Chris Hipgrave - Member of the World Paddle Awards Academy
Chris is Paddlesports General Manager of the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) in North Carolina, USA; probably the largest outdoor activities provider in the World.
Chris has been instrumental in bringing the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships and the 2015 ICF Wildwater Canoeing Jr. & U23 World Championships to the Nantahala River in addition to multiple slalom, wildwater and freestyle National Championships, Team Trials and regional qualifiers.
An accomplished athlete himself, Chris represented the USA at multiple ICF Wildwater World Championships and World Cups, is a nationally ranked regional surfski champion and a creek race champion with many course records still to his name. Fueled by a passion for all things paddlesports, Chris has also paddled extensively in the Himalayas, Central & South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia but always finds his way back home to the intimate beauty of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.
His competitive ethics also translate into his career having made significant contributions to Dagger, Liquidlogic and as the USA Canoe/Kayak Olympic High Performance Director during the Beijing quad. In a volunteer capacity, Chris continues to share his passion for canoe and kayak competition primarily thru the Nantahala Racing Club, the USA’s most successful center of excellence having produce 22 Olympians and many more national team members across several disciplines.
Chris also shares his competition, travel and industry thoughts thru his self titled blog, chrishipgrave.com, and has been featured in documentaries by S4C and National Geographic in addition to a lengthy list of print and online media.