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Heather Herbeck

I met heather several times, each time being impressed with her results in a competition, or her general interest in kayaking and kayakers; however, I never really got to know her. She was invited by Ben Stookesberry to be a part of his team in Veracruz, Mexico for the first complete descent of the Alceseca River from Altatonga to Tomata Bridge. I got to know her during that time. She was a super strong member of the team, never complaining or asking for help during the long, intense, hot, muddy, steep, portages or scouts. She also ran many incredible drops and did it them well. I had just spent a few days with her in Coloma, California, at the Whitewater Symposium where her primary interests were kids kayaking and the mental side of paddling. She is a dedicated instructor that is focusing on taking things to the next level in Hood River, OR. I am proud to welcome Heather to the team! Here is what Heather has to say about Heather…

What makes Heather, Heather . . . Hmmmmm . . .

There are a few things that make me who I am today:

1. My Husband – without him, I wouldn’t have dreamed of the opportunities and the possibilities I can dream about now. He is truly my inspiration and best friend.

2. My Passions – Whatever it is that I’m doing, I want to make a positive, powerful impact. Before I started kayaking, I was using my Exercise Science Degree as a fitness program director – teaching group exercise and personal training. My goal at the time was to produce fitness videos and to make my impact in the fitness industry that way. (I am currently trying to do this again) Once I became passionate about the sport of kayaking, my goals shifted. Now, I want to make an impact on the sporting industry as an extreme kayaker, knowledgeable, fun instructor and someone who will help grow the sport for future enthusiasts.

3. I am a Competitive Female – I’ve always had a competitive side (competing in Track and Basketball through my college years). As I’ve grown in this sport, it has been both positive and negative to my paddling. Positive, in that it has gotten me to where I am today and giving me the drive to continue pushing myself. Negative, in that sometimes if my performance isn’t up to my expectations, I get a little bummed out.

4. The future/goals – One of my bigger goals and most exciting is enticing this sport to more women by adding a psychological component to my courses that I teach. I am currently educating myself so that I can include “mental” training as part of my women’s courses this summer. Another goal is to get more kid’s on the water. Living in the Hood River Gorge area, I believe this is one of the perfect places to plant the seed in our youth and in the schools. I also have huge goals for my personal paddling as well. Traveling and filming are huge on my schedule for 2008.

River Accomplishments
2004 – 3rd place in the Gorge Games head-to-head
2005 – 1st place in the Oregon Cup Canyon Creek Extreme Race – Expert Division
2005 – IR Big Gun Show “Carnage” winner on Upper Lewis Falls, WA
2006 – 1st descent of Wildboy Creek Falls, OR (
2006 – Paddler on 2nd descent of the Santa Domingo River, Mexico (With Tao Berman,Nate Herbeck, Josh Bechtel, Ben Stookesbury, and others)
2006 – Assisted Anna Levesque with “Girls at Play” – Hood River, OR
2006 – Wet Planet Whitewater Outfitters – River Guide and Kayak Instructor
2006 – Kayaking Expedition with Ben Stookesbury, Eric Jackson and Jackson Team members on the Alseseca in Mexico

Off-River Accomplishments
2005 – Organized the first of the Kid’s kayaking courses in the Gorge – Hood River, OR
2006 – Helped organize the Headwater’s Institute’s First “White Salmon River Festival” -Husum, WA
2006 – Organized a “Kid’s kayak program” for Wet Planet Whitewater Outfitters
2006 – Organized a women’s paddling course “Paddle and Pamper” – a series
of paddling clinics combined with massage, manicures and pedicures to wrap up the day

2006 & 2007 – AT promo video
2006 – Featured paddler in Nate Herbeck’s whitewater video “Liquid Insanity”
2006 – Paddler in the Mexico segment of “No Big Names IV: Hotel Charley”
2006 – Accompanied Tao Berman to Chiapas, Mexico as an athlete in the “Chiapas Blue Tour” TV production
2006 – Currently filming for a fitness program/Outdoor program for FitTV as the hostess of the show
2006 – Veracruz, Mexico – paddler for the up and coming film, “Hotel Charley – River of Doubt”

2005 – Featured paddler on
2005 – Dagger Catalog
2006 & 2007 – AT product catalog

2004 – Hood River News – Gorge Games
2006 – Hood River News – Featured paddler for the release of Nate Herbeck’s video “Liquid Insanity”
2006 – Hood River News – “Paddling the Middle Fork of the Hood” with Christian Knight

Other Sponsors
Sweet Helmets
AT Paddles

Non-Whitewater Interest
Exercise Science Degree – Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer
Working out on my spare time to keep up with the guys on the river!!!


Favorite Quote: “Life’s journey is not to arrive at our grave safely, in a well-preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, “Man, what a ride!”


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Heather dropping Tomata Falls in Veracruz, Mexico

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Heather making her way through the jungle