Freestyle Kayakers Do WHAT?! (You’ve Got to See It to Believe It)

Mark Kearney is a 21-year-old Irishman and a freestyle kayaker. Freestyle kayakers do some amazing stunts, like flips, rolls, and other things I’m not sure how to describe . . . in a kayak, using just a paddle (and probably a lot of core strength, too).

On Instagram, Kearney posts videos of his freestyle-kayaking adventures. Some will make your jaw drop, and others will make you laugh. For instance, here’s him crossing a body of water in a kayak, but instead of just paddling across, he does this:

He casually calls this “In and out #kayaking”. Okay, show off.

In another video, Kearney does a roll in his kayak without spilling (much) of his Guinness. He does this even though his beer is in an open glass.

It’s hard to determine which stunt is more impressive.

Here he is doing a front flip over a waterfall:

Freestyle Kayaking, the Sport

Freestyle kayaking or “canoe freestyle” is a sport governed by the International Canoe Federation (ICF). Competitors complete sick tricks on set water features to earn points.

According to the ICF, you can compete in canoe freestyle in four types of boat, including a kayak, in which competitors sit with their legs out in front and use a double-bladed paddle.

“Points are awarded for each different rotation during a 60-second choreographed routine, and bonus points can be gained for how deep and how long the boat can be kept under water during a mystery move,” ICF says on its website.

In the U.S., USA Freestyle Kayaking is the governing body for the sport of freestyle kayaking. The American Canoe Association (ACA) maintains the official rules and regulations for the sport and represents the U.S. within the ICF.

Here’s one more video that shows Dane Jackson, an American who holds multiple freestyle and whitewater titles, doing freestyle kayaking tricks:

Have you heard of freestyle kayaking?

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