David Spiegel

Age: 26 | Vitals: 5’10”, 170 lbs | Years Paddling: 15 | Current Residence: Hood River, Oregon


I grew up in a family of boaters—my parents had me on the water in sea kayaks and rafts from a young age—but I took my first whitewater kayaking lessons when I was 11 and have been paddling as much as possible ever since.

After those first lessons, I became completely addicted to freestyle kayaking. I started competing when I was 16 and let other sports like rafting and sea kayaking fall to the wayside as I tromped around to world-class spots like the Ottawa River Valley and the Skookumchuck Narrows.

In college, some amazing friends showed me the magic of creek boating and self support expedition kayaking. Those initial experiences on rivers like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison really got me hooked on that aspect of river running. I also learned to love rafting, pack rafting and sea kayaking for wilderness travel. Expedition paddling has become my main focus, but I do still love to get out play boating whenever I can.

I’m now living in Hood River, Oregon, just a few minutes drive from the legendary Little White Salmon and a horde of other classic North West creeks. I got hooked on creek racing this summer when I decided to race at the 2014 Adidas Sickline in Austria.

David Spiegel, Blister Gear Review
David Spiegel, Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Photo by Will Stauffer-Norris)

Over the course of my adventures, I’ve had the chance to play with an extraordinary amount of gear. Some of this gear has performed great and lasted far beyond my wildest expectations. Some equipment, of course, failed to stand the test of time. I know how much it sucks when an expensive new piece of gear disappoints. I share my knowledge of and experience with gear so that others can make the best possible decision when buying that new boat, dry top, or PFD.

Gear I’m stoked on:

Dagger Nomad 8.5, ZET Raptor, Jackson Rockstar M, Werner Sherpa 194, Astral Rassler


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