2021 Grom of the Year

Presented by


Offical Sweet Protection logo
The future of kayaking looks BRIGHT !!
Celebrating the most solid up and comer, age 18 and under, in the World of Kayaking !!

Ava Christensen


18-year old Ava Christensen hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, but this firecracker has spent the last two years with World Class Academy, honing her skills including making- and eating- pie, dancing up a storm, and crushing it in a kayak, whether making the hard lines look easy or twirling around in her XXX. This might be her first Grom of the Year title, but keep your eyes on this one; her reign has only just begun. 

Whitewater Awards: Where are you from?
Ava Christensen: I am from Charlotte, North Carolina.

WA: Where do you currently live?
AC: I still live in Charlotte but am currently paddling around the PNW.

WA: What year are you in school?
AC: This is my senior year.

WA: What high school do you/did you go to?
AC: Currently attending World Class Kayak Academy.

WA: How long have you been kayaking?
AC: I first got in a boat when I was ten, but I didn’t really get into it until about four years ago.

WA: Do your parents kayak? If you have siblings, do they kayak?
AC: Nobody else in my family paddles.

Ava Christensen Grom of the Year 3

WA: How did you get into kayaking? Who taught you to kayak?
AC: I started out in kayak camps at the whitewater center in Charlotte, NC, the NOC, and the Keener program, but I have also learned a lot over the years from my friends.

WA: Someone in kayaking who has motivated you?
AC: The staff and students at World Class and my crew back home.

WA: Someone in kayaking whose style you think is sick?
AC: Nouria.

WA: What do you want to do professionally when you grow up?
AC: I’m pretty set on something in the environmental science field, but I’m not sure what yet.

Ava Christensen Grom of the Year 4

WA: Biggest feat or accomplishment you are most stoked on from 2020/2021 so far?
AC: This year included a lot of time on the water and a lot of moments that I was fired up on. I’m probably most stoked about getting my first lap down 37 different rivers or just getting more comfortable with steeper drops and bigger holes.

WA: Favorite piece of gear?
AC: My kayak.

WA: Favorite boat to date?
AC: Small Rewind (Dagger), for sure. 

WA: Favorite river you’ve ever paddled? A river you hope to get to in the future or that you’re training for?
AC: My favorite river is a close tie between the Quijos (Ecuador) and the Futaleufu (Chile). There’s a ton of rivers that I’m hoping to get on in the future… the LDub, the Jalacingo, more sections of the North Fork Payette, and the Wailuku all look incredible.

WA: What are your kayaking goals for 2021/2022? Goals outside of kayaking?
AC: I’d like to get on a lot more overnighters. Outside of kayaking, I’d like to experience a bunch of new places.

WA: Advice you’d give to other Groms?
AC: Get out there as much as possible and have a solid crew that you love to be around..

WA: Thank you Ava!

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Watch out for the next generation – they are all on FIRE πŸ”₯
Give these kids a follow to see where kayaking is headed !!

Mashup Reel Featuring:

GIRLS

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Abby Holcombe
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Ava Christensen
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Julia Frangenberg
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Maddie Kimmel
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Madeleine Pease
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Olivia Summerfield

BOYS

πŸ‡¦πŸ‡· Alexander Gowda
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Axel Hovorka
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Driscoll Larrow
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Gavin Jostad
πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ George Snook
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Isaac Hull
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Jan Nemec
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Kaelin Friedenson
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Luke Landino
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Matteo Williams
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Patrick Sheehan
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Zander Ulmer

Whitewater Awards

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