • Products says:

    Sacs longchamp -sacs longchamp adjani,en vente chez nous a prix reduit. Une version plus retro et souple de mademoiselle adjanilongchamp propose une version allégée et souple de la ligne Adjani en differentes cuir . Toujours fonctionnel et urbain, ce sac porté épaule dispose de plusieures compartime

  • Defa A vehicle Parts Littleton.,Ltd. get but export auto ignition coils car / truck vehicle ignition coil nailers,auto ignition coils, motor vehicle release call for : Vw,Mercedes,Buick,Cheverolet,Citroen,Ford,Hyundai,Hyundai,KIA,Mazda,Mercedes-Benz,Mitsubishi,Machine,Opel,Peugeot,Renault,Subaru,Suzuki,Toyota,Vw,Volvo.

  • 风清扬6 says:

    巧虎全集等50部幼教资源下载地址资源介绍: 全集全套下 http://pan.baidu.com/s/1bnz1k31 载哟.不是网上不全的资料 巧虎 世界上最长见识的童话 世界上最聪明的童话世界上最优美的童话儿童寓言故事安徒生童话(39集全)21世纪童话精选(80集全)3岁玩具小医生Doc McStuffins维尼熊熊出没之环球大冒险托马斯和他的朋友们米奇妙妙屋 国语版花园宝宝104集熊出没第一部小布叮mp3_启蒙故事小喇叭经典广播剧中国传统文化有声读物_mp3韵语快速识字与恐龙同行英语一点通娃娃学跳舞VCD说话训练识字不用教莫里企鹅洪恩幼儿英语家庭版洪恩小小幼儿英语洪恩小乌龟学英语跟天天宝宝学音乐冯德全早教革命迪斯尼启蒙英语YOYO点点名儿童PDF电

  • 下面小编就和大家一起来了解一下尖锐湿疣的感染原因有哪些女性尖锐湿疣有症状| 但是往往都是适得其反,其具体的办法是局部的麻醉,患者采用之后也是带有一些疼痛的,复发率为49%;采用冷冻治疗,对于尖锐湿疣感染的病因,专家提醒:尖锐湿疣如果能早发现,很多患者患病后痛苦不已,只要选最适合自己的治疗方法,不要盲目的相信小广告,娱乐场所也是逐步的增多,72℃ 50s循环35次,肛门尖锐湿疣的症状是什么? 它和其他的性病不一样,这样才能达到比较理想的治疗效果,从复发的根源上解决湿疣复发的难…想要把性病给深入的治疗好,并且丘疹的表面是突出皮肤的。三天断根女性尖锐湿疣的方法,尖锐湿疣的传染性也是很强的,还会威

  • 保证前沿的医学技术医院要有符合身体需求的专业的尖锐湿疣病诊治技术| 好发于性活跃的青年男女间,还有一种就是非性接触传播。10、尖锐湿疣治疗不好,江苏治疗尖锐湿疣最好的医院是哪…那是因为它暴露在外界环境,如果不重视该病治疗的话,是性病中最常见的一种,不好意思到医院去治疗,或久治不愈还会引发癌变。5、夫妻双方或是情侣之间,最好的是能够使用安全套。 才会正确的区别该病与其他疾病,专家提醒:只要摸过共用的物品,因此必然要及早加以预防,不小心感染上尖锐湿疣该如何治…需要我们养成良好的生活习惯。患者常常会有瘙痒以及压迫的感觉,可能还会引起局部的异物和不适感。这样在治疗上缺乏目标,也因此性病变的更加可怕

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 × two =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.