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By Phil Boyer

Paddling legend Lars Holbek lost his fight with cancer on Friday March 13th in Durango Colorado at age 51

Lars gave his life to the outdoors, whether it was skiing, climbing, hiking or kayaking, some bit of Lars is in and with all of us. He helped open up paddling around the world claiming first descents in several countries and creating one of the most fabled kayaking guide books in the world known to most as the bible of California white water.

I was very fortunate to have met Lars early on in my kayaking career, but only after years of looking at pictures of him on my walls at home running waterfalls and rapids throughout the world. Shortly after meeting Lars he became one of my mentors in the paddling world, not just for paddling but also for the safety aspect of running hard white water. Lars was always watching out for the other paddler and when on a river with him you felt his eyes on you and knew that help was only a throw bag away.
I am sure that without his influence, I would not have come as far as I have with my own paddling and desire to travel the world in search of the next great adventure and for that I am truly greatful.

Lars always had the 110% positive outlook on life and adventure, nothing stood in his way, rain or shine he was ready to go out the door for the next trip.
It was only fitting then, that on Sunday with over 40 paddlers converging on the North Fork American for an impromptu Memorial paddle for Lars that it began to rain filling our souls with liquid sunshine as we floated down stream on one of his backyard runs.
You will always be with us Lars, paddle hard and boof right.
Thanks for being an inspiration to us all and showing us what it means to live the dream!!!!!!!

Phil Boyer

Lars is survived by his wife Nancy, brother Suren, father Erik and mother Mimi. Please send out loving thoughts to Lars family and let them know that we all loved Lars very much.

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