|Heather Herbeck - going above and beyond|
The ACA - Kokatat Instructor of the Month for August is Heather Herbeck, from White Salmon, Washington. Originally hailing from the Midwest, Heather credits this area with her early interest and development in whitewater paddling. According to Heather, “A lot of people don’t realize how much amazing class III-V whitewater exists along the North and South Shores of Lake Superior. I’ve always been drawn to waterfalls and slides, and this area offers a lot of this. But, one of the main reasons I choose the Midwest as one of my favorite destinations is the people. The Midwest brews some of the most humble, passionate and fun paddlers in their truest form. The people make my paddling experience just as much as the quality of whitewater I’m paddling.”
Heather has been paddling for 12 years, and has been an ACA Instructor for 8. As an instructor, Andy Round (owner of Precision Kayak) and J.R. Weir (ACA Instructor Trainer at Sundance Kayak School) have sculpted and helped Heather develop her teaching skills. She is very grateful to have learned from some of the best.
Heather has been fortunate to have participated in many meaningful paddling programs through her years of teaching, which include women’s clinics and kids week-long camps. Near and dear to her heart is the organization ‘First Descents,’ which provides outdoor experiences to cancer survivors; Heather has been a part of First Descents for over five years. She also proud to be a part of the group ’Flux;’ Flux is a group of women who participate in various extreme sports, with the goal in mind to empower and inspire women to “push their limits”. Heather started this group along with Mariann Saether in 2011. The Flux group of women come from a variety of backgrounds, but have the common denominator of pushing themselves and showcasing themselves in a positive way to influence women and girls to ‘use the outdoors as their playground.’
Learn more about past winners here.