John Nestler

Age: 21 | Vitals: 6’, 185 lbs | Years Paddling: 8 | Current Residence: Colorado Springs, CO


I took my first strokes in a whitewater kayak eight years ago at Passages Adventure Camp in Richmond, Virginia. Since then, I’ve made pilgrimages to classic destinations on the East Coast, as well as Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. I still return to the East Coast every summer to instruct kayaking to young paddlers at the same camp that instilled in me a passion for the water and outdoors.

After running track and cross-country for three years in highschool, I came to the realization that running in circles couldn’t compare to the dynamic and fluid sport of kayaking. I promptly quit the team, and began frequenting the James River near Richmond for after-school paddling. The class V classics of the Southeast soon drew me in, and paddling became my a big part of my life.

John Nestler, Blister Gear Review.
John on the South Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho. (Photo by Will Stauffer-Norris)

I currently attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Colorado’s short paddling season has limited my days on the water in recent years, but that just makes me even more stoked by the time spring arrives. Friends at school introduced me to expedition boating, which has become my true passion. Multi-day river trips is my preferred way to kayak, and I recently completed a 27-day solo kayak descent of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

I love paddling for the immersive experiences and physical challenges. When paddling mellower runs, I make it my mission to boof and play my way down the river. Kayaking, after all, is all about having fun. In the coming year I will be focused on wilderness expeditions, with an inflatable kayaking trip in Alaska and a sea kayaking trip in Newfoundland.

Gear I’m stoked on:

Dagger Nomad 8.5 / Astral Greenjacket / Sweet Rocker / 5.10 Canyoneers

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