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Diving in With Ninkasi Kayaker Rush Sturges

Jul 28, 2015 Comments (1) Diving in With Ninkasi Kayaker Rush Sturges

When Ninkasi had the opportunity to sponsor a world class kayaker who’s also an artist, filmmaker, and hip-hop performer, we hopped right on it. We love music, we love outdoor adventures, we love art, and we love when we can combine all of our favorite things into one fantastic partner.

This athlete and artist is  Rush Sturges, who is based out of White Salmon, Washington, paddles all over the world, operates his own production company, River Roots; and performs hip-hop under the name “The Adrenaline Rush.” We caught Rush between paddles to ask him a few questions so you can get to know him better. 

First off – why Ninkasi (besides really delicious beer)?

Ninkasi is crushing it on so many levels beyond just the beer. When I visited the headquarters in Eugene earlier this Spring, I was in awe of how much cool stuff was going on. A recording studio, a climbing gym, a metal shop. Everyone seemed super enthusiastic and happy to be there. Ultimately, I like to align myself with artists and people with a passion for the outdoors. Ninkasi is 100% both of these things! Not to mention supporting river conservation and nonprofits. It’s also independently owned which is awesome.

What’s your go-to, post river beer (Ninkasi or otherwise)? Why?

I have to admit I am kind of a fan of lighter beer.  A lot of my friends make fun of me for it but I don’t care... I’m not afraid to admit that I love Lux and Spring Reign. I also like Total Domination!

You’re always traveling and adventuring, where will you be next?

I just got a job doing some Stunt Man work on an upcoming Hollywood movie project. After that I plan on touring my new movie "Chasing Niagara" around Europe and North America! 

What other sports or activities do you enjoy outside of kayaking?

I’m a film maker and wannabe rapper. I actually became involved with Ninkasi because I was working on a song with my friend Sapient (also sponsored by Ninkasi). I guess more than anything I’m kind of an Athlete/Artist. I’m probably equally as passionate about my art as I am being a full time professional kayaker. It’s a challenging balance but I do the best I can… 

Can you comment about the river community as a whole, what drives and inspires you?

I love kayaking. But more than anything, I love being on the river. I think it’s that common bond between paddlers that gives us a respect and passion for the outdoors. When you see a fellow kayaker on the highway, you wave. It’s instinctual.

I think this bond exists in other communities as well, but there’s something about our connection that is special. It’s family. I guess what inspires me is the connectedness we share, and the overall experience of getting down a river. As cliche as it sounds, river running is a lot like life. There are fun parts and scary parts, joyous moments and tragic ones. But my inner drive is fueled by embracing each one of these sections for what it is. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to get downstream. You might as well enjoy it, fire it up with the best style possible, and never forget to keep an eye on your fellow paddlers…  

What’s your spirit animal?

I’ve been told a fox. But I’d like it to be a River Otter (with laser beams attached).

Stay tuned for more adventures with Rush!


Comments (1)

  1. La YungSoona:
    Jul 30, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    Whoa...what a rush to fly down those falls...yes, yes joyous....
    & a big No, tragic! Stay healthy...have fun kayaking...& be ever so kool! I like ocean kayaking... with my partner, but on more calm days. I like to hang out on the little islands & just roam about on the rocks finding fun rocks & shells...My birth Korean name...YungSoon...means, "tender flower"...& that I am! Cheers & Peace to ya all!

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