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Brett Barton is a welcome addition to our West Coast Regional
Team- Welcome!!!

Brett Barton

born: 12/16/73
hometown: Elwood, IN
stats: 5’8" 195lbs
favorite playspot: Split Rock/ Skykomish river, WA favorite creek: Green
Truss or Top Tye, it’s a toss up current home: a little slice of heaven called Lake Forest Park
(how can you go wrong with a name like that?)

On kayaking:

Whitewater is something I’ve loved since I took raft guide training 12 years
ago. I swam out of my first hardshell on the Methow river 3 years later and
the rest is history. During my first year of paddling I happened to find
myself in a big hole on the Wenatchee river and I thought I could be on my
couch right now watching TV, but instead I’m getting stomped in this
freakin’ hole. Yeah!

I love kayaking because it teaches me so much about life. It humbles me. It
makes me feel the most alive. And I am happy I can give that to others. I
teach through a local shop, Seattle Raft and Kayak. The best feeling is when
new boaters drop their worries and enjoy riding on the river and allowing it
to take them. Self discovery is a great gift.

I paddle Jackson because they work well. I’ve wanted to be a team member
because Jackson represents things I aspire to in my own life; positivity,
living your best life, encouraging others. I have large goals for myself and
while I’m paddling better than I ever have I plan on going further. I’m a
super solid boater, but I paddle for fun so I don’t always run the super
gnar others do if you know what I mean. This year has been great for
quashing some mental barriers and in turn I pass that on to others when the
opportunity arises.

I paddle because I love it. I think the longevity of the sport is in the
team, not the individual. Kids have an innate understanding of this and need
the support to continue and grow this knowledge. Success happens when
everyone is involved. Success IS a team sport. I support my team by doing
the best I possibly can.

During my paddling career I’ve worked to get these certifications.

ACA level 3 kayak instructor
Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue Instructor
Rescue 3 Technical Rope Rescue Instructor
Wilderness First Responder
PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Instructor,
level one.

Off kayaking:

I started my own construction company 3 years ago and it’s doing very well.
When I get the chance I ride dirt bikes, and mountain bikes, ski, and
generally just want to be outside. I live for the moments which humble me.
Writing allows me to express those moments.

Powerful words are what inspire me most which is probably why I am putting
this at the end. Words humble me the most and make me really want to tread
softly. Here are two examples. This first one I just found this on Jesse
Coombs page. It is remarkable and as Jesse put it, comes from one of our
greatest presidents and outdoorsmen, Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who
comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and
shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who
at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the
worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place
shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor

The second is from a man who has true character and backbone, Nelson

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we
are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our darkness, that most
frightens us. We ask ourselves, "who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented, and fabulous?" Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of
God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing
enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around
you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…And as we
let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission
to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence
automatically liberates others."

And here are words from two good friends.

Chris Jonason

I have owned and operated a rafting company here in Washington
called Wave Trek for the last 25 years. I originally
met Brett through rafting. Over the years he has become a great
paddling partner and friend. He is always open,
considerate, and has an interesting sense of humor. He went
through an ACA Instructor course with me 5 years ago
and it has been great to watch his skill skyrocket. He has become
one of the best play boaters on the Sky. He also
has turned into a great instructor and is currently helping me
with my play boating skills. He will make a great addition
to the Jackson team.

Rob McKibbin

I’ve been paddling with Brett for about six or seven years. I’ve
watched his skills develop over time into an excellent
kayaker. His quiet ambition has set him apart from many of our
peers, and his talent has grabbed the attention of the
boating community. Brett’s enthusiasm for boating carries over into
the young and new boaters. Taking time to instruct
and encourage, not out of obligation, but because he really enjoys
it and he’s good at it. Chics dig Brett because he rarely
wears underwear and when he does it’s always something pretty
unusual. That’s what makes him a champ. He has always
spoken highly of Jackson and I know that this is an honor for him,
while impressive to myself and friends.


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