Idahoans With Whitewater Running Through Their Veins
(page 7 of 8)
Hometown: McCall, ID
Favorite Descent: The Lower Salmon, ID
Devon Barker got a late start on competition but that hasn’t made her career any less prolific. The 39-year-old McCall local—who started competing at 30—has made the U.S. Freestyle or Surf team every year since 2002, capturing the National Freestyle Championship in 2003 and 2004 and a World Surf Kayak Championship in 2005—visiting countless countries along the way. So how does a landlocked whitewater kayaker win a world surf championship?
When Barker heard the voice message from Sun Valley’s Jim Grossman, a talented paddler in his own right, she was confused.Costa Rica? World Championships? She’d never even been in a fiberglass kayak with fins. “Jimmy convinced me to go for it,” she says. “So I went down to Costa Rica a couple of weeks early and we trained everyday. My freestyle background really helped.” Enough to lead her to her first title in her first attempt.